Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

How I Use My Bullet Journal

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_logo

In my post with tips on choosing the right planner, I mentioned that I switched to a bullet journal. Here’s the story of why.

At the beginning of October I did a my big yearly post about my Erin Condren planner. I loved it! However, I was also taking Mystie Winckler’s courseย  Work the Plan and in it she talked a lot about the bullet journal. The journal/ planner was created by Ryder Carroll as…

โ€œA customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.โ€

Imagine it as a catch all for numerous post it, lists, notes and ideas floating around in your world.

It sounded intriguing so I watched Ryder’s video and visited his website BulletJournal.com.

It was super impressive but I wasn’t convinced to switch. It sounded slightly complicated and it was so black and white… and plain. You know me, I need color and a little pizzazz in my planner or I lose interest.

It was back to my Erin Condren and Mystie’s course. I loved making goals and smaller workable tasks towards those goals but I realized the course was set up a heck of a lot like Ryder’s bullet journal. I started to see how the bullet journal could really work in my life right now. I also loved the idea of having everything in one place because it was bugging me that I had so many different notebooks, journals and pages of random notes that were all over. The appeal of having everything in one convenient spot was winning me over.

I started searching Pinterest for Bullet Journal inspiration and I realized that the BuJo (nickname for the bullet journal) doesn’t have to strictly follow the system that worked for Ryder. You can adapt it and make it your own. This was best exemplified by blogger Kara of BohoBerry.com. Looking though her beautiful artistic pages, I realized that the BuJo could be a great source of life organization AND an expression of creativity. Frankly, she sold me. I decided to give the bullet journal a two month trial. From Nov 1 – Dec 31 I would use the bullet journal. If I liked it, it would be my 2016 system. If I didn’t like it, I would pull my EC planner back out.

Setting Up My Bullet Journal

A bullet journal can easily be done in an inexpensive notebook, although the most popular notebooks are either a Moleskin or Leuchtturm 1917.ย  Kara has a great comparison post about the Moleskine vs Leuchtturm. Although I have no idea how to pronounce it, The Leuchtturm was my choice for these reasons:

  • Hard colorful cover
  • Choice of lined, graphed or dotted pages
  • Acid-free paper that was slightly thicker than the Moleskin
  • Numbered pages (love that!)
  • 3 pages for an Index/ Table of Contents
  • An elastic closure
  • A book marker (some say 2 book markers but mine only has 1)

I love my Leuchtturm.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal(planner_bujo_2)First I set up my legend or key. This is how I would label my daily tasks and notes.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal (goals_nov_dec_1)Next I wrote out my yearly goals.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal //planner_bujo_4My 6 month overview has upcoming dates.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal (planner_bujo_3)Next is my two-month Interval page. This is where I break down my yearly goals into small bite size tasks I want to work on over the next two months.

During my Interval, I have 2-3 Projects I want to accomplish. Since it is the holiday season, my projects were things that would help me prepare for our annual Thanksgiving trip to visit family and Disneyland and to prepare for Advent and Christmas.

 

Monthly View

In the bullet journal the monthly view is supposed to look something like this:

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_11But I really don’t like the layout. My mind needs to see a traditional calendar in order to quickly process what is on the page. So I “cheated” and drew my own calendar. However, that is the beauty of the BuJo. It’s not really cheating because you can adapt it to suit your needs.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_5November view.

Some one asked me what the “12.2.3” represents each weekday. It is simply the school pickup times for my kids. Between the four of them, they are on three different schedules. (I spend a lot of time driving back and forth.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_6December view.

Daily Pages/ Nightly Review

Some people like to do their planner review in the morning before the day starts. Since I’m not a morning person, all my energy in the morning is focused on simply getting myself out of bed, ready and my four kids fed and off to school by 7:40 AM. Yeah, a morning planner review if not happening. For me, an evening review after all the kids are tucked in bed and kissed good night, the dishes are done and the next day’s lunches are made…this is my me time to unwind.

RevolutionofLove,com - How I Set Up My BUllet Jourmal //(planner_16_o)I grab my cute little square tote (that I found at the Target dollar section for $3) and my LapDesk (similar to this one) and sit on the couch to start my evening ritual.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_7For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to spend about 5-10 minutes in prayer and make an examination of conscience. I think about the things I want to improve and thank God for the blessings of the day, often adding 3 things I’m grateful for each night in my bullet journal.ย  (During Advent I have a separate prayer journal for my nightly exams and prayers of thanks. After Advent it will go back into my BuJo.) Ending the day with gratitude really helps me keep things in proper perspective.

