Bullet Journal – one year later

It came to my attention that I starting using a Bullet Journal, this time last year! That is pretty amazing by my standards!

You may ask what is a Bullet Journal, the best place to find out is the man who created it! Ryder Carroll, at BulletJournal.com, that’s where I started! There are so many sites that will show you how to set up a Bullet Journal (Bujo), pretty soon you will be searching Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and then you will get depressed and say “well I can’t make mine that pretty, so why bother!”

Ignore that thought and do it!

There are many reasons to start a Bujo, I needed to combine my day planner, travel planner, journal, multiple notebooks full of to-do lists and I am not very good at keeping these on my phone or tablet. I came across it trying to find a planning tool to help my crazy lists! The Bujo is cool! I also like that it is a work in progress, adaptable to you and what you need.

My first Bujo

The biggest thing for most people, initially, is what book to use? Some sites recommend a moleskin, some the Leuchtturm1917, as you can see I used whatever I had available! My first bujo was the journal I was about half way through, so instead of buying a new one I just folded the page and off I went! I would say that using any notebook can lead to some paper related issues! For example, my first had really thin paper that bled through if I used anything more than a roller ball or pencil crayons! One thing I wish I had in both my first and my current – are page numbers, I am forever forgetting to number my pages then I number them wrong and have to cross things out!

My current Bujo

My second bujo was one of two journals I won at a raffle, better quality paper, but they have a Mitsubishi Logo – easy solve – I covered it was a printed image and some sticky back plastic left over from school! I later added lace stickers because I had them and they looked pretty! Again the paper is not ideal for felt pens but it will take gel pens! Which opened up a whole new colour fantasy for me.  I have one more of these red journals then I get to use a fancier one that was a present from my wonderful mum! SO paper weight and quality is something to think about if you are shopping for a journal see Living Between the Lines for other hints!

What to include? This is totally up to you and entirely depends on what you need! But standard items are a yearly planner, monthly planner, weekly and or daily spreads.


For the yearly spread, I need simple, with space around it to make notes and use colours for long term planning e.g. of my masters’ modules! It can be any style, I started with a hand-drawn version over several pages – it didn’t work for me so when the year ended I found a nice one and printed it off. I realised that I was spending ages trying to find one on the web so next year I will stick to the yearly calendar that school will give me in September – that will have all the important dates on it! Yes, I am talking about school holidays!


Again for the monthly I started with a linear spread but that left only one line for each day and sometimes you need more space! So I changed to a simple box month and used stickers and colours to jazz it up! This also meant I could create a monthly calendar with Sunday to Monday as my work week during term time and change the week during the long summer holidays!

Weekly style 1

Some people use weeklies and dailies, I don’t! It doesn’t work for me, so what I use it a weekly spread, and then if I need space for journal writing I write it on the next page! To the left, you can see my first weekly spread. It includes my weekly todo’s, deadlines, notes, meal planning, a neat quote for inspiration and a tracker – more about those later! I used washi tape to attach everything and coloured pens, this added colour to my life and a bit of meditation while setting the week up on a Saturday night – the first day of my week is Sunday!

Weekly style 2

Later, I realised I was running out of time, so I changed my spread to the one on the right. While still a two-page spread, the week is only on one page! I used post-it notes for actual note taking which is great because as a teacher I have lots of post-its but it does make it hard to see your weekly plans! So this will be changing – when the term is over!

To track or not to track? I was using daily trackers to track things like sleep, water intake, chores, homework, university work, socialising and TV/hobby time. In January I bought myself a Fitbit, which I love but the app now tracks all the things that are important, my TV is broken and my weekly schedule tracks my university homework! So that is no longer on my page. I never liked the full page trackers. They seemed so time-consuming – my opinion! I do have a monthly money tracker page and an IOU tracking page, which I enter into my index so I can track things over the year!

imageThe Index! I started as I think everyone does, leaving two pages at the front for the index – help me to find all my stuff! But I read an interesting article  (will insert a link when I remember
about putting it at the back – light bulb! Then you never run out of pages! Not that I have actually run out of index pages, but I have started adding more collections to my Bujo and I have started using my Bujo for blog planning and creative writing planning – two things that most assuredly will add pages to my index fast!

Below are a few page ideas that I used that are cool – I will reuse most of them but I watch too many TV series for the Series Tracker to work well, particularly as I find new series every week.

A few pages to check out! Sublime Reflection, Page Flutter, Boho Berry, Creative Savings, Life Hacker, Lazy Genius Collection



What did you do this year?

That is THE question this week! For some it’s something simple like have a baby – ok I know it’s not that simple – or paint a room in the house. Perhaps it was going to the gym more! What ever it was this week is when you take stock of your year and figure out how to make next year better!

Hmmmm…. Here is what I did in 2014: 


Ok, so how do I top that?

Maybe doing more is not the question, rather doing something of equal value. I mean, everyone has a list of place and things they want to do. So as long as you are working your list (I am a prolific list writer!) and trying to achieve more, to reach beyond your comfort zone then you are a winner! Cheesy I know but it’s true!

Ps. The above list was completed with a full time job!

Work – life balance

  Everyone yells: work – life balance!

You must do it this way, no do it that way! I have tried several different way to organise my life better.

20141024_055830Lists – Easier way to organise the day, write everything on it and get stressed because you haven’t done half the list by the end of the day. I am a great list writer but also a great procrastinator. So I just put it off till tomorrow.20141024_060726

Franklin Covey Lists – List everything of the day/ week then label each item A for must get done today. B for should get done today but end of the weekend is good. C for anything that could get done today but in two weeks is fine too. This allows you to cross of small things that you do while doing others and gives you a much shorter list that must get done. I got this out of Franklin Covey’s “Time and life management” book and use it all the time even if I don’t letter or number the items. This is really good for deadlines and to fit into your day.

20141024_060311The Wheel of life – An old boss introduced me to this when I was stressed out that I wasn’t doing any of the things I really enjoy doing. The method is simple and allows you to see which area of your life you need to work on. I either choose 6 – 8 segments as it covers most of the topics I am interested in e.g. work/ career, healthy eating, exercise, hobbies and creative. Then you simple colour the wedges up to to how happy or how much time you spend on each. Really good to see what you need to spend more time doing but not so good for planning your week.

In my adult life I have tried many different ways to get the perfect work life balance.

I have discovered:

If you are happy then your work life balance is good.

So what if you work all the time! Are you happy?

Yes – great, No – fix it!

You like to do things on your own and don’t socialise much, are YOU happy?

Yes? Then it is working!

You play hard and hate your job – then you are in the wrong job.

Work is fine, life is expensive, the weather sucks? Try a new city!

I did and I am enjoying my life!

My advice to anyone who struggles with this, we all do at some stage or another, if figure out what it is you want to do more of and make small changes toward being happy.

What about the work – life – exercise balance? You ask.

Don’t ask me – I am still figuring that out!