Monday, 18 December 2017

Starting My Bullet Journal : Why and How?

Collaborated post with IshtyleAwhile

I am a stationery addict. Not that I over splurge... But I can and will easily spend a hour or so in a shop that stocks stationery. I might not end up buying every time (I do make an effort to resist temptation) buy I love browsing through and picking up somethings every once in a while. The end result? A lot of cute notebooks/diaries....which I do not end up using (coz let's admit it, they are too pretty to use!).

Sometimes when I do use them, the pages filled in are completely random. To do lists, blog lists, study notes...all jumbled up. I came across the concept of Bullet Journalling about a year and half ago (thanks to all the YouTubers I follow). The process though being extremely interesting, looked too much of an effort to follow through. So even though I loved watching the set-ups of different people, I never gave in to trying it out myself. 

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Until, I chanced upon Lily Pebbles video which finally inspired me to try Bullet Jounalling out. I started it in Feb 2017 (a month late I know..but better late than never). Her very basic layout finally made me believe that I could do this as well (you will see that my layout is very much inspired by hers. I didn't want to take too many new chances you see)

Anyway, that is a super long intro! Phew! Take a look at my Bullet Journal 2017 along with a few tips and tricks to help you do this smoothly! ☺


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So, Bullet Journalling was created by Ryder Carrol and essentially it is a way of keeping your notes/diary a lot more organized. Compared to the usual pre-made planners, having a Bullet Journal gives you a lot more flexibility. A single notebook can have your diary, planner, sketchbook, to-do lists, work notes and so much more. It is completely customizable to suit your lifestyle and needs, which is what attracted me towards the concept. 

I highly suggest you go thorugh their website to get a clear idea on how to start
YouTube is also filled with hunderds of ideas and layouts, so you can see how flexible this system actually is! 

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The notebook which most people use all over is by  LEUCHTTURM 1917 (dotted version). You can find it on Amazon. But since it is ridiculously expensive here, and I was a first timer, I wanted to first try the system, see if it works for me and then invest in the book later on. 
So I went for a standard diary (couldn't find a dotted one so settled for ruled pages instead). It has worked out pretty good so far. And Ryder says that any notebook would do, so there! 
I basically wanted one that would fit easily in my everyday bag, so that I actually use it. 

  • I would suggest you try getting one which has pre-written page numbers though. Mine didn't and I spent an evening putting the page numbers in (made mistakes too a few times :D)
  • Ruled pages do restrict you doodling and drawing free hand things. Drawing tables and charts on a dotted one will be more convenient certainly. 
  • Before you begin anything, make sure to watch Ryder's video on how to Bullet Journal. He talks about what the system is and how to go about it. This is absolutely essential.  

I have been using this for a while now, so obviously it is filled in and has quite a few personal details. I have had to scratch them out. But you can see my basic setup clearly. Hope this helps! 



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I started with the Key and Index.

Key - has the basic symbols (as suggested by Ryder) plus I added some of mine. This is just a reference if I ever forgot any of them. 


Index- A guide to what is in the journal along with the page number to each section. It is very handy to get to a page quickly. I gave this about 2 pages (front and back). 



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I sort of combined by Calendar and Future Log into one. It has the calender on the side for each month along with some space to write about any big events coming up that particular month. 
Followed by a page of 2017 Goals. (didn't have too many as I knew this year would be extremely busy and shaky)


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Ideally the Monthly Log should have come up next, but since I would be using the journal mainly for blogging, I went ahead with a simple Stats Tracker. I fill in the numbers at the end of each month of all the social media pages. 
Even though numbers are not everything, it gives a good insight as to how things are changing or progressing each year. 


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Next up is my Monthly Spread for the blog i.e. Blog Content
I gave each month a page. The day and dates are written on the left column, the post that has to go up/ or which went up in the middle and the right hand side is divided into different columns for different tasks - photos done or not, instagram, twitter, facebook - depending on where I have shared them. I mark each with a simple dot. I can easily keep track here of what has been done and what is left to do.
I usually fill any collaborated posts with a different color. 


