Bullet Journaling for 2017

Over the past 9 months, I’ve become a Bullet Journal addict.  I’ve always been a fan of pen and paper for keeping track of my schedule, to-do list, and goal setting.  I like the physical act of writing things out.  It helps my mental processes.  I also like crossing things off lists!  There’s something satisfying in changing the status of a task.  🙂
I’ve tried many, many planners ranging from the expensive Franklin Covey options to the inexpensive 3-month Emergent Task Planner.   When I heard about the Bullet Journal system, I was currently using the Passion Planner, which offers some great pages for setting long-term goals and breaking those goals down into manageable daily tasks.  It also helps in focusing your daily to-do list to achieve long-term results.  What I didn’t like about it was the lack of flexibility in  using its pages.  I think I used almost as much white-out as I did ink!  In truth, I was missing my Emergent Task Planner!
The Bullet Journal system was attractive because it was simple and flexible.  I could use any journal and could get as creative as I wanted or keep it as simple as I wanted.  I confess…  I have an obsession with office supplies.  I had an entire drawer of brand new journals, so I just picked the one on top and got started.  I took a spin through Pinterest for inspiration and spent the next three months experimenting.  Because the Bullet Journal system is so flexible, you can start a new journal any time you like, which made changing journals or tools very simple.  It took me about 6 months to really develop a style and tools that worked for me, but now that I have, my Bullet Journal is helping me stay focused on my goals.
Many people who use the Bullet Journal system prefer to use the notebook designed for Bullet Journaling.  Many also prefer the classic Moleskin line of notebooks.  For me, I wanted a notebook with some of my favorite things about other planners.  I loved that the Emergent Task Planner was spiral bound.  I could lay it flat and view two pages or easily flip to lay flat on one page.  I loved using engineering paper, because it was squared and made it was easy to create grids.  I’m not a fan of spending $30 on a journal or a notebook.  I live on a farm and have horses, dogs, and a cat.  Things get destroyed, spilled on, etc. on a regular basis.  My last notebook was eaten by our puppy.  Yes, eaten!  So…  I settled on the Miliko Transparent Hardcover A5 Spiral Notebook, which sells in a 2-pack on Amazon for $12.99.
I have a few must-have tools, which include a ruler, Sharpie pens, and page tabs.  I use all the basic pages for a Bullet Journal (index, future log, monthly logs, and daily logs).  For a few months, I went down a rabbit hole on Pinterest and went a little nuts with the creativity, but in the end, I settled on the pages I needed and a level of creativity I’m comfortable with.  I have a monthly habit tracker, brainstorming lists for blog entries and books I’d like to read, a 2017 calendar, 30-day challenge trackers, expense logs, a gratitude list, and a Bible study tracker.  I also take notes here and there for work or writing.  Since there’s no set format, my Bullet Journal adjusts from month to month as I need it to.
As usual, I didn’t make useless New Year’s Resolutions, but I did start January with a fresh habit tracker.  One of the big things I need to tackle this month is a sugar detox!  I gave in one too many times to the seasonal sweets at Dollar General and need to get back on the healthy train.  🙂  I always re-order my monthly habit tracker in order of the habits that are the highest priority, so my top two are always Bible study and prayer.  The next 3 tasks for January 2017 are all about diet and exercise.  I’m looking forward to the days getting longer and my behind getting smaller.
If you’re interested in Bullet Journaling, I highly recommend starting with the Bullet Journal videos.  I also recommend checking out my friend Hillary Yeager’s BuJo series.  She’s much more creative than I am!
Hope you’re having a wonderful new year!

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