I make a list maker. I use plenty of to-do lists and make notations and all that. Previously I used to a diary that I would keep noting things down in. And this practice is more than a decade old. In 2017, however, I switched to the famous Bullet Journal practice. And no I did not buy a fancy book.
Now Bullet Journaling, Bujo, is a bit intimidating, even if it looks very simple. Bujo was to me Cujo in the beginning. There were all those lovely pictures on Instagram and Pinterest that does pique your interest. And you wonder if these people have a better system than you. After doing some research I decided to try it myself. So, I took a new yearly planner and began. This is the sort of normal person dairy that you get as a freebie or off the shelf at any stationery shop. And for me, one such notebook lasts a few years.
Previously, I would just write down what needed to be done, or what I did. This would fill in a few pages, and then with a two-line space, the next day’s would follow. I also had the calendar back up on Google Calendar – so Invites, Tax & Insurance reminders, Bills etc were on there. If I made a payment or shopped that I would note down in my diary. With Bujo, however, my old system was not working. And thus I had to make my own adaptation of the system.
First off let me note that after a year of Bullet Journaling I am good and think that this system is a time saver and has helped me immensely. And that is why on December 31, 2017, I sit down and write about it.
My Bullet Journal is primarily three sections – A Log sheet, A Study Sheet variation, And a Task Sheet (which is on the study sheet as well). The study sheet(because I couldn’t find a better name) is something I used in college and now I use it to note my day and keep track of the future events as well. A log sheet is a record of habits.
If I want to study a language on Duolingo, I keep a line dedicated to it on the Log Sheet, and mark it in as and when I do it. If I have a particular to-do on a specific date, it goes into my Study Sheet. And all the tasks for the week and the month go into the space around the Study Sheet. This year, I have included a yearly planner as well. Which is basically two blank sheets to be filled with goals and such.
This is my Log Sheet. I have a colour coded system, light blue for health and fitness, green for eating out, dark blue for learning and meditation. So, in the picture, I have walked on most of the days, and learnt Spanish regularly as well. I have eaten out for a couple of days (the green notations) and meditated infrequently. I have also worked out with the exception of a week in between. (You can’t see the brown for vacuuming or the orange for Contact lens usage. Trust me there are a lot of colours on this sheet.)
It is rather simple. But sometimes, it is difficult to take this big book along. (It is not a pocket diary!) And for that reason, I use two apps – Goal Tracker and Loop. Goal Tracker is the one which I use to keep track of things like eating out etc and Loop for stuff that’s good to have as habits – like working out or daily walks. I use this system for everything – from vacuuming to epilating. And it has me floating around in OCD paradise. 🙂
The Study Sheet, on the other hand, is one of the most useful things I have had as a student. It helped me plan like a boss for exams and even everyday lessons. And since I had co-curricular and extra-curricular classes as well, planning was a breeze with this system. So it was only apt that this system would come to my rescue for Bujo. The Study Sheet is actually a simple grid. You can space it out for a month over one spread or two. This picture shows one month planned over a page spread or two sheets, but I usually have one month spread over four sheets.
I will normally make notations over the date when a certain thing needs to be done. These will be items that are not covered by my Google Calendar or ToDoist. And if I have completed one of my tasks, from the Calendar or ToDoist then that I note here as well. Shopping/Shipping details gone in here for keeping track. There is plenty of space for me at the bottom of the grid and to the right of it. The space on the right is used for the goals I need to keep or things that need to be carried forward into the next fortnight or the next month. These are the ones with the specific date and time. The bottom is used for planning – stuff like updating blog theme or such. I also use the bottom for setting goals – like not eating out for a fortnight or walking three miles every day for a month. Things that do not a specific date but can happen anytime or all over a month.
At the end of the month, when I plan to set the next month’s Bujo, I refer the months prior and seek what needs to brought forward and what can be improved. If an event or a task has been postponed, then I put it on the grid. If I have walked three miles a day, then maybe I will try for 3.5 for at least 20 days this time.
If you are planning to start a Bullet Journal for yourself, try a low key version and adapt it to suit you. You can use the following links for further info.
This has been a new practice this past year and has over time taken a life of its own. Needless to say, I like it. And all I needed for my Bujo were
- A yearly planner
- A scale and pencil (for drawing grids)
- A set of coloured sketches
- A set of pens – blue, green, red, purple.
That is all it took me to get organised. It is simple and an efficient way of getting organised. I hope you have your goals organised and may you be able to achieve them in the coming year!
Finally, I wish you a very Happy New Year! See you in 2018 🙂