Image Description: the background is white flat surface with stationery items resting on top the surface. From left to right, a silver notebook (grey coloured elastic bound around it to keep it closed and grey ribbon poking out the bottom). four black pens with different coloured pen-caps, and a thick silver pen.
This post will be discussing Bullet Journals and is mostly aimed at Beginners, so if you’re not a Beginner or have little to no interest in Bullet Journals, this post may not be for you.
There are many types of Bullet Journals available:
- Notebook – Leuchtturm 1917 and Moleskine
- Ring Binder Planner – Dokibook and Kikki.K
- Digital – Bullet Journal Companion (iTunes), Daily Notes (iTunes), and Daily Note (Google Play)
As I only have experience with Notebook Bullet Journals thus far, that’s the type of Journal I’ll be primarily focused on. I should probably clarify what a Bullet Journal is exactly. The thing is, other talented people have already done this, so here’s some links for Beginners explaining what a Bullet Journal is:
~How To Bullet Journal (YouTube Video)
I bought these books for University subjects, but I have yet to use them, I think? I have a problem with hoarding notebooks, and sometimes I start filling them with stuff, but then I forget about them. They’re currently located in a magazine holder on my impromptu coffee table, that way I can always see where they are.
I find A4-sized notebooks cumbersome, I’m trying to cut back on how much stuff I carry around with me, and I wouldn’t be able to transport those books easily. But if you wanted to use an A4-sized notebook, and simply have that one predominately anchored to the house or in an easily traceable location, then have a smaller one to take with you when you leave the house, that could work. The problem is that you’d have to be good at migrating tasks and appointments from the small book to the big book (and vice versa). I’m not particularly disciplined, so this particular method probably wouldn’t work for me, but feel free to test out your options.
To be honest, I found a lot more printable resources for A4-sized stuff, so I guess it depends on what you want. If you prefer the printable planner option over a notebook, I’d recommend a compendium (I’ll talk about that further down).
As of writing this post, the “Stay Cool” pink notebook is currently being used as a Reading Journal. It helps me to write lists of books I want to read, it helps me keep track of my TBR pile, and helps me write lists for my Monthly Themed Reading Challenges. There is a flaw though. As it’s a lined notebook, I find it difficult to draw tables, and if you’re the type of person who likes to draw tables in their Bullet Journal, I’d recommend a notebook with dotted paper or the square-grid paper instead. Other than that, I like the notebook, it has a cute design, and hope to continue using it.
The Constellation Book is being used as a book solely dedicated to Novel Outlining for my Pushing Boundaries series. I was also hoping to use this book for Giveaway ideas orientated around the Pushing Boundaries series, random ideas I might have for scenes or the series as a whole. I wanted all my Pushing Boundaries stuff in the one place so I could easily find it and access it.
In general, I usually prefer to use spiral-bound notebooks, I find them easier to write on and to utilise, but by the same token, my style of Bullet Journal is minimalist and practical. My handwriting is awful (in fact I suspect I may have dyspraxia), I tend to smudge the ink of my layouts, so you won’t be seeing pictures of super pretty layouts on my blog.
But if you’re the artistry type, and that’s fine if you are, and you’re planning on making your Bullet Journal super pretty, I’ve read that the spiral-bound notebooks sometimes get in the way, apparently the perfect-bound notebooks are better for artsy stuff instead (honestly I have no idea, use whatever type of book you want).
Side-note: I don’t recommend that you spend all your time making your bullet journal pretty and forget to use it, and I don’t recommend putting so much effort in the visual elements that you’re now too afraid to use it (in case you mess it up). Your first bullet journal should be a little messy, don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Mermaid Sequin Notebook
Image Description: A5-sized notebook with mermaid sequins decorating the cover. The cover consists of mostly black sequins with smiley face made of white sequins positioned in the middle of the cover. There’s a black bookmarking ribbon hanging out the bottom of the book.
