Bullet Journaling? Where do I start to tell you all about it. Having discovered bulletjournal.com
due to some interest I had in brush lettering and calligraphy two years ago, I stumbled on the idea that people could not just brush letter as a hobby, but that this could become useful as school notes headers, and above all, used in bullet journals. This peaked my interest and I scrolled through Instagram’s #bulletjournal and linked tags: #studygram #studyinspo and many more.
My bullet journal history + discovery; you can skip this part if you wanna go straight to the useful stuff:
Jumping onto the bandwagon I bought my first blank dot notebook – also my first try writing on non-lined notebooks/papers and discovered that it was way easier for me to draw boxes, diagrams and even ‘notepads’ on my notes and bullet journal. (By the way, dots and grids and lines, anything works, you find what is best for you). In my case, I liked the idea of dots instead of lines so I went with it.
I googled what styles were used to bullet journal and I actually did not start by discovering famous bullet journaling people – amandarachdoodles, life.in.a.bullet, etc. I actually found a community of people who doodled a lot. And these doodles don’t have to be anything really, just doodling in a way that is useful, doodling in a way that is understandable to you. That’s when I understood.
ANYWAY: This post isn’t an inspiration post where you get new ideas on stuff to draw/tracker ideas, neither is it a post where I tell you why you should start bullet journaling. This post is a comparison between monthly, daily and weekly plans from my own personal experience.
The Useful Stuff:
Many people say that bullet journaling is appealing because it is everything and anything. It is anything because people log all kinds of stuff – from the usual monthly weekly and daily plans to Netflix logs, sleep logs, food diaries, happy mail tracker, pregnancy trackers and everything else.
I tried three ways – monthly, daily and weekly styles and I’m going to list some of the features of each plan as well as the pros and cons of it.
This style is relatively new to me as I’ve been doing it for a few months only as compared to weekly plans which I’ve done for a very long time. Monthly plans for me need to be done on either two pages of your bullet journal (A5) or one page (A4). Whatever size you use, just make sure it has enough space for you to log your monthly stuff there. If not when you’re drawing your monthly plans halfway you realise there isn’t enough space and that’s just really frustrating to have to redraw everything.
Monthly styles allow for an overview of everything – you get to see how busy/free you are, as well as it allows for early scheduling, like weeks in advance. It also allows you to note important periods of time – i.e. exams all at a glance. This is usually useful for me if I am working on a certain project and I want to see many free days I can set aside to do it. When I do monthly plans I try not to include too many details in each day as space is limited – I just put the main events of the day.
Pros of monthly planning:
- you can plan ahead for the whole year if you wish to draw 12 months’ plans
- you can do it in academic year format (to start from August – June)
- you can put monthly trackers in as well, as well as have a goal/focus for the month – it all can go here
Cons of monthly planning:
- sometimes there isn’t enough space
- it often becomes untouched once you get deep into daily and weekly spreads
- drawing boxes and boxes of it is time consuming (and if you’re a perfectionist like me… you’d count the squares/grids)
I use this style all the time, it’s the one I have become the most familiar with, as well as sometimes, the most bored of. It is useful to have your week at a glance, and mostly the most chronological thing to do. It bridges between monthly (it gives more space for writing, 7 days instead of 31 days in two pages) but it is not so spaced out as compared to dailies.
Pros of weekly planning:
- Every week you get to doodle woohoo – you can pick one theme a week for doodles/washi/stickers etc
- you get to stick mini post-it’s for the week’s to do list
- if you’re not a super busy person it works if you have a few things daily you can fit them in nicely into the space for every day
- weekly trackers – like water/medicine/sleep/anything else you’d like to track
- it is easy to change or transfer a task that did not get completed on this day to the next day, or any day within that week.
- you can ensure you have some breaks within the week so you don’t overwork yourself (if you’re like me who jams their week up so bad)
Cons of weekly planning:
- you always have to draw the week’s plan before the week starts – either you do it on Sunday or Monday, you can’t be lazy hehe
- you can only see one week at a time – not four weeks like in a monthly spread
This is new to me, perhaps the newest and suddenly the most fun as I got busier. Oddly enough when I got busier this became most appealing because I found it so much more calming to know that I could see every task I had to do in the day based on the time I needed to do it. Before I show you examples of my daily planning spread, I wanna credit some places where I learnt these from:
So I just have one style which I’ve used everyday, maybe I will discover new styles when I’ve done this longer.
Here are the pros and cons of daily planning:
- you can to doodle everyday (oh yeaaaa)
- you get to break it down into small time periods so long days feel a bit more manageable.
- you can schedule breaks (!!)
- you can do it before bed so it kinda saves time (but this is also a con, ’cause you have to do it everyday
- You have to do it everyday (read on to see how I solved the problem)
- to migrate items from one day to the next you have to write it again a few times if you transfer it over for a few days
- too much space left over (if you dont use it)
Thank you for reading this post 🙂
You can visit my instagram to check out more spreads, as well as leave comments below! 🙂
For my next post, I’ll be talking about how to balance weekly and daily spreads when you don’t need to do daily spreads everyday – and how to deal with bullet journaling on a student’s budget/anyone who has a lower budget