Usually by now it is 9 PM and Brian joins me on the couch. He usually reads a little while I work on my planner then we relax to watch a favorite show.

I look over my bullet journal and review my day. I mark off what I have done and decide if the unfinished tasks should be moved to another day or deleted. I add any other notes of the day (such as online purchases). I also check the notes app on my iPhone for any notes I jotted down while on the run and transfer them to my planner.

On Mondays I have the week’s meals listed. If I don’t assign a day, I at least write six meals that I can make that week.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_8I don’t usually have Tasks lists on the weekends since it is mostly family time. Instead I add notes about what we did or memories I want to remember.

Many evenings I also enjoy participating in the ListersGottaList.com daily challenge. Saturday’s prompt was – What were your favorite Christmas gifts? I used to keep these lists in a traveler’s notebook but now they are kept here.

On Sunday evenings I do a weekly brain dump. I jot down everything that has been floating around in my head. Once that is done I go over the list and assign specific days to do that item. Some tasks don’t need to be done on a specific day so I add an arrow and fit them in on days when I have a little more free time to tackle them.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_12Once I review my current day, I make the label for the upcoming day. I write the day’s schedule, household tasks if I’m going to be home that day and any blog tasks I need to work on. I also write any tasks from that week’s brain dump assigned to that day and any other things I need to do or remember.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_9One of the great things about the bullet journal is it’s flexibility. Last week I was sick on Wednesday and Thursday and did not do an evening review. So Friday morning (after the kids were in school) I added the dates and noted that I was sick and anything else significant I wanted to remember, including a quote from my morning devotion. Some days take a full page and some days only 1/2. It doesn’t matter and I love that.

Other Random Pages

The bullet journal is the perfect spot to keep lists – books I wan to read, movies I want to see, recipes to try, blogs/websites to visit, local places I’d like to see during a staycation, etc. I also keep notes on podcasts or periscopes that are especially helpful.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_10The BuJo also works well for keeping track of blog posts and keeping a list of blogging ideas.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_13In December I decided to make a goal chart for my daily goals. I thought a nightly visual would help me to keep my goals in mind instead of getting lost in the shuffle of the day.

The things you can add to your bullet journal are endless!

Future Calendar

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_14The one thing I missed about my Erin Condren is having calendars of the entire year. I liked having visuals in a traditional calendar format of upcoming events. This was especially helpful at school meetings when we needed to quickly review over upcoming events.

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_15To make up for this, I made simple calendars that I cut out and washi taped to the last pages of my BuJo. As the months pass I can remove the paper calendar easily with the washi and still use the blank page for writing.

If you’d like to print out a PDF copy of the calendar, I placed them in a file on Google Drive. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Favorite Pens

Revolution of Love.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal (planner_16_r)Everyone has their favorite pens. The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens are a favorite of mine but when I am using my bullet journal I really need the ability to erase.ย  I used to only use pencil in my planners until I found Pilot Frixion pens! At first I bought the smaller Pilot Frixion Colors Erasable Marker โ€“ 12 Color set because they were less expensive and I wasnโ€™t sure if I would like them or not. I kept envisioning those erasable ball point pens that were popular when I was in grade school โ€“ the were smudgy and made a mess. However, these Frixion pens did not smudge at all. The only way they erases is with the special eraser at the top of the pen or you could purchase an extra eraser separately.

I loved the pens but I didnโ€™t check the size and they wrote a little thick. (See sample 1.) I went back to Amazon and purchased the Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Ink Pens, 0.7mm, Assorted Colors, 24/Pack. Although it was more expensive I knew it would be worth it because they were exactly what I was looking for. (See sample 2.)

For on the go writing, I use the Pilot Frixion Ball Knock 4-Color Gel Ink Multi-Pen and hook onto the elastic band of m bullet journal.

