Everything Else

How I Bullet Journal

Life Chats (previously Small Business Sunday) is a weekly thing here on Songs Wrote My Story where I talk about random things that come up in my life as a music therapist, small business owner, book blogger, coffee addict, and perpetually confused 20-something.

This is a post I’ve been considering for a while, but it’s one that’s tricky, because my bullet journal is full of private information about my clients and private life. But I’ve been flipping through, and realized that I had enough that I could show you to fill out a post without missing anything.

I’ve been using some version of a bullet journal for about a year and a half now, and how I design my pages and use the formatting has changed since I started. I still use some of the original format stuff, but some has changed so that I can better suit what I need in my notebook.

I don’t do the pretty designs and the fancy colours or anything like that. This is partially because I am not good at designing or decorating things, partially because it takes up too much time, and partially because any time I try to do fancy things, it gets in the way of it being functional.

So this is what I do:

Monthly Tracker

The suggested Bullet Journal way of doing monthly doesn’t work for me. It’s too hard to follow, and I prefer my calendars to look like calendars. So this is what I do:

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I just fill it in like you would any other calendar. There’s nothing filled in on this one because June is far enough away that I haven’t started planning it yet. I usually keep 6 months at the start of my notebook, rather than having them interspersed through. Keeps it easy for scheduling and finding things quickly.

Invoice Tracker

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I track these in my accounting software as well, but since I don’t send receipts until I deposit cheques that tracks when I deposited it, rather than when I received it. So doing it this way helps me keep track of my client’s patterns, and then I better know when something is off.

Monthly To Do Lists

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This is overall tasks that need to be accomplished on a month to month basis, from all the invoices that go out, when I go to the gym, bills that need to be paid, books that need to be read, et cetera.

Daily Tracker

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This is the only page of my daily pages I could show you, because it didn’t involve blacking out half of the page.

You’ll notice something different from the original Bullet Journal format that isn’t on mine – I don’t date anything. Everything is just added as we go, dates added where I got payment for something or if it’s relevant to the entry, but I don’t divide it up by day. It was just too much work to copy everything day by day and wasted so much space by dividing it up. I’ll recopy any to-dos that are more than a few pages back onto the most recent page, but otherwise, everything just gets added to the end.

Collections

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For example, notes from our current D&D campaign. Most of them look like this, being in a different colour pen and just having a title at the top and being written out straight.

Other collections include: work stuff, plotting out songs for my kids programs, lists that are specific to one thing or the other. Nothing super exciting, because again, functionality over all else.

Reading Stuff

I suppose this could technically be a collection as well, but I always think of it as something different.

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Books I’ve read this year, and their rating. Not the neatest list, but it works.

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I just like tracking them this way, plus keeping track of the books I’ve attempted and DNFed for one reason or another.

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This is a new review copy list, which I am liking better because 1) checklist, and 2) colour! It makes it a lot easier to see what I’ve checked off, because it was always confusing with my old list.

Moving Forward

I actually currently have a travellers notebook coming in the mail within the week, so I’m going to be separating my reading stuff and my invoicing and other work stuff into separate notebooks. I’ll probably do another post on how I arrange that when I get it sorted (and to show it off, because the cover is gorgeous).

Do you use a bullet journal? How do you organize yours?

5 thoughts on “How I Bullet Journal

    1. It’s so fun! I’d just just get a nice notebook (doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but something you want to write in. I recommend grid or dot grid if you’re wanting to get into anything beyond simple writing and doodles) and a pen you like, and go to town. Don’t worry about it being messy or changing your mind about how you want to organize your days/months/collections and making whole new ones every other week, because it takes time to find what works best for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I do not use a bullet journal. I do keep a journal though which is usually used on certain vacations but not all of them. I have a journal for my big trip to Alaska and I made one for my trip to England

    Liked by 1 person

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