Last July an online friend mentioned she had started using a bullet journal. It sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try. I have lists, notes for projects, bits of research; everywhere. I have a terrible time finding them when I want them. A one stop shop for all those things would be wonderful - right? I have tried date books before but I don't need a page for every day of the week; I like Saturday and Sunday of the weekend together, since that is how I plan my weekend; I rarely need all the parts you end up buying (usually to get the piece I do want I end up paying for more pieces that I don't want) they have also been expensive. In the end I have not found them to be terribly useful.
Like a lot of good ideas, this one is simple. Take a blank book and turn it into what you need and will use. I love that the person who put this idea out there is really up front about: this is what works for me; give it a try; find what works for you and use it; throw the rest of it out.
My first idea was a Midori Travel Journal. But I'm not paying $40 for a leather square with elastic bands attached. So I made a couple (one for a friend) and some inserts. There are some really amazing people who create awesome things and give them away on the internet. I found free calendars and things to print and a tutorial to use my sewing machine to turn them into books to use in the journal. My friend really liked hers. I was not so thrilled. The one I kept was, I think, made with leather that was too thin. This meant the cover was always getting caught and folded/pushed around on stuff, especially when it was in my purse. The elastic on the outside spine edge was always getting caught on things. Whine - whine - whine.
Idea number two was a Moleskine. Luckily, Barnes and Nobel had one marked down, it was cheap and I could bring it home the same day. This has worked really well for me. It's hard cover so the pages and cover don't get mangled in my purse. The flat elastic band doesn't catch on things nearly as often. I think I have found my favorite weekly layout though. Just the right amount of room for the things I need to write down (most of the time).
I tend to make up a new calendar layout every month or two and spend a lot of time looking at blogs for new ideas. There are some VERY artistic people out there. I am not one of them. My journal is NOT pretty, although I have started using different colored flair markers, but that is random and has no 'plan'. It's just for a little visual variety.
As I find the lists, notes and bits of research - I'm putting them in the journal. Being able to find them when I need/want them has been very nice. I've added some trackers to keep track of my progress on my projects, exercise, and other goals. I'm thinking about adding meal planning next.
I've filled roughly half the current journal (half the year, half the book, seems reasonable). I've started looking for a replacement. There are a lot of nice options out there. And a lot of things that give me the 'hmmmmmm' head tilt. What are they thinking?! Just the price variance on Moleskine books from site to site is awe worthy.
The Moleskine is good but it has lined rather than dotted pages. Dotted pages will make some of the more layouts I've found useful easier to create. At least I think they will. Won't know before I try.
Next up - I need to find my camera so I can add pictures to new posts.