Bullet Journaling · Family · Work

[Bullet Journaling] I CHOOSE YOU!!…and here’s WHY…

Welcome to the first 2nd Monday!! 

 For those of you who have no idea what that means, here is a recap of my last blog post.

My goal for the rest of 2016 is to post to my blog once a week, every Monday, following this plan:

  • 1st Monday – Last Month at a Glance
  • 2nd Monday – [Bullet Journaling] My Take on the Phenomenon that is…
  • 3rd Monday – [Personal Style] Clothes, Make-Up, and Home
  • 4th Monday – A Month of Motherhood
  • 5th Monday – Streams of Consciousness

So, being the 2nd Monday of April 2016, I’ve apparently scheduled myself to talk about this thing I do called “bullet journaling.” In fact, why did I feel I needed to have a planner in the first place?

First, I realized I needed to find a handwritten planning system for two reasons.

  1. Mommy-brain – No, I didn’t believe it could happen to me. But after attempting to juggle a new normal at home and at work (further complicated by having a child…EXPONENTIALLY!!). I needed to compensate for the reduction in my ability to keep a mental planner going, as I so easily did pre-child.
  2. Paper/Pen (Analog) Preference – Now, I can keep up with the fast-paced, ever-changing world of technology. However, there are certain areas where I still prefer a handwritten. Planning is one of them. I simply cannot get on board with planning my days by typing on an electronic device. I love putting pen to paper. Call me old-fashioned, but that’s just the way my mind works…I need the tactile act of writing to be able to better remember tasks and actually enjoy the planning process.

So…now that you know WHY I started looking for a new planning system

in general, the next question is “WHY did I choose the ‘bullet journal’ system?” 

Before I continue, I would like to take you to to the basics of bullet journaling, as created by Ryder Carroll. This video was one of the first I ran into as I was searching on YouTube for “planner ideas.”

What is boils down to is that the “bullet journal” is an analog planning system that does not utilize a dated/template based planner. You can pretty much use any notebook you want, grab and pen, and get started.

Of course, if you know me at all, you’re probably watching this video and wondering, “Why would Lydia use a system like THAT?? It’s SO SIMPLE and PLAIN!!” It’s true…and when I first saw this video, I didn’t think it would work for me because I couldn’t get excited about it at all. Nothing but words…symbols…black & white…LISTS!! ICKY ICKY ICKY!!

THIS video (the second I ran into in my YouTube “research”) was MUCH more appealing to me. I even started buying washi tape and stickers like crazy (much to my husband’s dismay).

Source: Elle Fowler

I’m sure this type of planning system works really well for many people. But for me, the problem was that these Erin Condren Life Planners (and all other similar systems), while wonderfully colorful and magical looking, were much too rigid. There were areas I needed to write more and others I needed to write less, but the boxes that I was supposed to fit all of my “life planning” into were simply too small…or too large. It just didn’t work for me. I wanted it to…SO BADLY…but it just didn’t.

Besides, being a first time mom working full time, I had no extra time
to decorate planners for the sake of decorating them.

And I also knew that if a system wouldn’t work for me, I would not keep up with it and continuously use it…which I NEEDED to do (refer back to the two reasons I needed to find a planning system).

So…I went back to this whole “bullet journal” business, and I started looking for others who were using this system in a way that, perhaps, would appeal to me more. That’s when I found them…countless people…business-people, homemakers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, YouTubers, teachers, and MORE!! Bloggers/YouTubers like Boho Berry, Pretty Prints & Paper, and Tiny Ray of Sunshine had turned the simplistic planning system and turned it into ART!!

It was then that I knew I had found THE system…MY system…for planning.

  • It’s functional first…and can continue to change as my life continues to change. Its free form style allows me to try out new things and give up on others that doesn’t work for me anymore (or some that never did in the first place).
  • But, it also allows for creativity…not just in coming up with functional spreads, but also visually appealing ones. In fact, not only have I been using my bullet journal for planning out my days, weeks, months, and year, but also as a place where I can document things that has occurred with photos, drawings, stickers, washi tape…whatever I want!!
Processed with VSCO with h1 preset
…and I use it as a journal too, documenting fun moments during the week…

For those of you who are looking for an analog planning system, I would highly recommend starting a bullet journal. There is no fixed template, no singular way of doing it. Seriously…check out Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and other such social media outlets…search for “bullet journal” or “bullet planning”…it’s INSANE how many ways this system can be used. So even if MY methodology doesn’t work for you, you can adjust it to MAKE it work for you!!

Are any of you considering starting a bullet journal planner? Or are you already a bullet journal planner and have created a unique spread or system that works for you? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Next month…HOW I use my bullet journal…

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