UPDATE (12/22/15): I want to add a note about the Frixion Pens. One of the sweet ladies from the FB group Bullet Journal Junkies just warned me that the ink can disappear in extreme heat. (The heat caused by the friction of the eraser is what removes the ink.) Supposedly it can be brought back if placed in the freezer. Sooo while I still love my pens and it doesn’t get very hot where I live, I may or may not switch back to the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens. Sigh. #firstworldproblems

UPDATE: (1/10/16): I didn’t want to fill my instagram feed with bullet journal posts so I started a second IG account just for that. You can find me @bobbis_bujo.

* * *

Well, I think that is plenty to share for now. Hopefully it gave you an overview and maybe a little inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

RevolutionofLove.com - How I Use My Bullet Journal // planner_bujo_pin

Do you use a bullet journal? What kind of things do you keep in it? Any tips for a newbie? ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE – My new bullet journal post is here: How I Use My Bullet Journal – Spring 2016 Update

RevolutionofLove.com - Bullet Journal Spring Update /bujo_collage_spring_review

Blessings to you!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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35 Comments

  • Jenny says:

    I love every single thing about this post! Now I need an excuse to go to Target to buy a Bullet Journal, lol! I appreciate every detail you listed. I just set up a binder because I needed something in one place, but it’s big and I don’t like it when my hand runs into the metal rings. I’m going to try this for Jan-Feb and see if this is what I need.

    • bobbi says:

      I’m glad it helped, Jen. I think using something inexpensive for two month is a great idea! It will give you a feel for it without completely committing to it yet. I think the system would also be great for you since you are so good at bible journaling. You’d be able to incorporate it into your planner and make it even more lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • What a great overview of your system, Bobbi!

    I especially love that little tote that you keep your supplies in. I’ve been going through the KonMari process and trying to find a “home” for everything. I think a tote like that would be the perfect home for my BuJo & pens at night ๐Ÿ™‚

    • bobbi says:

      Hi Kara! Finding a comment from you was especially touching since you are the one who convinced to give the BuJo a try. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thx for sharing so much of your work to give us inspiration! As for the tote, I love it. I rarely sit at my desk and write in it so I needed something mobile. I recently heard about the KonMari process and I really want to check it out and work on it next year. I need more order in my busy home. Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Corinna says:

    This is an amazing overview and such a great use of the notebook. I am looking a bit around as I am thinking about giving the BuJo a try. So thank you very much for these detailed explanations.
    I had to smile when reading your comment on how to pronounce Leuchtturm. As I am German, this is simple to pronounce for me, but I imagine it’s difficult for others. I can’t explain it in written words. But Leuchtturm means lighthouse in English. Perhaps you might find it in an online dictionary with audio file. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again and good luck for 2016

    • bobbi says:

      Hi Corina! Thanks for stopping by! I hope the post gave you some useful information. Yes, the pronunciation is a little difficult for me but I am going to ask my mother-in-law how to properly pronounce it. She is from Austria and speaks German so she would know. Many blessing to you in 2016. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] I love that my bullet journal lets me plan and CREATE at the same time. […]

  • […] Last month I switched to a Bullet Journal and I explain why and how here – How I Use My Bullet Journal. […]

  • […] November/ December 2015 (Holiday) Goals & Review of October Goals … Continue Reading → Featured Post : THIS MONTH: It's new planner for me! Here is how I set up and use my bullet […]

  • Just wanted to say thank you for this! I’m just starting my bullet journal and your overview was super helpful. Thanks for making the calendars available too!

  • Elena @ barefoot and sometimes pregnant says:

    Thanks for this!! I want to try this out for a few months because my other planner just wasn’t working for me any more.

    • bobbi says:

      Hi Elena! I hope you have been enjoying your bullet journal. I am sure it will take a few months until you find the perfect layout as you tweak things. LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] November/ December 2015 (Holiday) Goals & Review of October Goals … Continue Reading → Featured Post : THIS MONTH: It's new planner for me! Here is how I set up and use my bullet […]

  • Kayla says:

    Thank you for sharing! I had always loved the idea of Bullet Journaling but could never find a way to make it work for me…I think you just showed me, though! Would you be able to share a little more about how you do your Table of Contents? Do you include the random pages from each month such as blog ideas or goals into the span of your month in your table of contents or do you create a separate line for each unique page or list, if that makes sense?

