9 Jan 2018 40 comments

A Look At My Bullet Journal.

January is for journaling…

Last year I got in to bullet journaling, something that surprised me because I’ve never really been a diary-keeping kind of person. My appointments are kept in iCal, I write out reminders in my phone as and when I remember them, and everything else I jot down on a notebook next to my laptop!

When bullet journalling took off, I held off – it seemed like a complicated, lengthly process when I already owned stacks of notebooks and planners! But within time, I saw the benefits of bullet journalling.
I liked that you could really personalise it and create a journal/planner/diary that suited you. I also liked that you could pick up and start wherever; in the past I always felt put off when I missed days in dated planners, but with bullet journalling, you call the shots. There’s no pressure at all.

This is more a tour of my bullet journal, to give you a bit of inspiration, but if you want to see a really good guide on how to start, Lily’s video is great, and of course Anna has a really awesome post on creating a practical, minimal journal which I loved! It’s actually inspired me to rethink future pages in my own journal.

Keeping it simple…

My last journal was a lot different to this years; previously I spent ages (especially at the start of the year!) on crazy headings and doodles, but within time I realised how time consuming it was and I ended up going the other way and I didn’t enjoy how messy and boring it became. It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t satisfying or motivational – I needed to rethink it!

So this time, I sat down before the New Year and worked on my 2018 journal and really stripped it back. I thought about what worked for me and what didn’t, and I’ve ended up with something that is much more functional and inspiring.

So far, I love what I have going on! It’s not a chore to keep up with, it keeps me on track – and when you’re self-employed, staying on top of tasks is an absolute must!

The tools…

I use the staple bullet journal in plain black – the dotted pages make it super easy to keep it neat and create boxes, headings and whatever.

As for pens and things, I stick to these fine-nib pens for everyday use. They don’t smudge, and I like the 0.5 for keeping my messy scribbles neat and tidy.
I don’t always use highlighters, but this pastel set is pretty cute!

I think the Tipp-Ex Mouse Correctors are an absolute must! I can’t be without these for erasing little errors.

A few of my favourite pages…

Last year I went over the top with lists and crazy pages, but this year I simplified it so much! Some of the fun stuff remains, but mostly it’s pretty easy and minimal.

When I thought about what I wanted to gain from this journal, I decided that I wanted something to keep me on track. A planner to keep me motivated and productive with work and life in general – to be able to monitor my progress with everything from my yearly goals to my daily tasks, fitness targets, blog and social stats and even birthdays and healthy habits!

I kept space (about 40 pages) at the front of my journal for different pages and sections, and the rest of my journal is reserved for each month of the year. I’ll fill this in as I go along.

The future log…

This spread sits at the beginning of the journal, it’s a great way to see the year at a glance. I set this up with three months to a page, so I could list what I have coming up! I had to remove a few secret projects, but you get an idea of how my year is looking. I like to add important birthdays, gigs and events, trips and any other big projects I have going on.
I did the exact same spread last year too, it’s so handy (and also very exciting!) to see my year ahead over a couple of pages.

Dream brands to work with…

I created a ‘dream brands to work with’ list last year and I loved it, especially looking back at it at the end of the year and seeing how many I ticked off!
This year I separated the page in to sections for the different topics on my blog – I edited out my list for this post, but under beauty I have brands like NARS and La Mer, and under lifestyle I have a few foodie brands I love!

My stats tracker…

Another section I loved from last years journal was my stats tracker, I’ve never cared that much about numbers but it is quite interesting to see where you’re growing. I think I gained about 45k followers on Instagram last year, which is crazy because at the time you feel like it’s such a slow process!
I included the usual social platforms, as well as YouTube subscribers and views and some blog stats too. I’m not going to obsess over it, but it’s good to keep an eye on these things – even just for motivation.

Tasks to get through…

I kept a page and sectioned it off in to three rows – a section for my daily tasks like emails, replying to comments, writing blog posts etc., then a section for my weekly tasks; taking photos for posts, updating my shop section, doing a food shop and planning meals, and then a monthly tasks section for jobs like planning blog content, updating my stats page and paying invoices.
It keeps me on top of my game!

