Bullet Journal

October Bullet Journal

Photo from Unsplash.com

I changed my bullet journal again and I’m really liking the changes.

The only things I care enough to document are: the weather, my steps/moods …

…. total hours of sleep and on the other page, I made a productivity “Bingo” chart. I know it’s not a full-sized Bingo card but let’s face it, I don’t assign myself things to do, I do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. But I thought I would make sure a few things are on the chart to motivate me to actually get it done this month. For instance, Preptober, journal, blog, walk, dinner with the boys, paint the house, mop the kitchen floor (because I H.A.T.E. to mop) and practice calligraphy. I went ahead and put in a calendar, too, just so I could keep track of my vacay days so when the day comes that I’m like, “geez! I haven’t had a vacation in MONTHS” I can look back and go, “Oh. I took one in October. Never mind.”

And my favorite spread:

My productivity tracker. I had a lot of fun with this last month and I fully intend to do it again this month. I changed things up a bit though. I took out the plan part of the tracker and put my key in instead. Because let’s face it, I don’t really plan my days, I just sort of do what I’m in the mood to do, so that part felt like wasted space to me.

Of course, the rest of the month will be devoted to actually journaling. I did pretty well last month. Any time something was on my mind or I needed to vent, I dragged that thing out and it was therapeutic.

I feel like I Have the spreads down to what I need and like so who knows if I’ll post any further bullet journal spreads other than the cover page in case you’re interested in snagging that for your own A5 journal.

All I know is, I am having so much fun with this bullet journal and I wish I had started this decades ago.

Bullet Journal

September Bullet Journal

Welcome to another mediocre bullet journal post.

Moving on to September …

Here is my cover page:

Feel free to download it and use it for your journal. The image is an A5 size if you have an A5 journal. I get the pictures from Unsplash, a freely-usable image. I can’t draw, I’m certainly not an artist, but I do like pictures. I picked this picture because we will be traveling to Florida very soon.

*gasp* Yes. We are daring to travel. Don’t worry. We will be cautious and will be socially distancing as we’ll be spending the majority of our time on the beach.

That’s pretty isolating, overall.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about that trip soon.

I’m really digging my new spreads.

I like this book template a lot. And my overall mood and step tracker. Nothing new there.

I’m sticking to one color and black throughout the month. I’m liking the consistency and it looks more uniform and less messy.

Still doing the weather tracker (I’m doing a weather tracker primarily because I want proof to refer to when people start commenting on “this is the wettest summer we’ve had on record” or whatever the case may be because then I can go back and say, “Um … actually …”)

I changed up my sleep tracker. I wanted someplace to document the amount of sleep I’m getting and on what days. I don’t really sleep that well so I’m trying to track a pattern. I’m liking the layout so far.

Got my travel plan and my packing list for our trip to Florida. (Notice the travel details are blocked out because … well … it’s the Internet).

My journaling pages so far.

And the most fun tracker I’ve done to date – a productivity tracker. I DID A DUTCH DOOR! Not very well, granted, but still, not bad for a first attempt. Not sure how often I will do dutch doors but I do know that if I’m going to do them again I need an X-ACTO knife because it’s near impossible to cut close to the page without accidentally snipping the binding, that would suck.

I’m sure my activities will change from time-to-time but for now, I tried to incorporate my most common activities. There are more activities on the back of the dutch door. Those are more housecleaning and general entertainment activities.

Anyway, I was immediately intrigued about the productivity tracker the first time I saw it was a “thing” and knew I would have to at least try it once. So far, it’s been pretty fun and also sobering. I’m not really that busy, anyone who knows me knows I’m one of the most boring people on Earth, but it DOES motivate me to do more just so I can put an icon on my productivity tracker. And that’s really all I want it for – to motivate me to BE more productive in whatever I’m doing.

If you would like to know more about what a productivity tracker is and how to set it up, I recommend you watch this video.

I’m pretty happy with these spreads and I don’t really see myself changing them or adding any more on, but you never know. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to post anything about my bullet journal at this stage as it’s pretty straight forward and not very pretty to look at, but if I change things up or start adding calligraphy at some point I might post periodic updates.

I highly recommend keeping journals. Not necessarily bullet journals, but just someplace to write your innermost thoughts. It’s therapeutic in a lot of ways and helps clean out the clutter in your mind. I think journals have been very helpful to me because now that my blog has been discovered in my “real life”, journals allow me a space to write what I’m REALLY thinking as I can’t really do that on this platform because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by my “honesty.”

