Bullet Journal Frequently Asked Questions

My favorite conversations to have revolve around the following topics (in no particular order):

  • Bullet Journals
  • Superhero Television
  • Local Trail Running

Lately – I’ve been having a LOT of bullet journal conversations and each of them MAKES ME SO HAPPY. It’s like the first time I wrote on my blog about loving Harry Potter. SO MANY people popped up and said, “Me too! Grown-up Potterheads Unite!” I felt so validated in my obsession knowing there were others out there…JUST LIKE ME.

But, it occurred to me that maybe there are some holes in my bullet journal information pages on this blog. So! Here are some of the questions I get asked the most.

What do you do about upcoming dates/appointments?
The basic idea of the bullet journal is a one-day-at-a-time type of approach so that you can create 5 pages on that day (although you may not put any of them on your index page) or just use half of a page. But – obviously – we plan our lives more than one day at a time. So, I organize my future in two ways. I always have an active “MONTHLY” page going.

Some people like the grid, some people like the list, I like both.

And then I also keep a “Future Dates” page going for upcoming scheduling NOT on the current month.

But – here’s the thing: I actually start my NEXT month page while I’m still in the current month. Usually, once I start needing to put things for the next month on the “future dates” page? I create the monthly page for that month. And while it’s peppered in between daily pages for the current month which might make some people crazy, I don’t mind because I tab it so it’s easy to find.

What pages do you tab?

I tab pages I’ll consult regularly. Like the monthly pages or sports schedules or library volunteer days. BUT…here’s my trick. I put the tabs for the MONTHLY pages along the top edge and I put the tabs for everything else along the side edge, makes it a bit easier to grab the monthly pages since I consult those the most often.

What pages do you index?

Pages I might need to consult at any point in the future. My daily task list? Not so much. If, during my day, I need to make a list of something I’ll need in the future? I’ll usually make a new page. Like, yesterday I thought about keeping up with TV shows I want to watch some day so if I’m in the mood for a marathon-binge-watching session. So…I started a page: TV SHOWS TO SOMEDAY BINGEWATCH. That page? Will go in the index. But my grocery list from yesterday? Will not.

How do you deal with work appointments and tasks?

This one is tricky because it’s SO personal. Every job is so different. Some days, I can put my “work” task list on the bottom half of my page. But one day last week were were doing an inventory and I was cleaning/moving digital properties around some of our hosting setups and I used FIVE PAGES for that day. And some of those pages go in my index. All work pages get highlighted in my index so I can see them easier when I’m looking for something.

But my job doesn’t involve a lot of appointments/meetings. If you have a lot of meetings you schedule for your job? You may need to work on a “Weekly Meeting” type page or something so you can schedule specific hours. That’s one area I haven’t needed to fine-tune in my bullet journal use. I know some friends who keep a separate bullet journal at their desk at work, which sounds like it could be effective depending on your job.

What If I make mistakes?

YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. Part of why I had such a planner habit before was that, once I felt like I messed up something in my planner, I felt the need to buy a new one. Because I can live with dirty bathtubs and baseboards, BUT GOD FORBID MY CALENDAR HAVE A MISTAKE ON IT.

It has been therapeutic to learn to embrace the mistakes. It’s nice to flip back and see them now. But..also – with the bullet journal? Pages don’t ever get seen again if you don’t want them too. If it’s not indexed? IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. So, if it’s a list you’ll consult? Just re-do it and index the pretty one!

Some days I don’t want to cross out or scribble or re-do. SO! I’ve come up with some really good “cover-ups” for mistakes.

  • Tape some precious art from your kids over that page. You’re keeping their art and your hiding your screw up.
  • Washi tape and stickers! You have no idea how many pieces of washi tape in my bullet journal are actually hiding screw-ups I want to conceal.
  • Color over it with a Doodle!
  • Tape in a To-Go menu from one of your favorite places and use that as an excuse to call-in dinner.

Are there any other questions you’ve had I’m not answering?

    Social(ly Awkward):

6 thoughts on “Bullet Journal Frequently Asked Questions

  • January 6, 2015 at 5:48 am
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    So, I’ve brought 2 co-workers to the dark side of bullet journaling with me. One of them decorates his days and draws in his journal and uses it for other things than work, and he loves to share his random doodles and ideas with me. The other one? Black bullet points with nothing non-work related in it. Ever. And while I find it incredibly boring, I also respect that that is his way of documenting.
    I’ve found a lot of info about the Midori Travelers Notebook style of bulleting, and I’m fascinated with this, as it enables the creation of collection and calendar notebooks that you use along side of the standard journal, so you don’t have to transfer as much into the new journal. But I’ve not decided if I want to try that out or not, why try to fix what ain’t broke, ya know?

    I adore your bullet journal updates, and have sent people to your site for information about how to create one that works for you, and I appreciate all your candor and wit in regards to what does and doesn’t work. Your statement above about dirty bathtubs and mistakes in your calendar made me guffaw. Out loud. At work. So, thanks for that 🙂

    Reply
  • January 6, 2015 at 10:09 am
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    I just wanted to thank you for all the bullet journal information you’ve been sharing & especially for the calendar pages! I find your info a lot more helpful than even the original bullet journal website because yours is a lot more creative and pretty! A lot of my twitter friends started bullet journaling last year and a few more have picked it up in the new year. I didn’t think it would be for me because I keep track of everything on my iPhone but I have to use several apps to do it and you know what my iPhone doesn’t have? A washi tape app. I’ve been looking for excuses to buy washi tape for like a year and now I finally have one! I ordered a pretty magenta gridded Moleskine on Amazon (arriving today!) and bought some of the colored Sharpie pens and & some washi tape & I’m going to get some index tabs! I can’t wait to get started!

    Reply
  • January 6, 2015 at 11:59 am
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    I have started a bullet journal of sorts and I always consult your posts for ideas. The awesome thing about the bullet journal is that YOU make it what YOU need it to be. No two people will have the same set up. I still have to have a large monthly calendar in my kitchen for quick glances but I use my BJ for those dates as well as lists, notes and other things I might need to jot down for later use.

    Reply
  • January 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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    Now that I’m actually doing this … I kind of want to talk about it all the time too! I made a dumb-dumb mistake and somehow ordered a PLAIN moleskine instead of a ruled one, so now my monthly list (for January, anyway) is all facacta. It’s all uneven and NOT PRETTY. My question is: can you think of a way to help me make my lines of text (somewhat) neat when there’s no lines to help me? I don’t want to have to buy a new journal just yet!

    Reply
    • January 7, 2015 at 5:54 am
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      Fraulein,
      You can always hold a piece of lined paper behind the one you’re writing on. Molekine.com also has templates for the same sort of thing.

      Rosean

      Reply
      • January 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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        Thanks! I knew there was a simple solution my brain wasn’t coming up with.

        Reply

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