bullet journal rehashed

Before I dive into this follow-up post, I wanted to share with you this sunrise that I enjoyed the other morning. Brisbane has been blessed with some stunning winter weather at the moment. It’s making me dislike the cold less.


As promised, this is the breakdown of my personal bullet journal. I’m going to make a confession: I haven’t been using the bullet journal system in my personal life for a few months now. Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. I’ve been bogged down in work-related tasks that my personal life has been left in some disarray. Well, I’ve relied solely in digitising my personal organisation, simply because I’m constantly attached to my iPhone. I restarted my bullet journal mid-June, and I’m making a conscious effort to go back to pen and paper. I realised that analogue forces me to slow down, which is definitely what I need. It also helps my poor old dying memory and aids in disconnecting from media.

Anyhoo, I’ve made some modifications in my bullet journal key. I’ve seen a few posts on social media sites of people using my bullet journal key. It’s certainly very flattering to know that people have adopted it to their planning and organisation. I’ve also seen a few posts/pins of my habit/chore tracking, too, which is nice. I’ve also realised that I can’t stop people from using my ideas and claiming it as their own. Unfortunately, it’s one fo those irritating/frustrating quibbles of the internet. I’m a fairly reserved person, and in a past life, I can also be very nasty if you piss me off, but luckily, I’m beyond that now. So I’m only going to say this here once and go back to my quiet life: I enjoy sharing my ideas, and I’m fully aware that bullet journalling is the brain child of Ryder Carroll. I’m not discouraging readers to stop sharing my ideas, but just please acknowledge that it is my idea when you repost/repin, even if you reproduce the key in your own handwriting in your own bullet journal system. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Where was I? Oh yes, my bullet journal modifications. I mentioned in the ‘you asked for it‘ post that I’m now using the TDW (aka a version of the MTN). I was trawling through my Instagram feed back in June and came across a photo of my pocket Moleskine planner in 2012, so I took a screenshot of it.

planner 2012

I remember taking this picture and realising that my planning system prior to my masters degree just wasn’t going to be good enough to withstand the deluge of research and clinical work. It was probably a month after this picture was taken when I ditched the pocket Moleskine 18-month planner that I had been purchasing religiously for 4 years. I discovered the bullet journal during the last 6 months of my degree, and it literally saved my a@#$!

Now that my life has gone back to relatively normal, I’m finding that I’m having to use the bullet journal system less and less. There were days when I’d write the date and that was it. It became more useful in my work life (blog post to follow), hence the transition to the iPhone. When I saw my Instagram picture last month, I decided to start integrating a similar format to the TDW inserts. I haven’t been very active on the bullet journal groups, so I’m sure there are already users out there doing this exact same thing. I guess I’m just very late hopping onto that wagon ;)

I’ve returned to the grid paper (how I’ve missed it!) in the TDW inserts, with the left page set up as the weekly spread. The right hand side are my weekly tasks and (usually daily) notes. I don’t use the circle bullet anymore to signify events because I just write those down in the weekly spread. Below is a mock-up of my modified bullet journal system:

mock spread

This is my new bullet journal key:

bullet journal mods

Tasks remain the same, and I’ve placed the arrow in the box for migrated tasks. I’ve also made annotations for my notes (i.e. icons), which are self-explanatory in the picture. The new addition is the hashtag.

In social media, the hashtag is used to sort posts into similar topics, and I use this in a similar way. I use the hashtag against tasks required to complete a project (e.g. wedding plans, blog posts, etc.) to transfer to a collection, and I also use it against notes so that I can write it in my lists collection (e.g. reading list, good restaurants, websites, blogs, etc.). I will normally highlight the hashtags after I’ve written them in the corresponding collections. I started using this because sometimes I just want to find a cafe/restaurant details quickly, and really couldn’t be bothered flicking through pages and pages to find it. I know that I can probably just use the icons in the margins to identify which collection it needs to go to, but there’s something more streamline to using the hashtag. I’m sure that I’ll probably drop the icons, if I get sick of them enough in the next few months ;)

I’ve forgone the monthly lists mentioned in my ‘bullet journalling… six months on‘  post. Instead, I have a master list kept in a separate grid notebook to my bullet journal. It’s mainly tasks with the date written in the margin. You’ll also notice that I’m not using the GTD @contexts anymore – this is purely so that I can fit everything on one line haha

I’m now in week three of this version of the bullet journal, and it is working a treat :)

I hope this post has been useful and I’d love to hear from the community how they are going with their bullet journal systems.


