I started bullet journaling in October and it has been several months of figuring out what I like about the system and what doesn’t work for me.
A Weekly Spread
In October I started with the system as described plus I added a weekly spread and skipped daily logging. This meant that at the beginning of the month I had a month calendar page, a month to do list, and a weekly spread. I quickly figured out the weekly spread wasn’t going to work for me. I ran out of space on a few days, and had a few days that I didn’t use all of the space I had allocated. I did really like that I could put to do items onto future days though instead of into the general monthly to do list.
A Weekly to do list
Later in October I tried removing the weekly spread, adding a weekly to do, and adding daily logging. I liked the daily log a lot more than I thought I would. Having the weekly to do list also allowed me to write in things I had to remember for later in the week. After a few days I also decided not to migrate tasks daily. This took up too much time and left me repeating a few tasks for days at a time. Instead I switched to migrating daily tasks when I moved to a new page and could no longer see them at a glance.
Figuring out the right To Do list
In November I tried removing the monthly to do list. I found I was using the weekly one instead of the monthly, so why not toss the monthly! Instead I did a monthly calendar, and used the opposite side to hold goals etc. Then I had a new weekly page spread for each week of the month. It turned out that didn’t work for me either. The weekly and monthly pages all had too much space. It felt very inefficient.
In December I figured out what works for me
- the six month future calendar.
- the monthly calendar.
- on the facing page I put my monthly goals and then start my weekly logs. If the logs run off this page I just move to the next blank page the way I would with daily logging.
- daily logging, but I only migrate unfinished tasks when I move off that two page spread.
- I do have a few lists on the go including – books I’ve read, funny things my son says, etc.
In the end the only real change I needed to make was to break the monthly to do list into weekly segments. Who knew such a small change would make such a big difference for me?
In an effort to keep my journal simple and uncluttered I’ve been sure not to include the following:
- grocery lists. I keep a blank scrap notebook in my midori for this and other notes I don’t want/need to keep.
- writing notes, ideas, and plotting stuff. I keep a notebook for each novel length project, with the current project’s notebook in my midori.
- I was very careful in the beginning about what collections I started. I still have fewer than five list pages. Any more and I would struggle to keep track of them.
Do you use a bullet journal or other logging system? Have you ever tried a midori notebook to keep yourself organized?