The bullet journal is a fantastic organisation and productivity system; it really changed how I organise my day and skyrocketed my productivity. I briefly left it for the Filofax in 2018, which really didn’t work out, so I went back to my beloved bullet journal in 2019.
Why I love the Bullet Journal
The bullet journal is such a customisable organisation system that you can’t really go wrong with it. You can use any notebook in any size and it will still work. There’s no need to make it artistic to make it work for you – although I and many others enjoy doing so. It’s basically an organiser-diary-journal-todo list-sketchbook-notebook all rolled into one.
My Bullet Journal Set Up
Personally, I use a traveler’s notebook system to keep my main bullet journal together with two thin notebooks. Right now I’m using a Rhodia Goalbook, a black Moleskine cahier and another random notebook; the Moleskine cahier – one of the only thin notebooks which I could find which also comes in dotted layout – is used as a separate notebook for collections. The other one just as a random brain dump for notes and anything else which comes to mind. I got the traveler’s notebook from Elrohir’s leather on Etsy quite a few years back and had it custom made with a design I specifically requested, so it’s really unique.
My main notebook is a Rhodia Goalbook in Daffodil Yellow. Note: the color looked much yellower on the website but it’s actually a sort of orangey-yellow shade. The paper in this notebook is Clairefontaine and FANTASTIC. It’s just so smooth and almost entirely immune to ghosting. I don’t really see myself using anything else in the future unless other brands upgrade to paper this good. To be fair, I’ve never used the global favorite Leuchtturm 1917 because I like softcovers, so I only have the Moleskine Dotted Large to compare to (awful paper but very portable).
The Rhodia Goalbook comes with 6 pre-printed index pages, which are great and definitely enough. After that there’s a built in yearly calendar (which I only use as a quick-glance blog planner) and a future log. I actually like the pre-printed features, saves time and I would have done them the same way anyway.
The first “real” pages in my bullet journal are dedicated to my 2019 goals. The year has just started (yes, I know January is nearly over…ahem) so I haven’t added in the goal tracking system but I’ll do that soon and share it here. In the meantime, here’s my 2019 goals spread which I really really enjoyed drawing out and hopefully will be a great guide for the year too come. I still haven’t decided whether to add colour or not.
Monthly and Daily Planning
Monthly and daily planning are the heart of my bullet journal; I don’t however, do weekly spreads, as I don’t know how much space I’ll need for each day and to me it kind of defeats the purpose of the bullet journal. I like to draw my monthly spreads and make them a bit artistic. On the other hand, I tend to keep my daily spread simple.
Right now I really like my January monthly spread; I experimented with it quite a bit in the past and found that boxes don’t work for me. I need to be able to distinguish between morning, afternoon and evening tasks. So, right now, my monthly has a space for morning, afternoons and evenings, as well as a small weekly space. Then there’s another small space for my January goals/tasks and for my Wishlist. I also managed to incorporate a habit tracker in the space I had left.
My daily spread, on the other hand, is pretty simple; I color code my tasks and use a few icons (mostly laundry and grocery shopping) but that’s about it. The key for my tasks is at the end of my bullet journal.
I love bullet journal collections! They are a super fun way to track important areas of your life and can be as simple or as artistic as you like.
As I mentioned previously, I have a large Moleskine Cahier (40 sheets/80 pages) completely and solely dedicated to my collections. I wanted something that would last more than a year in order to avoid redrawing out certain collections, but still small enough to fit in my traveler’s notebook without adding bulk. This one was the only readily available dotted notebook I could find with not that many pages. The most important “long term” collections are in this journal, such as books and movies.
I think Collections deserve a separate post; I’ll make sure to show you everything that’s in my collections journal soon…here’s a preview! Unfortunately, the paper in the Moleskine Cahier is absolutely awful and this particularly shows in a few of the pages; there is A LOT of ghosting.
Does this mean that I eliminated collections from my main bullet journal? No, but I did make them much simpler and/or different. For example, I don’t have a Books to Read page in my main bullet journal; instead, I have the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge. I do have a Movies to Watch page, but it’s just super simple in list form and not as artistic as the one I have in my collections journal. Other collections I have in my main journal include TV Series, Concerts and Shows, Favourite Songs in 2019, Restaurants to Try, a Wishlist and Date Nights. I also have a mood tracker and a very quick gratitude journal. I’m not particularly fond of either but thought I’d try them for the month.
As you can see, there is much less ghosting with the lovely paper in the Rhodia. In particular, take a look at the Wishlist spread in my collections journal compared to the one in the Rhodia Goalbook. It’s the same spread but you can really tell that the paper is completely different. Almoat any pen shows through the Moleskine paper (70 gsm paper) – or at least any pen I like! The Rhodia, on the other hand (90 gsm paper), handles ghosting much better.
One particularly cute spread which I’m really enjoying is the Tidy Jar vs. the Messy Jar. I’m not sure if this one qualifies as a collection, but I really love it. One of my goals is to be tidier in 2019; I’m a really messy person unfortunately, so I came up with this tracking system. It’s really simple: on the days I’m tidy, I get a ball in the tidy jar. On the days I pretty much suck at being tidy I get a spiky ball in the messy jar. My goal is simply to fill the tidy jar more than the messy jar by the end of the year; it would mean that my year was at least a 51% tidy year…good enough, making progress! This spread is only in my main journal.
Another spread in my main journal which I’m really liking so far is the Lost and Found. Being messy, I lose stuff all the time. In this spread I have a space to note when I noticed I lost whatever I lost and when I found it or bought it again. I think this will be super useful because I’m always losing stuff and finding it again after months.
At the back of my main journal I’m thinking of adding a meals related spread with space for a shopping list; I do have a monthly meal planning spread for January but I’m not particularly liking it right now. At the back I also have another simple spread I really love: When Did I Last. This is actually turning out to be really useful because I always find myself wondering when I last did something. This way I just write it down and check the spread about once a week or so.
So that’s pretty much it for my Bujo setup for 2019! Hopefully you enjoyed it and I’ll be sure to post as I add pages.