Instagram: dee15martinez

you asked for it!

EDIT: follow up post here.

I just wanted to thank everyone who voted in my mini-poll. These are the results with an overwhelming vote for ‘bullet journal – personal organisation’.

1. Bullet journal – personal organisation
2. Bullet journal – work organisation
3. General life organisation of a 30-something
4. Writing arsenal – writing implements
5. Other: scheduling, time management, logbook, study tips, bullet journal blog planning

To save repeating myself with the same content, I’ve linked back to the top posts in the Decade Thirty Planning Series below:

Bullet journalling… six months on

Bullet Journal System

Chronodex + Bullet Journal

These posts are bascially my personal organisation using the bullet journal. There will be a new post in the next few weeks regarding a change in my personal organisation systems, and a shift to using the bullet journal for work. I’m still trying to decide on the best option in showing my work bullet journal without compromising client confidentiality.

Bullet journal – personal organisation

Ive managed and maintained a fairly minimal planning arsenal in the last 6 months:

Writing implements

  • Uni Shalaku 07 mechanical pencil
  • Highlighter (one colour – usually pink – but whatever’s lying around)
  • Lamy Safari fountain pen in black ink (NEW – previously used a Uni Jetstream 101 1.0 nib in black)
  • Papermate Inkjoy 300RT clicky top in blue ink

Bullet journal
Now in a traveller’s document wallet (TDW) containing a craft paper insert, and two grid inserts (Moleskine cahiers trimmed to size)


My Lamy pen sits in the TDW pen holder, with the highlighter and mechanical pencil tucked in the TDW wherever it can fit. The Papermate Inkjoy floats around in my bag, for those times when someone asks to borrow a pen, and never returns it (pet peeve!). I still rely on my iPhone in conjunction with paper-based planning.

There are several reasons I don’t carry as much, the main one being that my bag gets too heavy. I use my planner for just pure plannning. I’m not one to embellish with washi tape, stickers, stamps, etc., although I consider myself a creative person. I like to compartmentalise aspects of my planning life. Planning is organised, easy to access and read; whereas, my creative/journalling side is where I can be spontaneous, messy and experimental. I don’t like those two worlds to overlap. I live a busy and frantic life, I don’t need it to pour over onto my free time. That aside, simple organising means more streamline management for my life.

This was mentioned in my new acquisition post.

The craft notebook was made by me using paper I purchased from Daiso. I wish I bought more because it’s pretty good for craft paper and my local Daiso has stopped stocking them! Anyhoo, the craft notebook is inserted into the inside left cover of the TDW. This is a new habit I’m trying to develop, which I like to call the “daily one-liner”. It’s basically one line to summarise my day, whether it’s a mood, an event, one simple thing I enjoyed, etc., and I use different typography styles and simple graphics to eventually fill entire pages of it. (See a sample of this in the ‘new acquisitions’ post). There’s usually a process of sitting still for one minute to clear my head, and then going ahead with a “daily one-liner”. I’m the first to admit that this isn’t an original idea, and was probably inspired by those 5-year journals that have been in circulation for several years now. But this process for me is a form of quick meditation and journalling in one.

The two grid notebooks are inserted in the right side cover, overlapping each other.


These are my main organisation notebooks, and like I mentioned before, I’ll be sharing the changes in the next few weeks.But for now, I hope this post provides some help in your organisational pursuits to those who are new, wanting to change/improve their current systems, procrastinating on tasks, and/or just wanting to be nosy ;)

More to follow… I promise!




Instagram: dee15martinez