My love of Bullet Journaling

Bullet Journal – Project Planning
Three years of Bullet Journals

I’ve always been a lover of lists.  Lists with little boxes to check when completed.  Packing lists.  Making lists.  To do lists.  Grocery lists.   Lists of restaurants visited on a 3 month road trip.  List of books I’ve read.  All of the lists.   Making a plan and writing a list has brought me a sense of joy and calm since I was a teenager trying to stretch my dollars to pay for my own car and insurance.    I am a list maker, calendar user and planner, sketching out plans for projects and dreams.   Keeping appointments organized thrills me.

Yet, I’ve felt incomplete.  Also since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be someone who journaled…you know the kind of person that wrote beautiful prose about their days and perhaps sketched that bird they saw…a gorgeous chronicle of their fulfilled life.   The type of book that grandchildren cherished as an eye-opening, memento of Gran.   But, no matter how often I tried, I could never  journal with any consistency, despite the growing stack of blank journals that I lovingly purchased.

Then I stumbled upon a social media post for a Bullet Journal and was transformed.    Here was the journal/planner that was not for the person I wished I to be, but for who I am.   {How is it that this independent thinking, problem solver needed some odd form of permission to blend all of my plans, lists, sketches, musings into one book?  A book that satisfied everything and became so precious to me that it’d be the first on the “save in a fire” list after my humans.  It boggles my mind.}  Truly it’s amazing what a little “permission” can open up.  Finally I have the place to chronicle my life, in all it’s dreams and mundane-ness in just the way that fits.  I have three years of them now.  I love the simplicity of it and I carry my book wherever I go.

Bullet Journal weekly planning page

While I find incredible inspiration from other’s bullet journals and admire their artistic loveliness , I embrace what works for me and then let everything else go.  And so, I’m sharing how I use my journal in case you too need a little “permission”.

I have a weekly spread where I plan for appointments and oil changes, do meal planning, make a grocery list, list projects I’m working on…from deep cleaning to sewing curtains for the camper…work out the budget for the week and plan a daily art project for my son.  In that spread, I track my daily activities that are important to me but often get pushed to the back burner…like washing my face (truly…I have a two year old), yoga, walking, making, drinking water, meditation.

Then I have my favorite pages.  Pages for dreams, ideas and lists for my business and future work.  Pages where I work out a rhythm for my days and pages where I plan a rhythm for our year as a family – days to honor, holidays to embrace, celebrations.   Pages where I start to know myself a bit better.

Bullet Journal – Wardrobe Planning Spread
Bullet Journal – Project Planning
Bullet Journal – Daily rhythm spread

At the turn of the year, I begin by journaling about what I learned the year before, expressing my gratitude and dreaming on the year to come.   Determining how I want to feel in that new year and how I plan to achieve those feelings.  If I read a particularly inspiring book or listen to an engaging podcast, I write about that.   I have plans and sketches for things I’d like to make or things I am making or things I have already made or things I’ll never make whose itch got scratched by the shear act of planning.    I have spreads for vacations and trips, organized by season.  I keep track of my garden and my canning adventures.  I have pages that explore my pain and my gratitude.

Some pages are messy and some are beautiful, much like my life.   I can’t quite explain why such a simple thing brings me such joy, but it does.  I hope my grandchildren stumble upon these treasures and find connection to their heritage within their pages, that in some way I am known more deeply for having put pen to paper.  I hang onto a tattered sketch of a horse my grandma Marian did as a girl not because it’s masterfully done, but because it’s evidence of her humanness.  She was born and grew and lived long before I spent my brief years with her gray-haired self.  She was once like me and I like her.

Bullet Journal – Home keeping and preserving spread

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Renee

    This post was very inspiring. I love lists too. And I love journals. Now to get over my mental block about filling them up…

    1. Tina

      Renee! I know exactly what you mean. I find this very freeing. Sometimes there are even {gasp} blank pages in the middle of my book! It’s somewhat disorderly…weekly pages nestled between idea sketches and packing lists…and so freeing.

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