How My Bullet Journal Saves My Sanity

Have you heard about these cool things?  Granted, the Bullet Journal is a specific type of thing.  I call mine a bullet journal---aka BuJo (so nicknamed by the Bullet Journal community so nobody calls it a BJ--because how awkward would that be?  "Hey, have you guys seen my BJ? I don't know where I put it!")

So, mine isn't technically a BuJo, as I don't really use the bullet points (which is a part of the name for Pete's sake--I am not one for always following the rules, I guess).  Instead, I just take a blank journal, and put page layouts on them.  But they aren't random pages, they all serve a purpose, so that's good, right?  Head on over to Pinterest and type in Bullet Journal and you'll find oodles and oodles of ideas (same goes for Youtube). 

Anyways, I started one a year ago, filled out most of the whole thing, and then promptly forgot about it ☹  So this December I started a new one (and repurposed my January one for 2017) and I have to say, I do really love it.  Though I've been slacking on it the past few days, but I am going to push myself to keep it going, as I need something in my life to keep me on track (to get my bills paid, keep track of things, etc.).

There are so many ways to use a BuJo, and so many layouts to use.  Being a type CC personality (as I explained in this post on my sister blog) I am very scatterbrained, but I am also very creative, so I gravitate to the more artsy-fartsy looks of the layouts.  And even if you're not arty at all, then there's still a gigantic amount of layouts online for you to choose from (the original BuJo ideas are 100% left-brained).

Before I started bullet journaling (and learning about Getting Things Done), my organizational system consisted of putting random pieces of paper all over my house with various bits of information I needed to remember.  I could never find them and would usually end up paying a hefty price for my disorganization (like when I lost my revaluation form for public aid---more than once...)  Now that I have my BuJo, I can keep it all in one place and never forget when things are due or when I need to do something.  If I have forms I need to remember, I will jot them down on my to-do list so I know when I need to have them filled out by. 

Here is a list of the layouts that I use to keep me sane:

1. The Monthly Calendar

My version (which I learned from the original BuJo website) isn't the traditional calendar style of a calendar, it's just the numbers of the month, the day abbreviation, and a line for each day.  I find the lines give me more room to write than a square does.  I keep track of my EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness), my sleep attacks (it feels like your brain went to sleep without telling you), and my migraines.  I also keep track of when I need to read my electricity meter and report it (where's my smart meter, dammit?), certain appointments (though I keep ALL my appointments in my phone--color coded to the person they are for, with ringtone reminders), and whatever else I need to.  Mine is always crooked, messy, and just not cool looking (unlike most people's on Pinterest and Youtube).  So I'll show you it, but just know it's not pretty, mmmkay? (and sorry for the crappy's like 10 at night and the lighting sucks)

 2. Weekly Spreads

 I am trying out new weekly spreads.  My old way of doing it was kind of cool, and I may just go back to that.  My old way consisted of taking wide rectangle Post-It's and putting two on each page and keeping track of every day on a single Post-It.  But I also like the fun part of making the new pages.  So I am torn.  Though mine are messy as hell and look goofy, they are still fun. 

On these pages, I keep track of:

  • Daily journal questions (those are next).
  • Pain levels and how tired I am.
  • If my sleep was good or bad the previous night.
  • The weather and temperature of each day. 
  • What I did that day. 
  • Whatever else I want to write about.
Here are my new spreads, which are uber messy (have I said that enough?), but oh well :)  They work for me! haha (the black spots are names and the such that I blacked out when I uploaded them)

3. Journal Prompts

These keep me sane by reminding me to journal (even if just a sentence) every single day. I find them in various places online, this one was from up being more religious than I wanted, but I changed the terms to my own liking.  Journaling helps keep me grounded in reality and explore more introspective ideas.  

And btw, if you're religious, that blog is pretty cute!

4.  Bucket List and Gratitude List

I stole both of these layouts from other bloggers.  If you go on Pinterest you'll find the originals :)  If you look closely at the sun'll see the numbers are messed up.  Well, I drew them in wrong to begin with (ran out of room for all 31 days) and had to literally use White Out on top of them....dried out White Out at that.  And it looks ridiculous.  But whatevs, right?  It serves its purpose 😄  These two layouts keep me grounded in the here and now: what do I want to remember to do this month and what am I thankful for each day?  I will definitely repeat these layouts next month (perhaps not a sun?  something else maybe...).

5. Holiday Spread

This spread helps me keep track of what I am buying everyone for Xmas.  And if I have different ideas for what to cook.  I left my mom's name not blocked out, because I don't care if you know my mom's name is mom.  Oh is mine..... 😉

6. A Title Page

If my book got lost, then they'd be able to find me again through my phone number or my Instagram account!  I love to draw, so I copied and colored a picture I used on Pinterest to have as my title page!

7. Bills Tracker

I don't know if I like this very much.  Esp. since I will have to go back to my December BuJo throughout the year, so I think I will nix this.  But I will have some sort of bill tracker for each month, esp. with the dates (I am thinking a traditional boxed calendar).  This was interesting to make, but meh.  I think it's very...well, blocky.  (yes, that Thank You! washi tape is to cover up something I messed up! haha)

8. Book List Page

My most favorite page in the world!  This year I started a GoodReads Challenge to do 50 books, and as you can see I did NOT make it, but hey, I read over twenty books!  Whoo hoo!  I still have a book to add to the shelf, because I found one I forgot 😃 (I may even color the book spines!)

I have more pages in my BuJo, but these are the ones that keep my brain organized and on track.  And when I am organized, I feel much more sane  😀  If you're even slightly interested in doing something like this, try it!  It makes a LOT of difference in my life in how I keep track of important information (and some not so important).  And not to mention it's uber fun!  I also use stick-on tabs on the outsides of the pages so I can find each section easily (though next month I'd like them to be WAY more organized--right now they are all over the place).

I tried making a Traveler's Notebook thing, and while I did make it, I didn't have any use for it.  It's so big and bulky (which is what attracted me to it to begin with).  A BuJo can be any size, portable or not, and is way easier to keep track of everything (you can even use a spiral notebook!). 

I think after February (which how many single BuJo's I have right now) I will get one that will last the rest of the year instead of monthly ones.  That way I can keep yearly spreads (like my Bill Tracker) and other awesome info that I can refer to without having to grab an old one out.  Though the portability of the single ones are what I also like.  So, I don't know.  We'll see.

Do you have a BuJo or something similar?  If so, link me below!  I'd love to see your layouts!

If you don't have an organizational system, perhaps you'd like to start one?  For someone with ADHD (like me) it may be hard to keep at it, but once you do, it's a lifesaver!  Not more feeling crazy because you have too much to remember in your head (and no more running around with sticky notes all over your house or various sheets of paper to remember--and then lose them like I always did!).  Whether you Bullet Journal or do something else, it will definitely save your sanity!

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