Bullet Journal News

(If you missed it, I popped in on Sunday to just throw in my support for being “politically correct” because it seems that term has gotten a bad wrap rap lately and I think it’s because people are using it incorrectly.)

BulletJournal-002

Let’s talk some Bullet Journal news! First – I switched to the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook because 219 people have suggested them and they make one that has dotted pages, but a hard cover, something Moleskin doesn’t offer.

BulletJournal-016

BulletJournal-015

I didn’t switch as early as I should have because the journal – as you can see above – is a bit wider than the Moleskin. This meant I had to give up my Rickshaw folio that I loved so much. BUT! I still had my old Fossil Kindle cover that I was using before the Rickshaw folio and it works. BARELY. I can’t use the pen holder in the middle, but it closes and that’s all that matters. I’m a little worried that this volume being a different size from the others might make me a little crazy when seeing it on my shelf, but Dad’s notebooks switched over the years and I kinda like that about my collection of his, so I’m trying to be less-OCD about it.

BulletJournal-007

BulletJournal-009

The first thing that is awesome about the Leuchtturm (besides the face that it comes in a hard cover with dotted pages) is that it already has an index page and page numbers so you don’t have to do those yourself. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this, but now that I’ve been using it awhile? I LOVE IT.

BulletJournal-013

My second concern was the page weight. Since I like to doodle in my notebooks (although not as much now that I don’t sit in a carpool line every day) I needed to know the ink from my favorite pens wouldn’t bleed through and as you can see from the photo above, they don’t. They still make the back of that page unusable, but that’s okay since I don’t like using the backs of pages for more than taping papers anyway.

BulletJournal-006

I’m still doing my monthly pages the same way, even those the printouts are just a tad smaller on the page than in my moleskin. This actually makes putting them in a little easier as I have more room for taping and I don’t have to be quite as precise as there’s more wiggle room.

BulletJournal-005

This job that I’ve had since Spring warrants it’s own workflow that I manage outside of the bullet journal. That means I don’t use as many pages per day as I’m not constantly jotting down notes/project guides from work. Typically I start a Monday like you see above and just use that page for the whole week. Until it looks like this:

BulletJournal-004

That picture above is so telling about my life. I always start a Monday clean and organized by then all hell breaks losing and I’m just cramming shopping lists in the corner of pages.

I want to talk more about how I’ve been continuiing to use my bullet journal as a scrapbook of memories/kid’s drawings/etc but I think that will warrant an entire entry on it’s own. Instead, I’ll wrap this entry up showing you a comparison of the my favorite pen (Pentel EnerGel 0.7 Metal Tip) with my new 2nd pace pen (Unibal Signo 307). I actually really like the smoothness of the Signo better as it writes, but it smears a little more (as you can see) and so far it only comes in Black and Blue. If you scroll back up though you’ll see it does less damage to the OTHER side of the page, so if they start making this one in more colors I may have to move it to the top spot!

 

BulletJournal-010 BulletJournal-011 BulletJournal-012

What about you? Any bullet journal news in your life?

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?

Bullet Journaling: The Bare Essentials

Bullet Journaling: The Bare Essentials

A few people recently asked me…I’m thinking about starting bullet journaling, but what are the minimum requirements?

I probably make bullet journals look INSANE with my bag of pens and my customized folio and my washi tape and stickers. But y’all? You don’t need ANY of that.

All you need is a blank journal and a writing utensil.

DSC_1565

I don’t suggest you start with a Moleskine Hardcover Ruled [Update: I now use the Leuchtturm A5 Dotted Hardcover instead of a Moleskine.] as that journal right there is $18 a pop. I did my first month+ with a $5 journal from Target just to A) Make sure I liked it and B) Get the hang of the basic system.

Once you have your journal and your writing utensil? Watch this video.

Then get going! Just use that video as a guideline. Other than the checkboxes and the index, I don’t use hardly any of his recommendations. When I watch the video now I laugh because he would probably HATE MY BULLET JOURNALS. But that’s the nice thing about this system, you can modify as you go. I fill up a notebook every 3’ish months so I get a clean slate to apply any new or different methods. And every volume so far is different. I change systems constantly to suit my needs, but that’s what I love about this system. It can easily change with you because you’re only framework is a blank notebook.

But seriously. That’s all you need to get started. Don’t be intimidated by my obnoxious personalization of the method nor my compulsion to cover EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WITH SOMETHING PRETTY AND COLORFUL! Your bullet journal can be just as wonderful sans washi tape and zendoodles. I promise you.

