I’ve officially been using a bullet journal for 2 months now, and I gotta say there is no consistency to my bullet journal pages. They keep changing and evolving as I figure out what I need.
I knew I wasn’t going to have one of those bullet journals that people looked to for inspiration. That’s just not how I plan. Sure, I like colored pens and fun markers. Washi tape is my friend. But planning is a messy business. I need to know what’s happening when, and I want a functional planner more than I want a fun planner.
If you searched for bullet journal pages to get some ideas of how you should decorate or layout your planner, this isn’t the post for you.If you searched for bullet journal pages to get some ideas of how you should decorate or layout your planner, this isn't the post for you. Click To Tweet
If you searched for bullet journal pages in order to get a functional idea of how you can do things to make you more productive, you’re in the right place.
And you should definitely click here for some bullet journal ideas, especially if you’re trying to set up your first bullet journal.
It’s not that I don’t like pretty spreads, because I do. It’s just that I know that I’m not the person to make them. Or rather, if I did, I would be the type to have a pretty bullet journal for the Instagram feed, and then an ugly planner where I did all my work. That feels really inauthentic, and I’m not about that life.
So, with that in mind, I decided to share how I’ve been modifying my bullet journal pages in order to get the most out of my bullet journal. It ain’t pretty, but these tips and ideas are what keeps my planner functional.
Also, know that as I type this, I know if my heart of hearts that it’s time to go back to the Passion Planner, especially since they announced they were going to bring back the old sizes. Even so, I’m in this bullet journal until the end of 2019. And who knows? Maybe I’ll have a huge break through and change my mind.
(I doubt it.)
Until then, here is what I have learned about the evolution of bullet journal pages, and how you can make the most of them.
Changes in my Bullet Journal Pages
001: Make it easy to reference your future log and similar spreads.
As much as I need running to do lists for the week as well as a record of all things I have to attend that day, I reference my editorial calendar and my future log the most. Though, coming in second to those is the monthly spread for whichever month I’m on. So I’ve tried to make it easy to access all those pages.
I’ve been using the Leuchtturm ribbon bookmarks to mark my future log and the editorial calendar, and I’ve been using washi tape to mark the monthly spreads so I can find them quickly when I’m flipping back. However, it has left me wondering if this is the best system for me.
Like, wouldn’t it be cool if each month I just laid out the events of the month and the posts and YouTube videos that would go with it? Naturally, I could, but using a bullet journal does make that hard since I don’t know how many pages will be used per month, and it’s not like it’s a pre-laid out planner.
(This is reason number 712 why I’m planning to go back to the Passion Planner. I love the size of the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, but like, ugh. It’s just a lot of flipping back and forth.)
002: Bullet journal pages should be readable at a glance.
This was the big mistake I made with my first spread. If you’ll recall, I created a spread that split the day’s tasks and appointments into home and work tasks, and there were also running to do lists split up by category.
I did go to library school, so a huge part of me loves the idea of categorizing things. Even when I’m grocery shopping, I put like items together in the basket and on the check out belt.
So I had to learn that when I look at my to do lists, I need everything in one place. I didn’t want to have to scan multiple pages to figure out what was going on, and I didn’t like how it made forget me things here and there. I now know that my bullet journal needs a master list for the week, so I know what’s coming up and I can try to get ahead.
I’m also experimenting with using a page for a day. I don’t know if I like this, but it may make it easier for me to really be present in my day, which is something I rarely, if ever, do.
003: Don’t stick to spreads just because they look good.
Okay. So. You know that spread I just mentioned? Well, I stuck to it for a long time just because I thought it looked good, and I felt like I needed to keep it up for a full month.
Y’all. I knew it wasn’t going to be good after three days.
I’m really bad about giving things chances that don’t really deserve chances. I wanted this to work, but it didn’t. And it’s mostly because I wear many hats, and I have to wear them all at the same time while I plan to make sure I fit it all in.I'm really bad about giving things chances that don't really deserve chances. I wanted this to work, but it didn't. Click To Tweet
So, even if you see some swoon-worthy spread on Instagram or Pinterest and think it may be for you, let it go as soon as you realize it’s not for you.
And all that is to say that I’m now trying out a spread that I saw on Life with Dee’s Instagram stories, so I may not be great at following my own advice. But at least I’m trying new things.
004: How you approach your work is how you should approach your bullet journal pages.
I’m not a quiet worker. I talk to myself and I sprint into it. I’m like a charging bull. That’s how I like to write and blog and film videos. I want to tackle it hard, and get it all done.
So, when it comes to planning, I can’t be delicate and precious with it. I need a hardcore to do list that I can mark out as soon as stuff is done.
I need to see the multiple things I’m tackling in a day to make sure I get them all done, and I need to see what’s coming up on the next day so I can tackle it.
I don’t know how this needs to look, though. I just know that I need to develop a system that allows me to do this.
(And the more I think about it, the more it mimics the system in the Passion Planner. I love that space of infinite possibility and the to do lists at the bottom of the weekly spread.)
005: Sometimes you need “no plan” days.
I’ve found that I need more days off than I tend to give myself. And sure, I’m technically off work now. But I’ve been writing and blogging and YouTubing and trying to launch a business, so there hasn’t been a lot of down time.
(I’ll talk more about the business later. There will be announcements.)
But I find that I like to have a few days a week where there is no plan. I may do work. I may not. I may just have several naps and read. But whatever I choose, it’s the best option for me.
This is why I’ve decided to move to daily spreads. Because then, I can just skip a day if I need to. I mean, I could do this with a weekly spread. But a weekly spread encourages me to spread things out over the course of a week. And if I have the daily spreads, I tend to get more done up front so I can relax later on.Are you also biding your time until you can get a Passion Planner again? Click To Tweet
How Have Your Bullet Journal Pages Changed?
Do you have a bujo that keeps evolving? What is a non-negotiable thing for your bullet journal? What’s your ideal planning scenario? Are you also biding your time until you can get a Passion Planner again? (They’re up for pre-order now!)