Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Introducing My Bullet Journal

Each summer, I give myself a project to work on so my brain doesn't turn to mush over the summer. Some summers, my blog is the project, some summers, it's a goal to try so many new recipes, and some summers, it's a giant bucket list to complete. Last summer, my project was to master the art of lettering (handwritten fonts). For the record, I didn't "master it," but have had gotten way better with lots of practice. Last year I liked to spend my spare time writing the NATO phonetic alphabet (you know - alpha, bravo, charlie, delta...) in as many fonts as I could think of or make up. Learning the NATO alphabet was a goal of mine a couple of winter breaks ago so it was good to practice. Anyhow, I digress.

So this summer, I decided to put all that font practice to good use by diving into my very own bullet journal.

What is a bullet journal, you ask?

If you've never ever heard of this process, then it's best to get started on the website that started it all (click here to find it). In short though, it's a handwritten analog system for journaling and planning. It has progressed to also be an artistic outlet. The best part is, however, that you can customize it however you want for whatever you need. 

You might like a bullet journal if:
 - You like making lists 
 - You are a compulsive planner
 - You like all things antiquated 
 - You like to journal
 - You like to doodle 
 - Any combination of the above

Longtime readers know that I am an avid list maker (remember the list of lists from 2013?) I make lists of everything. So having a central spot for all of those lists is my favorite part of the bullet journal. I'm not a "compulsive" planner per se, but I do like to be prepared so I guess I am somewhat of a planner. I do like antiquated things like handwriting in a digital age (don't get me wrong. My google calendar isn't going anywhere, with or without the bullet journal). I've always been a journaler, but not really an organized one. I journal here and there but not consistently (except for the 750 words project I completed last year.) I've never been really artistic, but my favorite bujo layouts are all filled with doodles, so I figured I could learn to doodle the same way I'm learning to play bass... by googling it. So... that's how I convinced myself to start the bujo process.

How does one get started on a bullet journal?

There are tons of bullet journal products out there and they are really reasonable. I didn't do a ton of research before I delved in and purchased these Huhuhero pens from Amazon. I also got this mint green bullet journal, also from Amazon. Both products get 2 thumbs up from me. Reasonably priced and they both do their job.

What I soon learned however is that really all you need is graph paper and any pens you want. I'll write soon about how my first bullet journal evolved into two bullet journals. It's not the "traditional method," but like I said, you can do whatever you want with your bullet journal so that it works for you. 

I have my supplies. Now what? 

You can find inspiration for your bullet journal all over pinterest and instagram. Popular hashtags to search for include #bujo #bujojunkies #bulletjournals #bulletjournaladdict #bulletjournalcommunity #bulletjournalinspiration... you get the point. 

Using that inspiration, decide what you are going to use bullet journal for. Journaling, planning, just fun stuff? 

I searched and searched and decided to start my journal with a layout of the year. It was a good easy way to start my book. 

Here is a glimpse of a few of the pages in my journal. I'll go into more detail and show more pages in a future post, but this gives you an idea of what I'm filling my bujo with. 

My monthly layout for July. In past months, I've done more of a narrative, but this month I'm doing a doodle a day (exept for day 1 when I hadn't yet decided about the doodle thing). I love including moon phases on my monthly layout... you know, because it's good to know when the full moon is coming.

Here's my summer page that I update daily. 

I created a page to help me learn bass notes (and another page to write out the bass lines to songs I'm learning). 

I created a page to help me plan for a road trip we took back in June.

And I love putting quotes in to fill up empty spaces on each page. This was a weekly layout page and a format that I loved. 

And another...

And then what? 

So right now, I'm using my bujo for monthly journaling, weekly planning, menu planning (on and off again), list making (favorite songs, favorite Ted Talks, planning (house projects, trips)), and doodling. Each one could get its own post so I won't overload you all at once. Some people have written about how bullet journals completely changed their lives. I'm not there yet. Right now, it is something I do completely for fun (says the person who is addicted to organizing data on google spreadsheets, you know, because it's fun). I'll be back soon with updates on how this hobby progresses. 

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