Intentional Mothering

Bullet Journaling: Why I’m Never Going Back to Traditional Planners Again.

January 28, 2016

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I love planners. I’m not a good planer per-se, but I love fresh, clean and blank journals all ready to be filled up with words. I need planners, too. Since having kids, this “baby-brain” thing has plagued me no end. {The amount of times I have left my house keys on top of the car and driven away, seriously. In one week, I left my purse behind at the grocery store at two different supermarkets. Mum’s lose their minds, it’s legit.}

I have specific requirements for planners, too. They need to:

  • be week-to-view BUT have decent daily sections
  •  not be rigid with times {because what stay-at-home mum can be, right?}
  • have extra pages for notes, doodles, lists
  • be spacious but not so big I can’t take it around with me
  • be sturdy
  • be pretty {most important aspect, surely}

After struggling through different planners over the last few years, near the end of last year I stumbled upon the term “bullet journal”. I can’t remember where, perhaps it was on my Pinterest feed I’m not sure, but all I can say is this: I love it and I am never going back! Here’s why:

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It’s Flexible {or, It’s Forgiving}

One thing that I struggled with pre-made planners is that they never perfectly suited my life and the things I need as a family manager. There are buisness planners, student planners, blog planners. I even bought a “mom” planner – and it seemed to be a good fit – but in the end, it wasn’t. There is always something not right for me: I don’t need timed days; I need enough space to list, cross out, add to etc. Space is a huge thing for me, and free space, too.

Bullet journalling is when you have a lined journal, some favourite pens and that’s it. You design it to perfectly fit you, your life, your goals, your priorities.  So, as a stay-at-home mum, with kindy mornings, church commitments, friendships to pursue and an entire house and garden to manage, I can create it to fit ME.

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As a stay-at-home mum, I am doing things all day long – but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. I clean the living room, yet thirty minutes later, the kids have walked sand in through from the sandpit outside. It’s the best and worst thing. So, to help me feel like – at the end of the day – I have accomplished a lot, I jot down all the things I want to do today, as well as later I add in things I have done. I tick them off in pink, I cross with purple if I didn’t get round to it. The next day, those purple items are moved to the top of the list {if appropriate}.

It’s bliss seeing things done. I feel accomplished, even if I was kid-wrangling and running around endlessly breaking up bickering all day. I don’t add things I do by rote {like kitchen clean-up, make beds, tidy up etc}. I write the things I do on top of our daily routine.

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It’s Unique

I love it that I can put whatever I want, wherever I want, in my journal. All the things I’ve always wanted in a planner,  I can put in. For example, at the start of a month, I have a title page of the month, a month-to-view, a half-page goal tracker and then, the month of days {the pages are divided in half for each day}. At the end of the month, I have a “Thoughts From the Month” to reflect on what’s been going on.

I can also put in lists that I might have elsewhere in a random diary but which I never get round to again. The bullet journal has them all in one convenient place! I have a weight goal tracker, a books read in 2016, my goals for the year etc. And the beauty of the journal is, I go only a month at a time. Half way through the month, I write out the next month. I can leave a few blank pages between each month for random pages {like my Books Read in 2016 fits between January and February}. Also, if something isn’t working, I can just change it: I’m not bound by any system.

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It’s Creative

I love doodling and decorating and creating. Whenever I was looking for a planner, it had to be attractive. And though planners have gotten prettier recently, again, I’ve never found one that perfectly suited me. But bullet journaling answers this problem and need so well. As you can see in all the picture, I love taking the time to have nice handwriting, add doodles, Scriptures and pictures and washi tape.

There are definitely more creative people out there, but that’s okay. This planner is for me and I’m making it for me. It doesn’t matter if one of my doodles looks a bit silly, I can paste a picture over it. And because I’m going month by month, what didn’t work creatively the month before can be let go. If one month a want florals, I can; if the next month, I want it more spartan, I can. Brilliant for the creative mind, like me.

Some people adult colour, I adult journal :).

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For inspiration, go on Pinterest and scroll through the bullet journal beauty. Plus, for more specifics, try:

People use:

  • Moleskin diaries or
  • Leuchtturm diaries {see Boho’s post on that}
  • Good, thick inked but thin tip pens, like Faber Castle

I use Typo {an Australian company} for both my diaries and pens.

So, do you bullet journal? What do you think?

PS: The Amazon links on this page are affiliated. Thank you for supporting me.

  1. Ha ha, I can definitely relate to the baby brain thing- when my youngest was a baby, I repeatedly went to look for my house keys when we were going out somewhere, only to find them in the lock on the outside of our door- where I had left them the previous day 🙁 Thankfully no harm ever came to us!! I think you are a lot more creative than me, as I think the whole bullet journal idea *looks* great, but I don’t know that I would be able to produce something so pleasing to the eye! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. So maybe I’ve been bullet journaling all along and never knew it?!? I have a random pratty notebook in which I track all my daily to do lists and goals. Though I never drew in a calendar, and I really admire the way you’ve structured yours! I might have to emulate, as I cannot find a perfect fit planner either!!! Awesome post. And hooray for Skype ;). Let’s do it again soon!

  3. Wow…I’ve been bullet journaling and didn’t even know that what I’m doing had a name! 🙂 I’m a homeschooling mom, and couldn’t find a teacher’s plan book last fall when I was shopping for school supplies. I usually use one to write out our daily lesson plans. What I found instead was a big, blank, hardback book that was so cute that I couldn’t leave it in the store. So I bought it and have been using it for lesson plans, to-do lists, prayer lists, menu planning…everything. Maybe I’ll have to blog about mine too.

    I’m a little scared to go and look at others on Pinterest now. Mine is pretty basic at the moment – just checkboxes and a few hearts and arrows – and I’m thinking I may go crazy with it if I get more ideas! 🙂

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