Bullet Journaling

Over the past few years, I have switched between many different expensive planners, hoping the more money I spent on them, the more organized my life would be.  Guess what?  It never worked!

Freshman year of college, I bought the Lilly Pulitzer agenda because I thought the patterns and colors were fun.  The next year, I got the Emily Ley Simplified Planner after seeing it a stationary store and admiring the simple design.  Junior year, I tried the Erin Condren Life Planner because I loved being able to customize the cover with my monogram and choose a weekly layout that worked best for me.  This one also came with stickers which was a bonus!  Senior year, I gave up and bought an $8 planner at Homegoods because I decided that a planner was never going to help me get my life together.  This was probably a good financial decision.

Following my "new year, new Madeline" motto for 2018, I really am trying to become more of an adult and keep track of my weekly schedule, to-do list, and all the important events that pop up from time to time.  A friend from work was telling me about her bullet journal one day, and she was saying how easy and fun it is.  If being organized is easy and fun, I figured I should try it.  Also, it's completely customizable.  Crossing things off my to-do list brings me so much joy, so of course I wanted space for a to-do list on each day.  If I wanted my weeks to start on Monday instead of Sunday, I could do that too.  Since I could design this to fit my needs, I really have no excuse to give up.  I checked out a couple different options for journals but settled on a Moleskine because it was on sale.  I definitely didn't want to make the mistake (again) of buying a fancy planner and then never using it after a few weeks.

I was really discouraged at the beginning.  At this point, it was already about halfway through January, and I decided it wasn't worth it to start bullet journaling halfway through the month.  I also generally hate my handwriting, can't doodle very well, and didn't have any fancy pens.  I should also mention that my friend from work is a graphic designer, so of course I had extremely high expectations for myself after seeing how cute hers turned out.  It took me days to actually write in it.  There were a few nights when I tried to set up a monthly calendar and ended up throwing the journal across my room because the line I tried to draw wasn't perfectly straight.

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The night of January 31, I felt like I was under pressure because if I was going to start this, it had to be on February 1.  Once I got started, I actually really enjoyed setting everything up!  After doing 2018 cover page, I wrote out my annual calendar with important dates listed next to each month.  This was fun because I got to think of all the exciting things I have coming up in the future.  It was also kind of scary because I have no idea what I have to put on my calendar after I graduate in April!  The second half of the year is completely blank!  After that, I thought it would be fun to make a cover page for February.  Then I did my monthly calendar, and then the weekly layout.

I'm really hoping that this becomes a habit over time, and I guess I can give you an update on how it's going toward the end of the month.  Feel free to check out (and follow) my bullet journal inspiration Pinterest board. I'll be trying to incorporate some of those cute elements into my March pages so it's a little more attractive.

Do you have a bullet journal?  Feel free to share your experiences or recommandations in the comments!