This month marks my two year anniversary for bullet journalling. I started it as a way to record the days that all seemed to blend together at the time and to give myself a distraction from the craziness that was going on in the world. I’ve included some pictures. Please excuse my less than stellar photography skills.
The first few months I had no idea what I was doing but I had no lack of advice. Bullet journal tutorials, plan with me videos, flip throughs, and reviews are all over social media. It is a strange thing that you can be completely unaware that a community for something exists until it is recommended to you or you search for it and then you become so bombarded by the overwhelming quantity of information on that subject that you wonder how you were possibly oblivious to it in the first place. The wonders of the internet.
A lot has changed in the last 24 months. Some things I hope we will lock away in some vault of history, never to relive again. Other things I already miss because the world around me has been in such a rush to get back to ‘normal’. Whatever that is.
My First Bullet Journal
The book I used was one I had purchased in May 2019 with the idea of writing a daily journal. I’ve discovered that I start quite a few ventures in the month of May. I suppose it’s because ii is the time of year when the days get longer and the weather warms. There seems seems to be so much potential for growing new things in the air. It is the time of year when I’m actually motivated to do all the things.
It wasn’t an official dot grid book. It had lined pages with little floral butterfly designs in the corners of the pages. I didn’t start it right at the beginning of the book with all the start up spreads that are commonly used. It was sloppy, disorganized and I was trying to track way too many things at once.
Spreads I Used
Gratitude & Accomplishment Spreads
Screen Time Log & Screen-Free Activity Tracker
Mood, Anxiety & Self Care Trackers
Theme Ideas, Brain Dump, Flowers to plant
Food & Healthy Eating Habit Tracker
Stationery to buy and Craft WIP lists
What I Learned
There really isn’t a need for a several page calendar if you have no plans and there are no events going on.
It is better to track a few things well than to try to track everything. As you can see from the list above. I tried to track way too many things. I still struggle with trying to narrow down what to track.
I learned that I drank A LOT of coffee and some days my eating habits were barely sustaining. If I forget to eat now it’s because I get busy and either lose track of time or don’t give myself enough time to eat well.
I found a use for all my lists. Now recording information this way could be both a functional and creative outlet. I had wish lists, music and shows watched lists as well as future ideas lists.
I became more aware of just how much time I spent staring at a screen instead of spending time with my family. Some days I spent every waking moment staring at a screen in some form or another.
Accomplishment Trackers can track everything from remembering to eat and making it through the day to life milestones.
I learned that I could make simple steps towards achieving my goals. This was extremely helpful when self-directed change was the only thing getting me out of bed every day.
I learned that I really do need to get out of my own damn way most of the time because I set myself up for disaster, trying to do everything at once which is discouraging.
Looking back to old journals I realize that I used to be very good at writing a few paragraphs of reflection on how I felt about the previous month. This is something which I have not done in ages.
My Fourth Bullet Journal
By the time May 2021 had rolled around I had been able to acquire a dot grid journal and a bit more experience. I had been using Running task lists for a few months and found them to be really helpful for prioritizing my daily tasks whether they be mundane household tasks or appointments and meetings.
I started the 4th journal in March after filling 2 A5 size journals very quickly. I still have no idea how some people fit 6 months in one of those. I do understand that not all notebooks are created equal and that some of the more expensive ones have many more pages than others. the 2 A5 notebooks I had were from Dollarama because that was the only store that carried stationery that was allowed to be open at the time.
I decided to try a B5 journal this time but went with a fairly cheap one that I think cost me under $15. Bigger pages and a spine that let the pages lay flat meant I could use a more scrapbook style.
Spreads I Used
Cover Page with mini calendar
April In Review
Rolling Weeklies with daily trackers for Sleep, Energy, & Hydration
Sleep, Energy, Hydration Summary Chart combined with moon chart
Healthy Eating Goals & Meal trackers
Expense Log, Gratitude Log, & Brain Dump
Self-Care, Study, & Housekeeping Trackers
Mood & Anxiety Trackers
What I Learned
Artistic daily trackers look cool and are fun to make but they’re tedious to fill out every day. It’s less time consuming to pick either a simple chart or a pretty artistic method.
If you use stickers as a key, actually make sure you have enough of them or that you can even buy them again.
Just because you have huge pages of open space doesn’t mean you need to fill every last bit of it with decoration or text.
Cheaper journals have thinner paper. Bleed through and ghosting can make some spreads confusing or hard to read.
Currently Spreads are a great way to look back on what was going on, even if it was only for a brief moment in time. If you actually remember to fill them in.
One of the flaws of artistic style bullet journaling is that it requires you to put a lot of time and effort into tracking and organizing a period of time that hasn’t arrived yet. It is often difficult to know what elements of your life will be important even from the beginning of one week to the end.
Stay tune for Part 2 for my most recent months’ journal spreads.
Fly on the wall
Climbs courageously tall
Then buzz for a moment
Smelling something so potent
A whirr stops his flight
But try as he might
He cannot escape that
Which causes him to splat
With a whirr and a bang
He is gone.
I made a friend today. She dropped down on to my bed, suspended by a glistening thread. It seemed appropriate to have a small conversation, weaver to weaver.
I told her the hot spots for web making were most likely around my window or under my bed but she decided to explore the dark space under my night table. I asked her to kindly avoid the top of my bed in future as I may not be so friendly if we bumped into each other in the middle of the night. My daughter tells me my fellow weaver is a Yellow Sac Spider. There are less of them in the house right now as it is much warmer outside.
We seem to have skipped spring this week so I am spending more time during the heat of the day in the basement which is full the creepy crawlies. Many of them are my fellow weavers. I am looking forward to the forecasted rain on the weekend so I can appreciate this time of year in slightly cooler weather. Ah the irony of disturbing a seasons worth of dust while I am inside avoiding the outside because of my allergies.
Was up late writing but became inspired by this to go to bed instead.
A ball of fluff wound neatly in a round
His essence is much easier to capture when he's sleepy
Oblivious to the camera by his head.
I want to be alone
Without being lonely
I want to be away from you
Without being apart
I want to make mistakes
Without being at fault
I want someone to show me the way
Without telling me what to do
I want moral support
Not a list of what you can't or didn't do
To sleep in. No decisions to make. Bottomless coffee. Minecraft for hours.
Everyone could look after themselves.
And then midnight came and went. And my brain realized it was Monday.
The worry that lay muffled under cozy blankets for a 24 hrs, stabbed pointy fingers of doubt back into my brain. All that time wasted doing nothing. The niggling voices in my head are never kind. There is so much to do. Decisions to be made. People to talk to. Conversations to be rehashed. Dissected in endless patterns. To do lists. Productivity. Things you should have done differently. Plans you should have made.
Should have. Could have. Would have.
Didn’t do. Won’t do.
This post contains a button that takes you to a list of things to do, or not do, to help you get through the bumpy bits of daily living. Give it a click. You know you want to. Buttons are fun!