Bullet Journaling

I am an organized person.  My favorite saying is "A place for everything and everything in its place".  I wasn't always like this.  Growing up, I was a disorganized mess as most children and teenagers are.  I believe it started when I got married, had my first son and went back to college for my teaching degree.  My husband worked shift work at the local iron ore mine which meant that a lot of responsibility for running the house and raising my son was on my shoulders.  Add to that, going to the university part time for a bachelor's degree.  My life was very full and busy and needed to be organized.  After graduating, Organization became even more important as I was running the house, raising 2 sons and teaching on a full time basis.  Friends would joke that I was the teacher with ocd in the building.  I don't know about the ocd diagnosis but without organization I didn't function very well.

Because of my need for organization, I was constantly on the lookout for planning and management tools to make my life easier.  I went through many ideas but none seemed to retain my interest enough to keep going.  Some were just too difficult and time consuming to even begin, some consisted of themes or topics that had nothing to do with my life and left very little room for alteration (there is no such thing as a one-size fits all journal).  I needed something that was easy to start, interesting enough to keep my focus and be able to adjust it to make it my own and fit the needs of my life.  While surfing the internet (a favorite pasttime), I found bullet journaling.

                                                     What is Bullet Journaling?

"A bullet journal is a highly customizable system for taking & organizing notes. Those notes are used to organize your schedule, ideas, goals, and other aspects of your life." -- pageflutter.com

The great thing about this type of journaling system is that it can be adapted to your individual needs. I looked at a large number of sites about bullet journaling.  Some things I liked, some I didn't.  It all seemed very overwhelming...too much information to process.  Just as I was about to give up and look for a new system, I found a site that broke things down in an easy, elementary way.

If you wish to view this site, go here    https://www.bohoberry.com/category/bullet-journal/bullet-journal-101/

Kara, the publisher of "Boho Berry" suggested to begin with the technique of


This was such a great easy way to start and it was something I had taught my students to begin with when writing a story.

                                    “What do you need your system to do for you?”

Make a list of any and all ideas that pop into your head. Don’t judge any of your thoughts as they come; instead just write them all down free-form onto the page.  So I looked at the types of pages that others had put in their bullet journals and listed those that could be adapted to my life which, as brainstorming does, led me to think of items that would fit me.  It did not take long for me to come up with a list that covered almost all of my separate piles of organization.  I was thrilled and excited at the prospect of having an organizational tool that kept everything in one place.  No more separate folders, boxes, drawers, notebooks, etc. for each category of items.  Here it would all be in one place.  I was in organizational heaven!


A second suggestion I took from "Boho Berry" was to PRACTICE.  I don't know about anybody else but if I spend good money on a pretty journal, I am very leery of making mistakes in it.  So practicing sounded like a good idea to me.  I had an old empty notebook in a box full of supplies that I should have gotten rid of but I tend to think of everything as "I will be able to use this someday" stuff.  I decided I would practice in this notebook and start my bullet journal in 2018 and use the rest of this year (2017) as my PRACTICE year.

Any updates I write about for the next few months will be about how my practice bullet journal is going and how I am preparing my bullet journal for 2018.  Below is a picture of my practice journal.

I think practicing was a good idea because I know that I would like some pages, dislike others, cross things out, write over some others and pretty much make a mess.   Even at the beginning of this time of practice, I realized that there were things I didn't like and wanted to change. For instance, the pages were bound in the book which meant that pages that wouldn't change on a regular basis could not be moved from one month or year to the next.  So instead of a bound notebook for my bullet journal, I went with a pretty, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 binder.  Now some bullet journal advocates would say that the binder would be too cumbersome to have with me all the time but the small size of the binder fits right into my purse (I have never been a fan of small purses.  I like to be able to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my purse much to the consternation of my husband).

A picture of my 2018 bullet journal binder is below.

Another discovery I have made while practicing was that my designs were not as fancy or intricate as those in bullet journal examples.  I admit it, I am not a very artistic person.  So I decided to stay with simple designs until I felt more comfortable moving into something more detailed.  That decision eased my worries as to what my bullet journal would look like in comparison to others.  As you can see, a bullet journal can be made over to be truly your own.  Pages that are important to one person may not work for you.  Something that you want in your journal might seem unnecessary to someone else.  This is another advantage to the bullet journal.  You can definitely make it to accomodate you and your needs.


  1. Oh my gosh, I just got one of these. Actually my second one, since my first was a mistakey mess. I think mine will actually be quarterly. I havent started being artisitci with mine, but that is surely the next step. Do note that my blog Living Richly in Retirement is now at www.richlyretired.blogspot. come on by, and if you have me in your side bat, just fyi. It s a very, very long store.

    1. Well, just think of the first one as practice that way the mistakey mess doesn't count. I would be interested to know how you are going to set up your bujo quarterly. Sounds interesting. Will make sure your blog is up to date on my side list. Thanks for reading.