Bullet Journal News

(If you missed it, I popped in on Sunday to just throw in my support for being “politically correct” because it seems that term has gotten a bad wrap rap lately and I think it’s because people are using it incorrectly.)

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Let’s talk some Bullet Journal news! First – I switched to the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook because 219 people have suggested them and they make one that has dotted pages, but a hard cover, something Moleskin doesn’t offer.

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I didn’t switch as early as I should have because the journal – as you can see above – is a bit wider than the Moleskin. This meant I had to give up my Rickshaw folio that I loved so much. BUT! I still had my old Fossil Kindle cover that I was using before the Rickshaw folio and it works. BARELY. I can’t use the pen holder in the middle, but it closes and that’s all that matters. I’m a little worried that this volume being a different size from the others might make me a little crazy when seeing it on my shelf, but Dad’s notebooks switched over the years and I kinda like that about my collection of his, so I’m trying to be less-OCD about it.

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The first thing that is awesome about the Leuchtturm (besides the face that it comes in a hard cover with dotted pages) is that it already has an index page and page numbers so you don’t have to do those yourself. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this, but now that I’ve been using it awhile? I LOVE IT.

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My second concern was the page weight. Since I like to doodle in my notebooks (although not as much now that I don’t sit in a carpool line every day) I needed to know the ink from my favorite pens wouldn’t bleed through and as you can see from the photo above, they don’t. They still make the back of that page unusable, but that’s okay since I don’t like using the backs of pages for more than taping papers anyway.

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I’m still doing my monthly pages the same way, even those the printouts are just a tad smaller on the page than in my moleskin. This actually makes putting them in a little easier as I have more room for taping and I don’t have to be quite as precise as there’s more wiggle room.

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This job that I’ve had since Spring warrants it’s own workflow that I manage outside of the bullet journal. That means I don’t use as many pages per day as I’m not constantly jotting down notes/project guides from work. Typically I start a Monday like you see above and just use that page for the whole week. Until it looks like this:

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That picture above is so telling about my life. I always start a Monday clean and organized by then all hell breaks losing and I’m just cramming shopping lists in the corner of pages.

I want to talk more about how I’ve been continuiing to use my bullet journal as a scrapbook of memories/kid’s drawings/etc but I think that will warrant an entire entry on it’s own. Instead, I’ll wrap this entry up showing you a comparison of the my favorite pen (Pentel EnerGel 0.7 Metal Tip) with my new 2nd pace pen (Unibal Signo 307). I actually really like the smoothness of the Signo better as it writes, but it smears a little more (as you can see) and so far it only comes in Black and Blue. If you scroll back up though you’ll see it does less damage to the OTHER side of the page, so if they start making this one in more colors I may have to move it to the top spot!

 

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What about you? Any bullet journal news in your life?

Bullet Journal Frequently Asked Questions

My favorite conversations to have revolve around the following topics (in no particular order):

  • Bullet Journals
  • Superhero Television
  • Local Trail Running

Lately – I’ve been having a LOT of bullet journal conversations and each of them MAKES ME SO HAPPY. It’s like the first time I wrote on my blog about loving Harry Potter. SO MANY people popped up and said, “Me too! Grown-up Potterheads Unite!” I felt so validated in my obsession knowing there were others out there…JUST LIKE ME.

But, it occurred to me that maybe there are some holes in my bullet journal information pages on this blog. So! Here are some of the questions I get asked the most.

What do you do about upcoming dates/appointments?
The basic idea of the bullet journal is a one-day-at-a-time type of approach so that you can create 5 pages on that day (although you may not put any of them on your index page) or just use half of a page. But – obviously – we plan our lives more than one day at a time. So, I organize my future in two ways. I always have an active “MONTHLY” page going.

Some people like the grid, some people like the list, I like both.

And then I also keep a “Future Dates” page going for upcoming scheduling NOT on the current month.

But – here’s the thing: I actually start my NEXT month page while I’m still in the current month. Usually, once I start needing to put things for the next month on the “future dates” page? I create the monthly page for that month. And while it’s peppered in between daily pages for the current month which might make some people crazy, I don’t mind because I tab it so it’s easy to find.

What pages do you tab?

I tab pages I’ll consult regularly. Like the monthly pages or sports schedules or library volunteer days. BUT…here’s my trick. I put the tabs for the MONTHLY pages along the top edge and I put the tabs for everything else along the side edge, makes it a bit easier to grab the monthly pages since I consult those the most often.

What pages do you index?

Pages I might need to consult at any point in the future. My daily task list? Not so much. If, during my day, I need to make a list of something I’ll need in the future? I’ll usually make a new page. Like, yesterday I thought about keeping up with TV shows I want to watch some day so if I’m in the mood for a marathon-binge-watching session. So…I started a page: TV SHOWS TO SOMEDAY BINGEWATCH. That page? Will go in the index. But my grocery list from yesterday? Will not.

How do you deal with work appointments and tasks?

