What is a bullet journal and why do I need one?!

The question every one is asking!!

Firstly, let me introduce myself...my name is Laura, I have been bullet journaling for two years now and I am the creator of Mindful Giraffe.  I actually found bullet journaling completely by chance on Pinterest when I found myself struggling after I had my second little boy.  And honestly, it changed my life .....and I'm not just saying that as I have set up a journal company I promise!!!!  

I have always been a very anxious person, but at the same time keen to be organised and a lover of making lists (being an ex-lawyer I guess this is one of the pitfalls!!).  Problem is I always lost them (my lists) constantly which drove me crackers.  I have also always been quite creative though too and so when I saw a way of being organised and arty on Pinterest at the same time it got my attention.

The method of bullet journaling is not my idea though - it was devised by Ryder Carroll and is outlined in his book, "The Bullet Journal Method" (the first thing I bought after finding the idea was buy this!)  Basically, it is a system of planning and organising your life through using bulleted lists and 'bullet journalers' are now part of an ever-growing community across the world.  You only have to type 'bujo' or 'bullet journal' in on social media and you will be inundated with images of gorgeous and amazing spreads from all over the world.

But as you will see the system can be adapted in so many different ways.  My journal for example (which can be seen on @bujo.forlaura on Instagram) is very much an art bullet journal where I combine my creative side with my wish to be organised.  Every month I do a new theme and through this, create a monthly outline, weekly plans (basically setting out my weekly and daily tasks), various trackers for the month (habits, mood, number of steps etc), shopping lists as well as anything I can think of to make my life a little less stressful!!!  As I say to my husband, all the lists and random information/events I need to remember which would otherwise be floating around my head or written on bits of scrappy paper (and then promptly lost!) now go into my journal.  This way, whenever I need to find a date or find a key bit of information I know where to look (I actually use a monthly brain dump too for key information which doesn't fit elsewhere in my monthly set up and this really helps when I need to look back and find something!)  

So here are some examples of a monthly set up to help explain:

 Monthly intro:

 Monthly calendar:

Weekly spread:

I should mention that this is why the pages in bullet journals are traditionally dotted- so you can use these as guides to create layouts as you wish.

Doing this massively helps my organisation for the month and crucially, really helps my mental health at the same time.  Not only having everything written down but also actually the act of sitting down and taking time to myself to create and plan is essentially a form of mindfulness for me.  I love it.  Even when I get the boys in bed and I'm tired after a busy day I feel so much better after journaling- it just gives me the headspace and the calming down time to regroup.

Some trackers in the same theme:

Habit tracker:

Steps and running tracker:

 P.s This theme for the month of October 2020 was based on the 'Papaya' pattern by Caroline Bourles which I found on the Modcloth Blog

It's really important to note though that I totally realise not everyone wants to draw and this is where I think bullet journaling is brilliant as you can adapt it however you wish.  Your journal is entirely yours and after all, is for your use so do it how you like!!!  If you want to follow Ryder Carroll's method to the utmost and use bulleted lists full stop then go for it! If however like me, you prefer to incorporate some art work at the same time and make it a hybrid, then do that!  I also put lots of photos in mine so I can look back and remember small moments I may otherwise forget.  The community is full of wonderful people with fabulous journals of a range of styles and I would urge you to have a look to see what you like.

I hope this has helped explain a little better but if you have any questions feel free to get in touch and say hello as it is always lovely to hear from you!  I will also be doing lots more blog posts covering specific aspects of journaling so watch this space and also sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about anything new!

Take care of yourself, 

Laura x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  • Hi Jane,
    Many thanks for your comment and so sorry for the delay in replying!

    From what you are describing, your system at the moment sounds like a form of bullet journaling itself too so you have already got a head start!

    Our journals are completely blank (dotted pages) so can be used in whatever way you wish- personally I keep everything in one (photos,lists, weekly tasks etc) but I know lots of others have a few for different purposes.

    I’d suggest maybe having a look on Pinterest at bullet journaling and also read the second blog post as this tells you a bit more about how I use mine. Also, Instagram has a fantastic community of lovely people with some amazing accounts so I would head there too and have a look round. Ryder Carroll who came up with the method in the first place also has a great book- ‘The Bullet Journal Method’ if you want to get an in-depth look at the system.

    Basically though a bullet journal can be whatever you want it to be- that’s why I love it so much. Hope this helps and feel free to get back in touch anytime, Laura 🦒🦒

    Laura - Mindful Giraffe
  • I use the pucka pad things to do today pages and find it a very simple and useful way of keeping lists. I fold back each page as all the bullet point lists are done, moving over the odd task outstanding. I only really use it for work and as I’m retiring at the end of this school year ( I mentor trainee teachers) I fancy starting to use an alternative that can help me with other stuff. I’d like to downsize lots of paperwork and long kept pictures etc. I also want to begin writing my dads life (that’s a whole other story) and to do my family tree.
    I’d love to find out if one of the journals would suit my way of organising tasks. What’s the best way to investigate examples of how they woo

    Jane Smith

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