Wednesday, 29 November 2017

My First-Year Bullet Journal—A Review

On 4 Jan 2017 I commenced my first ever bullet journal. Overall, I love the system and plan to continue with it for many years to come. However, this initial attempt did pose some challenges, and there are three things I’ll change for 2018.

1) The Future Log
The future log system, setting up weekly spreads as you go, simply doesn’t work for me. It’s fine if you only plan a few things in advance, but I am really big on advance planning. As an author, I am organising promo for my new releases months in advance. I also schedule a lot of my blog posts and social media in advance. As such, writing up one week at a time isn’t possible; I need the full year available, in order to slot events and ‘to do’ items as they arise, even if they aren’t due for several weeks. To that end, I have already set up all weekly spreads in my 2018 BuJo, so I’m ready to go on 1 Jan.

2) Weekly Spreads
On the whole my weekly spreads for 2017 worked well. I had sufficient room for all my tasks and I enjoyed capturing additional data such as a record of my correspondence and my sleep patterns. In 2018 I have made the page design simpler, with less drawing of boxes etc., to save energy and clutter and hopefully allow for more artistic inserts. I am keeping most elements for 2018, but I am changing the little graphs for water intake, fruit and veg, and sleep. The first two I will move into my habit tracker, since I do reach my targets on both nearly every day anyway. I love the sleep graph, since not getting sufficient sleep is an issue for me, but I also plan to move that into a tracker of its own, separate from the weekly spreads, so I can see sleep patterns over a longer period than seven days.

3) Collections & Trackers
I was pleased with my collections in 2017 and will continue them all in 2018; however, by setting up the journal well in advance this time, I’ve been able to take more time with the design of each, making them both simpler and more attractive in this second BuJo.
In 2017 I combined all my tracking into a single double spread per month. This was cramped, though, as my writing means I have a hectic social media posting and monitoring schedule to maintain. Therefore, in 2018, I am splitting my tracking into two. I will have a standard habit tracker and a separate blog/social media tracker, to ensure I have sufficient space to list all the items I need and to capture the right information. I may include the sleep tracker in the habits tracker if there is room; otherwise I’ll set that up on its own.

So, it’s been a great BuJo year, all in all, and I look forward to seeing what 2018 brings. With bullet journals, there’s always plenty of inspiration to be found online!

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