Bullet Journal Hack #4,765,222

How many times am I going to say, “Oh! Here’s something new I’m doing with my bullet journal!” I don’t know…maybe never? I’ve been using this method of organization for over a year now and I’m still modifying/improving it regularly.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that my bullet journal was an EXCELLENT place to store/document my children’s art work or school work. I think I started doing that with my second volume? The problem is, sometimes it’s just too big to put in the Moleskine. I’ve trimmed before, or folded over, but most of the things I think I’d like to save forever? Just don’t get put in because they’re on a standard size piece of paper and there’s really no way – without cutting – to put a standard size sheet of paper in my bullet journal.

A perfect example? This card Nikki made Donnie for his birthday.

IMG_3369

How fantastic is that? IT IS TOTALLY FANTASTIC. And before my bullet journal it would probably get thrown into the pile/box/folder of “Kid’s Art” and never seen again. But now! It can be stored in my bullet journal!

“But, Kim…How are you going to do that? IT IS TOO BIG!”

I know! But look at this genius idea that I had!

IMG_3726

BAM! I folded it up and stuck it in that tiny envelope! BOOM!

I know…I KNOW…I AM A GENIUS. You don’t need to tell me.

And y’all – I’ve learned over the last year that you can stick a lot of extra paper/tape in a Moleskine and that elastic strap will still hold it together. Now, since I have this folio for mine it doesn’t matter…but I’m not concerned about the pages become too thick. I’m more concerned about getting a big huge ego because I AM A DAMN GENIUS.

Carry on with your day, now. You’re welcome.

Dear Santa: A Bullet Journal Wishlist

I sat STRAIGHT up in bed at 2am this morning (last night?) and thought CRAP. Why didn’t I write a Gift Guide for the Bullet Journaler? And it’s a little late now to do a full-blown gift guide, but I couldn’t let the idea just fade into the hall of TOO LATE IDEAS forever. So, I’m at least doing my own personal wish list because it requires less research (I already know what I like!) and it doesn’t matter about being too late to order a lot of this stuff because I’m the one why buys my bullet journal supplies and there is NO DEADLINE EVER! (I stock up when it’s on sale. I have 2 moleskines and an un-open pack of pens and fabric tabs on my bookshelf right now.)

The Moleskine

DSC_1545

It’s no secret that I love the Moleskine itself. I’m banking on them never going out of business so that when I die in 50 years (I already have it marked on the calendar) my bullet journal archives will all line up neatly on a bookshelf. I get the standard 8 1/2 x 5 size and I prefer the hard cover…BUT…I just switched to the “dotted” pages and they don’t make those in hard cover yet! DAMMIT. So, I’m torn between choosing a hard cover lined or a soft cover dotted and I really think I’ll stick with the dotted pages. They give me a basic grid for my list and note pages, but they don’t interfere with my doodle pages.

DSC_1543

Speaking of the doodle pages…

The Pens

DSC_1548

These are my FAVORITE pens of ALL TIME: Pentel EnerGel Retractable Metal Tip 0.7mm. (I do NOT LIKE the Needle Tip. They scratch the paper too much!) They are a little slow to dry – but that is my only complaint. They don’t bleed through too bad since moleskine paper is high quality (except for on the doodle pages, I don’t even know of 100lb card stock would hold up on those pages) and they come in a variety of colors. At least at Target. Staples only has the boring color packs: Blue, Red, Green and Black. But Target has the AWESOME color packs with Aqua and Pink and Orange!

Stickers and Washi Tape

If you think about fine art, it really serves no “purpose” other than to elicit feelings to the observer. When purchasing art, you are purchasing those feelings. You want to trigger those feelings when you look at the art so you buy it and put it where you can see it.

This is how I feel about puffy owl stickers and washi tape.

While I do sometimes use the washi tape to hold things in my bullet journal, in reality it is there for the same reasons the stickers are there. THEY ARE PRETTY.

DSC_1544

DSC_1542

I just like adding those details to my pages. Especially pages I’m going to refer to often because it’s like walking down the hall and seeing that painting you purchased at your local art market: It makes you SMILE. And I like that. I will tell you I ordered this set after my friend sent me the link on Twitter and it will have mine AND Nikki’s names on it. Nordstrom had a set too but I waited too late to make sure it would arrive on time. MY BIRTHDAY IS IN JULY, FAMILY. I TURN 40…THAT IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A 40-YEAR OLD.

