Getting Organised for 2017: Introducing the Bullet Journal

January 9, 2017

Getting organised for 2017 with a bullet journalA new year always means a new organisation system to me. Normally that means a new diary. However, after leaving my 9-5 job in July I’ve hardly looked at my diary. So for 2017 I knew I wanted a different system. I wanted somewhere to write out my daily to-do lists and tasks as well as keep track of sponsored posts, parcels I’m expecting and other household tasks. Once I started looking I soon realised that planners with the options I wanted don’t exist. As I delved into the world of planners and stationery I kept coming across the term bullet journal. To be honest with you after a quick google I dismissed it as too much of a faff. However, after searching for the perfect planner I found myself on the original Bullet Journal site and discovered it’s actually a really simple concept.

What On Earth Is A Bullet Journal?

The bullet journal system was developed by a guy called Ryder Carroll who describes it as an analogue system for the digital age. The full system is explained in detail on the Bullet Journal website but it’s basically a customisable planner. The main advantage of the bullet journal system is you get to design it for you and your life. You can record all the information you want in a way which works for you. Unlike traditional planners which are set out for you. It also enables you to combine all of your notebooks and planners into one book.

Bullet Journal a year at a glance page from tartan BrunetteHow To Get Started

All you need to create a bullet journal is a notebook and pen. Once you have your notebook and pen I suggest watching Ryder Carroll’s video on bullet journaling which explains the basics to get you started. I suggest starting with Ryder Carroll’s explanation as it’s one of the simplest out there. I made the mistake of looking at bullet journals on Google and Pinterest which are all so beautiful. This can make the whole system a little overwhelming and feel like too much effort. After all, it’s supposed to be about helping you organise your time not waste it.

However, I did find these blogs and Youtube videos really useful for ideas and inspiration. The Youtube videos are worth a watch (warning they are slightly addictive) if you need some ideas on how to record information other than daily to-dos. I recommend you check out Boho Berry’s channel as she has lots of useful tips for getting started. I think it’s worth mentioning that all lot of the BuJo community is American which to us Brits can be a little confusing. We don’t really do journaling over here so recording daily moods or gratitude log can feel awkward to us. But as I’ve already said the idea behind the bullet journal is to make it personal to you and to record whatever you want.

Recording offshore shifts in a bullet journalMy Bullet Journal

As you can see from the pictures my bullet journal isn’t going to win any awards for the prettiest journal. I have a feeling my terrible handwriting is to blame. As already mentioned I don’t have the time or desire to decorate my journal. I also severely lack creativity and skills in that department. I just want to keep it simple and record what I need too. In keeping with the simple minimalist theme of my bullet journal, I went with a plain black notebook. The exact notebook is the Leuchtturm1917 Medium (A5) with dotted numbered pages, I chose this because it kept coming up as a recommendation on bullet journal videos and websites. So far I’m finding it easy to use and the perfect size to fit in a handbag when I’m out and about.

Recording social media and blog stats in a bullet journalOne of the main things which appealed to me about the bullet journal system is that is it customisable. Being a blogger I have lots of things to keep track of which are never covered in traditional planners. With my bullet journal, I’ve been able to create my own ways of tracking things. I also like the fact that each month is open so I can miss a week without wasting any pages I can also change the way I record things to suit each month.

So far I have created the following pages

I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more pages to this as the year goes on. I did all my January blog planning in a separate notebook and I’m currently considering migrating my planning over to the bullet journal as well.

Bullet Journal Future Log Spread

Thinking of creating a bullet journal to keep you organised this year? Then click through to find out where to begin and how to get started creating your own personalised bullet journal

11 responses to “Getting Organised for 2017: Introducing the Bullet Journal”

  1. Anna says:

    Ah I love my bullet journal – I’ve been using the system for about 3.5 years and love how it evolves with me. I too have not made an art masterpiece out of it, just my writing in black ink and that’s pretty much it! But I like to think I’m sticking to the true minimalist nature of it ? Love the idea of a tv shows/Netflix list. I have a books (fiction and non-fiction) and a movies list but never thought of tv… I also find a birthday list useful. And being British there’s definitely no gratitude journaling happening, but this year I’m adding a habit tracker to the beginning of each month which I think will be super helpful. Good luck!!

    • Jen says:

      The gratitude journaling and perfect pages put me off when I first came across bullet journals but now I see how useful they are. Like you I’m sticking to the minimalist style. I’ll have to see how I get on with the Netflix page but I get a lot of recommendation or seeing people talking about shows so thought in might be worth a try. Birthday list sounds really useful too

  2. Rachel says:

    I’ve just started bullet journal for the same reasons. I’m doing a weekly planner plus sections for meal planning/ recipes, craft plans, wardrobe and outfit planning and exercise and weight loss. I’m a child of the 80s so have an a5 Filofax and use that with squared paper. Let be that if I mess up a page I can just take it out (OCD???)

    • Jen says:

      I remember those Filofax’s too. I’m a little worried about messing things up especially with the pages I’ll refer to all year. In fact I messed up my social media stats page and ending up creating a print out to cover – may end up doing this a lot

  3. Tori says:

    I loved this post – bullet journalling personalised for you! You make it sounds so simple!

  4. Emma says:

    I love this! it all makes so much more sense now! Seen bullet journals everywhere but just didn’t know how to make it work for me, might have to give it a go now.

    Emma x

    • Jen says:

      Once I got over the fact that it doesn’t have to look perfect I knew I wanted one. Worth giving it a try to see how you get on

  5. Rosa says:

    This is so cute, I love journals – need to get mine started for this year.

  6. Laura says:

    How have I only just discovered your blog? I’m so pleased I have. I love my BuJo. You’re right it’s the changeability of it that makes it so useful. I’ve had mine for almost a year and I’ve never kept up with a paper diary for so long. I think for blogging it’s super helpful too, as there’s so much blank space to make it work for you. I hadn’t thought about a books to read/shows to watch page, I’ve just gone with the classic books read, but I may add in the new pages now. I’m intrigued to see how you get on with it once you’ve had a few months using it.
    Have fun.
    Laura x

  7. Caroline says:

    I looked into this last year after so many people mentioned it, and see many beginning it this year, however the concept seemed complicated to me.. I may have to reread.
    I have a diary for blogging, however, I’ve failed din that I should have made it an all round diary for personal use as well, as am currently failing on keeping track of personal dates!
    May take this year/half year to look into bullet journal again and see how i feel..


  8. Completely with you on “it’s supposed to be about organising your time not wasting it”. As much as I love the beautiful layouts I see online, I know that replicating anything like that in mine would take me hours I simply don’t have! While I do have a little bit of colour in my bullet journal (I use a different complementary colour, along with black ink, for each month so I can easily distinguish between them) mine’s hardly going to win any awards either. Although I do find the time I spend with it incredibly therapeutic, even if it’s just a few minutes of brain dumpage at the end of the day.

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