Image Description: A5-sized notebook with mermaid sequins decorating the cover. The cover consists of mostly white sequins with smiley face made of black sequins positioned in the middle of the cover. There’s a black bookmarking ribbon hanging out the bottom of the book.
I love Mermaid Sequin objects and I love notebooks, so naturally I had to buy this when I found it at KMart, however, the amount of glue used on the bindings of the book, make it difficult to open the book and keep it open. It’s pretty but not practical.
My Daily Planner
Image Description: an A5-sized leather-bound daily planner in bright pink with a pink elastic band binding the planner closed. On the right side of the elastic band, is the number “2017” indented into the cover.
I bought this planner at the start of the year, but I’m not a Daily Planner type of person, I’ve found that I’m more of a Monthly and Weekly type person, as a result, this style of organisation has never worked for me. It also has a 8am to 8pm daily time schedule, and as I used to work shift-work that could sometimes go to 10pm, I found that the time schedule element didn’t work for me either. If I had a 9am to 5pm job, it’d be fine, but I don’t. I’d also forget about it completely for months at a time, then I’d have to force myself to use it, and if you have to force yourself to do something, it’s probably not working for you.
My Mental Health Bullet Journal and Mental Health Compendium:
Image Description: an A5-sized perfect-bound book with an Australian Christmas theme cover. The cover has an alternating pattern of Kangaroos with Santa hats, red-and-green Kangaroo Paws (the plant), and green-and-red Kangaroo Paws (the plant).
My Mental Health Bujo started out as a General Bujo, with monthly logs and collections, but it morphed into a Mental Health Journal, which became a problem whenever I wanted to explain what a Bullet Journal was to someone else. While a bullet journal (notebook or digital) can be a great way to keep track of doctor appointments, therapy notes, self-care stuff, I also didn’t want to deal with or answer awkward questions.
As this was my first bullet journal, the inside is a mess, nothing is ordered or structured. Monthly logs over here, half-completed habit trackers over there, weird tables and collections thrown in at random. The thing is, this is okay, the Index section and page numbers exist to handle this, but I’d like something with a little more structure and consistency. So while I’ll probably continue to use this for mental health stuff and general notes I want to jot down, I probably won’t put in anymore weekly layouts or monthly logs.
I bought this from Aldi at the start of the year while the store had their “Back To School” sale. I had no intentions of using this compendium for Mental Health stuff, but because it’s great at hording things, it just sort of happened. I keep referral letters in an envelope protector and store the envelope protector inside the compendium. There’s also room for pens and post-it notes.
There’s an A4-sized ring binder, which is where I store some plastic pockets and loose-leaf paper. The problem is the compendium ia rather bulky and awkward for transporting, I find it easier to carry in my backpack, rather than use the flimsy single shoulder strap.
But if you’re the type of person who wants a printable planner, dividers, plastic pockets for collections or categories, than this might be more your thing. Especially since A4-sized are a lot more common and cheaper than A5-sized ones.
Side-Note: Aldi are currently selling glitter gel pens, so if you’re into that, you might want to check out your local Aldi, however, Daiso also sells coloured pens too.
These notebooks are harder to find in Australia, however, I bought this a couple of months ago from eBay and it’s been a real learning process. I’m not particularly good at being coherent, so in order to minimise anxiety about messing up the pages, I found it was easier to write down a list of pages I wanted and the order I wanted them to appear in. I also researched layouts I wanted to use, used grey-lead to draw them in, and then erase them. It took me a few goes before I got the dimensions right, this bujo is definitely going to take more work, but I enjoyed it.
So, dear readers, what do you think?
- Do you use a Bullet Journal?
- What type do you currently use?
- If money wasn’t a barrier, what type of Bullet Journal would you like to use?
Let me know in the comments section below :). Also, I’m not going to be displaying the inside of my Bullet Journals, however, if you run a blog and do regular posts on your own Bullet Journal and various layouts, feel free to leave a link in the comment section as well.