Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 22]

Hmmm, this feels a lot like the prompt for Day 14, which was My Favorite Supplies. So check that out if you haven't. But I will add some less tangible things that I think are also essential for Bullet Journaling.

Willingness to try.
There are tons of planners out there. What makes Bullet Journaling different is that you can 100% customize it. 100%, guys. Nothing else is going to be MADE BY YOU, FOR YOU. It can be overwhelming, and intimidating, and frustrating. But it is so worth it once you get it exactly right. It's going to take some time and energy, and you have to be willing to try.

Willingness to accept mistakes.
You're going to make mistakes.  If you choose to start in a really basic journal, you're probably going to misnumber your pages. You'll start a spread on the wrong date or day. You'll misspell a word, lots of words. You'll use the wrong color. You'll choose a spread that you hate and doesn't help you at all. But that's part of the process. Bullet Journaling forces you to face mistakes and hopefully helps you learn to be patient and gracious with yourself.

Ability to be honest with yourself. 

Ability to pace yourself.

I'm addressing these two together, because they are needed for the same reason.

There are so many resources for bullet journaling. It's great, and it's terrible. Because if you are looking for something specific, you can probably find it. But when you are first getting's hard to figure out what it is you want/need.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 21]

Habit tracking is a big thing in the bullet journal world, but it's not something I spend a lot of time on. When I use my favorite spread, I track my daily and monthly chores. For a while I was also tracking my water intake.

I do track my daily outfits. I want to be more conscious and track what I'm actually wearing, because then I can easily clean out my closet and know what it is I am/am not wearing. Trying to be thoughtful and purposeful regarding my wardrobe.

I also do a daily memory. Lots of people journal in bullet journals, but I only do that when the whim strikes. I heard about one-line-a-day notebooks though, and decided to incorporate that into my BuJo. It's nice to flip through and remember, plus it's mostly the same as a little Gratitude List because I tend to write down happy things.

Sometimes I incorporate these into each day's section of my weekly layout, and sometimes I give them their own separate pages to keep an entire months entries together. Think the second option is my favorite, just because I like seeing it all together.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 20]

TBH I don't have a daily routine. I used to have a morning routine, but Hubby's job change completely changed the household schedule so...that's not really happening anymore.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 19]

I make so many mistakes while bullet journaling, you guys! 

I definitely don't bother taking pictures every time, but here is one. I was trying a new layout and made so many mistakes I just gave up. The boxes weren't evenly sized, and there was one more than I needed, and I wrote the days in the wrong boxes. 

I do it all the time on monthly layouts, where I automatically start on Sunday instead of whatever is the first day of the month. 

This was a big part of learning to bullet journal for me- becoming okay with mistakes. Both with mistakes in a layout, and with a layout that just doesn't work for me. Like I said yesterday, I found bullet journaling when my daughter was a newborn. I was already feeling like I was failing at most things, and trying something new and failing was tough.

But it also forced me to realize that good enough is...good enough.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 18]

This might be a long one, y'all.

I found bullet journaling pretty soon after I returned to work from maternity leave.

I was floundering in so many ways. 

I was suffering from undiagnosed postpartum anxiety, I was dealing with a lot of new responsibility regarding my daughter, I felt constantly under the spotlight as a new mom, I had to make a completely new routine with this new little person and I just didn't know how to get it all done.

I honestly don't remember how or where I first heard about the bullet journal system. 

It was somewhere online, I'm sure. But I did some research and it really appealed to me. I liked that it had clear and direct goals. I liked that it kept everything in the same notebook. I liked that it could be adjusted for each persons's individual goals.

I started using it, and at first it was really hard and intimidating. 

Like I've mentioned several times in this challenge, there is so much freedom and possibility within the system. I had to really sit down and ignore what everyone else was doing online and decide why did I need it.

I needed to remember all the little things that had to get done every day- mail off anniversary cards, pay daycare bills- actually keep up with all bills, remember doctor appointments for this new little life I had, etc. Mommy brain is real, y'all.

I also just needed to remember to clean the bathroom and do laundry and take a shower.

Yes, there are days when SHOWERING is on my to-do list...because otherwise I just won't have the energy or motivation. So I developed a cleaning schedule for my husband & I to follow and wrote down meals I knew we liked so I had a list instead of combing through my new useless brain or Pinterest. It was all about simplifying and making things easier on myself.

Anyway. I grabbed a notebook and some pens. I drew a calendar and a weekly spread. It was nice to be using my hands, nice to be being productive, nice to feel useful and back in charge of my life.

It helped. Life was being kept on track.

That was over a year ago, and I'm still going strong. It's super helpful and I love it. 

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 17]

I've been thinking about this prompt in 2 different ways- experimenting with layouts/etc within my bullet journal, and how bullet journaling kind of equals experimenting with my life.

There are so many ways to bullet journal. There are all different styles of monthly and weekly layouts; there are habit trackers and savings plans and weather trackers and book collections and probably a lot more I haven't even seen.

I thought at first that I just had to find the right weekly layout and then I would stick with it for...ever, really.

But nope. 

Some days I don't have time to draw a busier layout...some weeks I don't have much going on and don't need as much space...I play around. It took some time, and some acceptance when I make choices that don't work as well as I'd like, but it's taught me to be okay with experimenting.

It's also had me try different things in life. 

