In this highly digital age and a nerd like me who love myself some gadgets, there is one thing in my life that I simply refuse to switch completely to digital: my calendar and planner. It’s not lack of trying on my part, I had tried to use online calendars and apps on my phone. It just doesn’t feel right. Ever since elementary school, I have literally not use the same calendar twice, every year I would find myself looking for a different brand with slightly different structure. The last five years I have stuck to one brand though and that is the Moleskine planners. I love Moleskine, still do, but the last five years I’ve gone through almost all of their calendar/planner notebooks, one year ever two different structures, because as much as I love to write on the Moleskine paper, I simply can’t find a planner that completely suits my needs. The ones with the weekly spread, it’s either too little space or too much space. And because I am a little of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like organizing, I get stressed when there’s not enough space to write stuff on, and I get frustrated when it was a slow day and I don’t have much to write about, living out huge gaps of empty space. Plus I like to keep track of tons of things, like TV show, my workouts, movie premieres etc. So for the longest time, I’ve used the address booklet that comes with Moleskine planners as a random tracking pages, attempting to relabel the abc’s into spreads like books, movies, blog and TV shows. And the same problem happens there, some sections run out of space, and some remains almost empty cos it just happens that I didn’t have anything to write down that year. And the inefficiency would piss me off, and I would find myself not carrying my calendar with me all the time, and that kinda diminish the purpose of having a freaking calendar. So here I am, thinking that it’s a lost cause, and the year 2016 was ending and I have to choose a new calendar 2017 that would eventually start pissing me off.
Then I came across this little video on Youtube.
It’s a looong video, but I found myself fascinated and I ended up watching the whole thing eyes glued to the screen. The whole 30 minutes it was like I was in heaven, because this thing in the video she called bullet journal, this is exactly what I need! Of course, being extremely pretty also helped to draw me in, but the main thing that attracted me was the flexibility and the efficiency. The idea of creating a calendar and planner entirely according to my needs has weirdly never crossed my mind. I mean, of course it had, but without a system and guidelines, I was never tempted to just get an empty notebook and start writing. I’m not innovative by any standard, but I’m pretty good at adapting already established systems to suit me. It’s like me cooking, I need recipes and cookbooks for inspirations but I know enough about cooking and especially about my own taste and ingredients I like to almost always adjust every recipe that comes my way. So I was pretty ecstatic to discover this system and community of bullet journaling, it’s really an up and rising thing, with tons of artistic people to share their creations and offer inspirations. The bullet journaling community especially thrives on Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. I would talk about people and creators whom I follow later.
So after watching tens of hours of Youtube videos and pictures from everywhere about bujos (bullet journal in short), I got down the basic idea. I started to plan my own bujo. It was like I was in a buffet, I picked and snatched the things I want in my bujo and looked for examples of them. Then I ordered my notebook from Leuchtturm1917. Solely because it has more colors. For my first ever bujo, I chose the bright pink, mangeta-ish color with dotted pages. And when writing the label, I realized that bullet journal ‘initials’ are the same as my other favorite activity… I can’t simply ignore the opening for a pun now, can I? 😉 And I also developed a severe addiction to colorful washi tapes, so I chose a dark blue one to match the color of magenta, and voila, an uniquely marked bullet journal was born. The structure of it hasn’t yet stopped evolving, as I didn’t like to mark it with those stickers on the side, so I have to figure out a better system.
In my bullet journal, I have the few basics that every bujo is urged to have, like the index and future log etc. I do have an index, and drew a pretty mandala to keep it company too, but I already started to make adjustments as I didn’t include a future log. I do have the year 2017 calendar drawn out and important dates marked, but as I decided to start this bujo already in October 2016, I’m quite sure I would run out of space come March 2017. No matter how well I plan beforehand, as I am writing down sections and pages, I start to learn what I actually need and what I don’t.
But already before starting to write anything in it, I decided that this would be a learning process, I will make mistakes, and that’s okay. I didn’t expected to get it all right in my first bujo, or even the second one. The great thing about bujos is that it’s way more forgiving for mistakes and experiments. So I experiment in earnest. From the beginning I settled on my daily routines, but from the back of the book, I started my ‘Wonderland’ section, which is going to be everything and anything. I started tracking all those stuff that I did in my old calendars, but then I started doodling some cute pictures and writing down recipes I learned and want to remember. Recipes I wrote down on the last pages of the notebook that can be torn out easily. I also did challenges and started tracking my budget, my mood, water and vegetable/fruit intake, my exercises, reading and online shopping packages that I’m waiting on. First time I feel like that the sky is the limit when it comes to documenting and organizing my life in a way that I’ve never been able to before. I simply love it. Right now, I haven’t switched to bujos when it comes to my work stuff, but I’m planning to do so come January 2017. I will write more about my bujo later, like when there is no other stuff to write about. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed reading this.