How I'm Using a Bullet Journal for 2020

I started bullet journalling around 2 years ago, inspired by the aesthetically pleasing layouts and creative freedom it provided when compared to conventional planners. I bought this Muji notebook (I found an alternative here if you can't get to a Muji shops) and never turned back. For me, I love the flexibility that bullet journals and creating your own planner layout provides - if I have a month where I won't be completeing assignments or have a crazy to-do list, I can make the layout to suit it. Not only is this less stressful (we all have that moment where we stop using a planner for a while and suddenly you have 30 blank calendar pages), but it probably saves paper, as you only use what you need. Bullet journalling has become a creative outlet and a organisation haven for me, making life just... simpler!

 At the start of my journal, I create a spread which I like to describe as a 'goals tracker'. It is a combination of a habit tracker and goals - I use it mostly for smaller personal goals, which are steps I can take the achieve the bigger goal (e.g. gym 2x week is a smaller step to working out more). Its a similar layout to a habit tracker, but with less things to track and a visual representation over the months of the year. If I complete a goal, such as the Depop sales one, I colour in the bullet point (almost like a well done you did it, 'tick it off' for me). I usually have similarly themed goals each month, sometimes increasing them. For example, in February, I may choose to set the goal of 'gym 3x a week', so that I have progression in my habits, and maintain my goals.
If you want a break down of how to divide your goals into achievable steps, I wrote a post a while ago called How To Organise and Achieve your Goals.

For weekly spread layouts, I keep it super minimal and repeat the same every month, just changing the colour theme. I put a quote at the start of this spread as the week started on Wednesday and it was my first page of the year (also it's a nice verse to read to start the year with.) You will see that on a normal week, I left the side columns empty for to-do lists, doodles, small calendars or anything approriate for that week.

I tend to draw out the weeks really far in advance, so that I can plan ahead and not worry about drawing the layout every week. Also, for most events in the future, I will write them in pencil, incase they change time or date. For each individual day, I tend to order the events/to-dos in chronological order vertically - so if I have a lecture at 9am that will be on the top line, or 2pm would be somewhere in the middle. The reason I don't write in the times along the side is because I enjoy the flexibility - for example having more events in the morning or no events at all, also it means I have enough room in each box.

I recently rediscovered some alphabet stamps in my craft box at home, which I thought worked quite nicely with my simple theme. Stamps mean that I don't have to faff around writing in calligraphy style or fancy fonts, but they look just as great and have a nice vintage-style look on the page. For my coloured strips I use the stabilo pastel highlighters and just swipe across the page. I circulate between using the 4 colours, so that my planner will have a colour scheme by the end (I feel like I always ruin bullet journals with excessive amounts of colour. 

Usually if I'm looking for inspiration, I head over to YouTube or Pinterest (I have a board which you can look at here). I prefer to keep it simple, but there are a lot of really artistic ideas that people (with a lot more time on their hands) have made.

What pages do you like to put in your bullet journal? Have you ever bullet journalled before?

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