Fabric Tabs

DSC_1546

When I first started bullet journaling, Target sold these tabs in the scrapbook aisle. I bought them, I liked them, and then…OF COURSE..they stopped selling them. I used paper varieties for awhile but they just didn’t hold up to the beating I put my bullet journal through by carrying it EVERYWHERE I GO. I finally looked online and bought SEVERAL sets, and hopefully they’ll last me awhile. I’ll be honest – there’s a part of me that wants to buy ALL OF THEM FROM ALL OF THE WEBSITES. Because I’m kinda terrified they’re going to be discontinued. But…I’m trying to resist the urge. I have some backups for when the ones in my current stash run out, and I’m just keeping an eye on them. If they show up “out of stock” somewhere I may panic, but for now? I’m choosing to not act like these things are precious minerals.

The Folio

DSC_1540

I bought the Rickshaw Folio awhile back and reviewed it here. It doesn’t look like they sell the EXACT one I bought (which had a pocket for a smart phone) anymore – which is sad. But still – I highly recommend it. It’s a small business, made in happy “factory” in San Francisco. The type of business you WANT to support with your dollars. My only complaint is that I wish that I hadn’t chosen such a light color. It’s already FILTHY and I’m feeling pretty gross about it. I did choose the “waterproof” fabric so I’m guessing I could clean it pretty easily, I’m just too lazy to try.

What I’m Missing

The one thing I’m still in the market for regarding my bullet journal is a NEW PURSE. I have been carrying crossbody Fossil Key-Per bags for YEARS. I love them because they are fun patterns and they come in the coated fabric that I feel like holds up to my abuse relatively well. My current one is 3+ years old and is looking ROUGH. Parts of it are fraying and there are huge ink spots where pens have been left open. The problem with replacing it is two-fold. One? I’m not a fan of the current collection of the patterned Key-Per Crossbody. I’ve actually been watching that collection for over a year and every time they add/release new ones I just am not inspired. And if I’m going to pay $80 for a purse? I want to LOVE IT WITH ALL OF MY SOUL.

But the other problem is that my current purse is just a TAD too small for my bullet journal/folio and supplies. I don’t carry much in my purse. I have a small wallet. A small medicine pouch. But then there’s my folio/bullet journal AND my pen pouch which has all of my bullet journal supplies. I really can’t carry ALL of that at once. I have to leave the medicine pouch OR the pen pouch behind and THAT STRESSES ME OUT. So…without being 100% in love with the pattern, I’m definitely not going to get the same bag since it’s a hair too small.

OH MY GOD. REAL TIME BLOGGING PEOPLE. SO! I was just going to link to a KAVU bag I was considering. They’re big enough, they come in fun patterns, but they’re not that coated plastic which worries me. But..THEN…I found one one sale for $23 and I just had to buy it. HA! It’s not the PERFECT pattern and it’s not coated plastic but for that price? It’s worth a try! HA! I’ll report back later and let you know what I thought.

Any thing on your bullet journal wish list this year?

Notes On Another Bullet Journal Volume

(If you’re new to Bullet Journaling, may I direct you here?)

Volume 4 only ended up holding about 2 months since I started zendoodling in it. Unforunately, it wasn’t exactly 2 months so I put it on the shelf with about 8 blank pages still at the end and THIS MAKES ME VERY CRAZY. I don’t now why, but it does. BUT – not as crazy as it would have to start another volume on December 4th instead of December 1st.

Here’s a few notes on this volume.

  • I attempted keeping my daily pages separate from everything else by starting backwards and forwards at the same time (You would flip the book over for the other category) because this seemed interesting but it didn’t last long. I ended up duplicating all of the non-daily pages throughout the daily pages just because it was too annoying to keep flipping it. Great theory, didn’t work for me.
  • HOWEVER – this allowed me to pepper the pages I use from past journals throughout the daily pages which actually was much better in terms of tabbing. Usually I start a bullet journal and put all of the important pages in the beginning so that they’re there when I need them. Pages usually with information I consulted regularly from the past journal. Like my library volunteer schedule or project notes for work. BUT – that’s hard to tab since they’re all in the front of the new volume SO – I’m going to try to spread them out like I was forced to do with the last journal. Basically, I won’t transfer that page until the first time I need it, which means they should be spread out a bit – making it easier to tab them. (We will see how this experiment goes!)
  • I’m still loving using my bullet journal as a scrapbook with ticket stubs and kid’s drawing throughout it. I even handed it over to them once or twice to color on an actual page in the book itself. This will probably be what keeps me going with this method – the fact that it also allows me to preserve stuff from the kids which THEN allows me to throw other stuff away and not feel guilty! Win/Win!
  • I did find the lines a little distracting doing my doodles. I thought about switching to blank pages but NOT having lines for thinks like my calendar pages stressed me out. Luckily, I learned about DOTTED pages. They make moleskines with dots, so it’s more subtle than lines, but not completely free of guiding marks. Those pages are not bound in hard cover volumes, so we’ll see how I feel about a soft cover. I’ll report back on THAT experiment at the end of this volume!

