Productivity

My Secret to Staying Organized: How I Bullet Journal

January 16, 2018

So I broke this up bullet journal organization post into 2 parts because I’m trying to get better at slightly shorter posts. My posts are WAAAY too long.

So I recently just finished setting up for 2018 (I didn’t use a new bullet journal because I still had so much space left in my current one). So this post will just be lots of pictures of my current method with pictures of old and new layouts to illustrate my point and some other stuff I’ve tried.

In case you missed it, I talked yesterday about WHY bullet journal is my organizational method of choice. There I give a little background about WHAT bullet journal is. So if you are unfamiliar with the methohered, might be helpful to read that first.

Overview of the Year:

OmolayoNkem Bullet Journal Year Spread

This is the first time I’m doing a year at a glance page. I used the layouts I saw here and here but the box on the right is completely my idea. I’m trying to keep track of a few things over the course of the year (income, debt reduction, number of blog posts, discipline, letting go (I fixate on things too much), and deciding (I allow indecision to cripple me sometimes) so I’m keeping track of them month to month. The first 3 will be numbers and the last 3 will be on a scale: terrible, bad, ok, good and fantastic. I’ll just self-grade with some input from a few people who know me to have these vices.

Quarter Goals:

bullet journal quarter goals

I decided to do quarter goals this year for two reasons:

  • This year is a little less predictable for me than other years…which I’m so fine with…I’m excited for what’s ahead!
  • A full year of goals is much easier to put off. Imagine saying I have to do this before December versus saying “I have to do this in the next three months or by the end of this month.”

The left hand side is supposed to be for future planning, important dates, people’s birthdays…but not sure if I’ll actually end up doing that. Partly because I don’t have THAT many appointments and important dates, and partly because I put those on google calendar anyways, and also I have a monthly layout I can easily transfer them from google to my note book. I might use it as a review or something else instead. But I got the look of the lay out from here. I split them into 7 areas of focus and put the number of goals/things I needed to be doing to work towards where I want to be in that category.

Monthly View:

bullet journal monthly spread

So I’ve had the same monthly view for a while and it’s probably my monthly view that looks the most different from other bujo people. Most people do more of a list of dates, but one, it’s not appealing to me, and two my mind doesn’t work like that. My old layout is something I got directly from my friend Georgia that taught me how to Bujo. I liked the room it gave me to write dates, decorate and the like. And seeing my goals right next to the layout was great.

bullet journal monthly spread

But now I have this layout that I go from Julia who got it from AmandaRachLee:

bullet journal monthly spread

I’m really excited about this layout because I won’t have to turn my journal sideways to enjoy it, and I have even more space to write all the appointments and events that I don’t have. I continued with the monthly quote that I used to put and just put my top goals for the month. But some of them are more just like “be DOING this.” So I think next month I’ll have that thing say “Focus”. I added two more boxes to write down what I’ll be reading and what I’ll be writing (blog posts and articles) this month. So I’m excited about this. I didn’t decorate as much as I’ve done other months and that’s cool with me because the drop shadow is enough decoration. I just love the way the drop shadow makes stuff pop-out.

 

Month View Continued:

bullet journal habit tracker monthly spread

So I decided to name this “January Tasks” instead of goals like I used to. I realized the things I list are usually tasks anyways. Across from it, I put my habit tracker. This is the third habit tracker I’m trying, and I got it from AmandaRachLee. I’m hoping I us it more often since again, I don’t have to turn the bujo sideways. But I have a bad habit of not habitually filling this stuff out. So I didn’t put the dots throughout to not waste my time…just in case.

Before I was doing this habit tracker that I got from BohoBerry (The post linked here is good for finding a variety of Bullet Journal Layouts):

bullet journal habit tracker

Then for a while I used this one from Tiny Ray of Sunshine.

bullet journal habit tracker

This one is cool because it lets you write little notes about the habit. So I used it for a while to note what bible chapters I read, what I ate, what exercise I did (could also be used for keeping track of step count), what in my hustle I worked on, etc. I used it another time to write a few words of gratitude and my spiritual growth practice when I mixed it with the sideways habit tracker in November.

bullet journal habit tracker

My weekly and daily view:

bullet journal daily weekly spread

I’ve had this view for a while now. And I’m not sure where I originally got the idea to do a 3 goal focus across the top of my week view. But I love it because it’s a quick reminder to what I should be focusing on throughout the week and the entire set up is relatively easy. This is where you also notice that I try to write my Bujo partly in french so all weekdays have their French name and when I remember, months do too. I cross off days as I go when I remember. Then I list out my tasks and events for that week.

bullet journal daily weekly spread

The next page starts the daily, with a quote of the week. I often use ‘your dreams don’t work unless you do,” because that seems to be the motivation I need most weeks. Then I write the day and date, box it off and the magic begins. I usually use 2-3 pages for this. Even when I use two pages though, I still start the new week on a left handside page so I can have that weekly quote next to it.

Collections/Notes

bullet journal collection goals 25 to 25

Finally the thing that makes bullet journals stand out from your regular notebook and its advantage over your pre-drawn planner: The ability to stick notes and collections anywhere you want. Some weeks, when I just used two pages but started a new week on a left side page, I’ll have a blank right page to use and I’ll start with those for my collections before I use any other blank page. But you can stick collections where -ever you want. My collections are now, more often than not, packing lists, planning (such as Christmas presents or a short-term project) and notes. I used to be fancy and write down things like Books to Read and Quotes to Live by but most of that now lives in my head, Google Keep or OneNote so no point moving it from bujo to bujo. My favorite collection by far has been the collection I made for my 25 to 25 Goal Challenge.

Here is an example of some another collection I have in my current notebook. See how I just put in a right side of a week where I didn’t use the right side?

bullet journal packing list nigeria nysc

Index and symbols

bullet journal index

So most people start by showing this page first, but I think it makes more sense to put it here. So you see that you have months, weeks, and collections throughout the journal, so to keep track of it all, I have the index page (one of the perks of the Leuchttrumm1917 is that it has an index page already….although I never use the 3 pages of index provided. Don’t think I’ve ever even gotten past page 1. In the index, I write the page number of where various things are and put the page range of months.

My page 1 is symbols(forgot to take a photo. Email me if you’re super curious). I hardly reference this page since I already know what my symbols are but I like putting it at the beginning of each journal anyways, just in case. To be honest, I also don’t really use all of them. Like looking something up, and reaching out to someone, usually just ends up being the oval shape of task. But I do use most of the others.

bullet journal monthly spread

SO there you have it! My current bullet journal method. Check out my previous post for the reasons why I bullet journal and a bit more about that it’s all about and my favorite bullet journalers to follow.

Hope you find this extremely useful – I know I’ve promised this post since I wrote my meticulous planning post back in 2016 and my how not to procrastination post back during the AfriBlogger Challenge. Let me know if you found this useful and if you would be interested in more organization/lifehack related posts because, although they are a bit more time intensive than the travel posts, I do enjoy putting them together for you and it’s actually a huge part of my life and growth.

Anyways, would love to hear your thoughts and your organization methods – if any! Comment below.

Always,

OmolayoNkem

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