Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
I am a mum of three, I work full-time – and work away a lot, I am a part-time student, and I have a couple of hobbies like blogging, and getting to the theatre. Being organised is essential, being organised using lots of gorgeous stationery keeps life in perfect balance. Adopting a bullet journal into my armoury has made the world a better place.
My love of stationery has been a long one, I love committing pen to paper.
Whilst I have all the technology I need- phones, tablets, and laptops for a key component of my life, I revert to pen and paper as my preference. From acknowledgement at work that should anything go wrong it is my notebook which should be retrieved, to university assignments typed after reviewing scrawled notes and diagrams.
Planning keeps my world going around. And it seems as I get older, I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I have tried far too many planners. Wasted some as they didn’t work for me. In August I started a bullet journal, and I haven’t looked at another planner since.The best bit about deciding to create a bullet journal is that you get to create something that suits you. I have had a long relationship with A5 Grid and Dotted notebooks, perfect for a bullet journal.
At the moment, my favourite brand is Leuchtturm 1917, but I’m not committed. I love shopping around. I used to be a Moleskine fan, but that ran its course. I’m now using a Lanybook for work, Herlite as a bullet journal, and Sigel for university.
Having a love for a brand is good, but it’s always fun shopping for a bargain. I love browsing around TK Maxx or Homesense for stationery. Just because you’ll find a bargain, or something you never knew you needed.
My Sigel notebook is evidence of a bargain, the Eccolo metallic binder clip is what I didn’t know I needed. I love clipping back content that I don’t need to look back on. These clips were 8 for £4.99, which I think is reasonable, they’re a bit wider than my usual binder clips, and I think a lot more stylish.Another place to stock up on essential bullet journal goodies is Paperchase. My recent “I’ve got five minutes to spare before my train” visit was badly timed with their new season. I love the copper binder clips and paper clips, and who can resist postcards. It’s another great part of the bullet journal, you can easily update the look by a change of postcard.
Washi-tape is a great addition to my journal for livening it up. I washi-tape the edges of the notepaper by month, it means I can quickly flick to the part of the journal I want to refer. And it’s an excuse to stock up on washi-tape which can never be a bad thing.
Then there’s the perfect pen. Paperchase has a fantastic choice, I love Uniball eye pens, especially the range of colours you can find.For the ultimate treat where stationery is concerned, a trip to John Lewis always steps up to the mark. This Kate Spade Tackle Box was a must-have to motivate me into planning my next assignment. It is complete luxury, but a thing of beauty on my desk, and yes, it has everything any bullet journal addict will need.So, in terms of keeping in check using a bullet journal, my top tips would be:
Set aside a few pages at the start of your notebook, for knowns and unknowns. I had a few pages but I’ve already run out. You can use them for a note of birthdays, Instagram tags, annual expenditure, meal ideas, dates for the year (insurance renewals, MOTs, INSET days, assignment deadlines). The one thing which is more difficult about a bullet journal is you’re only really planning a month in advance so it makes sense to have annual dates. I use an outlook diary for my scheduling alongside the journal.TWO
I start each month with my priorities my to-do list, key dates, and a record my monthly blog stats to see how I am doing. This helps with a sense of achievement- knowing no matter how many little things I haven’t managed to do, that I might have managed to do the big things.
I also have an overview for each month, replicating my outlook diary as a month to view. I map everything onto this: work stuff, family stuff, blog stuff, uni stuff, friends stuff. Just everything. And it creates a sense of perspective. Sometimes it’s scary, and when it is, I’ll look at it and see what I can rejig. Whether my mum can help out, whether something can wait another week, or be brought forward. Sometimes it’s just about saying to Mr J: “I’m going to be stressed this week because I’ve got too many deadlines.”FOUR
Weekly lists offer an overview of what’s in store, I start with a week to-do list and then split the two pages into days. Sometimes I’ll meal plan, sometimes I also record what I’m eating. Mainly it’s just a mix of where I need to be and what needs to be done.
I’m not a purist in terms of coding, something’s get crossed out, something’s get done, other things are carried over- that’s as good as it gets.FIVE
Specific pages- these can be month specific, or priority specific. And some stay well organised, and other’s are a mess. And this is probably my favourite thing about the bullet journal, it’s completely personalised to you.
In September I was really blog focused, so I was taking a lot more time to plan my content and more structured during my time on-line. By October I was assignment planning, November was spent planning for Christmas, and December planning for a birthday party. Your life, your priorities:Keeping everything in one place, that whilst you might not be in control of what’s going on that you have a handle on it, just brings a better balance.
Are you a fan of bullet journals?
What are your top tips for keeping organised?