Everything else…

Alongside the above, I have pages for my healthy habits and fitness goals, my standard weekly food shopping list, a list of meals to make when I’m all out of ideas, and then a few pages for my goals for the year ahead.
I divided the goals in work/personal/long-term and then I dedicated another page for my ‘top ten goals to achieve this year’.

I also have pages for my regular blog features, video ideas, packing lists and countries/cities I want to visit!

The monthly spread…

So after a big section for various lists, aims and trackers, I started my January monthly spread. On the left page I did a simple little heading (I’ve kept my doodles very minimal this year, which saves time!) and a mini calendar, and the opposite page is for key dates. So in January I have an exciting dentist appointment (I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that!), a Paramore gig and a couple of trips (and a few other events I sneakily edited out. Heh).

Monthly goals

The following pages I left for a quick monthly goals roundup, my videos for the month ahead and my blog schedule.
My monthly goals are typical January aims – get back to the gym (tick), plan my blog content, cut down on chocolate etc. etc. boring etc.
I like this mini spread because I can see at a glance what I need to get on with. My monthly blog and YouTube content are there, my goals are there… easy peasy.

My monthly blog schedule

I actually plan my blog content on an online scheduler through my blog dashboard, where I can also schedule my social content, but this is a rough guide to go alongside it. I jotted down the days of the month and then added my upcoming posts beside it – then I can flick back and forth and see what’s what.

Ongoing sponsored projects

Also under each month, I kept a page aside for any sponsored campaigns I’m working on. Sometimes I have a few on at once and it can be hard to keep track of what I’ve done and what I haven’t, so I kept a double page for listing the work I have to do for each campaign.

The weekly spread

After the above sections comes my weekly spreads. Again, I kept this super simple – I don’t even bother with a ruler and just freehand it!

On the left, I split the page in to seven rows for each day of the week, and then I split the days in to two columns. On the left I put a mini to-do list for that day – this is more appointments, events and jobs I have to get done that specific day, and on the right I put my tasks – so that may be to film a set video, or work on some branded content. I like to map out my days quickly because it keeps me on track for the week ahead.

On the opposite page, I divided the two columns in to sections and I’ve been changing these up a little as I go.
I always leave a big chunk of a column for my to-do list, I write everything down or I’ll forget something. I edited these out because they were pretty specific, but it had tasks like; pay X invoice, work on tax return, speak to my manager about a project. That sort of thing!

I also have a small section for the blog photos I need to take that week, any items I need to buy, and also what I’m currently reading/listening to, and any important things to remember.

My weekly spreads used to be more simple, but I actually prefer sectioning it off like this – it’s quite therapeutic to see it all laid out.

A few tips…

My advice would be to not get too caught up in your journal – it doesn’t have to be a work of art! A few doodles are cute but otherwise, keep it functional. It’s so easy to be particular about it, and get worked up when a page doesn’t look perfect, or you’ve skipped a day or a week, but I think that’s the beauty of a bullet journal: turn the page and start again!

If it’s your first year journalling, use this as a trial year – go all out with pages and lists and trackers, and see what you use and what you don’t.
I recommend looking for ideas on Pinterest, there’s some incredible page ideas on there – although most of them are a little complicated for me, it does inspire you to make the most of your journal!

So, to finish…

There’s not a huge difference between my 2017 journal and my 2018 journal, except that I’ve streamlined it a lot and taken away a lot of the more unnecessary pages that I didn’t keep up with last year.

I’m definitely feeling a lot more inspired after starting to bullet journal, I think it is what you make of it though – you can have a whole book of doodles if you want, or you can use it to keep track of your mental health or fitness journey – you do you!

Are you thinking about starting bullet journalling, or have you been at it for some time?

  • Your writing is so beautiful! Some lovely tips here I can’t wait to properly get stuck into my journal xxx

    sophieinwonderlandxo.com

  • Rebecca Jenkins

    I considered a bullet journal this year, but decided to go with an ordinary planner. I’m such a perfectionist that I think me doing a bullet journal would end up with all the pages being ripped out.

