I’ve been planning to make my own planner for weeks now. I’ve already started to jot down forms that I personally need and came up with a minimalist design that can be printed out on a half-sized bond paper.
I was looking online for tips, design and any other forms I might need, when lo and behold, I came across Bullet Journaling on Pinterest. It was an awesome day.
Bullet Journal is a planner of some sort where you simply jot down all your tasks. notes or appointments on a day to day basis. If you have accomplished a task, simply tick it. If you haven’t place an arrow indicating that you have migrated the task for the next day. It’s really simple! I fell in love with the fact that I can just write down everything with no fuss and be able to review them everyday because my old ways — piles of to-do scratch papers just won’t do anymore.
To know more about Bullet Journaling visit this site: BulletJournal.com
As you can see below, I’ve already made an outline for my personal planner. I’ve recycled this and picked out the ones I will be needing in my Modified Bullet Journal. I will show you my pages later and how to use them.
The first thing you need to have is, of course, a notebook. It doesn’t matter what kind you prefer but I suggest buy something that has grids instead of just lines. I personally prefer this graphing notebook because it’s cheap and can be used exactly the same way as you might use a Moleskine notebook that’s three times its price. Again, it’s your choice.
The second thing you must have is your favorite pen. I use Pilot G-tech .3 especially delivered from Manila. I like thin pens and since I can’t find one here, I imported it from the Philippines. ♥ It’s perfect with my graphing notebook because I need a thin pen for the small boxes. When you have these two, you are all set. The next ones on the list are optional.
Colored pens – To make your life colorful
Highlighters – To make important tasks stand out
Ruler – If you suck at making straight lines like me.
Ribbon – As a bookmark
This is the notebook I found on a supplies store near Satwa Bus Station. It has a hard plastic covering instead of cardboard. I love it!
Spiral Notebook — 22 AED
Ruler — 2 AED
FineLiner 12 Pcs — 12 AED
Highlighter 3 Pcs — 5 AED
Total Spent: 41 AED
If you’ve found cheaper supplies, good for you! Comment below and share where you found them. ☺
The first page would have been the Index. I don’t think I’ll be using that much though. It’s like a table of contents so when you’ve already filled your notebook and wanted to reminisce the year 2015, you’ll know where to find that one entry you made about a recipe you’ve perfected.
The second page on my Bullet Journal is the Legend. It is where you can write the symbols you’ll be using on your notebook.
- Square – For tasks. Fill it completely for completed tasks and half-way for unfinished tasks. — Captain obvious. When you were not able to accomplish the task for that day, simply place an arrow inside the box, pointing to the right. This means, you have migrated the task to be completed the next day. If the task became irrelevant to your life, simply cancel out its existence with a strike-through
- Circle – Events that happened or will happen. Like for example, you cooked Lasagna for lunch. Your dog got pregnant. You slept 13 hours — Rock on!
- Triangle – for appointments you need to schedule, usually paired with an arrow pointing to the left accompanied with the date you have set for it
- Heart – For quotations, just because.
- Dot – For side notes I need to remember, comments I have with things and the like.
- Exclamation Points – For important tasks I need to complete first
- @ sign – For tasks I need an internet/computer to accomplish
The beauty of Bullet Journal is that you can come up with any format or legend you want. If you can draw little icons for each then do so. If you want something as simple as a dot, you’re free to do it. What matters is that your legend will work for you and it will fit your needs for your Journal.
This is the cheat sheet I made so I don’t have to count boxes every time I start a new month or year. If your notebook has 42 boxes vertically and 27 boxes horizontally then my measurements will work for you!☺
This is when I was outlining my monthly calendar. It’s easy to zone out when doing repetitive tasks so make sure you have markings that your eyes can follow when your subconscious mind starts to wander.
Making my calendar for the month of August.
You can buy or print out tabs for you pages but I personally don’t like it when tabs eventually fold and curl at the sides so I came up with a permanent page bookmark. I cut these colored cardboard papers from a magazine I had been keeping for months. Now I know why I can’t throw it away. You can see them in action on the next photos.
Year at a glance page for birthdays, special events you need to remember for the whole year. You can put it on two pages, 6 months for each. I crammed it on one page since it’s almost the end of the year and there’s nothing there for the first six months anymore.
The first thing I will see every month is the Monthly Calendar. I only added this feature on my Modified Bullet Journal because I need to see my monthly work schedule and off days. I also need to see my schedule lessons and tasks ( the colored text on top) as corresponding boxes on a certain date so I would now what’s scheduled on that day and how many tasks I’ve already missed.
After the Monthly Calendar is the Future Log. This is where I write down recurring tasks or tasks that I don’t need to finish on a certain date or month. Just a task I need to do in general. Also, as a principle, Bullet Journals cannot be made in advance. You make it on a day to day basis to review your accomplishments, so, I placed here on the Future Log my appointments that I need to schedule on the upcoming months that I have not made yet. I also placed here things I need to review or make before I start a new month.
After the Future Log is the daily task page. I’ve added reminders on the top of each day as a short summary of the things I am monitoring. Example is the blue boxes that I fill out every 250 ml of fluids. Yep, I’m that kind of person. Because I rarely drink water I need a visual reminder. There’s also a box there for menstruation monitoring, sleep, meals, exercise and money spent that day.
Another think I can’t make myself to throw away. This ribbon was from 2013 and now I know why I’ve been keeping it. ☺
You can see on the other page that I didn’t use it as a task page. That’s another beauty of Bullet Journal. It’s basically a notebook that you build everyday so if you need to jot down something in relation to your tasks at hand, just turn the page and your notes will be there.
These are the other pages I made. They are written at the back of the notebook and will expand from back to front as necessary.
Password Page – I have a memory of a goldfish, that’s why.
Savings Page – On the X-axis are the months which I started from June 2015 – November 2016). On the Y-axis is the list of things I need to save on.
X – Null months. No need to save.
Double Line – Deadline for saving.
Shaded Boxes – Months where I had successfully saved.
Expenses Page – Where I will put my big expenses and why I purchased them. I made this to show myself if these expenses are really important and how I can cut them if necessary.
My 21 Days Page. It takes 21 days for habit to form so I made this to track new habits I want to inculcate in my life. ☺ I’m so excited to try it out and the same time afraid that I might have a permanent visual representation of my failures. Hah!
That’s my Modified Bullet Journal. It’s been 3 days and I’m still ecstatic about it! I open it every morning when I get home from work and every night to prepare for my next day. I’ve never been so organized in my life. It helps me balance my time and days and help me track not only my schedule but my health and my holistic well being.
I hope you also have fun making your Bullet Journal (and sticking to it!)
Comment below if you have questions or suggestions to out fellow starting Bullet Journalists. Happy planning! ☺