So last month, I decided to start keeping track of my life. Being pregnant, I am forgetting things so often, and I feel like I have even more things to keep track of. I was already bad at keep track of what I have going on, but now that I have doctor’s appointments, a lot more shopping for baby stuff, diet changes, and vitamins to take, I need to have something where I can put it all down in one spot. And something that I would want to keep up with, not just entering it all into my phone. I have interesting motivations, I’ve found. And if I have a chance to be a little more creative and hands-on, I have a better chance at keeping up with projects and not just letting them fall through the cracks. So, I started a bullet journal.
If you haven’t seen this trend on Pinterest yet, let me fill you in. It’s basically a planner, but you get to create the format and customize it to what you want to keep track of. You can keep it simple, but what’s the point in that? Just use a planner. What I did is I made a list of all the things I want to keep track of in my life and tried to create this journal to work around that. Here is my list:
- Prayers – for when I am talking to friends or hear some news and I want to pray for it, but of course I will forget when I actually sit down to pray. This keeps me accountable and true to my word.
- Reading plans – both for reading the Bible and for reading other books. This helps me plan for how much I read each day, what I want to read next, and I even thought about doing something for my progress (but I haven’t gotten that far yet).
- Household chores/projects – Taylor and I have a really tough time keeping up with daily/weekly things we need to do around the house to keep it organized and clean. This way, I can have it on my to-do list every day and I see it, so I won’t forget (instead I’ll just choose to ignore it 🙂 )
- Pregnancy stuff – I like to keep track of where I’m at in my pregnancy (because it’s starting to get hard to remember which week I’m at, to be completely honest). I also want a place where I can write down things like what symptoms I’m experiencing, questions for my doctor as I come up with them, reminders to take my vitamin and supplements, and other such things. This has been a lifesaver when it comes to those.
- Blogging – I really want to get in the habit of writing a new post at least once a week, so I’ve been working on that. It’s also helping me plan out the posts so we get more of a variety, instead of me writing my 15th post on pregnancy or whatever.
- Goals/tasks/events – Like any planner, I want to keep all of our goals for the month/year in one spot, tasks that we want to accomplish and mark them off as we accomplish them, and events we have for each day. This has also been a tremendous help as I now have a good visual of what events I have and when. My iPhone calendar is fine, but it’s not the best visual aid when I still have to click on each individual day to see what events are planned on it.
There are a million other ways for you to use a bullet journal. I got some of my ideas from here. Also, if you want to see more of the sources where I got my ideas from, here is a link to my Pinterest board where I organized them all.
Once I had it planned out (which is the important first step that you should not skip), I was ready to begin. I got a Moleskin Journal to use, mostly because I wanted to start sooner rather than later and knew their journals were reliable. They also had graph paper, which is my favorite to use. I also got some Washi Tape because I figured that’d come in handy, plus I wanted to personalize it a little more.
I looked at my Pinterest board for inspiration and started writing! From what I read online, it’s good to start with a “Key” where you can put a list of all the symbols you’ll use in one spot.
I found this idea online, and it looked like most people used the same symbols. I added a couple, I don’t use a couple, but the only way to really figure out what is best is to put it down and see what sticks.
So that’s page one. After this, I was going to start putting my monthly pages. One I knew I wanted to put that I found online was a page for just miscellaneous lists, or “Mini Brain Dumps.”
I used it a lot for shopping lists, which took up a lot of space. I solved that problem later. But I also made lists of blog post ideas, reading lists, home renovation ideas, and packing lists. It’s super helpful for someone like me who has these really great ideas in the middle of the day, but then forgets them when it matters. So this is something I’m keeping throughout this whole thing.
Here’s my first attempt at making my daily task pages:
I thought putting five days on two pages would be good. I would divide out each day with a “time tracker,” which is the bar above the days with the numbers (hours) listed out. The plan was to just list out the tasks and events for each day. I even wanted to put the weather on there for each day, but there was no room for that. That was the problem. I ran out of room almost every day. So I needed to do something different.
I wanted to set up September differently. So I started over. I started with a “Monthly Goals” page.
I listed out all the things I wanted to accomplish this month. I like this because I wanted to make sure that those things I had in my head to do this month don’t get overlooked. I recently put some deadlines for myself on the remaining goals I have for the month.
Next, I put a page for Prayers. I didn’t do that well at keeping up with it this month, but I still think that’s a good idea that I should keep with each month. I also put a list of every day of the month down to have one place to visually see how busy I am and when I’m free.
So now, I’m putting each day on one page, and weekends share a page. I divided up tasks by what their for, put a section for Notes (so shopping lists can go there now), and I even added a place to put what I plan for dinner. This has definitely worked out the best for me so far, and I’m sure it’ll change some more. But this has been a great idea for me, so if you’re interested in starting one, I hope I offered some inspiration.