  • If I had a little more time on my hands, I would definitely want to keep a bullet journal. Yours looks so beautiful! X
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

  • I always thought of bullet journalling as a bit of a faff but I think I’m starting to see the appeal now. No diaries I have found this year fit my needs perfectly so I might try and make my own, thank you for the tips!
    Marbl☾☽Moon

  • Your Bullet Journal looks so efficient! I’ve never bothered with one or even considered it really because I always thought they looked too time consuming & complicated but yours looks so perfect for just keeping track of the essentials. I’m tempted now! XX

    Frances Kayleigh | Fashion & Lifestyle

  • Your bullet journal looks great! Sadly, I don’t think I can keep track of a bullet journal. I might start it and then I’ll just forget about it. I tend to keep everything on my phone and just tick things off as I go.

    x Mariya
    http://www.brunetteondemand.com

  • Alina

    Ohh I really like your bullet journal!! I didn´t really see the sense of a bullet journal in the past, but lately I read so many good things about it, so I might give it a go! Thanks for the lovely and inspiring post!
    Love, Alina // SEVENTYEIGHT

  • Yours is so beautiful and I love the simplicity! I started a bullet journal last April, and while it’s not really a calendar for me, but more of a blog planner and to-do list, the index page etc. has made me feel so much more organised! Hopefully I’ll manage to keep it up this year, too! x

  • This was SUCH a helpful post to read Kate! I defo would love to start a Bullet Journal, they seem like a great way to keep on top of work and stay motivated!

    Jasmine x
    http://www.jasminehardingmakeup.com

  • I started a bullet journal but it didn’t work for me for personal life. I used it for a long time for work – and still use the principles but now in a traditional planner. I love the simplicity of yours and how you made it work for you.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

  • oh i wish i could get into bulle jounaling but its just not for me. yours looks beautiful.
    ❤︎

    http://www.elenaisabelle.com

  • I’ve never really been into bullet journalling because I’m a perfectionist and I would want everything to be absolutely perfect! I guess it is all about trial and error and doing whatever you feel comfortable with – maybe it’s something I’ll look into doing this year or even next year xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.co.uk

  • Karolina Karolcia

    I have a Bullet Journal myself, and this post was so good! I have to create a page with my favourite brands too, because I have lots of it.

    littlewritingworld.wordpress.com

  • Amber Atlanta

    Love how you have styled your journal – it’s so interesting to see how different people spread out the pages, and what they use them for. I’d love to have one, but personally, dont think I have the time to dedicate making all the pages look super pretty, as much as I’d love too!
    Amber | http://www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

  • I started at the beginning of 2017, but fell off the bandwagon. I got into it again in the last quarter of 2017 and am continuing it into this year. So far it’s progressing well and I have a feeling BuJo will be sticking around in my life now. – theflairsophy | http://www.theflairsophy.com

  • Thank you SO much for posting this! It is beautiful and simple. I’ve been bullet journalling for a year now, but not done much of the stat trackers and tried to keep things simple. However I’ve been struggling to think of how to organise my work flow, ideas and to-dos – I tend to find I get de-motivated when the page doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing!

    I hadn’t got round to starting my 2018 bullet journal due to being ill so this was PERFECT timing. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Heather x | http://www.atelierofstyle.co.uk

  • Sandra

    I love this post. But I would really love a video about it. It’s hard to follow without you showing page by page. xoxo

  • I’ve been seriously interested in jumping about the bullet journal bandwagon this year and so this is such a timely and helpful post! For the last 3 years, I’ve religiously bought Kate Spade planners both for my day job and planning my personal website content…while they’re fine for status quo planning, I feel really limit possibilities. I like my planner to be a ‘year book’ of sort that I can flip through and track progress through the years and the layout of yours seems so beyond perfect for that. Thanks for sharing!!

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Kate! 🙂 <3 I've heard so much about bullet journaling, but I've been a little intimidated by it! This little guide and tour is really helpful! Can't wait to start for this year!

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

  • Your journal is simple but still so chic! love seeing other bullet journals for inspiration!

    Vivian | LIVE IN LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_

    ~

  • I love how simple and neat your spread look. I also started using my bullet journal again this month! It really helps me track my daily tasks and stats. ♥

    mooeyandfriends.blogspot.com

  • Rain

    Kate thank you for posting about this! I have been very curious about bullet journaling!

