Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Disclaimer (right off the bat): I’m not a professional journalist or writer or organizer. But, I love journaling, writing, and organizing. I recently posted the photo below on my Instagram feed, which is fed directly to my Facebook page, and I got quite a few friends saying how much they appreciated me posting it because it inspired them. YAY! Hoping this post will inspire you, too. ☺
I’ve always had some sort of journal or diary or random sheets of paper stuck in random places with thoughts + doodles + coloring. After I started my Arbonne business I was encouraged to start journaling – specifically, writing down 5 to 10 things I’m grateful for every day because that’s what successful people do! “Attitude of Gratitude” will get you far in life, I’m learning + it makes God happy. ☺ Also, I needed a place to keep track of my appointments, parties, follow-ups, the kids, Handcrafted by Heather, uhhh…. life?! I wanted it all in one spot.
It didn’t take long before I created my own unique planner/journal. It probably took a solid week to get it just right and the way I wanted it. My husband, who worked in printing for 16+ years, tweaked it and made it printable, then printed it out for me. I was a happy camper. I had MY perfect planner!
Except, there was one issue – it was ginormous + (okay two issues…) it didn’t fit in my purse. No bueno.
Back to the drawing board! aka. Pinterest.
All I did was search ‘planners’ and a bazillion pins popped up. I’ve probably spent at least 200+ hours on Pinterest alone looking at + pinning + liking journals and planners so I could mash them all together to create MY perfect planner/journal. Feel free to check out what I’ve found thus far on my Journaling Pinterest Board. And let it be known: I’m still adding ideas to this board because I’m not 110% in love with how I’m doing it now. The likelihood of never being totally satisfied with it is very high. jus’ sayin’.
Whilst searching, I came across bullet journaling. GASP! Not only does bullet journaling allow a truckload of freedom to write + color + doodle, it also allows space for planning. A journal + planner in one spot that can be organized in a way that makes sense to my brain?! GASP! Be still, my heart.
Get yourself a simple Composition Notebook.
I started 2015 fresh with this new way of planning + journaling and my hopes were that I would use one composition notebook per year if all went well. Well, it didn’t go well. Apparently, I love to write EVERYTHING down. I blame this on my poor memory, which I blame on my lack of thyroid. UGH! 😉 I ended up using the whole comp notebook but only got through September 2015. This caused mild twitching, but I got over it when I realized this meant I could decorate the cover of a new comp book! Woohoo! (it’s the small things.)
I started my current journal in October of 2015 and there was a big part of me – like 99% – that wanted to just leave it alone and blank after Dec 31, 2015. That part of me wanted to start fresh again with a NEW new composition book. But the 1% won encouraging the 99% not to be wasteful. *sigh* BTW, you can get a composition notebook pretty much anywhere for $.99, or less during Back to School sales. I highly recommend getting ‘college ruled‘ because it allows for more writing on one page, therefore you use less sheets of paper.
Decorate the heck out of the covers! Make it YOURS!
When decorating the front of my journals, I wanted to see only inspiring things. Words + images that reminded me to be great + that I am loved by God + to keep going and never give up. I see these images + words every time I pick this journal up and I know it makes such a difference in the way I think + act + work. Plus, it’s pretty. ☺ Whatever you cover your notebook/journal with, make sure that it’s positive + thought provoking.
Gotta have an index!
Something I did differently with this comp book was including an index. I have to say, though, I should’ve left several pages for this, because I will def run out of room! An index really helps when I’m trying to find a journaling page with sermon notes. With the “blue book” I was constantly flipping through the entire journal, but with the index I can just go right to the page I need. And yes, I number each page, or at least, every other page.
Monthly + Weekly planning/goal setting
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE goal-setting. (hashtag weirdo alert!) Some people find it off-putting because, honestly, they’re fearful that they’ll get to the end of the day/week/month/year and not have achieved the goals they wrote down. I can tell you first hand that if you’re not writing down your goals you almost definitely will not reach them. I’d rather take the time to write down my goals and have the shot at accomplishing 80% of them than not writing them down and only accomplish 10% of them. Do yourself a huge favor and skip on over to this list of 5 reasons why you should write down your goals by Michael Hyatt. Read it, then come on back and the rest of this post may make more sense.
When I first started looking into this type of journaling + planning I thought I would get annoyed by having to repeat the weekly planner, and I suppose I could make a printable one and then staple it or tape it into the planner. Truthfully, it’s rather therapeutic for me to re-create that table every week. I am, however, getting to the point where I want to track my nutrition and fitness without having to make a whole separate table. Any ideas?
What a colorful life!
I love color coding my life – it seems easier to keep track of tasks and helps me to see where I’m not spending enough time or too much time. Every week is different – like life – but if I see that I have a lot of ‘work’ colored in there, I know that I need to balance it out by planning more ‘family’ stuff. You could also use highlighters for this part. I got the Pilot G-2 07 colored pens at Walmart and I love them.
What do you do about a daily planner?
Honestly, I haven’t mastered this with the bullet journaling. I easily squirrel out (watch the movie Up if you don’t know what I’m referring to 😉 ) so I definitely need a planner with time slots or else nothing will get done around here! (Mostly because of my forgetful memory!) I got a daily planner from Amazon that I’m loving so far and it’ll do just fine until I discover a way to have a daily planner in my journal without the monotony of writing the times every.single.day. ugh. no thanks.
Journaling + writing + doodling
As I mentioned above, I tend to take notes on pretty much everything, but mostly sermon notes. I just absolutely adore Pastor Rick Warren and I watch many of his series on the Saddleback channel (Roku). He’s got some great one-liners which inevitably end up in my journal, and will often inspire a great Facebook post or encouraging words for a friend later on.
I’m not drawing or doodling as much as I thought I would, but I enjoy the freedom in this type of planner to do so should the occasion strike. And it has. Just not super often.
Do you bullet journal? Please share how you operate your journal in the comments!
A boatload of love to you all!
I’m SUPER DUPER excited to announce the opening of my online shop The Chosen Spot Paperie! You’ll find a whole mess of accessories for your bullet journal + bible journal, including (but not limited to) stickers, labels + covers, along with coloring pages! You can download them + print them right at home. Check it out!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.