I’ve been using the Bullet Journal Method invented by Ryder Carroll since 2016. Since then, the way I have been using it has changed a lot. That is what is so great about this method, everyone can modify it according to their taste and the function of the journal and adapt it to their own lifestyle.
When I discovered the Bullet Journal Method, I used it exactly like Ryder Carroll described it. The method basically works as a daily to-do list. The most important elements of a Bullet Journal are the index, the future log with its important events in the upcoming month, the monthly log and the daily logs. In addition to those, any number of lists and pages for projects can be created if they are needed. All of those are written in an empty (preferably dotted) notebook by the owner of the journal themselves. That is how I used my first Bullet Journal in a Moleskine notebook. Very minimalistic. Straight to the point without any decorations. If the goal is to keep an eye on upcoming events and not to forget your daily tasks, that is completely good enough.
Modify as Needed
For the first two years, this method worked very well for me, but last year I started to modify it according to my needs. That is because I realized that I needed a better overview over the whole week. So I began to draw a weekly plan. My Bullet Journal was still very minimalistic at that point. I was just making more of an effort to make it look good.
Bullet Journaling as a Creative Outlet
Even though I knew from the very beginning that some people were using the Bullet Journal Method more creatively than me, but 2018 was when I started paying more attention to them. I stumbled upon “plan with me” and “journal with me” videos on Youtube, in which people were documenting their setups and their processes. I watched many of those videos, particularly in December, and searched for Bullet Journal pictures on Pinterest. Thinking of the Bullet Journal as a productivity method as well as a creative outlet was very appealing to me. That is why I decided to make cover pages each month in 2019. Additionally, I decided to try out different weekly spreads.
My 2019 Bullet Journal
For 2019 I am using a Lemome notebook. It has thicker pages that the Moleskine and Leuchtturm notebooks that I have been using. It is happens to be cheaper.
As you can see, it has yellow sprayed edges, a yellow elastic band, a place to put your pen and two page markers. There is actually also a picture of a tree on the cover. That tree picture as well as the yellow edges, that are not even in the same shade of yellow as the elastic bands or the page marker, bothered me from the start. They had not seemed that obnoxious on the picture on the internet. I almost chose to use a different notebook, but decided to try to salvage the situation. I painted a piece of paper in shades of yellow and purple (I know it looks blue in the photograph) and glued it on the cover. It worked and I know really like my Bullet Journal.
Some of my Spreads
I now want to share some of my pages, but I am not showing all of them. There is an index at the beginning of the journal, as well as a cover page with a quote I liked. Furthermore, I created a few tracker pages like:
- fitness tracker where I mark my workouts according to their intensity, (inspired by Dor Sack)
- a list of the unread books I own,
- tracker for the books, movies and tv shows I read and watch,
- a page for my blog content (inspired by XOXOKAYMO)
- a page for my passwords
- as well as pages for various projects.
I am not including photographs for those pages, because they are either completely boring, too personal or copied from Youtube and Pinterest.
Instead, I am showing you my future log and my monthly log for the month of January. I chose an ancient Greece inspired theme, because my goal for the month was to work on my Greek. I failed on that, but I still like the theme.
As mentioned previously, I decided to try out different designs for my weekly spreads.
Week One: The layout for week one is basically the same as the one I have been using in 2018. I just added a border in the top and wrote the date in white on a black background. Even these tiny design elements made the Bullet Journal look better.
Week Two: In week two, I decided to put all the days on one page and a weekly to-do list on the other page. Although it is not a bad idea to have a page for weekly tasks, it is not worth it if I then only get that little space for the daily logs.
Week Three: The layout for week three has enough space for the daily task lists, but there is no way to jut down random notes.
Either I just got way too used to the layout from last year or I had already found the perfect one for me. I will probably use different layouts depending on the week I am having, but the layout of the first week will remain my norm. That layout just provides me with enough room for my daily tasks, as well as for a weekly to-do list and for anything else I might want to write down.
There are many more ways to create weekly or daily spreads. Some people insert different pictures or do not make each day the same size. In the end, the pages look more like collages than a planner. That might look beautiful, but I need more structure in my journal. While I want to be more creative, the creativity should not distract from the productivity and functionality of the journal. I believe everyone has their own tastes and wants their Bullet Journal to fulfill different functions. It essentially does not matter what the Bullet Journal looks like. Beginners in particular should not be too concerned with creating a masterpiece. In my opinion, the functionality should the at the center. One just needs to decide for themselves what function their Bullet Journal should have.
The possibilities are endless, when it comes to the Bullet Journal. For example, I like to rate my energy level/productivity each day on a scale of 1-5 stars.
Other Popular Spreads:
- Mood trackers
- Sleep trackers
- Finance trackers
and many more…
Bullet Journaling on Youtube
For anyone who is curious and wants to check out videos on the topic for themselves, here is a list of Youtubers I am subscribed to.