Anyhoo, I hope you’re having fun with your journal journey!

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal 2.0

I got all the way to December in my bullet journal, setting it up, making it look … I was going to say pretty but let’s be honest, my bullet journal is not pretty, it’s juvenile and basic, when I just stopped. I couldn’t go on. I sat staring at my spread and just …………… lost interest. I felt like I was going through the motions. *yawn* I was bored.

So, I took a few weeks and started watching bullet journal videos again. Where did I go wrong? Why did I lose interest? Then, it sort of hit me, my bullet journal wasn’t ME. It was fun to experiment with different spread ideas but ultimately, I wasn’t using it very much. I spent more time creating spreads I wasn’t really interested in using as opposed to actually using it.

What started my bullet journal 2.0 was calligraphy. I want to learn calligraphy. Learning calligraphy is on my goals list for this year. I researched what pens and paper to use. I already had a ton of pens that would work but I needed some paper to practice on. I didn’t want to use just normal paper because writing on normal paper with all of the scratching and grittiness made my skin crawl. I didn’t enjoy writing on the paper I had … so I bought a Rhodia notebook.

And instantly fell in love.

I used to be one of those people that scoffed and rolled my eyes at people who swore quality paper was the way to go.

“Dude. It’s PAPER. How much of a difference can it honestly make?” I would silently judge.

A lot, actually.

I’m now a hardcore Rhodia convert.

And when I discovered that Rhodia makes bullet journals??

Let’s just say that revived my interest in bullet journaling.

I bought the Turquoise one.  I don’t even know why, I don’t particularly like Turquoise, but for some reason, it spoke to me. (This is what happens when you don’t really have a social life outside of work and family – books talk to you).

Rhodia journals may not be for everyone. They only have 80 pages and they are soft covers, not hard covers. But, they have a back pocket and the SOFT PAGES – need I say more??

Writing on these pages is smooooooooth. It doesn’t scratch when you write on it or make me cringe and shudder and grit my teeth in irritation.

And I can totally see myself collecting each color and filling them with my nonsense for anyone to read (after I die – AFTER I DIE).

Okay. I have a new journal. Now, what to do with it?

Here’s what I learned from my bullet journaling so far – I really only want to record a few things and I want pages to write on. No structure, just write what I want, when I want. Write as little, or as much, as I like.

And I’m only interested in recording 1. my daily steps, 2. my daily moods, 3. my monthly reads, 4. weather and 5. writing. I don’t care about monthly logs. I don’t care about future logs. I don’t care about traditional monthly trackers.

Why aren’t I making my bullet journal about the things I care about?

And I figure it won’t take long for me to get through 80 pages, then I’ll have an excuse to buy another journal in another color which will make me excited to fill it and renew my enthusiasm.

What could go wrong? (Don’t answer that).

It’s also thin enough, and flexible enough, to easily take with me. Whereas a hardback book is, well, hard, thick and bulky. I feel like a softback journal will look cool the more you use it, as well. A well used journal is a well loved journal.

Can I get an Amen?

So, here’s what I’ve done so far:

OKAY, DON’T JUDGE ME. Yes. I did a really poor job of gluing it into the book. Yes. I agree, the calendar is DUMB. But ignore that. I really like the picture and the pretty font so I will do a better job of sticking in September’s picture and will leave off the calendar. It’s a work in progress! Sheesh.

By the way, I get my pictures from either Unsplash or Pexels.

Next up – my monthly reading log. I made a fun bookshelf in my last bullet journal but I didn’t leave enough room to write in the titles so I wanted something a bit more fun and a lot more room. I bought this fun book template from Erin Floto Designs and I used an ink blending tool, dipped it in orange ink and tapped away. Again, no idea why I chose orange, (though I suspect it’s because of the sunset on my August page and the orange book mark), but I’m sort of diggin’ it. As you can see, I’ve read three book so far this month. I can’t wait to use this template in different colors in the months ahead.

And that’s something else I’m trying to do – stick with a few sets of colors at one time. This month, black and orange. And I have BOOKS of stickers that I plan on using to coordinate with my color palette as well. I mostly have inspirational quotes and again, I would rather put a quote sticker on my journal page than try and write out a quote that will take me 30 minutes to do poorly and then another 30 minutes to be depressed about because it looks like shit.

