How I Stay Organized with a Bullet Journal

 


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Happy Sunday Friends!

On Friday I shared how I am living with intention in 2017.  I am able to move forward in some of the areas I am focusing on is due to my bullet journal. Have you heard of a bullet journal? This website defines the bullet journal as a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

 Having some form of a written planner is a must for me… I like writing things down…it helps me cement dates and information into my brain. Throughout the years I have used many, many different methods for keeping our life organized… many planners and printables in binders. As much as I loved some of those methods I continued to carry a notebook around with me for creating lists, organizing our finances, planning activities or parties and recording my daily gratitude. There were also parts of each planner I purchased that would go unused because it didn’t fit what I needed.

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My venture into creating a bullet journal started after I came across Boho Berry last August. She has a ton of great information and her journals are very inspiring. I felt that because I was already carrying a notebook around with me everywhere, why not use it to create a bullet journal.

There is a ton of inspiration on how to make a beautiful bullet journal.  I was a little self-conscious on getting started at first because I did’t think that I would have the time to make a beautiful journal.  I simply wanted to create a functional way for condensing all of the information I wanted to keep organized into one.   I also have a habit of starting and then not finishing some things…but,  the thought of creating exactly what I needed helped to push me forward.

Committing to getting started was the hard part, picking out a notebook to use was a little easier.  I specifically knew that I wanted a spiral bound notebook in a size that I could comfortably carry in my purse. Struggling with different planner systems helped me know what kind of notebook would work best for me. I didn’t spend a ton of money on my notebook. I actually picked up mine at TJ Maxx for $5.99. I also knew that I wanted a lined notebook for keeping me better organized.

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After finding the notebook I liked, next I gathered the supplies that would help me in creating my journal.

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Some of my favorite supplies are a ruler, sticky notes, Lined Sticky Notes, washi tape, color coding stickers, and my favorite pens.

A lot of these items I also used with my planners so it was great to be able to continue using them.

One item I did purchase were these library pockets . I attached one to the front and back page of my notebook. They help me gather any loose paper items I may stick in my notebook from time to time.

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I started my bullet journal with these pages:

Index – for keeping track of pages and their spots within my notebook.
Weight tracker – for keeping track of my monthly weight loss and body measurements.
Book reading list – for listing books that I may want to read throughout 2017.
Yearly view – for putting important dates on the calendar prior to me having my monthly setup completed.

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Along with those first pages, I knew that I needed my bullet journal to function as a planner. This meant that I needed a  2 page monthly calendar view and a weekly calendar view.

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Using a ruler and pen I created the grid for my monthly view and then added my days and dates.

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One of my favorite things about how I set up my weekly view is that I also created my daily gratitude journal adjacent to each day. I also use my weekly view as a menu planner. I simply use the last line of each day to plan our dinner meals for the week. I use this mobile app for creating my grocery lists… eliminating the need for a designated page within my planner. I also have no use for a daily view because I use my Google Keep mobile app to list out any daily tasks I have for the day.

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Other pages that I include in my monthly setup are:

Freezer/pantry inventory – There are certain items I only like to shop for once a month. My freezer pantry inventory page allows me to take inventory of those items at the start of the month. Once I purchase those items I can then mark them off my list.

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Weekly payroll pages – these pages are for keeping me on track with our monthly budget. Each page is dated for the Friday of each week. My husband I get paid biweekly, but our individual pay-periods fall on alternating weeks. I use these pages to keep track of any expenses that may come up between pay periods.

Monthly blog planner – I use this page for taking inventory of my monthly blog stats and for creating an ongoing idea list.

 Activity planner – this is for planning any party or event I may have scheduled in the given month.

Monthly bill pay log – this page is a checklist of our monthly bills. When I schedule payments at the beginning of each month I write the schedule date and check them once they have cleared our checking account.

Monthly self-care tracker – I created this log to help track any self care practices or habits I wanted to incorporate in my daily routine. It helps me to keep track of some of those things that keep me healthy or items I want to be aware of doing on a regular basis.

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What makes my bullet journal functional for me is having some consistency to how I plan out the setup of each month. After a few months of using my bullet journal this Fall, I was able to tweak it to get exactly what I needed.

My complete monthly set up for 2017 is in this order:

2 page spread –  Monthly View
2 page spread-  Weekly View & Daily Gratitude
2 page spread- Monthly Freezer/Pantry Inventory & 1st Weekly Payroll
2 page spread – Weekly View & Daily Gratitude
2 page spread- Monthly Blog Planner & 2nd Weekly Payroll
2 page spread-  Weekly View & Daily Gratitude
2 page spread- Activity Planner & 3rd Weekly Payroll
2 page spread-  Weekly View & Daily Gratitude
2 page spread- Monthly Bill Pay Log & 4th Weekly Payroll
2 page spread – Open pages for additional items pertaining to the month
2 page spread – Open page & Monthly Self Care Tracker

For January in my open pages I created a Savings tracker page for our Christmas club account and for my son’s graduation planning. I also included a Debt pay down tracker listing any  accounts that I wanted to payoff for 2017.

I also use washi tape to mark where each monthly set up starts by folding it over the first page of each month.

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I basically repeat the same setup each month in my bullet journal. I currently have the first three months of 2017 created. I love using this method of organizing our life! I love how customizable it is and how it simplifies everything I need into one notebook. I am entering my fifth month of using my bullet journal in keeping myself and my family organized. Do you use a bullet journal?

Thank you for stopping by!

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Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links provided in this post. I also only share information on specific products or services that I currently use and love. All opinions on these products or services are my own and are not influenced by anything other than my own use.

 

 

7 thoughts on “How I Stay Organized with a Bullet Journal

  1. You are very organized. I loved the library folder addition as my planner (not a bullet list one, but I’ve got to start somewhere right?!) doesn’t have folders and I find myself shoving things in and then they fall out, etc.

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  2. Why do I love your bullet journal? Because it’s functional and not perfect. Bullet Jouraling is perfect for list makers and has changed my organization skills!

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  3. I wondered how a Bullet journal worked- thanks for the explanation! I’m still trying to get organized for 2017 and you’ve given me some great ideas- Thanks!

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