The coolest thing about this has been that no two volumes have been exactly alike yet. I’m still working out ideas and methods so it makes them all unique and while I’m sure that won’t last forever, it is kinda neat to be able to test something out but if I hate it – I’ll know that I can ditch the idea on the next volume in 2-3 months. You can’t do that with daily planners. You’re stuck for the WHOLE YEAR which is why I always ended up using 3+ a year – trying to find the “perfect” one.

DSC_1500

Bring on Volume 5!

2015 Bullet Journal Pages Are Here!

I apologize for the break in the normal NaBloPoMo programming…feel free to move a long if you are not a bullet journaler. But – if you’re NOT a bullet journaler – maybe you should go here and read all about it.

photo (2)

Back by popular demand! I’ve got the FREE 2015 Monthly Bullet Journal Calendar pages ready to download!
(If you need December 2014, clickhere to download the PDF)

I tried selling these in an Etsy shop last year but various issues (including the Etsy fee which irritated me because my products were SO cheap so it felt irritating) I’m not doing that again. I’m just offering them here as a free download. I made a 12-page PDF document, one month for each page. I then compressed them into a .zip file so it wouldn’t tax my hosting so much on the download. I’m hoping this works! Enjoy

Click Here to download the compressed file for all of 2015 pages.

Rickshaw Bags Bullet Journal Folio Review

If you’re new to my life with Bullet Journals, read the first manifesto here and my addendum/change in technique here. Also – I have updated/prettier PDFs available for October/November/December here if you need calendar pages for your bullet journal.

folio2

My Rickshaw Bags folio came in for my bullet journal! I designed it myself – so don’t disregard it if you think it’s the ugliest thing on the planet. There are about a million different color combinations and several fabric types to choose from if you hate mine!

Screen shot 2014-09-17 at 4.11.15 AM

Long story short? I love it. I want 10 more of them. But since that’s silly I want to buy a bag from this company now. I just can’t decide which one I want. LOVE! TRUE LOVE!

Now…on to the details and the few minor complaints.

I will admit, I think my Fossil Kindle cover is prettier and sturdier as it’s that plastic covered canvas that Fossil makes a lot of their Keyper bags out of. Also, that cover is designed to protect a Kindle, not as much is needed to protect a Moleskin journal, no matter how priceless I think it is.

DSC_1443

BUT! I still think my Rickshaw Folio is pretty and sturdy! I’m just giving a thorough review here, people. Because I take my Bullet Journals very seriously. Compared to the cover I was using before? Not as pretty. Not as sturdy. But plenty pretty and sturdy to become the permanent home for my bullet journal.

Now the inside, on the other hand, is SO AWESOME and SOOOO MUCH BETTER!

folio1

Inside the front cover there’s a pocket for an ID if you need it – which I doubt I will because I carry my bullet journal in my purse with my wallet. BUT! There’s also a spot for your phone and 1 or 2 pens which is genius because sometimes I do carry my bullet journal to ball games or swim practices without my purse! Rickshaw makes another Folio without the smartphone pocket, but I chose this one just for the portability reason.

There’s also a zipper pouch where I put my stamps, but if you were carrying this as your ENTIRE “thing” (as opposed to inside a bigger thing, like a purse) I would expect you to be able to put money in that pouch. I’m glad it’s there because there are the rare times I’d like to carry my bullet journal but not my purse, but it’s not something I sought out.

folio3

On the back cover there’s a clear pouch where I’m putting my stickers. NOW – full disclosure. While some of the stickers are what I use in my bullet journal (like the owls) – most of the stickers are now things I carry to give small children at soccer practice. Since I had my owl/bullet journal stickers with me all the time, I became the sticker lady and kids came to me for stickers. So…I bought some Frozen and Avengers stickers to give the kids now. Because I don’t want to share my bullet journal stickers, evidently.