Then I have my steps and mood tracker page. Nothing fancy, just numbers. I spent WAY too much time stenciling in cute crap to color in when really, I’m more interested in the number as opposed to whether I made it to 6,000 or 10,000 steps. And I’m digging my mood tracker better because I’m not limited to a smiley face, a sad face, an angry face, etc. I can spread my wings and record all my feels.

(By the way – see my attempt to faux calligraphy on the left page? Yeah – let’s hope I get better. And if you think I wrote the August on the right page, you have WAY too much faith in me. I did not write that August – it’s a sticker).

Next up: my sleep and weather tracker.

I’ll be honest, I’m not crazy about my sleep tracker, though it’s cute. I think I’m going to do something different next month – or not. I still can’t decide if I like it but it was fun to put together. I am, however, loving my weather tracker. It’s now all on one page and I have plenty of room to write the temperature and make cute little weather doodles. I will definitely keep this one. (Can you tell I forgot that August has 31 days? *sigh*)

Here is my writing tracker (that looks like a 2nd grader wrote – I’m experimenting with different fonts, get off me! And, I misspelled writing – AHEM) and I decided that I wanted to go ahead and put a calendar in my spreads just so I can keep track of days off, days the boys come to visit, etc. I didn’t even bother to make enough spots for each day of the month on my writing tracker because let’s be real, I’m not going to write every day of the month, but I have to admit, having something like this motivated me to publish a blog post today so I think it will help me stay accountable.

And the fancy-smancy Aug 10 on the right page – (it’s okay, we can all be honest and admit you didn’t know what it said) will be where I write my thoughts for today. (I actually ended up using half the page and divided the page in half with the same orange washi tape that you see on the left side).

And that’s it. I don’t really plan on putting anything else in my journal. I really wanted to use my bullet journal as more of a journal than a planner because let’s face it – my life is so boring I don’t have a need for a planner. I’m sure (hope) it will evolve and get better with time and again, I’m looking forward to buying more journals and building a library of journals that perhaps my children (dare I hope grandchildren??) will read one day.

At some point, I’d like to try some dutch doors in my journal but I end of up hyperventilating whenever I seriously think about doing it so I’m thinking I’m not quite ready to go down that road …… yet.

(By the way, I love her accent).

Happy Journaling!

Bullet Journal

May 2020 Bullet Journal Spreads

It’s May, guys.


I want an April redo, please. I feel like that month was nothing but fear and anxiety.

And Easter … where did that go?!

Anyway, here we are, in the month of May. And I’m still working on my Corona virus podcast because your girl has THINGS TO SAY. But I’m trying to keep it real while keeping it fair and I’ll be honest, it’s hard because all I really want to do is rant like a crazy person. *ahem* Anyway …

Here is my May bullet journal set up (or Bujo for the cool kids).

I’m doing the vision board thing. I’m picking out pictures from Unsplash that make me happy and putting a collage thingie together. (I send the files to Staples and have them print off the pages for me – it’s like ridiculously cheap doing it that way). This one sucks, but remember, I don’t have a crafty bone in my body so cut me some slack. I learned I don’t care for cutting around the pictures and haven’t done that since. Next month’s vision board page is better … but not much.

Anyway – I picked the proverbial May flowers theme because I have to get the cheesy themes out of the way first before I get artsy-fartsy. (Don’t hold your breath on it getting better, though). But then, as you will soon see, it actually turned into a sunflowers theme because IT’S EASIER – GET OFF ME.

I like flowers, I just don’t want flowers. Why? Because they’re freaking expensive and last for a week – I can think of 999,999 more things to spend my money on, thank you very much.

But I like looking at them – just don’t buy them.

Here’s my brain dump and step tracker. I think these pages turned out cute-ish.

It was my first time using the white gel pen and … meh, not a fan. I have to go over it about ten times for it to show up and then it looks like a child wrote it. Who am I kidding, that’s actually my handwriting.

I love these types of pages. I’m thinking of expanding the brain dump into a monthly thoughts page, maybe two pages, next Bujo because again, I’m using the Bujo more as a journal as opposed to a planner. Cause I’m boring and never have much scheduled.

I’m also going to start a sleep tracker next Bujo, too. I really don’t care much for the overall habit trackers that everyone else does – just mood, step and sleep is all I care about. I have to say, it’s fun coloring in the step trackers every month and it really does motivate me to walk more. (If I have more “not enough” categories than 10K categories? Oh hell no).

My calendar page. See that mason jar of flowers stamp? LOVE. I freaking love stamps, but not a fan of letter stamps. Wait until you see September’s spread – I used stamp letters and it really does look like a kindergarten project. I’ll get better … maybe.

