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How I Use My Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal

I love to make lists!  Or, more specifically, I love crossing things off lists…..especially my to-do list.  I used to write daily to-do lists on pieces of scrap paper.  Other random pieces of paper noted books or movies I wanted to watch, spices we needed to restock, days the kids were buying lunch, and even a list of hashtags for Instagram photo challenges I was participating in.  Like almost every blogger out there, I was getting ready to purchase one of those fancy designer planners.  That is until my friend Ashley, fellow Supper Club member and food blogger at Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen, introduced me to the Bullet Journal.

So, what is a Bullet Journal, you ask?  It’s more of an organizational system rather than a “journal.”  The below video gives a quick overview of the system.

The beauty of it is that a Bullet Journal can be ANY notebook of your choosing.  I chose a black squared Moleskine notebook that I purchased at Staples for under $20.  As for pens, I have been happy with Pilot G-2 0.7 gel pens.  I bought a variety pack at Walmart and enjoy switching up the colors each day.

The first page of my bullet journal is the index.  Here I list the different lists and page numbers that are in my bullet journal.

Bullet Journal Index

I found the below free 2015 printable calendar pages from Zoot that, with a little trimming, fit perfectly in my bullet journal. I started out with three of these in my bullet journal.  One for the family’s activities, one for my menu plan and one for my blog posts.  However, I’ve actually phased these out since I wasn’t using them consistently.

Bullet Journal Calendar Page

I use my bullet journal mostly for my daily to-do list.  Every day I create a new “to-do” list with the day, date and what we are having for dinner.  I then draw a box and write each task that I need to do and list any events or activities going on that day.  If I end up not completing a task that day, I draw an error in front of the empty box and carry it over to the next day’s to-do list.  I try not to do that too often though, since it’s so satisfying to put a check in each box!

Bullet Journal To-Do List

I added a weekly breakfast and lunch calendar for the kids at the bottom of the pages.  This helps the Weekend Chef who prepares the kids’ “main” part of the lunch before he leaves for work.  Since I like to mix things up and not give the kids the same thing every day, I now have a record of what they’ve eaten for breakfast and lunch.  They also can’t complain that they’ve had pretzels EVERY day with lunch, since I can show them that they indeed have not.

Next to tasks that require payment like registering for cub scouts or sending in money for a class trip, I write the dollar amount that was spent in red and circle it.  This allows me to loosely keep track of additional expenses.

Bullet Journal Kids' Breakfast and Lunch Calendar

I like that I have a record of my to-do lists.  I used to throw out my scraps of paper each night.  Now, I have a daily diary of sorts.  I also list tasks that I need my husband to do.  I leave the bullet journal open on the counter and he checks it daily!   It’s become our daily household organization system.  My son accidentally spilt a cup of water on the counter and my husband was most concerned about saving my bullet journal from getting wet!

After having using my bullet journal now for five months I can say that I am a big fan of it.  Yes, the outside of my journal is not as pretty or as personalized as some of those fancy designer planners.  However, the inside can be as personalized as I want.  If I was motivated enough, I could decorate the pages of my journal with washi tape, stickers and other accessories that I often associate with traditional planners.  Sometimes I’ll tape my fortunes from fortune cookies in the journal or glue or write in inspiring quotes.  It’s literally a blank canvas for your own creativity and organization.

For additional information on the Bullet Journal:
Check out the blog Tiny Ray of Sunshine.   Kim hosts a monthly Instagram Bullet Journal challenge.  Check out October’s challenge here.  Her blog is focused on bullet journaling and productivity.  She features pictures of how different people use their bullet journal.

What type of organization or planner system do you use?