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If you haven’t gotten on the bullet journal bandwagon yet, you aren’t alone. Although bullet journals are definitely a huge trend sweeping planners and organizers everywhere, there are still plenty of people who haven’t yet taken the plunge!
I decided that I wanted to explore some new ways to organize my daily life and Sunday habits for the New Year so I have chosen to really dive into exploring all of the ins and outs of bullet journaling! When you really get down to it, it looks pretty, lets you express your creativity, and is downright customizable to all get out!
Why Bullet Journal:
Created by Ryder Carroll in 2015 as a way to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future. It, as you likely know, as taken the world by storm. This is largely due to social media and the immense trend that has grown within the bullet journal community. Creative people everywhere show off their elaborate designs and organization methods which in turn cause many oohs and ahhs from those around them.
Bullet journals are known for being 100% customizable, no matter what your organization style calls for. When we buy ready-made planners, we are somewhat limited to the outline provided for us by the creator and therefore we may find ourselves still having to jot down other things on various pages and/or sticky notes.
If you are anything like me, traditional planners or organizers tend to seem great at first but after those couple of instances of things not fitting within the detailed pages, I seem to revert back to just jotting down notes in a notebook or saving memos in my phone.
Wouldn’t it be convenient to have one single place to house everything, from the appointments you have coming up to the phone numbers you may need and even the ingredients needed for next month’s meal plan? Using a bullet journal even allows you to include notes for work and meetings with your boss, rather than switching between a home planner and a work planner constantly!
How to Bullet Journal:
Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal creator, has some simple suggestions for the most effective way to set up your bullet journal.
1. Your first blank pages will be your index.
You will want to simply title both of these pages at the top as your index pages. These will later house the page numbers of each of your various journals spreads.
2. Your next set of blank pages will be for planning your future
Ryder suggests splitting this piece into six monthly sections. Simply draw 2 lines across your pages and then label them with your months. Now that you have your future log created, go back to your index and add this spread with its page numbers.
3. Next, you will create your monthly log spread.
Flip to the next open pages and write the name of the month at the top of both pages. The left can be your monthly calendar, so label it with the dates and names of the days if you’d like and the right side is your task list for the month. Once you have created your task list, you can add bullet points to the tasks you need to complete for the month. Number your pages and add this spread to your index.
4. The next pages will break it down further into your daily log.
Write the date at the top of the page and then start listing your tasks using short sentences.
Ryder suggests breaking these down in the following way:
• Tasks: Indicated by a dot bullet
o Events: Indicated by a circle bullet
- Notes: Indicated by a dash bullet
* Important: Indicated by a star
5. At the end of the month, create next month’s log.
When creating the following month’s log, review any unfinished tasks from the previous month. If things are no longer important or relevant, draw a line through them. When they are still necessary for the short term, mark them with a right arrow and copy them onto the following month’s log. For items that are still necessary but can wait a few months, mark them with a left arrow.
6. Collections are created for grouping things together.
You could have multiple items that are all corresponding to planning for one event. You can tie them all together on a blank page that you label as collection and title with the name of the collection. Make sure to number these spreads and add them to your index.
Once you decide that a bullet journaling is worth a try, you need to figure out what supplies to purchase in order to get started! You can use very little or opt to get more in depth, it’s all dependent on your level of creativity! Here are my thoughts on some of the top items!
Related: The Best Planners for Moms for 2019
The Top Supplies for Bullet Journaling
Obviously, a great journal is somewhat of a must-have when you want to start bullet journaling. There are a few that come to mind for beginners.
The Leuchtturm1917 is one of the most highly sought after bullet journals on the market, likely because it provides a large 249-page count with it. The downfall, in my opinion, is that the weight of the pages is only 70 gsm. In reviewing some of the pictures and reviews on this journal on Amazon, it does seem that some people have issues with their pages being a bit see-through and therefore seeing the writing on the page behind the current one they’re on. This can be a bit of an annoyance to some but you may not mind it!
EDITED: Pages are now 80gsm.