I've used it to meal plan, which keeps my family fed with less stress. I've used it to develop a cleaning schedule, which we don't always stick to but it gives us a rhythm to fall back into. I keep track of date night possibilities in it, so on the rare occasions Hubby & I have a date night we don't waste time doing the "Well what do you want to do?" routine.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 16]

A lot of people hear about bullet journaling and go

And I definitely feel that way when I see some of the super artistic ones, or even just cute and colorful ones. But I do it because 1) it's helpful, and 2) it's fun.

There is something about finding the right layout that helps all those problems fall right into place that is so appealing! And I like that the community is so big and so many people "get" my love/need for planning and organizing.

I get pleasure out of knowing that I am creating exactly what I need.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 15]

TBH, sometimes drawing all this stuff in my bullet journal is a form of procrastination. I know, I know- literally the opposite of the point of my bullet journal.

But...sometimes there are things I just don't want to do. And I can convince myself that bullet journaling, which does provide so many benefits in the long term, is an acceptable thing to do instead of XYZ.

But bullet journaling also helps me figure out why I keep putting things off. 

Part of the original system includes something called migration. Basically, it's another term for rescheduling. If you don't knock something off your to-do list, or if an appointment gets moved to a later "migrate" it to that next time period- whether it's the next day or the next month.

If I migrate something more than twice, I stop and think about why.

Either I'm avoiding it for a reason, or it's not really that important. And if it's not important, it needs to just be wiped off my to-do for good.

This is one of the things that can be helpful for my anxiety and guilt. 

Obviously if I keep putting something off, either I need to identify that cause and fix or I need to realize that hey, it must just not be that important and therefore I should refocus that energy to something more helpful (rather than freaking out about the fact that I'm not doing the thing I "need" to do). It's a way of figuring out procrastination v. prioritization.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 14]

One of the cool things about bullet journaling is you really only need a notebook and a pen. It can be as basic you want it to be.

But here are the supplies I use.

Notebook:  Leuchtturm 1917.
Currently I have the official Bullet Journal edition in the Emerald. I'm coming close to the end of mine though, so I already have a standard black standard black LT1917 ready and waiting. Both of these are an A5 size...which is a weird term until you hear it but is a common size for notebooks. It's maybe 2 inches longer than my hand- smaller than a notebook used in school but not pocket sized. There are about a million reviews for it online- Pinterest & YouTube again- if you want more info.

Pens: I keep a plain black pen in my pen loop at all times. Currently I'm using Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. I've also used black Sharpie Pens and a black Uniball Roller Grip Pen (which I love, but smears a bit and is bigger so can stretch out a pen loop, so you kind of have to commit to that one long-term if you use it because the skinnier Staedtler & Sharpie pens will fall out of the pen loop afterwards).

I tend to prefer felt pens, like the Staedtler & Sharpies. I found these Maped Graph'Peps Classic 0.4 mm a few months ago, which no one else talks about but I really like so far. Wore the black one out pretty quick but the colors are great for special layouts or adding a little pop to my basic monthly and weekly layouts.

Cover: There are super expensive covers you can purchase, like 100$+. I have this one from Michael's, it's actually from the Bible Journaling section but fits my LT1917 relatively well. I wish it was a few centimeters longer, because it pushes my pen out just a bit- it fits, I've had it for 6+ months, but I do worry that eventually the pen loop will rip. But it has extra slots I can keep my little ruler in, and provides an extra pocket to tuck papers into if needed. The colors are fading, but was 5$ and gets thrown around in purses/bookbags/diaper bags constantly. The material itself is holding up well, so I'm satisfied overall.

Small ruler: I purchased a 6 inch ruler from a local school supply store for $0.50. It fits inside the pocket of my journal cover. I would like to find my full length ruler, for when I am making lines that cover the entire length of the page (which is around 8 inches I think?). But I keep forgetting to look, because I should have one at home.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 13]

As mentioned on day 6, my problem with traditional planners is that there is almost never much room for anything "extra." You get monthly and weekly layouts...maybe a few little, pre-decided spots to discuss your "goals" or "hustle" nowadays.

But I need extra space for random events and projects. This is my blogging tracker, I only made it for 6 months at a time because I wasn't sure how long I would be using this BuJo. It worked great, but I might go for something more minimal in my next journal.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 12]

My time management has gotten sooooo much better since I have been bullet journaling. I don't have many things that need to be done at a specific time, but the fact that I have all of my to-do's in one place along with appointment reminders, etc. makes me able to organize my time as needed.

Plus I can have all my additional lists- my school assignments, my degree requirements, my plans for vacations, out-of-town trips to visit family- in one spot. I don't have to freak out worry where things are because it's all in the book.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 11]

My inspiration comes from a variety of places.

Pinterest has so many spreads and bullet journaling ideas that it's ridiculous; same for Instagram. Just search "bullet journal," you can add "monthly" "weekly" "habit tracker" etc as needed.

I made a YouTube playlist that includes some good suggestions also.

And I'm a part of Bullet Journal Junkies plus a few other Facebook groups.

All of these places can be overwhelming to those who are new to bullet journaling- or they were to me, anyway. I definitely have to make a conscious effort to discern between what is actually helpful and inspiring versus what is...beautiful but unnecessary (for me).

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 10]

I'm not necessarily a fan of analog versus digital.

If forced to choose, analog it is. 

But I definitely still use digital tools too.

My husband and I have a shared iPhone calendar, which is soooo helpful. We can each enter things as needed and the other person sees it AND gets a reminder.

But at the beginning of each month, I look through that iPhone calendar and write those things into my Bullet Journal because that's what I check on a day-to-day basis.