One of my favorite parts about a new year is starting a new planner. This year is no different!
For years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with planners. When I was in high school and college I used planners to keep track of homework, practice, life, etc. but when I graduated I couldn’t find a system or planner that worked with me. That is, until I discovered the bullet journal last year.
I started using the bullet journal and loved it but got overwhelmed by the layouts, creative spreads, and colorful drawings and started spending hours setting up weekly layouts that looked great but never got used like I wanted to. I wanted to track habits and make unique spreads that looked beautiful but couldn’t actually follow through every day with using it. Then I bought a happy planner and didn’t like that system as much as I wanted to, even though it was beautiful and had pretty flowers everywhere.
So last month I decided to re-try the bullet journal-this time with a more minimalist (and realistic) approach.
If you’re looking for fancy spreads and creative drawings this probably isn’t the place for you, but if you, too, need a planner that is flexible and easy to use and some ideas for how to get it set up, keep reading. 🙂
If you’re not familiar with the bullet journal, check out the bullet journal website and watch the video.
What you’ll need: a notebook (literally any old notebook) and your favorite writing tool.
My notebook of choice (along with about a million other bullet journal lovers) is the Leuchtturm1917 A5 dotted notebook. I got mine on amazon for around $20. The dotted version is great because it gives you guidelines if you want to draw a straight line but light enough that it gives you enough space for creativity. I’ve been using the Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (found at Michael’s Craft Store) and good ol’ Crayola Supertips. I also use sticky notes and a ruler (for all those straight lines).
The first thing I like to do is use sticky notes to outline where I want everything to be before I lay it down in pen. This worked out great because I reorganized and added/dropped some pages.
The first page in my bullet journal is the key. There’s a lot of variations on this but I wanted to keep it super simple.
The next section is the future log. This is where I’ll keep holidays, birthdays, and important dates that I need to keep track of.
The next pages are my 2018 goals and a list of books I want to read. I think goal setting is very important and one of my many goals is to read more books in the new year. (please send all book recommendations my way!)
My next spread is where I plan to keep a list of blog post ideas. I’ve had a list going in my phone but I wanted to put it down on paper so that I get the satisfaction of crossing them off my list. Is it just me or does crossing something off (or putting a check mark next to it) waaaayyyyy better than deleting it from a note?
Up next is my food spread (because this girl loves a good meal). I usually get caught in a rut when planning meals and end up cooking the same 5-7 meals over and over until I get bored. So I am going to compile lists of dinner ideas so I don’t have to spend 4 hours on Pinterest browsing dinner ideas until I end up running out of time and picking up Chick Fil A. I also added a place to put in a grocery list as well because that is another area that I lack creativity with.
The last spread is my monthly spread. The what’s happening page is where I’m going to list things coming up that month. I’ll add everything from that month’s future log and everything that comes up throughout the month. Since I’ll be doing my weekly/daily spreads one day at a time, I’ll need a place to keep track of things coming up so that I don’t forget about important things.
Well, that’s it for my current set up!
Another one of my goals for 2018 is to use my planner more often to keep my days organized and keep my goals on track. Do you use a planner? What kind are you partial to?