I bought my first bullet journal in January last year. Since then I have filled four notebooks, absolutely love the process of making each page and carry my bullet journal everywhere. I am an absolute sucker for pretty note books and I used to have an intense array of them, always carrying a calendar, notebook and diary with me on every trip. Now I only need one notebook: my bullet journal is my planner, note book, gratitude journal and sometimes diary all in one. When I was younger I used to draw a lot. I spent hours just drawing and painting while listening to audio books and I have really missed this creative outlet. I am no longer great at coming up with elaborate pictures, but I do love that in my bullet journal I can get creative again. So in short: I absolutely love bullet journaling. After four months my first bullet journal in 2019 is filled to the brim and I spent last weekend setting up my new one. So I felt like it was perfect timing to show you how I use my bullet journal. Ultimately the beauty of bullet journaling is that you can completely customise it to your liking, but especially when I was getting started I loved some inspiration. It´s a bit of trial and error to figure out which pages and spreads you need in your daily life and how elaborate you want your designs to be, so this is just how I personally use mine.

What is a bullet journal?

A bullet journal can be whatever you want it to be: a daily planner, a note book, a diary, a combination of all of the above... Generally speaking a bullet journal is a blank dotted journal, that you set up, illustrate and design yourself. I personally love that I can customise it to my liking. I am the type of person, that needs to write absolutely every single thing down or I immediately forget it. So usually on top of my weekly planner I needed an extra notebook for all of the extra stuff I have to write down. With the bullet journal I can make exactly the planner that I need. Since I work freelance, some weeks I don´t need a weekly overview at all, but needs lot of space for notes, other weeks I really need a lot of space for planning... There are some things, that are staples for bullet journals such as a habit tracker, a weekly or monthly spread, a future log or your own key for your to do lists. I personally don´t use all of these. It depends completely on what you need, like or enjoy with your journal so it is quite hard to say what you will end up using.

What do I need for my bullet journal?

I started my bullet journal like many others: with the classic Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal. I am a big fan of glitter pens, so I already had some of them, bought the most basic Stabilo pens and a black pen and I was ready to go. I don´t really think you need to invest in brush pens, washi tape and a high class journal before you figure out if you actually like bullet journaling. In the beginning fancy lettering, extremely detailed headers and colourful designs are simply intimidating and it will take a while until you figure out what you personally need and like. So just get any dotted notebook and get started. 
This time around I ordered this journal off of amazon, which is also available in other colours. I have to say that it is gorgeous, but I am always a little skeptical at structured covers since at least in my bag they tend to get really dirty. Otherwise I really like the journal. I also got the deluxe edition of the fineliners and pastel highlighters, that I was lusting after for ages. Again I personally like them, but I don´t think you need them to make a bullet journal or even a pretty bullet journal. 

How do I set up a bullet journal?

A lot of people like to start with an index of their book. I personally am not big on this as I generally know where my stuff is? But what I have done this time around is a future log with space to plan ahead for the entire year. Simply use the first four or more pages, seperate it into 12 and then have an overview for each month and some space for notes. This is good to have an overview, keep track of birthday, important dates, deadlines etc. 
I also used a double page for my 2019 resolutions. I always think it is good to visualise your goals and actually write them down so why not make it pretty? I also wrote out how my ideal day would go for future reference and a page for my measurements, which I feel is a good way to track my fitness progress now that I get back into lifting.  In my last bullet journal I had a spread for all the things I wanted to do in Melbourne and a spread for my road trip, which sadly I won´t need in this one, but which was great to plan my trips.
I also used to have an overview for all the books, shows, restaurants and hotels I wanted to check out - which I never used. A great idea but one that did not work for me. Instead I added  another double page spread to track my resolutions such as a list of the books I read (aiming for one a week), how many blogposts I write (aiming for two per week), my 30 Days of Yoga and 30 Days of eating vegan. I personally like to tick off each day to see how far  I have come and to motivate me to keep going. This time around I also included my bucket list, because why not set some long-term goals and a page to fill in my year in numbers such as how many times I meditated, worked out, how many countries I visited...

I also wrote down how I picture my ideal NYE this year, where I want to be, whit whom and what I want to have accomplished by then. I still think The Secret is some absolute entitled-ass bullshit, but I do think the one good idea in the book is to actually picture yourself in the situation you dream of,  make it as believable as possible and write it down. It can be really fun to come back to this after six months or a year and see how near or far from your goals you are - or how much they have changed.
This is how I personally decided to set up my first kind of yearly pages, but again it goes back to what you need and look for. Following this I personally like to set up a monthly spread. For me this consists of my monthly goals as opposed to my long-term goals for the entire year and a title page. I generally go for floral designs or a nautical theme. Not intensely creative, but it´s what I like to draw. For our Australia roadtrip in March I actually drew our entire route teeny-tiny for my title page. There are so many great ideas out there so go for it. I am a sucker for a quote so I usually pop one in there as well.
I also have a monthly overview for each month. I now like to actually put down my biggest To Dos and Important dates on this page now, whereas before I used to have that on the same page as my habit tracker. I also changed my habit tracker up from a huge one with all the habits to little individual ones. Since I followed Kayla´s BBG programme the first three months of this year I also added a tracker for my workouts and have kept this going. As you see I love to tick things off.
I have also started to use a mood tracker, which I think is a great way to get in touch with your emotions and have a little reality check about how you generally feel.
So my monthly spread consists of: monthly goals, title page, overview, habit tracker, workout tracker and mood tracker. Depending on whether I need it or not I will add a weekly spread with some space for each day of the week, to dos and notes. I also used to have my food diary here, but threw this out at. My daily page is usually my appointments for that day, my to dos if I have them and then I just fill the entire page with my gratitude journal. It makes me personally so happy and has completely reset my mindset to write down an entire page of things I am thankful for everyday. 

How do I use my bullet journal?

I mainly use my bullet journal to track my goals and build good, healthy habits. It not only helps to keep me accountable, it can also help me to actually see what I am doing. I generally always feel like I am not doing enough, not performing enough so I personally use these trackers not only to keep myself accountable, but especially so I have a proof for those voices in my head that I am working hard and that I am doing good. For example I felt really lonely one month and then decided to track how many times I met up with people: guess what guys every damn day!
Using my journal makes me think about the things I want to achieve daily and it also reminds me to check in with myself and my emotions every single day. I also practice gratitude with my journal by filling a page of things I am thankful for every day. All of these things add to my personal happiness and on top of that the creative process and drawing is something that I really, really enjoy and that grounds and relaxes me.
So my bullet journal keeps me accountable, it helps my mental health and it has become quite a hobby for me. So hopefully I could inspire you guys a little bit for your own journal and you find it as enjoyable as I do.

You Might Also Like

0 Kommentare

Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!