EDIT: There were some questions regarding how I use my monthly pages, so I’ve added this under the monthly plan picture.
I’ve written a good 6 or 7 drafts of this blog post trying to figure out the best way to review the bullet journal system after six months. Being a visual person, this is another image heavy post, so here goes…
To date, I’ve had 5-6 revisions of my system, and even now, I’m still changing a few things around. It’s more stylistic changes (e.g. lettering, labelling, etc.) rather than anything specific to bullet journalling itself. I’m happy with where it is right now, but I’m sure I’ll come up with some more ideas as I go. C’mon, I’ve been contemplating moving it to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook for a good three months, and then the Hobonichi, so yeah, I’m fickle-minded when it comes to organisation/planning
Below is the bullet journal key that I use. I posted this on the FB Bullet Journal Junkies group page awhile back and John Cooper has adapted it to his system as well.
I only use squares (tasks), circles (events) and triangles (appointments). Fill them in when they’re complete, and half fill for tasks only that are in progress or incomplete. Cross through anything that’s cancelled. Signifiers are the same as Ryder Carroll’s (important, deadline), as well as bullet for ‘notes’. Migrated tasks are usually also accompanied by the date and/or time it was migrated to written in the margins. I also write ‘E’ (email) or ‘C’ (call) for specific tasks instead of writing it out over and over again.
At the moment, I have two bullet journal systems running – one for personal life and one for work life. I reserve the ‘E’ and ‘C’ bullets mainly for work, but the system I’m explaining in this post is for my personal life. I’m not sharing the work bullet journal due to confidentiality reasons, but it’s more or less the same, except I use a Debden daily planner for this, instead of a conventional notebook.
My personal bullet journal is now in a red Piccadilly notebook, which has, again, fallen apart, but I really can’t be bothered to fix. (Sidenote: I’m regretting buying so many the last time I went to Woolworths. This was part of the reasons why I wanted to transfer to another notebook system.) I use the front pages for the following: yearly calendar print out (1 page), monthly plan pages (24 pages), and daily bullet journal. I use the back pages for my random notes, information, etc.
This is my monthly plan page. I dedicate two pages per month for this, marked by a yellow ‘monthly’ tab for easy referencing. These are basically tasks and events that need to be addressed each month. The numbers in the column are the dates of the month these events/tasks occur or need to be completed. This is basically my ‘go-to’ page when planning for my day and a mind dump of tasks when they come up. The red writing is my way of signifying that it has a “due date” or “it’s super important, so don’t slack off and forget!”
The original bullet journal uses an index system, which I find tedious with having to number pages and then go back to add the items to the index. I use my monthly pages as a place where I can capture EVERYTHING – well, mainly tasks and events. The monthly pages were my way of doing away with the index and still having some sort of referencing system. For events, I will place the date for that month in the margin – e.g. for February 6 I had a PT session, so I’ll write the event and then the date in the margin – and then when February 6 comes up during my daily bullet journalling, I can refer to the margin and locate February 6 events and tasks, then list accordingly. Some tasks don’t have a date attached to it, so when I plan for the next day, I write that date in the margin and then allocate to daily bullet journalling pages. This is what’s worked for me so far and has really helped me with planning for the following day.
This is an example of my daily pages in February.
I’ve added what I call a ‘continuation arrow’ at the bottom of the page if my tasks don’t all fit onto the one page, and I need to remind myself to turn the page for more tasks/events for that day.
The ‘continuation arrow’ is one of a few stylistic changes I’ve made. The others are below
I bought a stencil from Daiso a few weeks ago and use that for my title pages for my monthly pages. I had only pencilled the title pages in, knowing full well that I’ll be changing my mind haha! The stencil also had some super cute weather patterns, so I’ve started doing that, too. This is also mainly because I’ve transferred my logbook into my bullet journal as well.
Below was my first attempt at tracking daily tasks (habits)
This is the modified version of it, and I’m really missing the grid paper. I may have seen something similar to this awhile back from someone else’s blog, so please, if you’re reading this, let me know and I’ll credit your idea in my post (thanks in advance!). I’m going to just add some more columns next to this for April daily tasks(habits). Argh, really wish I had grid paper for this, but oh well!
Lastly, my notes section at the back of the book doesn’t really have much order to it. I like to write on the top corner one word to describe what it’s about, and if there’s a lot of pages I need to refer to, then I use the origami bookmarking, otherwise, it’s fairly free flowing.
When I first started bullet journalling, my main qualm about it was that it didn’t allow for me to forward plan. I tend to use my iPhone calendar to keep tabs of events because it allows me to share these events with other people who are invited. I do, however, also like to keep these events written somewhere, hence why I have the monthly pages at the front of my book.
I don’t use the Chronodex system or the DIYFish colour indexing anymore. I’ve gone for a completely minimal organising system (plus, my bag gets too heavy during the day). I literally carry around my bullet journal, a black InkJoy pen, and a cheap red pen. I have a foldable ruler, a grey Staedtler triplus fineliner, some highlighters, and my Daiso stencils on my bedside table for next day planning. Minimal materials means less to worry about and clearer focus – at least that’s what it means to me.
You’re welcome to comment below, email me, follow me on Pinterest (dee15martinez) or WordPress, Google+ me, or whatever it is you do to spread the word. I’m still of two minds about transferring the bullet journal system to a Midori Traveler’s Notebook, so yeah, someone convince me otherwise :)