Bullet Journal Joy

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Okay. I've been promising for ages to share my Bullet Journal with you guys. This post seemed so overwhelming every time I thought about it that I just kept putting it off. But this little bundle of joy has been so life changing for me, I wanted to share it with you all so you can see if it might work for you as well.

I want to warn you right off the bat, if you go looking at Pinterest and Instagram pages about Bullet Journaling, you WILL get overwhelmed too. There are people out there who are insanely talented at doodles and coordinating and tracking every minute detail of their days. The absolute beauty of a Bullet Journal is that it can be whatever you want or need it to be.

On a day to day basis, this is all I need to use my journal. The Journal, a ruler and a pen. I prefer the Leuchtturm1917, with a Sharpie Pen (NOT MARKER), and a small metal ruler. These three items are enough to create an entire Bullet Journal. Yes, washi tape is super fun and colored pencils make everything pop, and of course stickers are just the bees knees. But none of that is necessary to make an awesome, FUNCTIONAL journal. And that is the real point of this. To create something that helps you become more productive.

Ryder Carroll invented the Bullet Journal system to be an analog planner in a digital age. I don't know if he expected his idea to flourish the way it has, but every blogger I've seen has taken his planner and run with it, reinventing it constantly to work for their needs.

My second word of caution, don't start with too many collections and trackers. Yes, they can be really helpful. But they can also become tedious. When I first started I wanted to track and collect EVERYTHING. But after a while my Journal started to feel like one more chore I had to do every day. Now, I still have trackers, but not as many different ones as I used to. And I've combined some of them to reduce the amount of time, energy and searching I used to have to do. In short, I have made my system my own. Which is the absolute best part of this whole thing.

Any journal and pen will work to begin. I like mine because I like the features. You may prefer a mash up of a traditional planner with custom elements. Or maybe a composition book so you have more space on the pages. Or maybe a spiral notebook so it always lays flat and can be flipped around. Whatever floats your goat, that's where you should start.

My favorite features of the Leuchtturm is the pocket in the pack, to store my ruler, and multiple bookmarks. And I found a hack that you can tie more pieces of ribbon around the existing ribbons to add even more bookmarks, which I have done and I love it! I keep one at the beginning of my month, one at my financial tracker and one at my meal planner as these are the three areas I visit most. (Someday when I do my actual video I will go into more detail about hacks and tricks that have helped me.)

Okay, so there is some back story and some info on my favorite things. Let's dive right in shall we?

Page One of my journal is just like a cover page. 2017 is, obviously, the year of the rooster, so I found myself a picture of an elegant rooster, printed it out and slapped it inside. I also included a sticker that reminds me that I am going to make mistakes, cross shit out, spill stuff, and that's okay. This is for me, not for Instagram, it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to work.

Then there's my index. The Leuchtturm is great because the pages are already numbered and it comes with a pre-drawn index for keeping track of where you've put things you need to reference. I covered the top with washi tape and drew a line down the center to give me twice as much space to write in pages. I generally don't write out every single page, just things I'll need to refer to later. For example, I just marked where my January starts, I didn't list every single page that entails. I just need a quick reference, not a blow by blow account.

Then is my yearly overview where I keep track of birthdays and holidays. This is generally referred to as a future log. Once the year gets going, when I have things that get scheduled several months in advance, I can refer back to this and add them to my monthly and weekly calendars. I am terrible at keeping up with this and I almost didn't even include it this year, but oh well, I'll see how it goes.

This is something I absolutely love about this system. I can add stuff just because I like it. This was just a fun page I created with Harry Potter quotes that make me happy. So when I flip through my book I can see it and remember the books and smile. Seriously, how great is Bullet Journaling? *sigh

Then I have my goals page which I talked about earlier this week. It's a nice visual reminder of what I want to accomplish this year. The actual tracking of the steps will come later as I work through the book. This is just the end result I want in a pretty format.
I should mention now, since it's kind of hard to miss, I do a lot more printing than hand writing out. I like to play around with fonts and stuff and I just print it and glue it into the book with a glue runner. It may not be the official way of doing things, but again, that doesn't matter.

This page was really fun to make too. This is just stuff I would like to accomplish 'some day.' And since it is a bucket list, I thought it would be cute to put it in a bucket.

This is my financial tracking. I took out the numbers, but they are large. Since one of my goals is to pay off my credit cards this year, I listed them all out, with their balances and will track my beginning month balances until December when it should be paid off. Here's hoping. To the right is my bill payment schedule so I don't forget to pay anyone. Not exciting but ridiculously necessary for me.

This page is to track my book releases for the year. My goal is 10 total, but I am optimistic and left room to add more should the need arise. News alert, my first book writing as Liza Jameson will be out in February. More about that later though.

This is another cool spread that I did. I find that I get so busy I literally forget to read for pleasure. How sad is that? So I found this really neat reading challenge and drew up a book shelf to track what's been read. I will write the name of each book and color it in once I've read it. Just another little fun page that I did for me to enjoy my journal and ensure I take leisure time for myself occasionally.

This is always one of my most used pages in my journal. The names of foods that my family eats, my whole family are added to post-it flags which are then shuffled around to create a weekly menu. My kids are insanely picky and this leaves us few options if I don't want to cook three meals every night. Which I do, and I have. But with this, I always remember to take meat out of the freezer and have everything on hand that I will need to make the meals scheduled. I LOVE this layout and it's one of the few that has never changed.

So, this post got out of hand pretty quickly, lol. I think I'm going to break it up now and leave you to digest all of the fun pages I've shared above. I will go into my monthly and weekly spreads on Friday. The monthly stuff is really the meat of the journal anyway. The stuff above is really just the things I warned you against earlier. *sigh. That's how it goes sometimes. Do as I say, not as I do. The life of a mom.

See you guys on Friday.



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