I have mixed feelings on calendar pages. Again, I don’t really use them because I’m boring as hell and never really have anything to write in them so they feel sort of a waste. I’m toying with the idea of making full page calendar artsy spreads in my next Bujo and just making a small monthly calendar but the thought of planning a full artsy spread triggers my productive gene and …meh. We’ll see. I actually had a few things to add to the calendar this month – look at me – I’M BUSY – so that’s satisfying. I got the sunflower stickers from Hobby Lobby which was a nice touch, in my opinion.

The yellow highlighted days are days off – I’m taking one long-ass weekend off around Memorial day – can’t wait! We don’t have any plans and I’m cool with that – days off mean I’m not at work so WINNER.

Weekly spreads are still the same – I like this layout. It givers me room to write some thoughts from each day. The little squares on the left are to track weather. I think in future weeklies, I’m going to skip the “important” section at the bottom and make a seven-day weather and fasting tracker. Hey! I have a few more tracker ideas. I lied.

(And can we all just stare at the awesome watering can stencil? Cause I am …)

I have mixed feelings on these question pages. I type up a question/answer private message to be read by whomever is reading my Bujo, (after I’m dead, of course) and putting that piece of paper in the envelope and gluing it to my journal. It makes it bulky and that sort of bugs me, but I’m going to continue doing it for this year, at least. I’m not anything if not consistent … actually, I’m not consistent, evidenced by the spotty posts on this blog, but you know what I mean! Again, LOVE this stamp. I wish I had put more ink on it.

And lastly, a page for the many, many, MANY blog post ideas I have but never get around to writing/posting because I’m lazy. I tried to use that cute stamp again but I didn’t put enough ink on it and it was spotty and looked like crap so I stuck on some sunflowers to cover it up. Bask in my creativity, people.

The next page is dedicated to our 30th wedding anniversary which is May 26th. I haven’t colored it yet – I’m savoring it (nope, lazy again), and I’m leaving a spot open for a picture of me and Kevin. which I can now confidently take on my new phone! Yep, I finally caved and bought a new phone. I traded in my old as hills Samsung 5 for a Samsung A51. I like the phone so far, I haven’t even had it for a week (a Mother’s Day gift to myself) and I’m still waiting on my phone cases I ordered (which I wish would hurry up because this sucker is SLIPPERY – I’m going to drop it), but so far, so good. It has a pretty freaking awesome camera on it which I’m most excited about because my old phone had a crappy camera.

But I digress.

I’m currently working on my November spread. Yep – I’m that far ahead. And I’m already thinking about my January 2021 spread. I’ll probably stop working on this Bujo after I finish my December spread though because now that I’ve written my yearly goals in my Bujo and have only done two of about 15, I’m feeling the pressure to get some more stuff done. I want some check marks, yo!

Here are some bullet journal videos I’ve been watching lately:

I really enjoy Planning with Kay’s videos. She has a shop where she sells her cute stickers and I REALLY enjoyed her book spreads. I will likely buy these stickers from her at some point because OF COURSE, I have to make book spreads. Duh.

Also, I’m totally doing this Productivity Board Spread next year. DAMN IT, another tracker! (I would do this tracker sooner but I already have my 2020 Bujo planned out for the rest of the year and I’m out of pages so … )

But is this not the cutest idea?? And I’m guessing I’m a visual person judging by my motivation to do more walking when I see my step trackers and I’m thinking this would motivate me to be more productive, overall. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!

AND – I bought this cute reading tracker stencil from Erin Floto Designs that I will be using instead of my reading bookshelf next Bujo. The bookshelf is cute but I need more room to write the names of my books and this stencil will give me plenty of room to do that.


And lastly, I really enjoyed this May plan with me video – I’m totally doing these mason jars though mine won’t look at cute as hers.

Happy journeling, everyone!

Bullet Journal

April 2020 Bullet Journal Spreads

It’s time to share my April bullet journal spread:

I went with the cliché – April showers.

I actually got the idea from watching the hundreds of bullet journal videos on YouTube and it all started with a vision board. The idea of a vision board appealed to me immediately. It’s basically a collage page of pictures that inspire you or make you happy, or something you aspire to do or feel.

And after stumbling across Unsplash, a site that offers royalty free pictures, I was instantly hooked.

After looking through the photos on Unsplash, I decided April showers would be my theme.

