It’s been a little over a year since I started using the Bullet Journal system of rapid planning and, goodness, what a year 2016 was! I feel like I started off strong and let life get the best of me and just fell off the face of the planet (and blogosphere).
When I started off with the Bullet Journal (see my first month update here) I had an abundance of spreads and layouts, some of which I never used again, or if I did it was so infrequent or rare that those superfluous pages didn’t really merit the space taken up in my bullet journal for it. A whole year of Bullet journaling has taught me a lot about going back to the basics when life gets chaotic, that pretty isn’t always attainable and simplistic is just a beautiful. I’ve also learned that adjusting and testing are all a part of the process with the bullet journal, which is really just a mirror of life itself, how we are constantly having to adjust for the lemons tossed our way (and hopefully the resultant lemonade we make out of them). If I learned anything from 2016, it was this: there is no such thing as perfection, just progress. (I also learned to watch out for dragons. But that’s neither here nor there.)
So, today I’ll be sharing with you spreads I tried out and found useful, my sometimes very pretty pages and the more simplistic and purely functional ones, as well as sharing my constant attempt to find a weekly spread that actually works for me. At the end of it all, I hope you’ll be able to draw some inspiration from my layouts and spreads and that they’ll serve you well on your own planning journey.
Back to the Basics
I don’t always have time (or am not in the mood) to plan ahead for the next week/month. Because of this, my daily entries are the cornerstone of my bullet journal. Everything that could possibly pop into my head gets written down and sometimes that’s all I really need to get me feeling creative and inspired once more. (And chocolate… can’t forget chocolate.) I’ve realized that a good braindump is good for the soul.
Lesson Learned: Go back to the basics when things are just too much for you. Forget the logs, the trackers, the spreads and just take life a day at a time.
Simple is Beautiful
Sometimes a little bit of color is nice, especially when you don’t have time to draw out a beautiful header or, frankly, just aren’t feeling it that day/week/month. But sometimes, a little bit of color is just asking too much. I mean, lets break it all down: you got to pull out your pen pouch, figure out your color scheme for the entire week (which is crucial because lets not mess with the general look we’ve been working on so far), choose the perfect writing utensil (do we want to use a calligraphy pen, a colored pencil, one of those beautiful and bright Tombows we bought last week but are too afraid to use yet. Oh the options! *bites nails*), and steady our now shaking hands so that our handwriting is on point!! At the end of the day, all we really want is to have our bullet journal featured in Better Bullet Journals and Planners, don’t we? (Yes, I just made that up. Shhh…don’t pretend you don’t secretly wish that were a real thing.)
Doesn’t that list just exhaust you? I’m tired just thinking about it. (The struggle is real, guys.) But really, who cares if your bullet journal is pretty all the time or at all for that matter!
Lesson learned: Don’t turn something that’s meant to serve you and is functional into something that you are afraid to mess with.
I have weekly battles with my weekly spreads. I’ve tried monthlies too and those layouts just don’t seem to work for me all the time (or at all). I hate to burst your reality bubble, but there is no bullet journal police out there making sure we’re using our weeklies and monthlies. (It’s okay, I really thought there was a bujo police force too). Really, it’s okay to trash something that just isn’t working for you, make adjustments and continue to test things out (because gosh darn it I’m going to stumble across a weekly that works for me!). Find the solution that best serves you, your life and your goals and keep progressing forward.
Lesson Learned: Keep trying. Keep testing. Keep adjusting.
That’s it for today, I hope my lessons learned were helpful to you! Be on the lookout for my 2017 Bullet Journal Setup coming next week!