The Bullet Journal – Why I Use It And Why It Works

As you may know from reading my last post, I set big goals for myself at the beginning of 2017. Before I dive into how I’m reaching them, I need to tell you about something that really had a big impact on my life: the bullet journal.

 

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I’ve been using the bullet journal system for a good six months now, and let me tell you, it’s AWESOME! I’m in love!

If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, first check out this video. It explains how Ryder Carroll came up with the idea and how it works. Go on, I’ll wait for you 😉

 

Neat, right? But the very best thing about the bullet journal is that you can completely customize it to your needs, your personality, your likes and dislikes.

You see, I’ve always been a planner. All through high school and college, my schools provided free planners that I made good use of. I’ve actually kept all of them since grade 9.They are also part journals, part scrapbooks. I filled them as much as I could. Not only did I write my to-do lists, homework, study time and exams, but I also decorated them with lyrics from songs I loved, doodles and drawings, pictures of teen heartthrobs (Hello, Ryan Gosling!) messages from friends, etc­.

When I look at them now, I’m transported back to my teenage years and to my life as a young adult. I cherish the (good and bad) memories that made me the person I am today. Here are some pictures from the planner I used in university, in 2004-2005:

As I left school, I tried different style of planners, struggling to find what worked best for me and my needs. I used some of them mostly at work, and those were… how could I say? Boring!

Some years, I also had a planner for my personal life, and again, I would draw and doodle all over the place. I still like to flip through them and remember everything that was going on in my life at that time (and also to realize that my obsession with Gilmore Girls is not new, haha!). Here’s what my planners from 2009-2010 and 2014-2015 looked like:

But, as you can see, there are gaps in there. Years during which I did not keep a planner, for whatever reason, but mostly because I couldn’t find a system that really worked for me. That “planner peace” everyone seeks was eluding me.

Enter the Bullet Journal.

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon this system, but I know that when I saw it, a light went on in my mind. Finally, something for me, I thought! I quickly realized all of the potential it offered. I could make my own spreads, as complicated or as simple as I wished, combine my personal stuff with my work stuff (some of it, anyhow), and regain that creativity that was such a big part of my teenage years planners.

Since starting, my BuJo style has evolved immensely. Not knowing if the bullet journal would work for me, I started with a simple Miquelrius notebook that cost next to nothing and some Sharpie fineliners.

Here are some pages from my very first weeks and then some more recent ones (Warning: you’ll see some French in there, as I’m from Montreal and it’s the language I use most frequently! ;))

Since starting, even if that wasn’t my main goal, my calligraphy has improved. Some spreads always come back, others don’t and most of them change over time. I’ve also moved on to the very popular (and a bit more pricey, but totally worth it, in my opinion) Leuchtturm 1917 notebook and to Faber Castels pens.

I’m a real fan of this system and I intend to keep using it for a long, long time. The beauty of the bullet journal is that you can try something and if you don’t like it, you just never repeat it again and turn it into something else. Just turn the page and start over. It’s the perfect tool to keep track of all my projects and you will most likely see pages from my own bujo in many of my posts 🙂

If you’re interested in trying the bullet journal, there are TONS of people out there on the interwebs that create content, free printables, spread ideas, stickers, etc. Kara, from Boho Berry has posted a complete Bullet Journal 101 series on her YouTube channel, and it’s wonderful for those who want to get started but don’t know where to begin. Kim, from Tiny Ray of Sunshine offers many layout ideas, from the simplest ones to the most elaborate. And, Kimberly, from Sublime Reflection, is also a great source of ideas and informations.

Do you think the bullet journal is a good system for you? What kind of planner do you use (if you use one)? How do you keep track of your goals? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, Jammies!

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