I’m continuing to prefer an actual calendar page as opposed to a vertical calendar page. Though I’m tempted to do a full monthly cover page with a small calendar in the future because let’s face it, my social calendar is virtually always empty so it seems a waste to use two pages for a calendar I rarely use. I may try that option in my next bullet journal.

I found the cute, sparkly cloud stickers at Hobby Lobby and an idea was born.  (Though it looks like the cloud stickers are out-of-stock currently. Our local Hobby Lobbys are closed, which .. bummer).

Remember, my bullet journal is all about experimenting with different mediums and I really liked this picture of the woman with the red umbrella, though I wish it wasn’t as dark. I like how the red gives it a “splash” (see what I did there) of color.

You know what’s funny? I didn’t realize until I went back later to put Easter on the calendar that my numbering is off. GAH! Oh well, I’ll laugh about it … at some point. (Easter is on the 12th, not the 13th – see my note at the bottom? That’s why I chose the “it’s the little things” sticker – lol).

Here’s my April vision board. The woman with the red umbrella and the street lamp was actually one picture, I cut it apart and thought it turned out cool. I love the picture of the child stomping in the rain because it makes me feel carefree and young. I also liked the rain-streaked window because watching the rain fall relaxes me and it’s interesting to see how your world changes when it rains. I love this vision board idea and I plan on continuing this every month. I am not, however, crazy about the washi tape I stuck on there. I like washi tape, I just haven’t found a use for it yet. But I’m not giving up.

Again, I was playing around with pictures and though I really like the colorful umbrellas, I’m not crazy how bright they are when compared to the rest of the spread. I plan on making a rainbow spread at some point and using this umbrella picture would have been better suited on that spread.

Here is how my weeklies turned out. All of my weeklies look the same. I’m really enjoying this horizontal spread and I’ve been keeping up with summarizing my day on each one. At some point, I think I will make them bigger and do away with my notes at the bottom. I haven’t really been utilizing them at this point and I would rather make notes on my calendar spread than on my weekly spreads. We’ll see.

I think the step tracker page turned out cute, though my clump of clouds in the middle look an elephant with snot coming out of its nose. haha! I’m also really using my brain dump pages and I think I might make them two pages in my next bullet journal because again, I use my bullet journal as more of a journal than a planner.

And lastly, here is my quote – tell me this isn’t true!! Again, hate the washi tape element here. Washi tape frustrates me!

I finished my August spread today and will likely start my September spread tomorrow. I already have tons of theme ideas for upcoming spreads and can’t wait to start my 2021 bullet journal. I want to work ahead while I’m still enthusiastic because I know me and the novelty of this will wear off and I won’t want to do anything else with it for months. This way, I’ve worked far enough ahead that when the bug bits me again, I won’t be discouraged when I have to catch up.

I’m learning a bit more each time I put a spread together and I feel like the spreads are getting better, overall. Remember, I’m one of the least artsy people you’ll ever know so that fact that I’m doing this at all feels like an accomplishment to me.

I learn something each time I watch a bullet journal video so it’s hard to give you just a couple to watch here. Instead, here is a link to a ton of videos that will hopefully inspire you to do something fun with your own bullet journal.

Happy Journeling!

Bullet Journal

March 2020 Bullet Journal Spreads

Well, hello March!

Spring is around the corner. Are you ready for the bugs to come back? (That’s always where my brain goes – screw the pretty flowers – IT’S BUG SEASON! GAH!).

I thought I would share my March spreads – I warn you, they’re ugly. Remember, I’m not an artist so any “artsy-fartsy” component you see is from a stamp, stencil or a sticker.

My three S’s.

I was going for a “girly” theme this month. Actually, what prompted this theme was the beautiful dress stamp I bought from Hobby Lobby. You’ll see the stamp on the monthly spread below.

Ready to bleach your eyeballs? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

See the pretty dress stamp? I freaking LOVE this stamp. It’s so girly and decorative. Which is a little confusing to me because I wouldn’t classify my style as girly but I can appreciate pretending to be girly.

I tried the vertical calendar spread this time as opposed to the vertical numbering spread from last month. I have decided that I like the full calendar spread better – it gives me more room to play around with my three S’s.

The next spread is my weekly spread:

I’m digging the format of this weekly spread. I notate the weather in the small boxes on either side and then it gives me room to write my thoughts from the day in the bigger boxes. So far, I’ve kept up. I keep the book by my computer so it takes just a moment to jot my thoughts down each night.

