Organize your life with a bullet journal – a do-it-yourself life planner system that allows you to customize and change your layouts as often as you’d like!
A couple of weeks ago I teased you with this photo on Instagram (if you’re not following me over there yet, hop on over and do it! It’s my favorite place to hang out!), and I promised that I would share the new planning and time management system that I have been using (and LOVING!) lately.
The bullet journal system is super easy! It allows you to be flexible with your customized pages and gives you the ability to change your calendar layouts as often as you wish. I have tried out and tested over a dozen gorgeous planners in the last couple of years, and nothing has ever worked as well for me as my new bullet journal!
There are only two things that you absolutely have to have when starting a bullet journal – the journal itself (I use a Lechtturm 1917 with dotted grid pages, but any notebook will do!), and pens for color coding. My favorite pens, hands down, are these colorful Flair felt tip pens from PaperMate. I love .7mm Flair pens because they provide a nice medium-point line weight without feeling very heavy, the colors are bold and vibrant, and they don’t bleed through the pages of my journal.
It’s also nice to have a whole bunch of super cute planner stickers, too, but they’re not 100% necessary. (Some of my favorite planner stickers are from Etsy!) They do make your journal a lot more fun, though, and I find that the days of the week and number stickers in particular really help to cut down on my page setup time!
Every Sunday evening, I sit down and plan out my upcoming week in my bullet journal. The main selling point of bullet journaling is that it’s quick and easy, even though it’s customized, so it only takes me about 10-15 minutes to set up my week. I like to devote a two-page spread in my journal to each week, and I divide the two pages into eight boxes – one for each day of the week, and one for notes.
When I plan out my week, different types of tasks are assigned their own specific color (for example, all of my blog related tasks are written in orange above, and my appointments, errands and events are in magenta), and I use different symbols (square for tasks, asterisks for reminders, circles for outings and activities, etc.) for different types of activities.
Color coding has played a HUGE role in the success of this system. Having each of my school/work/home tasks, appointments and events in their own color allows me to see all of the week’s related tasks at quick glance…and that’s especially handy when I’m constantly adding items to those daily to-do lists!
With bullet journaling, you can also include a monthly calendar spread as well as pages for notes, lists, trackers, and agendas if you’d like – the only limit to what you put in your bullet journal is your imagination! I like to keep my calendar separate from everything else, so I keep one bullet journal specifically for my weekly calendars and another for important lists, goals, ideas and inspiration. It’s SO nice to have all of those things in one place, and the bullet journal has a handy index page at the front that allows me create a quick reference list of what’s inside.
I love creating goal tracker pages in bullet journal #2, and it’s fun to fill up the negative space with inspirational quotes (and those cute planner stickers!).
For my homeschool planning, I use an Emily Ley weekly planner, and I follow a similar color coding system. I may eventually set up a bullet journal for our homeschool planner as well, but I already had this Simplified Planner on hand from The Great Planner Test Drive of last autumn (when I purchased WAY too many planners searching for the perfect one!), and I find that it works really well for our basic school needs.
Each day has two columns, so I use the left hand column for my 4th graders’ daily assignments, and the right column contains my kindergartner’s lessons. I use the color coding system to coordinate everyone’s time schedules and to quickly show me what each kid should be working on at the same time. Can you see how totally awesome this color coding thing is yet!? (Seriously, get your PaperMate Flair pens, and get color coding already!)
Yep, we really DO have fun things like reading Harry Potter and doing Star Wars math on our homeschool agenda!
What type of planner do you use? Are you a color coder, too?