For those of you who have been following my journey through this whole “bullet journaling” business, both here on my blog (follow the series here) and, at rare times, on my Instagram (username @living2learnandlove), you know that I have been using a Traveler’s Notebook system since June 2016.
For more on my reasons for moving into the Traveler’s Notebook,
as well as an early review of the system, check out this post!
With life being so complicated when I started bullet journaling, my goal was to keep my use of the system as simple and streamlined as possible. Using a smaller sized notebook forced me to focus more on the simple functionality of the system as opposed to attempting to make the system look like all those gorgeous bullet journal spreads you see all over YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest nowadays (which is TOTALLY up my alley…could totally get sucked into that vortex so easily). It worked for me…and it helped me live outside of my head and plans and focus on actually getting tasks done.
But recently, I’ve started to notice that my bullet journal system hasn’t been working like it used to. For some reason or another, I’ve found myself wanting for a notebook with much more surface area/space to be able to create larger spreads and collections. Being limited to the regular traveler’s notebook size has been difficult as I have tried to get myself a bit more organized and focusing on actually organizing and managing different work and home projects.
Simplicity is always the goal in my life. I just need a wider organization system to help me get back to a place of understanding and simplifying my suddenly more complicated life.
So…I finally took the plunge and purchased one of these.
Yep…I’m totally going the “Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook in Anthracite Grey, Dot Grid” route (purchased via Goulet Pens). This brand and size of notebook may quite possibly be THE most popular bullet journal notebook out there. I mean, even the OFFICIAL Bullet Journal is a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook. That speaks volumes. And since I had zero time to really delve into testing a whole lot of new notebooks, I decided to go with the tried and true.
With the end of March upon us, I am making the move to the new notebook with the start of April. It took me a while to complete the “in-depth planning” of my planning system in this new notebook.
(For an example of the kind of planning I’m talking
about, check out this video by Boho Berry.)
Here are the steps I took in determining what I wanted to include in this new notebook – what I would keep from my old system, what I wouldn’t keep, and what I would adjust or add.
The first step in this process was to sit down and answer the question, “What do I need my bullet journal to do for me?” Here are the five things I came up with:
- Keep my tasks, meetings, appointments, and events in order and visible so I don’t forget to do something I need to get done (a.k.a. a system to combat “mom-brain”…it’s FORREALZ, folks!).
- Help me focus on what is WILDLY IMPORTANT!!
- Track how I am accomplishing my “wildly important goals.” Ultimately, maintaining a tracker (aka “scoreboard” in the 4DX universe) to show my progress in meeting my lead measures.
- Help me keep record of special moments spent with family/friends.
Once I had an idea what I wanted my bullet journal to do, I could begin researching different spreads/trackers/collections that would work best. Here are the spreads I landed on so far:
- Future Log (Calendex + Horizon) – I’m totally crediting Kara from Boho Berry for this (who credits Eddy Hope for the Calendex and the Alastair Method . I’ve been meaning to try this method in my bullet journal for a while, but had no real use for a future log…until now. With major trips planned and work planning getting stretched out beyond the upcoming weekend, being able to project and plan further into the future will be much more useful now.
- 2017 Wildly Important Goals & Focus Points – If you follow me on Instagram, you know that one of the books I read so far in 2017 was The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, by
- 2017 Reading List – Since my successful accomplishment of reading more than 12 books in 2016 (I’m talking WAAAAY more…like, 25 books…MORE THAN DOUBLE my initial goal), I’ve been trying to maintain my personal reading. As you can see, I currently have completed five books and have two more in queue.
I’m going to need to get more book suggestions…QUICKLY!!
- Monthly Spreads (Goals & Actions & Tracker) – My monthly spread has changed a bit since my move from my Traveler’s Notebook. I still have my goals and books I plan to read that month. But instead of just writing new goals each month, my plan is to instead create “lead measures” (a la 4DX) to track (or basic tasks to accomplish) that month aimed to move me closer to my “wildly important goals.” My tracker also went from a weekly tracker to a monthly tracker, as my hope is to be able to see how my sticking to tracking my lead measures (or lack thereof) impacts my movement towards my goals.
- Weekly Spread – My weekly spread has also changed a bit. Again, I moved my tracker out of the weekly to the month spread. I also changed the format of keeping a “household tasks” overview, separating them between chores and other non-chore tasks. I’m still assigning each of these tasks to a specific day so I don’t procrastinate and leave everything to do at the end of the week (because NO ONE likes spending their entire weekend catching up on important household tasks they SHOULD have done during the week).
- Daily Spread – My daily spreads have not changed much at all. I’m still keeping my time tracker to plan out my tasks of the day. The only change I made was changing my check boxes to the regular “bullet journal” bullet signifiers (for more on this, check out “Getting Started” at the bulletjournal.com website).
There will be other collections and project pages that will be added as I begin working towards my “wildly important goals,” but for now this initial setup will get me through the first few weeks of being in my new Leuchtturm1917 A5 bullet journal.
So do YOU use the bullet journal system? If so, what notebook do you use for YOUR bullet journal? What are some of the spreads and collections in your system that have been most necessary to your productivity? I’m open to suggestions for my new bullet journal.
After all, we are live to learn from one another, am I right? 😀