The Scribbles That Matter brand is definitely a growing name in the bullet journaling industry and one that I can certainly get behind! Their journals contain 185 pre-numbered pages, a pen holder, an elastic band for keeping it shut, and the pages are 100 gsm. There are a variety of colors available in this journal and they provide a 100% money back guarantee! The price point is just right for these. Also, you can check out other products made by Scribbles that Matter right here!
For basic pens, the PaperMate Profile Pens are extremely popular with the bullet journaling world! They have an incredibly smooth finish which is what most of us look for in a pen. These come in the basic black ink or you can pick up the assorted colors like these ones.
Another extremely popular pen that I personally have used and loved for years is the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller, 0.7 mm pens! I get the variety pack of colors, with these gorgeous metallic colors included. These write so smoothly and are the perfect option for journaling!
When you want to be a little more crafty or creative and utilize something more like a marker, the Crayola Super Tips are a fantastic option! They have every color you need and they don’t bleed, which is definitely an important factor!
If you want something with a dual tip, the Zebra dual brush pens are fantastic as well! This color assortment is perfect to keep things colorful.
Some creative minds like to get really intricate with their bullet journaling and add beautiful designs using stencils. If you are able to freehand these gorgeous things, that is fantastic! I, for one, know that my craft skills are definitely not up to that level. These bullet journal stencils are a great option when you want to add some specific outlines or boxes to your journal without free handing it.
This Wanderings Journal Stencil Set is a plastic set that includes 24 templates full of various stencils. These range from banners, icons, words, to letters, numbers, and various geometric designs. They are extremely affordable and a fantastic way to spruce up your journaling! (Just remember to be light-handed on your outlining and use a pencil first.)
Now that you know a bit about the background of bullet journals, how to set one up, and the best supplies to get started, here are some of my favorite ways for moms to utilize their bullet journals! Just keep in mind, these don’t even begin to brush the surface of all of the uses for bullet journals!
Ways for Moms to Use Bullet Journals
Pregnancy Bullet Journals
This is a fantastic way to track all of those fun and new moments throughout your pregnancy! You can find so much inspiration online for fun pregnancy spread ideas! From tracking what cravings you have each day to what size baby is from week to week. This is also a great way to track your pregnancy symptoms and pains and remember things from the beginning when you are farther along!
New Baby Bullet Journal
Keeping up with a baby book can sometimes seem almost like a chore. Filling in the specific spots and answering all of those pre-asked questions. By creating a bullet journal for your new baby moments, you can customize this to your individual experience! You can create a page for each doctor’s visit in your baby’s first months. Check out this post from My Life As Mum that gives you awesome advice on How to Plan Your Day as a Busy New Mom!
Maybe you have a page each day where you discuss the new fun sounds or faces your little one made along with any new foods they tried out that day! This can even be a useful way to track ounces fed and diapers changed in those first few months of mommy-hood!
A Kid-Centered Bullet Journal
As a mom, we all know balancing all of those appointments, activities, homework assignments, and birthday parties can be a task in itself! By using a bullet journal for your kiddos, you can easily create a monthly spread but also have a daily spread for each child, if you’d like. Depending on the level of things you have to remember for each child, breaking it down this way can really help us out sometimes!
Meal Planning with your Bullet Journal
Planning meals for a family is no easy task. Making it more simplified by utilizing your bullet journal to plan ahead and have your grocery list made in advance is a great way to save time and reduce stress! Rather than having a planner, a list of weekly meals, and a grocery list all floating around, you can easily combine these things all into one.
The customization of a bullet journal is truly endless. You can have a spread for each month’s meal plans with one side displaying the meals you plan to make and the other side housing the ingredients needed to buy. You could also include your meals creatively into your monthly log and simple have a spread for a weekly or monthly grocery list.
The opportunities go as far as your imagination can wonder. Once you have the hang of how to stay organized with your bullet journal, there is truly no going back. This is a fantastic way to keep yourself organized without feeling like you need to fit into a specific outline.