So I plucked a brand new notebook from my shelf (which I’d purchased right before the GTWB launched), and took a few minutes to set up a new Bullet Journal. And I felt like I had come home.
Now. In the years since I first came upon this delightfully simple system, bloggers have gone nuts showing off their own journals. I love me some journal eye candy. I love it so much.
But I do not produce an eye-candy journal. No, I most certainly do not. I do not colour-code. I do not adorn. I do not apply fancy hand-lettering to headings and titles. I don’t even try to keep my handwriting in check.
So I thought, though I’ve only been back at it for a week, that I’d show you a few spreads from my new BuJo (that’s what the kids call it these days).
Up at the top of the post is something new I’m trying out this time around: a Calendex; it’s like the love child of an index and a yearly calendar. As you can see, I haven’t actually used it yet. But I do have some things coming up later in the year, so I anticipate I’ll end up using it. Even if I don’t, it sure is pretty. And it’s the first time I took a ruler to my journal. Fancy.
Month & Day Spread
Above is the spread with my February task list on the left, and some daily to-do lists on the right. I didn’t keep a monthly task list in my last journal, but I think I’ll stick with it in this one. It felt pretty good to mark all the February tasks as completed at the end of the month, and it helped to see them all in one place.
For daily to-dos, well. This is why I fell in love with this system in the first place (this, and the whole index idea). It’s second nature to me to make lists this way now (not that it’s terribly different from any other kind of to-do list.) I’ve also added a daily tracker bit in the top-right corner of each day’s list. I’m using this to keep up with exercising and my daily art/craft making habit. In the past, I’ve kept track of my daily making on a dedicated spread, but I’ve come to accept that I don’t end up using dedicated spreads very much, but I do use a daily list. So this is my solution.
(Yes, I totally did end up scoring a pair of Paul Simon tickets on the 24th. Thirteenth Row, Centre. Holy smokes.)
Day & Notes Spread
Heh. So, yeah, I turned the page and totally didn’t do the daily tracking thing on the next few days. I’m back to it now, though.
What I really want to highlight here is that my journal is not tidy. There’s loads of Bullet Journal pr0n around, you guys, and I gotta say it all strikes me as pretty fictional. You can keep a meticulous journal if you write things down after the fact, but there’s just no way that a work-in-progress can be perfect. It’s fiction. So here’s my reality.
On the left, you can see some messy notes. On the right, you can see some very rough notes I started making in pencil, because I knew I’d have to erase things and really mess around.
You might notice that these photos do not feature my beloved fountain pen. I discovered many years ago that two things allow me to keep my handwriting legible: small ruled lines or grids (I was a college-rule student all the way; no wide-ruled paper for me!), and a pen that allows for some friction. In fact, the only time I’m truly happy with my handwriting is when I write in pencil. The friction is ace.
Fountain pens are lovely to write with, and I certainly haven’t given mine up, but they’re just so smooth! Too smooth. I’ve taken to using a Micron pen in this journal, and it’s for sure the right choice.