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I used to review curriculum, now I create it

Hacking the Bullet Journal System

As I begin this amazing journey to write exclusively about planning for 31 days, I wanted to set the stage and explain what my planning philosophy, vision, and style is all about. Bullet journaling is taking the world by wildfire, and yet I feel there is still a lot of misconceptions over what it is and what it can look like. If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling before, it might be helpful for you to look into the original system here, I highly recommend the video to help you visualize what this is all about. As bullet journaling has become more mainstream, the definition has expanded and flexed depending on who you are talking to. I am one of those people. I do not fit the mold of the original bullet journal system, but I still consider what I do bullet journaling. Partly because it was what first inspired me and gave me the freedom to create my OWN planner. But also partly because there really isn’t another planning method out there to describe what I currently do. Curious?

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I have always been a person that needed structure, that loved making lists. But my perfectionist mentality made it impossible to ever stick with a system. I struggled finding a planner that fit the unique areas of my life and even when one could potentially work, I abandoned it as soon as I messed up a page or missed a week. Because my life is chaotic, missing a week is just par for the course! I needed a system that was tailored to ME. That fit all five of my kids and the insane to do lists that I have each day. A system to help me organize my thoughts and things that are important to me. Random recipes and thoughts and blog post ideas and finances and journal my brain and write down a phone number or keep track of birthdays. Something that could give me ALL of that simply didn’t exist.

How I Tweak the Bullet Journal System to Fit Me

First of all, I scrap anything that I just don’t use. For example, many people use habit trackers, and I quite frankly have next to no habits in my life. I am the MOST inconsistent person you will ever meet. All start and no finish. All fire and wild passion and a low rate of continuation 😉 (can you tell why I needed a planner?). So after playing around with tracking various habits I wanted to bring into my life, things like eating meals (I know, important) and drinking water to journaling and doing devotions. Whatever it was, as soon as it was there, the perfectionist in me felt like an utter failure seeing those empty boxes. They practically condemned me with their blank silence, I couldn’t bear it.

The future log… to me it is just another step. To other people they love seeing at a glance what is happening for the next few months. I don’t actually use my planner for much planning per say. My life is pretty regular, boring even. I wake up, take care of kids, work, and repeat. A future log to me was another thing to do and not something I was ever referring to.

Bullet Journaling System

A key is another thing that just never stuck around in my bullet journal. I sometimes don’t even use the calendar, what I have found is that the simpler I can make it, the fewer things I HAVE to do, the more likely I am to use my planner. I also am different every. single. week. Some weeks I pull out my water colors and am looking up unique doodles to describe my day. Other weeks I draw a few lines and keep it as simple as possible. In the weeks to come, I will share with you some artsy spreads as well as some minimalistic ones. It is important to keep in mind that you can do WHATEVER works for you, and that might change from month to month, week to week, or even hour to hour!

The more realistic we can be about what we really NEED in a planner the more we have a chance at actually sticking with it. If you hear nothing else today, hear this:

The key to finding a planner that works for you is finding the planner you NEED not the one you desperately WANT.

There are some AMAZING, inspirational bloggers out there who have the most stunning planning pages it kind of makes you want to throw yours in the garbage (can anyone else relate?). You can get exactly what they have and copy their spreads and layout step-by-step following all their pretty little tutorials. And if that is what you really needed, it may work out awesome for you. But if that is way over the top and not practical for the amount of time you have to invest or your ongoing motivation… that pretty little journal will soon find a dusty corner on a bookshelf and lose any usefulness it once had.

A Peek Inside My Bullet Journal System

Tomorrow I am going to be showing you how I bullet journal in my Traveler’s Notebook. I am going to do a video flip through and show you exactly what it looks like and how it is set up. You will see a peek inside my imperfect pages and I’ll even show you some of my old planning set ups.

Did you know this is part of a 31 day series? There will be a post each day this month showcasing how I use bullet journaling. We will talk about the tools you need and I’ll review some of my pen hoard (including my brand new flex fountain pens, eeeeek!). There will be videos, pictures, hand lettering practise pages, doodle challenges, journaling prompts, some amazing giveaways, and hopefully a TON of inspiration to get you writing in your planner, whatever that may look like for you! How can you get on board?

BOOKMARK THE LANDING PAGE (that is where all the posts will be added throughout the month)
FIND ME ON INSTAGRAM (I’ll be posting the daily posts there)
USE THE HASHTAG: #PlanWithRebecca and #planninginspiration4u on Instagram for a chance to be featured on my page!
JOIN THE NEWSLETTER (if you want an short update on the latest post in your inbox)

Comments

  1. Rebecca,

    This is so awesome, I feel like you nailed me to a tee. I am the same way about planning, and yet I need to plan, I figured out the hard way homeschooling has to have planning?. I have five children as well, ranging from 9 to 18 months. 3 girls and 2 boys. So excited to see more about bullet journaling.

    • I’m so glad Laura! It’s good to know I am not alone. I used to follow the crowd a bit when it came to planning but I realized if I don’t find something that works, I’m doomed to live in constant chaos. Ah! Tomorrow’s post is going to be FULL of pics and videos and all sorts of helpful stuff! My youngest is nearly 3 now, the last 18 months made a BIG difference. Whoever said that it doesn’t get any easier as the kids grow was LYING! 😉

  2. This is such an amazing blog and you’re hilarious! Thank you for cheering me up, and for all your wonderful inspiring ideas on Homeschooling, Planning and Life. Blessings to you and I look forward to more of your fun blogs and videos. 🙂

  3. So happy to see someone tackling planner love for the 31 days! I wrote a series on planning in 2014- it is near and dear to my heart. Love what I am seeing here! Will pop in and look for you on Instagram. Happy Writing, Rebecca!

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I used to review curriculum, now I create it!