Why I love my bullet journal (and how I've changed it to suit me)

a year of bullet journalling

12 months ago I decided to try a bullet journal, which is a specific way to condense your notes, diaries and to-do lists all in one place.

If you want to find out the official way to bullet journal, head over and check out the video. But for now, I'm going to focus on sharing why I love mine, why I've stuck with it, and how I've adapted the system to fit my life.

My first journal was this note pad from Julia Rothman,  which has gloriously cute illustrated pages.  It lasted me from January to September.

bullet journal january

I started 12 months ago, following the Bullet Journal rules, but have since dropped some of them, and made my bullet journal my own.

Why I love keeping a Bullet Journal:

1. It only works if you have it with you at all times. This means all notes, ideas, brainstorms and plans are all together, in one place. I just know where everything is; in my Bullet Journal. 

2. It's flexible, so it I don't use it for a week there is no awkward gap like in a diary, or in a date printed journal. I use it as and when I need it.

3. It's a blend of my diary, my scrap book, and idea collector. This really reflects the way my brain processes things - scattered but organised.

4. I am more productive in down times, like on the bus. I can always do some writing or brainstorming, and be able to find it all again later!

5. I wish an electronic diary worked for me, but there is just something about the creative process for me that needs a pen and paper. I love treating myself to new pens to use in it.

using washi tape in bullet journal

My second bullet journal is another illustrated paper notepad, called Walls by Sherwood Forlee. It's pages are photos of walls, and I've really enjoyed writing all over them!

walls notebook

 What don't I do anymore with my Bullet Journal?

1. I don't really use the full key anymore, but I do use the check box, with one line for task started, and a cross for task completed. 

2. I don't make a month of tasks next to the calendar as they do. I find I just don't plan my life like this. I just make to-do lists daily.

3. I don't have an index. I find just flicking through to find what I'm looking for is just fine. This means I also don't bother numbering pages anymore.

It's my Bullet Journal and I'll use it how I want to!

keeping track in a bullet journal

I find it great for just tracking information, so that I can't forget where it is! This extra calendar is currently at the back of my journal, tracking how my body is coping with the contraceptive implant. I knew if I didn't keep track I'd not have accurate information to rely back to the doctor. Some people track glasses of water drunk, exercise, books read etc. All in one place. Genius. 

make today amazing

I've started browsing for my Bullet Journal no.3, but I really want illustrated pages again, and they're really hard to find! So far I've seen  Kikki K, as well as the other one from Julia Rothman which is nautical themed, and the GMZ Make Space notepad , or the clouds version of the walls one I currently have. I've only been able to find these 4, it seems the Japanese do illustrated notepads much better than us!

Further info:

--> I inspired the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Clare to try Bullet Journalling - read her thoughts here.

--> My free printable to help get you going with your own Bullet Journal.

--> The official getting started guide is here.

--> Pinterest is great for visual inspiration for your own Bullet Journal.