If I haven’t already made it abundantly clear, I’m a busy mom. I have two kids in extra-curricular activities, I’m on our school’s PTO board, and I’m homeroom mom. On top of that, I run this blog, and a side business as well. This isn’t my way of bragging about how much I do (I’ve talked on that subject as well, here). Telling you this, you can see that no matter how busy you are, you still have time to stay organized. If I wasn’t, I’d drop the ball all over the place. Recently, I’ve read a lot about Bullet Journals. They’re all the rage right now! I thought I’d give it a try and see if this organizational tool could work for me.
Why the Bullet Journal Appeals to Me
I love making lists. I mean, I really love making lists. As soon as I start feeling anxious or stressed out, I know a list will help sooth me and pull all of my thoughts together. When I first started reading blog posts on using a bullet journal, that’s the part that appealed to me the most. A place to have all of my lists without losing them just sounds amazing!
There are also cool capsules for things like habit tracking, future planning, books to read, ideas to remember…you get the gist. It’s an organized place to keep everything you want to remember, and comes equipped with a handy index page right in the front so you can remember where you wrote everything down. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a try, so I got a cheap notebook and started looking at ideas on how to use it.
This is NOT a Planner
First thing’s first, I feel like it’s important to tell you that I learned really quickly that this is not my planner. I have a planner. As a matter of fact, I have two. As pretty as I think all of those weekly spreads on Pinterest are, they just aren’t for me. Believe me, I tried.
- Daily pages just got too unorganized, since there are too many different activities to plan.
- Weekly spreads just seemed to imitate my planner, and, well, what’s the point?
- Monthly spreads do get used, but only as a tool for planning ahead.
So, like I said, I do not use my bullet journal as a planner. I just can’t have another thing to track daily. That doesn’t mean I don’t use it, though! I’ll go into that more below.
How I Use My Bullet Journal
I’m not going to lie. I thought long and hard about giving up my bullet journal after the first week. I couldn’t use it as a planner, and all of the beautiful spreads on Pinterest had planner pages! It seemed like I was doing it wrong, because mine seemed to function differently. Still, I didn’t want to give up on it after only a week. That’s not even a good, honest try, right?
I realized that there are still plenty of things I can put in my bullet journal, and that the only way to do it wrong is to continue doing something that doesn’t work for me.
At this point in time, my journal can pretty much be called a glorified list maker. I’m okay with that. I have lists that I need to remember for various projects around the house (ex: work that needs to be done in the garden), lists of books I want to read and movies I want to watch. It’s also my go-to place to organize my brain-dump lists so that I don’t lose them.
Bullet Journals are Flexible
Since this book is nothing but grid-lined paper, I can truly make it my own. There is no right way to keep a bullet journal. It is exactly what you need at any given time. At this time, my need is to have a place to organize the jumbled mess of to-do’s that are in my head, so that’s what my bullet journal has become. Maybe one day I’ll need to use it as a planner, but that’s not today.
If you’ve considered keeping a bullet journal, but quit because you couldn’t do it “right,” maybe you should reconsider! I’ve grown to really appreciate mine, even without all the fancy planner spreads I wanted so badly to emulate.
Do you keep a bullet journal? What do you track in yours? I’ve love to hear about it in the comments below!