Again, not the most aesthetically pleasing, but I’m having fun and it’s working for me so … meh.

Here’s my brain dump and step tracker. The step tracker is my only habit tracker I do, though I do have a pixel mood tracker at the beginning of my journal (and obviously not as nice as this picture). It’s more important to me to track my moods and steps than anything else. I sort of like how these pages turned out. And I’m really digging the brain dump pages. I find that writing out the thoughts, the things that are troubling me, really does help purge it from my brain. I’m not crazy about the stencil lettering, but again, just trying different things here. I’ll get better at it. (I hope!)

I think these pages are cute, too. I love the huge ball gown stencil, that was fun. However, I bought Crayola’s super tip markers and though I like them, the colors, at least this one, its almost too brash. I prefer the Tombow colors more, but the Crayola super tips are cheaper so I’ll force myself to like them more. lol

I’m also doing well with my questions. I’m using these pages to type out private messages to our boys and putting them in small stamp envelopes and then gluing them to the page. The boys have no idea I’m doing this and will have a bit of a surprise when I’m dead and gone and they look through my journals.

The blog page is where I jot down ideas for my blog because I’m super bad about seeing/reading an idea for my blog and then promptly forgetting about it so when the mood strikes to update my blog, I have zero ideas.

Lastly, I created a quotes page. Again, just experimenting here. I love quotes and they really do inspire me. If this looks like gobbedly-gook to you, (because it is), it reads:

“I”m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.” by Thomas Jefferson.

Moral: There is really no-such thing as luck. The things that happen to you are a result of hard work, or believing it to happen.

Again, I’m having SO MUCH FUN with this bullet journal. I WISH I had known about this method of journaling years ago. I like how it’s a mixture of a planner with a journal. I think it’s interesting to read about the mundane tasks and day-to-day happenings in people’s lives so I’m hoping whoever reads this when I’m gone is also interested in my mundane.

I have finished my April spreads and am now working on my May spreads. I want to try and work ahead as much as possible, stay ahead of the game, so to speak, to free myself up to focus on outlining my novel and teaching myself calligraphy. Which I’ve started, by the way. I haven’t gotten very far and it’s a bit of a challenge since I’m left handed, but I WILL master it because it’s something I’ve wanted to learn for years and I think it will be fun to incorporate that into my journal. (Ever since I wrote down my yearly goals, I’ve felt pressure to COMPLETE THEM).

Here are a few March videos that have inspired me. As I’ve mentioned, I watch A LOT of bullet journal videos. Not only for ideas, but it’s relaxing to watch someone else create. I WISH I was half as talented as these people. But you know what? It’s okay. This journal is ME.

I also really enjoy watching true artists decorate their journals. I’m so jealous of their talents!

And this one gets the prize for the most creative spread:

Oh, I’m DEFINITELY doing a version of this board game theme at some point. I LOVE board games.

And if you’re not artistic, like me, and/or you’re not interested in spending a lot of time on the artsy-fartsy aspect of the bullet journal, here is a good video to watch to help you get started without all of the fancy art aspects of this:

That’s it for this month. I’ll share my April spreads at the end of March.

Happy journaling!

Bullet Journal

I Started a Bullet Journal

Hold on to your seats, my friends, I’ve started bullet journaling.


I didn’t even know this EXISTED until about two months ago. I was browsing YouTube, as I tend to do way too much nowadays, and this cute little video about bullet journaling popped up in my recommends.

Hold up … what the heck is bullet journaling??

“Though it does require a journal, Bullet Journal® is a methodology. It’s best described as a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system. It’s designed to help you organize your what while you remain mindful of your why. The goal of the Bullet Journal is to help its practitioners (Bullet Journalists) live intentional lives, ones that are both productive and meaningful.” from BulletJournal.com.

This system was developed by Ryder Carroll as a way to manage his ADD. It’s a great method. But I think the real beauty of the system is that it’s customizable to you and your needs. I’ve always wanted to keep a journal/planner, but I never felt the pre-made journals out there were right for me. So when I stumbled across Bullet Journaling, I was immediately intrigued.

Bullet journaling has been around for a few years and I CAN NOT believe I’m just now discovering it. But now that I have, I have jumped into the middle of it with both feet.