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I have made a separate Montly Log for personal use. One month spreads over 2 pages for this one. 

The left page has the Monthly Calender. I fill in the events/birthdays/anniversaries/any important thing scheduled for the day against the date. 

The right side page is dedicated to Monthly tasks and Expenses. (these include the major tasks to be done that month and the major expenses). I did not create a seperate Daily Log since I would not need that much space and it would just be a waste (atleast for 2017). 


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I found that writing down the expenses was a huge help to keep track of the amount I am spending and has helped me save up more. 


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This next section was inspired by a couple of YouTubers, and has swatches of all my nailpolishes
This wasn't necessary of course, but was extremely fun to do! 
I have divided the polished according to the color family - Neutrals, Pinks, Reds, Corals, Purples, Glitter, Metallics and Mattes. 
There is space to add in future polishes too :D :D 

It was a fun to see which colors I gravitate towards mostly and also is a good way to keep in mind the colors you already have, so that you dont end up buying similar ones. 

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Tips :
  • Be consitent. It will take a few weeks to get used to this, but once you start doing it, it sort of becomes a daily habit. 
  • Don't feel pressurized. A lot of people out there have elaborate spreads and get very creative and illustrative when it comes to their journals. I understand the pressure to do that as well and to make things looks super fancy. But stick to what works for you. That is the whole point fo this system. I like a minimalistic spread, something that is easy to make and fill in. I do get a bit creative once in a while when I have the time and mood. But keep the overall look simple, especially if you are a beginner. 
  • This is not a chore. Again tied to the point above, you should not feel as if this is a task for you to do. You will never be able to do it for long then. Filling in the journal should become a natural habit, as easy as watching tv on a Saturday night. Bottom line? Keep it simple. Stay away from extra jazz, unless you actually enjoy doing that and are super good at it. I resort to using different colored pens mostly. 
  • Start Slow. For a beginner this system can be very overwhelming. Do not make all your pages at once. Start with the very basic pages - Key, Index, Calender, Monthly log etc. Let the other topics/collections you want come in naturally. You will find out your rythmn. 

Where I went wrong:
  • Created all my Montly Logs at once. I was too excited! So I went ahead and made Jan-Dec in one go. I would suggest making your Log one month at a time. That way if you followed a particular spread for January and it didn't work for you very well, you can try a different one next month and the month after, until you find what works best for you! 
  • Was not very consistent this year. It was my first time tryin out the system. it was super fun, but I had exams and interviews and house shiftings and settling ins and so much running around that I was not very consistent. I knew 2017 would be like this though, so I am not too disappointed. Next year will be better!

Plans for next year:
  • I plan to include more "Collection" pages next year i.e Books to read, Recepies to try, Shows/Movies to watch and whatever else comes to my mind! It should be a good checklist to tick off at the end of the year. 
  • A Year Overview Page (to jot down the accomplishments, highlights, major events). Hang on, I can do this for 2017 as well! Yay! 
Who is Bullet Journalling For:
  • If you like paper and pen to do lists/events. 
  • If you like this organized
  • If you like stationery (pens, diaries etc)
  • If you like planners, but want more customization to suit your lifestyle and needs. 
  • If you like maintaing a journal/diary
  • If you like the idea of having your to-do lists/planner/diary/jouranal all in one book!
Might Not Work If:
  • You like jotting down things digitally
  • You like pre made planners 
  • You struggle with consistency

This post is in collaboration with Krupa from IshtyleAwhile. Make sure to head over to her blog to know her experience with Bullet Journalling! She has some insights and tips too which might help you out :)

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If you have stuck around till now...wow! Thank you and I love you! I get that this is completely overwhelming and confusing but I think once you get it, it can be life changing. It is a simple way to keep all your things and thoughts in once place and a good way to stay organized too. Remember if you are about to begin this : Keep it Slow, Keep it Simple! ☺

So, will you be trying the Bullet Journal?


xoxo,

Swati
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