  • Hayley Rubery

    Girl your bullet journal is SO beautiful! I’ve never made one before or even thought about it but am definitely going to start, it would be great to look back over at the end of the year and it’s great to stay creative too!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

  • Valeria Wiwinius

    Your bullet journal is really pretty and this post somehow makes me wanna start my own bullet journal haha
    Thanks for the ideas and tips:)

    xx, Valeria
    http://www.perfectblvck.blogspot.com

  • Simply Curiosity

    I like your style! I have just started bullet journalling and I’m absolutely loving it so far. I’m going for a mix of creativity and functionality, and taking full advantage of the fact that I can change it up from month to month depending on my mood. It would be great to see more bullet journal posts from you xx
    http://simplycuriosity.com/bullet-journal-2018-setup/

  • Missy

    Thank you so much for this post Kate, it was so helpful!

  • Great post, I’m so tempted to start a bullet journal but I’m such a perfectionist I end up spending so many hours trying to get that sort of thing right! P.S. Love the layout of your blog! x

    http://www.bexmoore.com/

  • I love how you’ve designed your journal, the perfect way to organise your life easily!
    Maddy, x

  • Flo la vita

    I love how you’ve made the journal to be so simple. I’ve never done a bullet journal because of how complicated it is with all the different sections for SO many different things. But I might try and do a v simple one this year xx

    http://www.flolavita.co.uk

  • Brianna

    Your bullet journal is so cute! This post definitely gave me a lot more info about how they work and the different ways you can really customize it for yourself. My biggest concerns with bullet journaling (and why I have always stuck with a pretty yet normal planner) is falling off the wagon. It seems like the formatting and organizing parts require some upkeep (which in the moment sounds relaxing and centering and lovely) which I’m known to fall off of by May/June. When I fall off the wagon with a regular planner, I can just pick it up (usually in July/August) – move the bookmark – and ignore however many weeks I missed. I know you mentioned you can just skip it when building your journal, but I guess I worry that will be a deterrent. Obvi my own (motivational) issue I prob just need to get over, but I guess I just haven’t been convinced yet that you can really just pick it up and start again after neglecting periodically. XX

  • Chloe

    Oh this is so useful! Like you I had a bullet journal last year but spent far too much time doodling in it rather than getting stuff done – this year I’m going to make it more practical (and definitely refer to this post a lot when organising it!) x

    http://www.chloeharriets.com/

  • Louise Caparas

    Kate!! I also had last year as my trial year of bullet journalling. By October, I had completely gone off it, only using it as a Netflix tracker and meal planner, which was ridiculous. Then like you, before the New Year, I started really thinking of how to make my 2018 bullet journal work. I listed the things which worked for me last year, and what I needed to have. I decided “journalling” didn’t work for me, and that weekly meal planners shouldn’t be there. I should have instead a weekly to-do list, use more washi tapes and highlighters just to keep it colourful and motivating and fun to use. I used a minimal style for last year and found it boring. I’ve done away with writing down my thoughts like a journal because I was never good at it, and just use my bujo now mainly as an organiser/planner of the things I have to do with work and mum life. I plan a week in advance (usually Sundays), ticking days when I should do yoga, meditation, when to watch Netflix, which podcasts to watch, which days I should read, what activity we’ll do as a family on weekends, etc. And so far, I’ve been really motivated to use my bullet journal. I design empty spaces with washi tapes and stickers, and just overall have fun with it. I love it!

  • Caroline

    Omg, it looks so complicated.

  • Maddison Jayne

    So stylish, I love it! maddisonjayne.blog/

  • Natalie Redman

    Love this. Need to get myself a bullet journal.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Karen Wodstrup

    Hey Kate! I’ve also just done a bullet journal post, maybe you can find some inspo? Here you go: https://karenwodstrup.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/new-year-new-me-2018-bullet-journaling/

  • Nour

    Your journal is so pretty 😍But can you please link the highlighted you used? Also, you referred to a 365 day bullet journal guide in other posts/videos, so I was wandering if you could link that too please!

  • I tried having a bullet journal last year, but ended up failing after a couple of months – Your journal is so pretty that it’s making me want to try again this year though!

    http://www.katiewrites.co.uk

  • Tash Milton

    I have seen a lot of people talking about these so I thought I would do some research, and think alongside my fitness planner and university this will help me! Especially because I love scrap booking etc. Thanks for the tips Kate.

  • I love journaling and am obsessed with Kikki K A5 planners

    I like the idea of bullet journaling and you have inspired me x

    Hugs x