The Very Minor Cons

Can’t Use Moleskin Pocket – Because of how you slide the Moleskine into the folio, back cover in, you lose the easy access to the pocket that Moleskine puts on the back cover. Now…do I really think that’s going to be a problem since the folio has plenty of storage in it? No. But I wish there was a way to have used it the other way just to not make that pocket useless.

However, I’ve decided that I’ll put things in that pocket that I want to keep with the bullet journal forever. So I can take the journal out and put that stuff in if I want, and won’t really need access to it again. NO BIG DEAL!

Just Barely Big Enough (Or possibly NOT big enough) for a Full Journal With Tabs + Smartphone + Pens – I put a LOT of crap in my Moleskine. I use it partly as a scrapbook to document my life as much as I use it to create order in my life. So, when it gets close to being full, like my current Moleskin is now, it’s VERY FULL. I put my current (almost full) Moleskin in with the phone and the pens and could barely zip it. It’s not as wide as my Fossil one so the tabs are already a bit of a squeeze. I may try to limit the tabs to top/bottom where there’s plenty of room. Also, as it gets full, I’ll be less and less able to put pens and a phone in the pouch and still get it closed.

However, since I rarely carry my bullet journal alone – this is not really going to be a problem. There’s only a few times a month, if that many, where I want to carry my bullet journal but NOT my purse. And those times it’s usually because I’m carrying a backpack so I’m putting my purse stuff into my backpack, so I’d still be fine.

BUT: If you want to often carry this as the ONLY thing you carry, then keep in mind that it will get cramped towards the end of the Moleskin. If you don’t add a lot of stuff to yours, it may not be a huge problem, because I put my new Moleskine in and it zipped fine. Just wanted to let you know that because some people fill theirs up even more than I do. (Google image search for “moleskin + full”) So! If you’re one of those people, just wanted to issue that one warning.

All in all? I’m beyond thrilled. I love a product that I can put in the “Ethical Purchase” category because I know it wasn’t produced in a factory with poor working conditions. I hope they start doing patterned fabric for the folios someday! I’d love to get one as funky as the Fossil Kindle cover I was using.

Now to decide when I can purchase a bag

Happy Bullet Journal Birthday To Me!

Embarrassing Preface: I have not broken out my “real” camera to photograph my kids in MONTHS. But this morning? I dug it out to – basically – take pictures of a notebook I carry in my purse. For a blog entry I’m writing about that notebook. To celebrate that notebook’s birthday. Do I write blog entries celebrating my kid’s birthdays? Not usually. I feel like this little tidbit says more about me than I would like it to.

August 29th, 2013
August 29th, 2013

I did it. I stuck with one calendar/planner for an ENTIRE YEAR. I have never done that before. EVER. IN MY LIFE. I kinda thought I was just compulsive in that I could never use the same system for a whole year, like it was a quirky habit I had no control over. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars over the years buying new calendars or planners before the year was over. And – of course – I always bought a new one New Year’s Day! I’ve bought nice leather bound planners in the years before you could buy cute ones and I would just buy a new set of refills a few times a year. I’ve bought custom planners with pictures of my kids and replaced THOSE partway through the year. Nothing ever lasts because nothing every works completely. I always need two things: A calendar and a notepad of some sort for my constant list making. And finally, I found something that satisfies BOTH needs and takes less than half of a year to fill up so I still get to “start over” periodically. WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN.

I had actually tested out this system for a little while with cheaper notebooks before August 29th. However, once I realized it might stick and figured out what worked and what didn’t, I forked out the big bucks for the $18 Moleskine to start 9/1/2013. I started it a few days early to give myself time to add all of the pages I needed – hence the August 29th “start” day. I used that Moleskine until the end of the year and, even though it wasn’t full, used January 1st as an excuse to start a new one with the habits I had solidified in the previous months. In those next few months I really implemented the system to personalize the method for me.

DSC_1162

I filled up the second one in June – a perfect 6-month cycle – and decided to store them in a way on my shelf so that they could A) Be easily found and B) Be displayed to show off their AWESOMENESS. With Volume 3 I made a few changes/additions to the method. The most significant change was that I started using the bullet journal as a scrapbook. A place to keep all of those wonderful things that pop up in my life that I know I want to look back on, but am not crafty or creative enough to ever do anything with. I have looked back on these type of pages so many times, it’s shocked me that I never considered this before.

