Bullet Journaling: Organization On Your Terms

Like many parents, I’ve been trying to get my life together post kids. I used to be super organized and so system driven that I even considered a career in professional organizing.

Fortunately that was not my calling yet I still lived for everything having its place and managing a fairly simple calendar of social and work events. Keeping a neat and tidy home was much easier regardless if it was the tri-level town home we once had in the burbs or a loft in the city.

After the first kid and we were once again in a house, it wasn’t the easiest but things still managed to get done. I could l keep a lot of my to do list in my head and remember accomplish it all. Even with teaching group fitness classes, working part time at a local church and studying for my personal trainer certification on top of mommy duties, I still stayed pretty much on top of it all.

But now!? Tuh! Between doctors and therapy appointments for myself and the kids, this blog, trying to launch my own thing, the constant ideas flowing through my head, plus cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, bill paying, blah, blah, blah (you know the drill), Iife could be chaos.

To some degree it is simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day but I do my best to keep it all together using my bullet journal.

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Bullet journaling in short is a colorful and creative way to track your life. I’ll admit when I first came across the idea it was a bit daunting because of the carefully sketched artwork and handwriting that goes into many of them. Some of them are so beautiful! But who in the hell has time for all of that!? No. I’m just trying to organize my life. I commend the effort though. It's just not for me. But that’s the beauty of bullet journaling. You create what you need exactly how YOU want it.

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Now while I could use one of the hundreds of planners on the market today, none of the one I’ve used i've used in the past fit my needs exactly. I always found myself trying to tweak it in some way and that got old real fast. It never failed that I would eventually toss it by the wayside. With bullet journaling, using a sketchbook I picked up from one of my favorite places (Target, duh) and pens from Ikea, I create schedules based on how I live today plus current and future goals. At the start of every month, I write down specific goals for each area of my life (personal, this site, Sir Cale’s Apothecary) using a different ink color for each one. I then use the corresponding ink color to record tasks for each day one week at a time. I don’t do more than a week for a couple of reasons.

First, I’m still figuring out how I want to list my days although I’ve been sticking with one particular format with a slight variation here and there to see if something is a little better. But nothing concrete yet.  Second yet most importantly, I do it because I’m constantly jotting down notes, ideas, social media planning plus whatever else is on my mind on the pages in between each week. I often refer back to those pages a regular basis for inspiration and perspective. I’ll mark specific pages using paper clips I found at Target as well. I also have multiple journals for note taking and planning alone but this really helps by keeping it all in one place.

Got a little behind this week but I'm back on track. I'm not quite done with today but as you can see I keep it pretty simple. 

Got a little behind this week but I'm back on track. I'm not quite done with today but as you can see I keep it pretty simple. 

While I don’t always accomplish everything on my list because life, I am more consistent at following it than I have ever been using a traditional planner.

As the year winds down, and I’m stressing to finish at a place that makes me proud, my bullet journal is an even more crucial necessity in my life. As I get more use out of it, maybe I’ll even decorate it with some fancy stickers. Maybe.

What’s your preferred method for keeping track of your life?