For me, I was more interested in the journaling part of the Bullet Journal as opposed to the planner part of the process. I’ll be honest, now that I’m an empty nester, the boys have moved out and it’s just me and Kevin again, I don’t have a lot TO do. I get up, go to work, come home, watch YouTube videos and then go to bed. Weekends, I read, do chores, nap … I just don’t do a lot. And I like it that way. I don’t want to be super busy. I’m selfish with my time. Probably because 40+ hours of the week do not belong to me, they belong to my employer. So for me, there isn’t a lot to write down as far as a planner, but the journaling part …. NOW we’re talking.

I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with my own death, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how it will be for Kevin and the boys when I’m gone. (Assuming I pass before Kevin). I would like to leave a bit of myself behind for the boys to enjoy and remember me by so that’s why the journaling part of this process appeals to me. I watched A LOT of videos (still do because I like to see the different spreads that people do every month – “spread” just meaning the categories/pages people divide their journals into and how they create and decorate them) and it took me a bit to get the gist of Bullet Journaling, but here’s a video that I found helpful to help me get started.

I read somewhere, or maybe Ryder Carroll mentions it in his video, that you’re 40% more likely to actually DO what you want/need to do if you write it down. Apps are great, but they don’t really help you actually get the job done.

And I have to agree with that. For example, I have been making step tracker spreads and it really motivates me to get my steps in so I can color in the appropriate symbol with the color I’ve designated. It seems silly, but somehow, it works for me.

Bullet Journaling also satisfies the stationary nerd in me. I have had A BLAST shopping for supplies for my Bullet Journal. In fact, I find myself getting excited to leave work so I can work on my journal when I get home.

I hope this excitement lasts because it’s already fun to flip through my January spreads to see what I’ve done.

Okay, first things first: supplies.

As studyquill says in her video above, you really only need a bullet journal and a pen to get started. However, I do recommend you also use a pencil and have a good eraser on hand so you can sketch your spreads in pencil and then go back over with markers later so there are less mistakes.

And side note: You WILL mess up. Do not stress out about this journal. You will learn so much by actually doing it and  you will only get better. I’ve already learned so much and trust me, I have goofed up plenty. For example, I did a spread that I absolutely hated. What did I do? I glued the pages together and VOILA! They are gone and no one is the wiser. I have also put paper over parts of my spreads that I hate so that I could, in essence, “redo” portions of my spreads. And there are definitely sections I’m less than pleased about but oh well, I will try something different next time.

It’s a learning process and quite honestly, I’m having a BLAST learning as I go.

Okay, back to supplies:

After MUCH research, I decided to buy this Bullet Journal:

It’s a Minimalism Art “New York” journal. I like it because I think the cover is fun (and I love New York and have been a few times), the pages are numbered, (which was important to me as I don’t want to spend time numbering my pages in order to fill out my Index), and there are 234 pages in the journal because DUDE, I have a lot of spread ideas and wanted plenty of room to spread out. (See what I did there?)

So, the link takes you to the page, but it looks like the New York style is no longer available. Which scared me enough to go ahead and buy the San Francisco journal as well, because again, we’ve been to San Francisco, and I wanted to make sure to buy the journal before it’s discontinued. I also went ahead and bought the pink version as well, because, I’m that extra.

I’ve been using my normal pilot G-2 pens, the same pens I use at work, but I have found they don’t tend to trace over pencil very well so I went ahead and bought the type of pens a lot of YouTubers have been using for their Bullet Journals, the Micron pen set.  I just got them today and haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but I”m looking forward to trying them.

And because I’m not the most artsy person and can’t draw worth a crap, (Hi Heather!), I went the cheesy route and bought a ton of stencils. And even more stencils. I even bought a circle template because again, NOT ARTSY. And boy howdy, I’m having fun with these stupid stencils.

(Side note: you’ll need a ruler, too. TRUST ME).

But I didn’t stop there. Oh no, I then needed markers. And after watching A TON of YouTube videos, I found that many were using the Tombow markers. Which I bought. And have been collecting from Hobby Lobby every week using the weekly 40% coupon. Which I must say, ARE AWESOME.

Then, after watching MORE Bullet Journal videos, I started buying rubber stamps. Which required ink. And now I’m on a mission to buy more stamps and DIFFERENT colored ink.

Wait, we’re not done. Then I started buying stickers.

I bought Gold gel pens and little coin envelopes to add a little something-something to my journal. (More on that later).

And God help me, Washi tape. (I didn’t even know Washi tape existed before this!)

And now I’m on the hunt for a bigger box to put all my supplies in because the kitchen table is just not working for Kevin.

I think I might need help.