This one is tricky because it’s SO personal. Every job is so different. Some days, I can put my “work” task list on the bottom half of my page. But one day last week were were doing an inventory and I was cleaning/moving digital properties around some of our hosting setups and I used FIVE PAGES for that day. And some of those pages go in my index. All work pages get highlighted in my index so I can see them easier when I’m looking for something.

But my job doesn’t involve a lot of appointments/meetings. If you have a lot of meetings you schedule for your job? You may need to work on a “Weekly Meeting” type page or something so you can schedule specific hours. That’s one area I haven’t needed to fine-tune in my bullet journal use. I know some friends who keep a separate bullet journal at their desk at work, which sounds like it could be effective depending on your job.

What If I make mistakes?

YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. Part of why I had such a planner habit before was that, once I felt like I messed up something in my planner, I felt the need to buy a new one. Because I can live with dirty bathtubs and baseboards, BUT GOD FORBID MY CALENDAR HAVE A MISTAKE ON IT.

It has been therapeutic to learn to embrace the mistakes. It’s nice to flip back and see them now. But..also – with the bullet journal? Pages don’t ever get seen again if you don’t want them too. If it’s not indexed? IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. So, if it’s a list you’ll consult? Just re-do it and index the pretty one!

Some days I don’t want to cross out or scribble or re-do. SO! I’ve come up with some really good “cover-ups” for mistakes.

  • Tape some precious art from your kids over that page. You’re keeping their art and your hiding your screw up.
  • Washi tape and stickers! You have no idea how many pieces of washi tape in my bullet journal are actually hiding screw-ups I want to conceal.
  • Color over it with a Doodle!
  • Tape in a To-Go menu from one of your favorite places and use that as an excuse to call-in dinner.

Are there any other questions you’ve had I’m not answering?

Bullet Journals: The Bare Essentials

UPDATE: I’ve moved all of my bullet journaling talk to BulletJournalJoy.com if you want to stop by and obsess with me over there.

A few people recently asked me…I’m thinking about starting bullet journaling, but what are the minimum requirements?

I probably make bullet journals look INSANE with my bag of pens and my customized folio and my washi tape and stickers. But y’all? You don’t need ANY of that.

All you need is a blank journal and a writing utensil.

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I don’t suggest you start with a Moleskine as that journal right there is $18 a pop. I did my first month+ with a $5 journal from Target just to A) Make sure I liked it and B) Get the hang of the basic system.

Once you have your journal and your writing utensil? Watch this video.

Then get going! Just use that video as a guideline. Other than the checkboxes and the index, I don’t use hardly any of his recommendations. When I watch the video now I laugh because he would probably HATE MY BULLET JOURNALS. But that’s the nice thing about this system, you can modify as you go. I fill up a Moleskine every 3’ish months so I get a clean slate to apply any new or different methods.

But seriously. That’s all you need to get started. Don’t be intimidated by my obnoxious personalization of the method nor my compulsion to cover EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WITH SOMETHING PRETTY AND COLORFUL! Your bullet journal can be just as wonderful sans washi tape and zen doodles. I promise you.

(If you want more information, here is my huge bullet journal writeup that gives you way more details than you could possibly want and/or need.)

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How many times am I going to say, “Oh! Here’s something new I’m doing with my bullet journal!” I don’t know…maybe never? I’ve been using this method of organization for over a year now and I’m still modifying/improving it regularly.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that my bullet journal was an EXCELLENT place to store/document my children’s art work or school work. I think I started doing that with my second volume? The problem is, sometimes it’s just too big to put in the Moleskine. I’ve trimmed before, or folded over, but most of the things I think I’d like to save forever? Just don’t get put in because they’re on a standard size piece of paper and there’s really no way – without cutting – to put a standard size sheet of paper in my bullet journal.

A perfect example? This card Nikki made Donnie for his birthday.

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How fantastic is that? IT IS TOTALLY FANTASTIC. And before my bullet journal it would probably get thrown into the pile/box/folder of “Kid’s Art” and never seen again. But now! It can be stored in my bullet journal!

“But, Kim…How are you going to do that? IT IS TOO BIG!”

I know! But look at this genius idea that I had!

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BAM! I folded it up and stuck it in that tiny envelope! BOOM!

I know…I KNOW…I AM A GENIUS. You don’t need to tell me.

And y’all – I’ve learned over the last year that you can stick a lot of extra paper/tape in a Moleskine and that elastic strap will still hold it together. Now, since I have this folio for mine it doesn’t matter…but I’m not concerned about the pages become too thick. I’m more concerned about getting a big huge ego because I AM A DAMN GENIUS.

Carry on with your day, now. You’re welcome.

Dear Santa: A Bullet Journal Wishlist

I sat STRAIGHT up in bed at 2am this morning (last night?) and thought CRAP. Why didn’t I write a Gift Guide for the Bullet Journaler? And it’s a little late now to do a full-blown gift guide, but I couldn’t let the idea just fade into the hall of TOO LATE IDEAS forever. So, I’m at least doing my own personal wish list because it requires less research (I already know what I like!) and it doesn’t matter about being too late to order a lot of this stuff because I’m the one why buys my bullet journal supplies and there is NO DEADLINE EVER! (I stock up when it’s on sale. I have 2 moleskines and an un-open pack of pens and fabric tabs on my bookshelf right now.)

