Dare I say it? Have I found planner peace? I started bullet journaling back in July and for 3 weeks of September, I’ve been unable to use my journal (had some surgery on my elbow, and of course it had to be on the side of my writing hand!) and its felt like I was so unorganised and my mind scattered!
Now that I’m starting to write again, I’ve realised how much more effective this method of planning makes me and just how much I rely on it. I try to keep fairly ‘traditional’ in my bullet journal but I still experiment and add whatever extras I need to help me make my life easier and what I find the most useful in day to day planning. I thought for this post though, it might be useful of fun for me to show you my notebooks and how they’re set up!
That’s one of the best things about the bullet journal; it’s so flexible that I doubt there isn’t a way it could work for everyone!
Be warned, this post is about to get very image heavy!
My notebook choice is a Nuuna Notebook which I find are most often available from Cult Pens and Amazon. They’re pretty pricey as notebooks go, but I just can’t turn away from the bright white paper and perfectly spaced dots!
I use both a large and a small sized planner with the large one coming with me to work and being the main one I use to write all my work related tasks and my personal to dos. I also write these personal to dos in the small notebook but this one is so much easier to carry around with me that I find it nicer to have everything I’ll need in this one too (shopping lists, weekly/monthly plans, to buy lists).
Now, I know the idea of carrying two notebooks around might anger some of the bullet journaling community as the main idea of the bullet journal is to reduce the amount you carry around but to be honest, this is working for me and any other mix of this setup wouldn’t cover my needs.
So above is my index where everything goes. I very rarely go back to this to find collections as I tend to know roughly where they are anyway. None the less, I still put it all in here as it’s great to have one big overview.
One thing to note is that I cry quickly ran out of space in my index so I consulted the most amazing Facebook group you ever did find, Bullet Journal Junkies, and a ton of suggestions flooded my way! These ladies (and men, I am sure!) gave me the idea to go to the next clean page and start index no. 2, reference this second index back into the first and just carry on my merry way! It worked a treat and I’m now able to keep using my favourite notebooks!
Another thing to note is that I write in pencil! I would love to be brave enough to write in pen but I’m in constant terror that I might mess up!
This is an example of my monthly overview, this is very true to the original bullet journal and I think that for me, this is all I’d need for a monthly spread.
I can see appointments and events at a glance and can easily add anything else should I need too.
I don’t tend to put every birthday on this otherwise it would become party central! (You’ll see what I do for those on the next image) Like I said, I try to keep simplistic in this space otherwise I’m more likely to miss important events and no-ones got time for that!
At the beginning of a month I’ll set the monthly pages up, write any dates or appointments in and then start on my first week. As I’m setting up my days, I’ll come back to this page and check if anything is due to come up or that I need to remember.
Now, I’m not going to pretend I look at this and bam, it’s in my head and in never going to forget it! I do also make sure I add all dates to my phone calendar. My brain = sieve. If it’s not written down more than once, I WILL forget!
I know this may seem countertuative but it’s what works for me and it doesn’t really take as much time to write down as you might think. Moving on!
So this section shows what follows my monthly overview. In my large notebook, which I’ve been using he full three months, I find it best to have a list of things I have to get done that month, any other important dates (this is where all those birthdays will go!), any orders I’ve placed that month and then a budget tracker to see how much I’ve got left to spend on food/fuel/bills.
In my small everyday carry, which I’ve been using for a few days, I still have my monthly to do list but instead of the other sections, I have my no spend tracker. This won’t stay the same for every month, I’ll probably switch the no spend tracker for my budget tracker.
These are weekly and daily spreads. The weekly is simply the dates that cover that week and then below that, the to dos I need to get done that week. I’ll pull these off the main monthly one each week but I’ll also add any others which come up that week. This is the same for both my large and small planner. For the daily pages I add the date, my steps for the day and my water tracker (which is really hi-tec!).
The only difference for my large and small notebook is that I don’t need the whole page for my daily to dos in my small notebook. For this size, I split the page in two and go from there!
Last, but not least! I then add any collections which come up. They get out wherever the next clean page is, which can be between daily pages or randomly in the month. The example above is in my small notebook where I’ve started my Christmas gift list and just added post it notes in where I want the information but not necessarily permenantly!
I number the pages at the bottom and add them all back into my index, just for reference!
And that’s it!
I’d love to know your thoughts and how you all set your planners up and if you too, use multiple notebooks!
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