Now that I have my supplies, it was time to turn my attention to what I wanted to put in my Bullet Journal.

I opted NOT to have a key because again, I wasn’t planning on my using my Bullet Journal as a planner so there was no need to put a key into my journal. I do have an Index though and find that helpful when I need to find a section fast. (This is when those numbered pages come in handy!)

Here is a breakdown of what I have in my journal (so far):

  1. Yearly goals
  2. Monthly Quote page:
    1. January quote is: “Take Risks: If you win, you will be happy, if you lose, you will be wise”
    2. February quote is: “A friend is someone who know all about you and still loves you.”
  3. Mood Tracker. My categories are: happy, focused, tired, angry, stressed, uncomfortable, relaxed, meh and hangry
  4. Story Ideas
  5. Monthly Question – this is a question about me that I answer and address to the boys (or Kevin). I then print that paper off and put it in an envelope for the boys to read at a later time.
  6. Brain Dumps – these are pages that give me space to just vent, or write about something that is bugging me – a chance to clear the clutter from my brain
  7. Future Log
  8. Monthly Log
  9. Step Tracker
  10. Blog page for each month to write down ideas for blog posts
  11. Monthly favorites that consist of favorite YouTube vidoes, TV shows (or movies), and songs
  12. A bookshelf that has 100 books on it because my 2020 goal is to read 100 books (again).
  13. A timeline of a typical work day and a typical weekend to give whomever is reading a bird’s eye view of how my days are structured.

And that’s it for now. I plan on making a spread of my 5-star books including colored print outs of the book covers, a travel log to fill out when we go on our yearly cruise, and some sort of spreads about my writing (though I bought yet ANOTHER journal to use for just my writing projects), and a page for my ARCS (Advanced Reader Copy) that I’m reading from NetGalley.com. (More on that later).

I’ve used 44 pages so far.

Here is a good website to visit for category ideas and spread ideas to help you get started.

You can watch Studyquill set her 2020 Bullet Journal up as well to give you an idea of how it all fits together.

I will warn you, once you jump down the “Plan with Me” bullet journal YouTube videos, you will never come out. THEY ARE STRANGELY ADDICTING! And some of them are just BEAUTIFUL spreads, beautiful artwork, watercolor paintings …. wow. Mine is nothing like that, in fact, I think it’s actually quite ugly, but it’s my ugly duckling and I’m being patient because every time I create something ugly, I learn and grow and get a little better the next time I work on it.

In fact, it has quite inspired me to teach myself calligraphy. It’s actually one of the things on my yearly goals list and I’m excited to try it. Of COURSE, I bought the necessary pens and this workbook to help me get started.

Did I mention I might need professional help?

What’s that? You want to see a few of my spreads?

Well, since you twisted my arm …

I’m warning you now, don’t expect to be blown away because you won’t be. But again, I’m a newbie and and I’m having fun trying, be kind, please.

Here is my January weekly spread.

Let me explain – since I don’t have a lot of tasks to write in on my monthly spreads, I have decided to use the space to write a short blurb about my day. What did I learn from the day? What one thing stuck out for me? I wanted space to “journal”, in essence. And the little box on the left of each daily block? That’s where I record the weather. I think it will be fun to see what sort of weather we had on such-and-such day. I typically draw in a sun, or a sun/cloud, or a cloud/rain, or a cloud/snow .. whatever the day held. And the penciled in part at the bottom – the “to do” part? Well, it’s penciled in because I’m not real sure what to do with that space yet. I’ll likely put appointments or events that I need to remember for that week there.

Here is my January step tracker:

(The left side is the monthly tracker – I blocked it out because it’s private).

Here is the Question page with the little envelope for the boys to open at some point.

Yes, ugly. But I’m getting there.

Here’s my February Quote and February Brain Dump:

Here’s my weekly February spread:

See the To Do at the bottom? I bought a stamp. 🙂 I’m getting better. I also made the weather boxes a bit bigger.

And one of my favorite spreads, my bookshelf:

Obviously, it’s not done. I’ll go over it with pen and of course write the books that I’ve read on the book spines and give it a header, but I had SO MUCH fun putting it together – I can’t wait to fill it out.

And that’s pretty much it, so far. I’ll keep you updated on future spreads and give you a peek into what I’m working on. But honestly, it surprises me just how much fun I’m having with this project.

I hope you found this information helpful and maybe it will inspire you to make your own Bullet Journal and leave a bit of yourself behind for your loved ones.

Happy Journaling!