DSC_1171

DSC_1170

Of course, this means the pages hold a lot more stuff and so the discovery that my Molekine fit my old Kindle cover was INTEGRAL in my process. It keeps the book bound tighter than the tiny elastic that came with it AND it makes it look more professional for when I don’t want to show the world my obsession with stickers.

DSC_1174

DSC_1164

But even with all that extra stuff – the scrapbook additions and the fancy cover – it’s still the calendar portion I use the most. And while I still get soooo busy some days I just kinda forget to look at it, it still has helped me manage the chaos in my life so much better! The weakest link in my productive life now (besides the fact that I can’t find extra hours in my day) is that I’m still not the best at skimming emails. I’m still notoriously bad about archiving something without ever seeing an important date or event in the body of the email. BUT! If I see it and manage to get it in the bullet journal as an event/task to remember – the chances are DAMN GOOD that I’ll actually do it.

DSC_1169

And – best of all – the bullet journal system gives me a completely valid reason to buy/obsess over/use stickers and colored pens. Things that make me so happy but that I always found a hard time justifying buying until now. I decorate my pages with the stickers AND am now the coolest adult in the room to the kids because I often have Frozen AND Avengers swag to hand out. And this kind of stuff just brings me joy. It’s silly, I know, but I have found that silly is important in my life. Keeping the silly in, however I can, seems to help ground me when the stress gets overwhelming. Too much to do, too little time to do it, but plenty of pretty ink and awesome stickers to decorate the chaotic schedule with.

DSC_1177

DSC_1183

I don’t declare that the Bullet Journal system is perfect for everyone. I always ask, “Are you a chronic list maker? Do you depend on pen/paper, actually prefer it over digital?” before I’ll even suggest it. But man – if you are a chronic list maker and you do like/need to write things down? I can not recommend this system enough. And OBVIOUSLY it’s uber-customizable. I have a page for my Library Volunteer Schedule and a page for my kid’s Soccer Schedule. I have a page for my blog ideas and my 50-mile training. I have a page to keep notes about our Ironman trip and our Wizarding World of Harry Potter trip. It’s all mine and I hope it becomes a great nostalgic resource for my kids years down the road.

Happy Birthday, Bullet Journal. Thanks for helping me remember shit.

Talking About BJs! (Again.)

(Bullet Journals! I’m sorry if you were hoping for something more salacious! Every time I use that acronym I have a moment where I thing – “BJ” has another meaning that does NOT relate to my organization style. But then I kinda don’t care because it makes me laugh imagining myself suddenly steering off my prudish path to talk about oral sex on a Sunday on my blog. So! I left the title just to make myself laugh! THAT’S WHY I HAVE A BLOG!)

So, I’m still holding strong with the bullet journal method of organization! However, recently I had to make a business trip and wanted a more “professional” thing to take notes in, since my bullet journal is covered in stickers and serves a dual role as a scrapbook. I couldn’t really find anything that made me want to – even temporarily – replace my bullet journal. What I did find, however, was a daily planner at Target with a suitably sized cover.

Screen shot 2014-08-22 at 10.22.48 AM

I took out the planner insert and stuck in my Moleskine and it worked as close to perfectly as I wanted/needed it to work. It would have been perfect if it was a tad bit smaller, and if it had a way to close the notebook. Since using my moleskine as a scrapbook it tends to be a little unruly so I really needed a method to keep it closed. But! For a last-minute discovery before my trip? PERFECT.

I came home and put the cover up for the next time I needed to dress-up my bullet journal. But then, as I was organizing my office this week, I stumbled upon my old Fossil Kindle cover and thought…wait a minute…

AND Y’ALL? It is ACTUALLY perfect!

Screen shot 2014-08-22 at 10.23.06 AM

It’s the exact right size, allowing for a tiny bit of a buffer for my tabs on my pages. It zips closed which means it contains my unruly moleskin. And it’s uber professional looking AND resistant to spills and stains just like my Fossil purse! (I hate that the Fossil KeyPer collection is not as fun as it used to be. I’m not a brand snob, but I loved the fun patterns in klutz-proof plastic coating.) It has been a joy carrying it around this week. My bullet journal is about as full as I think one will get (in terms of items taped to the pages) so if this case stands up for one more month of zipping around a fat moleskin, I may have accidentally discovered the most perfect bullet journal cover ever.

Let’s just hope it lasts because most covers now are simply zip pouches and that DOES NOT WORK with my bullet journal needs.