For a long time I was planning everything in my head which today seems absolutely crazy. But at that time this method somehow worked. With occasional reminders on my phone or notebook, I've managed to keep everything on track. But with my creative business growing I've realized I couldn't keep up with the pace anymore. After a few failed attempts to digitalize myself (there's something about putting pen to paper, right?) I've bought my first daily planner. It was ordinary, but pretty planner with pre-made lines and squares to fill in your daily, monthly or yearly plans. I guess that "pre-made" aspect was the biggest issue for me. And again I couldn't make myself write plans there every day. Everything changed when I accidentally stumbled upon the planning method called bullet-journal. All you need here is a simple notebook, have a look at versatile guidelines and your creativity. Sounds perfect to me!
Here's a guide to get you started. Everyone of us are unique, with different jobs, tasks and planning habits, so you can customise everything to fit your needs. Let's peek into my notebook to see how everything works for me.
My customised bullet-journal method
I wanted a notebook with blank pages which would be great for sketching too. I didn't find anything in my local stores so I've made one myself. That was a great exercise to remember those book binding courses I had in the academy, ha ha. Of course you don't have to do that, bullet-journal community have a few great recommendations which I wrote you at the end of this article.
At my first page I have my yearly calendar with important birthdays. I peek into this when I plan my new monthly log.
The second spread is for my yearly goals where I write those bigger dreams and plans for this year. But it's a little bit too personal to share, sorry.
I have my finances spread too. I included yearly savings plan which i found here. The other page contains my monthly income to keep track of that too. As you will see everything in my bullet-journal is closely related with my business which is a big part of my life.
These few pages is my monthly log which contain major works of the month, greatest memories, monthly calendar with social media and blogging plans.
My favourite part is the daily logs. Every morning I sit in front of my journal and plunge myself into the meditation of planning. There's something about a blank page you can fill with your tasks, which will become achievements at the end of the day.
The bullet-journal system is like your diary + planner at the same time. I think that freedom and creativity aspect is what makes me stick around this time. If you love to doodle occasionally, take notes, write down your biggest dream, give it a try. I bet you'll become more productive!
1. The notebook
Even though I assemble the notebook myself, I made some research earlier. The bullet-journal community have a few recommendations that works the best.
• Leuchtturm 1917 dotted notebook is the most popular among the bullet-journal lovers. It has a sturdy hard cover, which I prefer better, because I use my journal everyday so it has to be hefty to last me whole year. It has a dotted grid which is almost invisible so you can use it as a blank page but with a little bit of guidelines if you'll need to do more precise job from time to time. Leuchtturm 1917 pages are numbered with an index page in the front. You can keep track of your logs and spreads to keep your journal organised. Paper is thick enough to use a fountain pen or regular roller ball pens without bleeding through the pages. Ribbon bookmarks, pocket in the back and elastic band are nice touches too. The only obstacle I think is the price. I suggest to try this journaling method before investing in better quality supplies.
• Moleskine dotted notebook is pretty similar to Leuchtturm 1917 and I think is the second most popular notebook in the bullet-journal community. It has a soft cover so it's not as sturdy as a Leuchtturm, but easier to carry. If your journal is always on the go with you, it's the benefit worth considering. For me Moleskine is more aesthetically pleasing with more ivory coloured pages and round corners. But a thinner paper might be a problem for me because I like using a lot of different felt-tip pens, and markers which has a tendency to bleed through the thinner pages. It goes with elastic band, ribbon bookmark and pocket in the back too.
• I personally use and love Faber-Castell pens for sketching and writing. This set has a good variety of different tips with deep dark waterproof ink which don't smudge. I use these for writing, drawing, lettering and so on.
• For the white highlights I use Derwent Graphik Line Painter in snow white.
Even though it's fun to doodle, I like to keep my daily logs somewhat similar, so I use stencils too. Find the ones which reflect your personality the best here: http://amzn.to/1RnQoY2
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