Passionate About Central New York
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Ultimate Guide to Bullet Journaling

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Every year I say “this is the year I’m going to get all the things done that I’ve been putting off.” It doesn’t take long for my high hopes to be dashed. My lofty goals usually come to a screeching halt somewhere between January 1st and January 2nd. (Okay, I may be exaggerating, but you get the idea.) I finally decided that the only way to succeed was to set myself up for success. So for 2017 I needed an organized and effective way to keep myself accountable…Cue the bullet journal. 

What is a bullet journal, you ask? (Or BuJo if you want to sound like the cool kids.)

A bullet journal is basically just a blank gridded or dotted journal that you customize to organize everything in your life, from your daily calendar appointments to your favorite books. The best thing about bullet journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. 

I discovered BuJo on good ol’ Pinterest. At first I thought that it looked too difficult. I am NOT an artsy person. Once I looked into it more, I realized how doable this could be for me or anyone really. Bullet Journals don’t have to be fancy! They don’t even have to contain drawings. Some people go all out and others just keep it basic. I wasn’t sure what route I was going to take with it, but I knew I was inspired!

I began planning my layouts before my journal even arrived. First, I decided on what different sections I wanted to create. Again these can be specific to your life and needs. I narrowed mine down to 6 main sections :: Monthly Calendar, A Daily Checklist, Yearly Goals, Recipes, Magnolia (my child), and an Idea/Inspiration section. The pic below is my original rough draft, before I got things figured out exactly how I wanted them, but it was a good place to start. 

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I personally don’t like the idea of a key/index or even numbered pages (although all of these are common and popular) so I just used laminated dividers to separate and label my sections. I held them in place with pretty strips of washi tape. Remember, there’s no wrong way!

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When my book arrived, I eagerly began creating the layouts. (I HIGHLY recommend doing them in pencil first) For my Calendar section I created a monthly set up with room to write all my appointments. 

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Some bullet journalists prefer a daily calendar, but this month-to-month layout works best for my needs. I did include a separate Daily Checklist section where I check off things like :: 8 glasses of water, multi-vitamin, read, workout, etc. Things that I want to be sure I do every day. 

Next, I worked on my Goal section. Some of my goals this year include, among other things :: losing weight (here we go again), saving money (famous last words), and reading the entire Bible in one year. Your goals can include anything you personally want to achieve. 

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Here’s my Weight Loss Goal spread. Now I’m no artist, but I wanted everything in my book to be hand lettered and hand drawn. For this cute weight loss girl pic, I used a Bujo printable insert as inspiration and added my own twist to it. However, if you aren’t comfortable with freehand drawing, free printables that you can glue into your journal are definitely a viable option.

Another section I wanted to add was to record cute or funny expressions and stories my daughter says. So I created a 10 page section with different frames and wreaths to write in throughout the year. 

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For my Recipe section I wanted a place for food recipes, as well as essential oil diffuser and body care recipes. Including :: how to make bath salts, body cream, deodorant, medicine, etc. Now, I won’t have to run to the computer every time I need a recipe because they’ll all be in one handy dandy, and may I say, pretty little book. 

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My last section includes a lot of odds and ends. It’s called Ideas/Inspiration. I plan to put favorite quotes, gift ideas, home improvement lists, blog post ideas, etc in this section. I just started working on it, but I already have one spread done. I’m going to write down all our friends and families anniversary dates so I can remember to get them cards and/or gifts. I tried to separate the months in a fun and creative way.

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I have to say, when the whole adult coloring book craze hit, I didn’t get it. (No offense, if that’s your jam!) I just had zero interest. Now that I’ve found BuJo-ing, I think I finally understand the appeal. For me, this has all the fun and benefits that other people were getting from adult coloring, with a more distinct purpose. Hopefully, to make my life easier in the upcoming year. 

I get most of my layout ideas from Pinterest.com. There are also some really great groups on Facebook where you can ask questions and get more ideas on how to customize your own BuJo. I hope this helps to get you started. Happy journaling in 2017!!

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