I’m clearly not an early adopter. And as regards bullet journalling I’m officially late to the party. Carla has shown me her own journal on several occasions but I’ve always resisted the urge to try it out. It looked complicated and quite probably beyond my artistic abilities.

Then I read a post on Wholeheartedly Healthy and thought that maybe it didn’t need to be that difficult and certainly didn’t have to be full of detailed illustrations and bright colours. I was intrigued enough to investigate further on Pinterest and disappear down a rabbit hole of blog posts.

So I’m giving it a go during September. I’ve got Carla on standby. I’ve added a few extra coloured pens to my limited pencil case.

Intentions and habit tracking

My monthly spread included intentions for September and a habits grid.

I found the intentions page really hard to do. It required thinking in terms of months. And I found it difficult to translate monthly intentions into actual tasks. I did find the planning tools in Do What You Love‘s New Year Revolution (no longer available) helped with this somewhat but it still doesn’t seem as natural as a weekly plan. Has anyone got any useful tips for putting together a monthly spread, or how I can translate it into daily tasks?

The habits grid is why you should pay attention in mathematics class. I’m not very good at drawing straight lines, or calculating where to draw lines so the boxes are the same size. I ended up with too many boxes in my grid of different sizes many of which were too small to fill in. Oh, and I should mention that pencil smudges.

So I redrew the grid to cover a fortnight in pen. I think I have too many habits to track on it. With the current number, I’m never going to manage a Blockbusters style line!

Monthly and weekly pages

I enjoyed putting together the monthly spread. At the same time, I did my daily pages for the week at the same time so I could assign an even spread of tasks over the week.

As part of the experiment, I tried 2 different approaches to the daily pages. For 2 days I broke the tasks down by the categories from the weekly spread and added in a ‘carry over’ section for undone tasks.

For the rest of the week, I simply listed the tasks for each day. This didn’t leave much space for listing carry over tasks and I found it difficult to prioritise.

The days where the tasks were broken down into categories worked better. But thought there was room for improvement. In the coming week, I’m going to experiment with using activities, at home, at a computer and anywhere for the breakdown on the daily spread. I’ll definitely keep the ‘tasks to carry forward’ section. Carla pointed out that if a task is repeated carried forward then it’s time to ask why it’s not getting done.

In light of all this, I’ve added a ‘tasks for next week’s page. This will track non-urgent things and help with weekly planning.

So after a week I’m feeling moderately enthused about bujo, but still, have plenty of things to still explore. Firstly, I want to make more use of colours and washi tape and stickers. Finding a way to make my journal light-hearted and fun would be nice. And Carla tells me that indexes and page numbering is game-changing.

What are your tips for newbies to bullet journaling?