Bullet journal revisited

bullet journal

Last year was the first time I maintained a bullet journal for the whole year. I had started one in 2018, but after a few months, I abandoned it. It just wasn’t working for me. Despite bullet journalling all year in 2019, I still wasn’t really that happy with the way my bullet journal worked. I didn’t feel it made me as productive as I wanted to be.

In September, I watched a video by Jenny Trout where she explains how she sets up her bullet journal. I really loved the idea of dedicating days to specific types of writing. I write for my blog, I write short stories and novels. And most of that I do all at the same time. Dedicating specific days to, say, blogging makes sure that I do blog and that when I’m done my blog post for the day I can relax, rather than feel like I also need to write a short story and work on my novel.

Another thing I am going to be doing differently this year is using my bullet journal for more than just keeping track of the things I need to do each day. I found, especially towards the end of the year, that each day I wrote essentially the same things and it never felt like I really accomplished anything. My bullet journal had become a bit of a tick box exercise and that’s not the idea of a bullet journal.

So, in 2020, I am going to be freer with my bullet journal. I am going to track the books I’ve read in there, I am going to dedicate a section to things I am grateful for. I have added a monthly colour-coded habit tracker to make sure I develop the habits I want to develop.

Of course, there will still be a section for the days. Like Jenny Trout in her video, I will have boxes for the days, but they will be smaller. They will contain appointments only. To the side, I will have a To Do list with things that need to be done that week, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be done on a certain day. And I will have a section for comments. I do like jotting down a few thoughts about the week, so I am keeping that part of my old bullet journal.

I have a number of specific goals for 2020. Using a bullet journal will, hopefully, help me keep track of my progress towards these goals. In the past, I have used my goals to make me feel bad about myself. I focused on things I couldn’t really hope to achieve, like losing a certain amount of weight or publishing a book (which is out of my control unless I self-publish). This year I am going to aim at self-improvement, even if my steps are going to be small. I actually met some of my goals from 2019, which makes me feel optimistic.

A realise a bullet journal isn’t for everyone. I’m not sure how well my new method of bullet journalling is going to work out for me, but so far I’m really enjoying the way I’ve set it up. I’ve even bought washi tape to make the pages a bit better-looking. I like the fact that each week I get to set up the spread for the next week, choosing my colours and my washi tape. It’s fun to be creative with my hands as well.

So…what about you? Are you using a bullet journal or a different way of tracking your goals?

I wrote this for the January Jumpstart meme. Click on the image below to see who else is taking part.

The Insatiable Jane Travers coverThe Insatiable Jane Travers is out now!

It’s the roaring twenties.

Desperate to escape the stifling confines of her life with her aunt and uncle in New York, Jane Travers arrives at her friend Rachel’s country home determined to enjoy a summer full of fun and excitement. Rachel has promised her risqué parties, but what awaits Jane is beyond her wildest dreams. Guided by her old flame, Sidney Fitzroy, and the sensual singer Lillian Smith, Jane enthusiastically embarks on a journey of sexual self-discovery.

With Sidney and Lillian both satisfying her deepest desires, Jane sheds her restrictive upbringing and embraces her newfound freedom. As her feelings for both Lillian and Sidney intensify, Jane faces an impossible choice: a stable future with Sidney or a lifetime of excitement with Lillian.

But how can she choose when her heart belongs to both of them?

4 thoughts on “Bullet journal revisited”

  1. OOH I am glad I found this… I am going to watch that video you linked. I haven’t kept a paper planner in years but this year I really do want to be more intentional and focused on my writing… I think the way you have described some of this might really work for me. I also am considering a bullet journal so I can also use it as an art journal and kind of get two benefits in one… also satisfy my need to be artsy fartsy…

    Good luck with using your journal in a way that really works for you and supports meeting your goals!!

  2. I am committed to a planning journal this year too. My issue with these is I get overwhelmed. I looked at it last night and thought I don’t want to write anything down until I’m sure because I don’t want to mess it up. Somewhere in my past years, I have become OCD about certain (not all) things and it is driving me crazy. But I am glad to know others are taking on the call for organization through planning journals. Good luck – and I guess I’ll just have to let go of some stuff and just scratch it out if I make a mistake!

    1. Isabelle Lauren

      I’m the same, I hate messing stuff up. But I have decided to embrace being more spontaneous this year. I have messed up a few bits and it wasn’t the end of the world, so that gives me great pleasure. I did practise a little with an older notebook so I at least had a firm idea of how I want my week layout to look.

  3. Going to check out the video. My “notebook” is a padfolio of a hundred pieces of paper scribbled on. I aspire to a notebook system but I’ve found spreadsheets (multiple ones) work best.

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