If you haven’t before heard of a bullet journal, let me tell you, it will change your life. It’s essentially a completely customized planner for everything you need to keep track of, both before and after you do the thing.
Whether you’ve used a bullet journal for years or have never seen one before, I’d love to show you how to be more organized and take you from passenger to pilot of your life.
Enter my psuedo-bujo. Bujo is short for Bullet Journal.
1- Start with table of contents in your bullet journal.
You’ll leave a few pages blank at the front of your planner. This is so you can go back and find the lists you make. If your pages aren’t numbered already, just go ahead and number them now. I only do the right hand side pages to save time.
Then make a monthly layout for whatever month you’re in. Who says your planner has to start in January? If it’s August right now, start off in August.
Skip a page or two for lists or notes that you’d like to make sure you monitor for the month. Make a weekly layout for each week of the month. I found I prefer a vertical layout, but you can make them horizontal too. You can put the whole week on a double page spread or you can use one page for a week. You can also use one page for one day. It depends on how big you write, how much you like to keep track of on these daily pages, and your own personal preference. Customize it to fit your needs!
2- Keep track of EVERYTHING.
Anything you want to remember goes in here. Literally. ANYTHING. My psuedo-bujo is literally my brain. I have everything in my psuedo bullet journal. Just some of the things I keep track of are:
- quotes I love
- places I need to be
- to-do lists
- keeping track of my period symptoms
- future goal setting
- meal planning
- books I’ve read
- money I’ve spent
- when bills are due
- house projects
- shows I watched
- when I went to bed
- funny things the kids say
- goals for the year
3- Use your bullet journal daily.
Since I started using a psuedo bujo have been the most productive of my life. I know what I want to do, I write it down. It happens. Eventually. Or I realize that I didn’t really want to prioritize it, and it’s a purposeful choice instead of just an idea that just got lost in the shuffle.
I sit down in the morning with my coffee and double check the plan for the day. I look at the goals I’ve set for myself and decide when it’s going to happen. I make sure I know when I have to leave the house to get a child somewhere or what meetings I’m scheduled attend. It helps me stay focused.
4- Keep track of school.
My children’s homeschool is thriving because of my planner. I have a monthly school tracker so I know what I want to do and what we actually did. Each week I keep track of their individual work, the work we do together, and their memory work. I keep track of our afternoon STEAM projects and the supplies I’ll need to get for them. I’m a girl full of big ideas, but often don’t have the follow through. With my planner, I stay on track.
5- Make your bullet journal your “spot”.
When I get an idea, or I want to remember something, I know where to write it. Then later, I can look back and see what it was I wanted to do, make it happen, or be inspired all over again.
6- Be as creative as you want.
I enjoy decorating it and making it pretty. It’s relaxing and therapeutic for me to sit down at the end of a day with my planner. I break out my colorful pens or put stickers in my bullet journal to make it my own.
7- Do it YOUR way!
There is no right or wrong way to do this. When I began a few years ago, I started with a composition notebook some child had left lying about. I tore out the few written-on pages, and started drawing my calendars. I learned as I went what I liked and what worked for me, and edited as I went. I wasn’t sure I would stick with it, and in fact, was fairly confident this would just go the way of the zillions of other organizational tools I had tried and be a fail. I love that I was SO wrong about that!
If you want to see more, you can follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtag #jessicaplans. You’ll find a ton of inspiration on IG by searching #bujo or #plannergirl. Remember though, don’t compare! Your planner will be incredible in its own way because you’re your own amazing woman.
I encourage you to break out of the pre-made planner that isn’t working for you and make your own psuedo-bujo. If using a bullet journal doesn’t change your life for the better, at least it’s an excuse to buy fun pens!