    • bobbi says:

      Hi Kayla! Your comment made me realize I never put a photo of my Index! Yes, I do have a table of contents. Here is a sample of what it reads: (Number indicates the page.)
      1 Legend
      3 Yearly Goals
      5-6 Books to Read
      7 Movies to Watch
      8-9 Six months in advance
      10 Nov/Dec 2015 Daily Habits
      11-19 Nov/Dec 2015 Projects & Tasks
      20-21 Nov Calendar
      23-26 Week of Nov 1-8 & Brain Dump
      27-30 Blog Ideas/Nov Blog Calendar/ Blog Notes
      31-34 Week of Nov 1-8 & Brian Dump

      Hopefully that gives you an idea of how I logged my pages. I hope it helps. I am going to do a second bullet journal post with a look at my January set up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and happy 2016! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pomeline says:

    This is SO inspiring Bobbi! I used a bullet journal for all of 2015 and am onto 2016 now, but you make me want to be more creative with mine. I’m planning to treat myself to a me date this weekend and part of that will include printing off some of your great ideas to inspire my bullet journaling ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the AWESOME post.

    • bobbi says:

      Hi Pomeline! I’m glad you were able to get some inspiration from the post. I love when others share what is in their journals to inspire other people. I have benefited from those kind of posts so I am happy to be able to do the same. I hope you were able to find that me time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy 2016!

  • libbyJane says:

    I love your graphic design! I like it even better than your EC planner, which looked great! It is so simple and open, but very appealing and fresh feeling.
    I found you through a link on Like Mother Like daughter. I’ve been using a BJ/planner combo for a while and I don’t like how crossed out everything gets in mine, but yours looks so juicy-bright and clean! Thanks!

  • Buffy says:

    Thanks for the post. I have been using my bujo for a week now, so I’m still seeking inspiration. I love the Frixion pens, but don’t always want what I have written to be erased. I use the Hi-Tec-C Coleto, a multi-colored pen that allows you to change the ink cartridges by flipping the top open. There are lots of fun colors available and different pen sizes, so you can carry a very fine tip purple with a broader tip pen. There’s also a pencil and eraser option. I’m a bit enthusiastic about pens โ˜บ

    • bobbi says:

      HI Buffy, I hope you are having fun using your bujo! Thanks for the tip about the Coleto pen. It sounds so fun and functional. I will have to see if I can find it on Amazon… and maybe stick one in my upcoming Easter basket. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by!

  • Hi Bobbi! I’ve been an ECLP user for two years but I’m taking the bujo plunge this week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for making your advance planning calendars available. I’m in the party plan business and have been struggling with this one aspect of the bujo, so this is perfect AND I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

    • bobbi says:

      You’re most welcome, Kendra! I hope you are enjoying using your bujo. I am working on a follow up post – sort of a 4th month review. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  • […] January and February 2016 Goals (and a Review of my Nov/Dec Goals) … Continue Reading → Featured Post : THIS MONTH: It's new planner for me! Here is how I set up and use my bullet […]

  • […] And for those of you that are interested but SO CONFUSED go check out Bobbi’s How-To Post. […]

  • […] March and April 2016 Goals (and a Review of my Jan/ Feb Goals) … Continue Reading → Featured Post : THIS MONTH: It's new planner for me! Here is how I set up and use my bullet […]

  • LeeAnn Bee says:

    Thank you for the full month calendars. I too was feeling at sea because I have to plan out many months for things at work and home.

    • bobbi says:

      I am glad you were able to put then to use, LeeAnn. They have been a life saver to my future planing. Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love this post and I think you may have just inspired me to try it. I can see it being useful for my job as I have always got several sticky notes, full page notebooks, scrap paper jots all over the place. I like how you build it as you go and that will be very helpful. I know mine won’t be as cute and artsy as yours, but if it gets all my tasks and thoughts in one place, I think that will be great. Thank you for sharing!

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  • […] I look on the internet. Some of them are colorful and well-organized, while others are even quite artistic, and I must admit they have caught my eye. For months I have been on the sidelines, merely looking […]

  • I don’t bullet journal, but I write in a planner all the time and learn a lot from your photos. Thank you for all your hard work with your blog.

  • […] together to make my own journal. In the winter of 2015, I switched from a traditional planner to a bullet journal and fell in love all over again. I had no intentions of going back to a regular planner. However, […]

  • I don’t know if you are familiar with Dr. Michael Breus and his book The Power of When, but it sounds like you are a “Wolf” like me. Knowing yourself and your chronotype really helps sort out when to do what in your day. Just a recommendation. Check it out!

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