The start of the school year was always my favorite for these reasons and these reasons alone: stationary, notebooks, new pens..pencils..highlighters, binders, and a new planner! You know the excitement I’m talking about, right? Lucky for me, though I’m no longer in school, as a lifestyle blogger and photographer I still need a planner to keep myself organized. Sooo it’s that wonderful time of year again! Not the most wonderful time of year, that’s reserved for tinsel and pine trees of course. But it’s certainly up there with brown paper packages tied up with string….It’s time to start thinking about my planner for 2017. I have used a traditional weekly planner since high school, really. But over the last year I’ve found myself wishing for an alternative to keeping myself organized. Something more efficient, less restrictive, and something all-encompassing.
WHAT I HAVE BEEN USING
In 2014 I started using The Simplified Planner which had been amazing up until this year. This planner introduced me to a new kind of daily organization with it’s utilization of a full page per day rather than a traditional weekly page. This has given me so much more space to map out my schedule and visualize my to-do list each day. However, while the upgrade of added space on each day has been nice, there are still a lot of elements missing from this planner.
I’m a lists girl; I have them on sticky notes all over my desk, magnetized to our fridge, on Evernote, I have lists on lists in the notes app, and I’m constantly jotting things down on paper. And unfortunately, the Simplified Planner doesn’t have any extra notes pages for my never-ending lists! There is a to-do list on every daily page, but I have on-going lists that are outside of my daily to-do lists so this is something that doesn’t work for me anymore. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m looking for something unrestrictive and all-encompassing so traditional planners might be a thing of the past for me.
THE BULLET JOURNAL
Enter, the Bullet Journal. This is an entirely customizable planner/journal/life-organizing system that might be the chosen one for my 2017 planner. I spent the greater part of my Monday evening watching these YouTube videos that describe what a Bullet Journal is and how to effectively use one.
In short, the Bullet Journal is simply a blank notebook (so it’s significantly cheaper than any other option), and within this notebook there are five Modules that you design and use to your liking: The Index, Future Log, Monthly Log, Daily Log, and Collections (these weren’t in the creator’s original bullet journal but they are the main reason I’m excited for this new system).
The index is a quick, at-a-glance overview of your journal. You fill in topics with their corresponding page numbers so you can easily find entries you’re looking for.
This is a year-at-a-glance for special events, dates, and things happening in the upcoming year. I don’t know if I’ll incorporate this part into my journal or not.
This is where you add a monthly calendar view into your notebook. I have seen some people print off calendars and glue it into the notebook & I have also seen people hand-draw them into the notebook.
One of my favorite parts of this journal is the daily log. Just like a traditional planner, you have the option to write down day to day tasks, events, and note items. The difference here is there are signifiers on your list that differentiate the different items on your list. Are you lost yet? I was too at first. Read more here to understand.
The options are endless with collections, but in short they are groupings of like topics. For example: You can design a health and fitness tracker to make sure you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle, you can have a page dedicated to “Blog post ideas,” or “Books I want to read this year,” or “Favorite Dinners.” You get the idea. That all-encompassing part I keep mentioning? It’s this. I need all of my thoughts, lists, and monthly tasks in one place and the Bullet Journal is my answer to this!
I’ll be sure to share an in-depth look into my journal once I get started. I still feel a little bit intimidated about designing the whole thing myself, but once I do get started it seems like it will be my most productive planner yet.
Do you think you’d ever give The Bullet Journal a try? I can’t wait to get started!!