As we face another potential lockdown, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I can do to make hibernating through winter a little easier. More crafts, more writing, more reading, more journaling. I’ve always loved to journal, & have definitely covered a lot of my bullet journal journey. However, it’s evolved again since the last time I blogged about it. I think this is my best iteration to date.
In the last five years or so that I’ve been journaling this way, I’ve gone from setting it up as the bullet journal site suggests to adapting it in pretty much every way to be my own. I’m not sure bullet journal really fits how I use it anymore, but it’s always been the inspiration behind this style of journal. I’ve just changed it to switch my changing needs and aesthetic. I guess that’s the beauty of this style of journal/planner, & most of the reason I’ve stuck with it for so long. You can essentially make it whatever you want.
Let’s start with the biggest change: the physical journal. I was a pretty diehard moleskine fan. I’m talking stacks of them, from travel journals to my original bullet journals. I used the regular lined ones before switching to graph paper with the bujo.
Two years ago, I switched to leuchtturm1917. Now that I’ve used them for a couple years, I can safely say that they hold up better. They also use points to make the grid instead of solid lines, which I like the look of a lot more. The other main difference is that they have two bookmarks. Since I used this as a hybrid planner & journal, this is helpful to mark my weekly journal page as well as that month’s overview calendar. I find I’m pretty good at keeping up to date on the planner side, allowing me to go back & journal those events when I ultimately get behind.
The other big shift I made was in how I set everything up. My current approach is significantly more formulaic. Journal time feels more limited these days so I found myself with more & more blank pages. It was clear my process wasn’t serving me anymore, so I switched up my layout a bit.
Every month, I still sit down & draw out my monthly layout. I’ve outline this in the past. It takes a bit of time, but I really enjoy this part. I prefer this more visual monthly layout to the linear one more typical of the bujo style. It’s also where I get to practice little doodles & work on my hand lettering.
Each week, I use a two-page spread. On the left, I evenly break up the page into 7 sections – one for each day. This is where the graph design really comes in handy. I put all my appointments, events, and Annika’s mini milestones here. I like to colour code them a bit to keep it all organized. Everything Annika-related is in pink, for instance. These little notes are the only reason I’ve been able to keep up with her baby books & create photo books.
Since the planner page is super quick to set up, I don’t usually do them ahead of time. This is the part I like best – it’s super adaptable. I generally use the page on the right to journal. I can jot down a few things here & there throughout the week, but if I happen to need more than one page or I want to add something else in (like book club, Christmas lists, or travel thoughts when we can do that again), I have the flexibility to push the next planner page.
That’s it – my simplified bullet journal/planner system. What’s on your list of new (or renewed) projects for this winter? Share your new fun quarantine projects & old standbys to get us through this winter!