Me and my Bullet journal, a never-ending struggle-story. I’m a major control freak and need to have a plan of my daily, weekly and monthly schedule at all times or I start to get anxious and uneasy. Furthermore, if I do not have my weekly planner with me, I majorly freak out because WHAT IF I FORGET SOMETHING IMPORTANT?
This comes in handy, considering the fact that I now have no real work schedule but am a one-woman’s show and have to keep tabs on all projects, schedules and freelance work in order to be somewhat successful and earn a legit amount of money every month to pay my bills AND have a sufficient amount left for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s once a month. Usually, I carried a simple weekly planner filled with to-do list after to-do list in my purse. In order to not freak myself out with the planning and organizing, I decided to switch things up with my journal when I quit my day job.
I’ve always wanted to give the ever-so-hyped bullet journal a try and have found it to be the perfect solution for my freelance life, back to university stress, mental health and just life in general.
My daily bullet journal method
I usually do about 30 minutes of journaling as a slow start into the day. This routine gives me clarity, peace of mind and a grasp on how much I really have to tackle each day, but also helps me appreciate my work a bit more and feel more grateful for this incredible life I get to call my own. I have a thing for stationary, I always had. But this bullet journal has truly changed my game.
So here’s a quick insight into my bullet journal. I will show you how I design my spreads and talk about what has helped me plan my freelance work, keep an eye on my deadlines at uni, as well as get a grip on my mental state and health.
These are the products I use for my bullet journal
- Pilot Frixon Pen in Black for writing in the Journal
- Tombow Brush Pen for highlighting and coloring
- Dotted Leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal
- JO & JUDY A5 notebook
- Before, I had a JO & JUDY weekly planner for my schedules and daily to-do lists
What probably made the most difference in the way I start my day and go through life, is my gratitude journal. Here I write down one or two things that I am grateful for at the beginning of each morning. This can be something ultra basic, such as “good coffee”, but sometimes also ventures into my relationship, my family and my success, or the way I see the world. This routine has MAJORLY changed my life.
Doing this, helps me reflect on the positive side of my life and not venture too much into comparing myself to others and slow down a bit. In this fast-paced world, that looks so fucking glamourous on social media, it is easy to get lost in the depths of feeling as if you were not living your life as much as you should. So sitting down with a good cup of coffee and a relaxing playlist in the morning to write down a few things that make you happy to be alive can make such a difference in your mindset, mood, and overall life. And honestly, it is my favourite part of every morning.
How I use my bullet journal for my freelance work
Some of the spreads in my bullet journal are reserved for freelance work, reporting, projects and just generally to keep an eye on open tasks, income and the way my business is running. Now, that I am only working with and for myself, it is even more important to keep a tab on every project, campaign and workshop I am doing.
One of these work-based spreads you can see in the picture below, namely my Social Media log for my blog as well as my Podcast. There I keep an eye on my online growth and the consequences I can draw from that. I’ve done this thing for the longest time without having a look at the numbers but I do feel a bit more on top of my game when I see this more as a business than a fun thing. It is part of where my earnings come from after all. Then, I also have a spread for income and outgoing money flow for each month of the year so I can see where my business is going and can hold myself more accountable for savings, earnings and the amount of money I spend.
Bullet Journal for University
Now that I have gone back to university to do my master’s degree, I thought it might be helpful to also design a spread for my semester planning as well. Here I write down the ECTS and to check how far I have come in my studies, as well as organize what I still have to do and how long it will take me to finish my studies. I have created one side for each semester and the courses I plan on taking. I will also scribble in my grades after I have finished the course and writing the exam.
Below the semester planning, I have scribbled in a few “missed classes” because you can only miss one or two classes a semester or you’ll fail the course. I think I might also do a spread or my deadlines, exams, and due papers, so I can organize this a bit more, but I am not sure about how to best approach that yet.
My unique take on a bullet journal
As you can see, my bullet journal is creative and fun but also rather minimalistic. I used to have a problem with sticking to the BUJO as it stressed me out so much that I could not design my spreads as artistically and beautifully as everyone seemed to be able to do. Then, however, I did not want to give zero-fucks and just scribble things in.
Now, I feel like I have found the perfect solution for myself, though. A minimalistic take on the bullet journal that has a few colorful elements but in itself is rather basic and easy to fill out every morning. It feels “me”, is beautiful to look at, gives me a few minutes of downtime every day and keeps me organized and calm. Perfect if you ask me.
Other spreads in my bullet journal
I also have a few spreads on my healthy habits and fitness journey. These usually are a mess, since I do not keep my habit tracker in a beautiful way and just tick a box whenever I finish a workout or have a binge.
- Bucket Lists
- Braindump pages
- Yearly and Monthly Goals
- “Books I Want to Read” and “Movies I Need to Watch” Lists
- Future Blog-Collaborations
- Blog post Ideas
- “2018 in Travels” and a Travel Bucket List
- The occasional grocery and shopping list