The Moleskine

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It’s no secret that I love the Moleskine itself. I’m banking on them never going out of business so that when I die in 50 years (I already have it marked on the calendar) my bullet journal archives will all line up neatly on a bookshelf. I get the standard 8 1/2 x 5 size and I prefer the hard cover…BUT…I just switched to the “dotted” pages and they don’t make those in hard cover yet! DAMMIT. So, I’m torn between choosing a hard cover lined or a soft cover dotted and I really think I’ll stick with the dotted pages. They give me a basic grid for my list and note pages, but they don’t interfere with my doodle pages.

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Speaking of the doodle pages…

The Pens

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These are my FAVORITE pens of ALL TIME: Pentel EnerGel Retractable Metal Tip 0.7mm. (I do NOT LIKE the Needle Tip. They scratch the paper too much!) They are a little slow to dry – but that is my only complaint. They don’t bleed through too bad since moleskine paper is high quality (except for on the doodle pages, I don’t even know of 100lb card stock would hold up on those pages) and they come in a variety of colors. At least at Target. Staples only has the boring color packs: Blue, Red, Green and Black. But Target has the AWESOME color packs with Aqua and Pink and Orange!

Stickers and Washi Tape

If you think about fine art, it really serves no “purpose” other than to elicit feelings to the observer. When purchasing art, you are purchasing those feelings. You want to trigger those feelings when you look at the art so you buy it and put it where you can see it.

This is how I feel about puffy owl stickers and washi tape.

While I do sometimes use the washi tape to hold things in my bullet journal, in reality it is there for the same reasons the stickers are there. THEY ARE PRETTY.

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I just like adding those details to my pages. Especially pages I’m going to refer to often because it’s like walking down the hall and seeing that painting you purchased at your local art market: It makes you SMILE. And I like that. I will tell you I ordered this set after my friend sent me the link on Twitter and it will have mine AND Nikki’s names on it. Nordstrom had a set too but I waited too late to make sure it would arrive on time. MY BIRTHDAY IS IN JULY, FAMILY. I TURN 40…THAT IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A 40-YEAR OLD.

Fabric Tabs

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When I first started bullet journaling, Target sold these tabs in the scrapbook aisle. I bought them, I liked them, and then…OF COURSE..they stopped selling them. I used paper varieties for awhile but they just didn’t hold up to the beating I put my bullet journal through by carrying it EVERYWHERE I GO. I finally looked online and bought SEVERAL sets, and hopefully they’ll last me awhile. I’ll be honest – there’s a part of me that wants to buy ALL OF THEM FROM ALL OF THE WEBSITES. Because I’m kinda terrified they’re going to be discontinued. But…I’m trying to resist the urge. I have some backups for when the ones in my current stash run out, and I’m just keeping an eye on them. If they show up “out of stock” somewhere I may panic, but for now? I’m choosing to not act like these things are precious minerals.

The Folio

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I bought the Rickshaw Folio awhile back and reviewed it here. It doesn’t look like they sell the EXACT one I bought (which had a pocket for a smart phone) anymore – which is sad. But still – I highly recommend it. It’s a small business, made in happy “factory” in San Francisco. The type of business you WANT to support with your dollars. My only complaint is that I wish that I hadn’t chosen such a light color. It’s already FILTHY and I’m feeling pretty gross about it. I did choose the “waterproof” fabric so I’m guessing I could clean it pretty easily, I’m just too lazy to try.

What I’m Missing

The one thing I’m still in the market for regarding my bullet journal is a NEW PURSE. I have been carrying crossbody Fossil Key-Per bags for YEARS. I love them because they are fun patterns and they come in the coated fabric that I feel like holds up to my abuse relatively well. My current one is 3+ years old and is looking ROUGH. Parts of it are fraying and there are huge ink spots where pens have been left open. The problem with replacing it is two-fold. One? I’m not a fan of the current collection of the patterned Key-Per Crossbody. I’ve actually been watching that collection for over a year and every time they add/release new ones I just am not inspired. And if I’m going to pay $80 for a purse? I want to LOVE IT WITH ALL OF MY SOUL.

But the other problem is that my current purse is just a TAD too small for my bullet journal/folio and supplies. I don’t carry much in my purse. I have a small wallet. A small medicine pouch. But then there’s my folio/bullet journal AND my pen pouch which has all of my bullet journal supplies. I really can’t carry ALL of that at once. I have to leave the medicine pouch OR the pen pouch behind and THAT STRESSES ME OUT. So…without being 100% in love with the pattern, I’m definitely not going to get the same bag since it’s a hair too small.

OH MY GOD. REAL TIME BLOGGING PEOPLE. SO! I was just going to link to a KAVU bag I was considering. They’re big enough, they come in fun patterns, but they’re not that coated plastic which worries me. But..THEN…I found one one sale for $23 and I just had to buy it. HA! It’s not the PERFECT pattern and it’s not coated plastic but for that price? It’s worth a try! HA! I’ll report back later and let you know what I thought.

Any thing on your bullet journal wish list this year?