So on this lovely Saturday, I wanted to go through how exactly I use my bullet journal. Yesterday, we went through the tools that I recommend for bullet journaling, but I didn't really explain how bullet journaling works.
So anyway, if you haven't seen the video below, take a look!
Ryder Carroll, the creator of the bullet journal system, uses a very simple system to organize every aspect of his life. Since then, bullet journaling has evolved a ton. You've probably seen photos of these elaborate spreads on Pinterest or Instagram or even in one of the thousands of bullet journaling Facebook groups.
That being said, the first tip I would give to any new bullet journaler is to know that it was never meant to be as artistic as it is today and it doesn't have to be artistic at all. Check out the photos below of some super artistic spreads and some super minimalist spreads.
So as you can see, there's a pretty wide range of spreads, and you don't have to be the most artistically inclined person to bullet journal. For the first few months that I bullet journaled, my journal was straight up ugly. I was overwhelmed by Pinterest and Instagram and I overdid my bullet journal. I focused way too much on the art and not enough on the actual purpose.
Today, I would say I'm close to perfecting my system, but I'm not quite perfect yet. I forget to use my bullet journal all the time because most of the time, I want it to stay in my dorm room. I spend a lot of time on my monthly spreads for the beginning of the month and my motivation seems to dwindle as the month goes on (which is common in the community). I forget to check back into my bullet journal during the day and I ignore the task list I made in the morning.
That being said, I also love my system a lot. I found a really good weekly spread that works well for me.
As you can see, the days go down the middle and the outside has a lot of space for extra notes and brain dumping. I took this photo before I wrote anything into this spread, but I tend to have three to five tasks in a day at once and they're usually pretty broad things like "do English reading" or "bullet journal photo shoot." I keep my tasks broad because I feel like I get more of them done that way then when I lay out every specific thing. I do try to use Ryder Carroll's key and I actually have a flip out key so to remind me to use dots and X's and arrows but I'll admit that I rarely use it.
I also use a big Leuchtturm Master Slim for all of my Nerdy Artists stuff and in tomorrows YouTube video, you'll see exactly how I use that. I would say that it's pretty artistic, but it's a dot grid journal and not lined like my smaller bullet journal, so my style is a little bit different. It's also a huge notebook that has literally only left my dorm once and it never left my backpack. In my opinion, it's perfect for business bullet journaling but I wouldn't recommend it for personal bullet journaling because it's size is a little overwhelming.
If you take anything away from this, I hope you see that every bullet journal is different. There are some pretty big bullet journalists on YouTube who I love to follow and I watch those videos every month, but I don't usually take suggestions from those people. Their spreads work for them, but they wouldn't necessarily work for me. You can be as creatively artsy as you want, using all of the tools from yesterdays post, or you can literally sit down with a notebook and a pen to get started with your bullet journal journey. That choice is entirely up to you!