I love making plans. And lists. And charts. I love taking all the thoughts in my head and giving them shape and order. But real life isn’t actually that easy to organize. It’s a wildly shifting mystery. You just can’t make every day the same.
Which is one reason I love bullet journaling. My life is seasonal, it’s a little bit wild..and most planners just don’t have enough space for my notes and plans, or if they have the space for notes, it’s not in the right spot, or it’s misapplied and then I have to cross out labels and and make everything messy. And I hate messiness. Bullet journals are self-designed though, and so I can make sure I’ve got a page or two for homeschooling every week, a page each month for herbalism, a page or two most months for garden-things, reading lists, blogging lists, Charlotte Mason habit-nurturing lists, and a whole 3 or 4 pages of Konmari lists that spark immeasurable joy.
The Bullet Journal system is pretty straightforward – what you decide to do with it is as unique as you are. I use it primarily to put my thoughts in order and bring a sense of intentionalism to my days. I have so many goals, and so many areas of my life that I want to bring more in line with my ideals, that a conventional planner really just can’t cover it all!
I like my journal to be relatively simple, but there are so many pretty, colorful journals out and about on Instagram that sometimes I’m tempted to do something flashy. But when the week or month is over, I can start over fresh again, and not be stuck with a journal that doesn’t match my mood for too long.
Do you Bullet journal? What make a planning system workable for you?
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I was aware of bullet journaling before I started reading your blog(s), but was always intimidated by the extreme examples I saw on Pinterest (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!). Yours are beautiful, but also approachable – in a way that says, “I love my journal, but I also have a life outside of writing in it”. 🙂 This is very encouraging to me. I currently use a Franklin Covey planner, but I run into the same issue that it sounds like you did – I tend to think globally/holistically, and my thoughts tend to form their own categories that aren’t really compatible with a typical planner! I LOVE the idea of a book which can include every aspect of life; I was wondering, though, if you had a difficult time with the organization – I mean, if you needed to find a particular piece of information (like, an appointment date, menu plan, etc.). Do you use page tabs, or do you follow a certain pattern with your information that makes things easier to find? I know that mine would probably end up being a crazy explosion, and am trying to decide if a monthly or weekly calendar would also be necessary. Is this something that has been an issue for you?
– Sara (plytheneedles on IG 🙂
Those examples are so intimidating!!! I tried bullet journaling a while ago (inspired by all the prettiness) and gave it up as lost soon after, because I just couldn’t keep up with it.
I do have such a hard time with all types of organization. I want to be good at it, but I’m just not. I use bobby-pins to pin together all the pages I’m not currently using, and then it’s easier for me to find the pages I might possibly need. It ends up leaving little rust stains on the top of each page, but it works for me!
Monthly calendars look so pretty, but I never use them. I stick to weekly and then have a 6 month collection of the months (very little looking) with a few notes on big events that month. Which has worked wonderfully for me..but I have very, Very few appointments and things to keep track of. 🙂
So glad you commented, by the way!! I felt awful seeing your comment languish for a few days! ❤
Thank you for replying! Believe me, I don’t expect instantaneous replies – I also try to limit my internet time, and sometimes life just takes over! I actually am on my way to comment on your most recent post here…..;)
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The first time I saw bullet journaling I disliked it. Have this page like this and do that here and then make a tab there so you can cross reference to xyz here and 123 there. It just struck me as being unnecessarily complicated. I am way too attached and dependent on my cell phone. My calendar app keeps my husband’s work schedule, appointments and other things straight. I use the memo app to keep lists- a running shopping list that I’ll never forget, things to do, packing lists, baby name lists, the things I want to fight with my doctor about, affirmations that I Know Things. On one hand, the cell phone thing works really well for me, but on the other, I spend way too much time on it because it’s easy to flit from one thing to the next and google a random thought here or there. I feel like my girls’ childhood is passing me by because I can access information instantaneously and I always have a stream of questions.
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