Well, I have begun my journey into the world of bullet journaling. Some things I have discovered within just a few days:
- Creativity has been screaming to get out of the corners of my mind.
- Bullet journaling does take time but not nearly as much as I imagined.
- I love that I can make everything different each time.
- I am in love with all things bullet journaling.
- This could quickly become an addiction. A healthy one but definitely still an addiction.
Since I am not sure yet how long this excitement might last or if it will really be beneficial time wise, I decided to start my journey by making use of a journal that I have written in only briefly. My goal: to make it through the end of the year as a committed bullet journalist. I have a nasty habit of seeing the next amazing, do-it-yourself thing and taking it on only to discover that I don’t have the time each week to dedicate to it what it needs to be successful for me. I don’t want that to happen again. This is a trial phase and I have two months to see how it goes.
I decided to start by creating my October Monthly Calendar. As you can see, I did this on a page that was already partially written on with sermon notes. I figured this couldn’t hurt because I am making use of that space and not wasting paper, which I think is a growing issue in our world. Maybe I saved a few branches of a tree right? Here is Monthly Calendar:
It is very basic and not nearly as cute and creative as I wanted it to be but since I put this on a page that was already used partially, it did not leave me a lot of room to add any cute doodles or designs and I had very small spaces to use for each day of the month. It might not be what I will make it in the future but it is effective and is getting the job done!
After I made my Monthly calendar, I took some time to decide which layout I wanted to try first: a weekly or a daily. Because I am still learning and growing with this and testing it all out, I w ill try different layouts over the next two months. I decided to start with a weekly layout. The number one thing that I immediately loved as I began this was that this is MY journal so I can make it my own. I can be as creative or standard as I want. I can use the same layout each week or change them as I go along to accommodate the changes and needs of our family and my life. This is one of the NUMBER ONE reasons that I cannot handle most planners. They are too basic, they don’t have all the things I need and my needs change over time due to a busy life and family that is ever growing and changing from day to day. With that said, here was my first weekly layout for this week:
I definitely LOVE this layout. I love that I can have so many sections added into my week that allow me plenty of space to write down what needs to be known for the week. As you can see, I added a quote and some cute doodles to add some personality. I wish I could take full credit for these doodles but I can’t. While I did draw them with my own hands and add the color and flare, the original design itself was drawn by someone else and I discovered them on Pinterest. (I would normally give a shout out to creators but I honestly have pinned so many and I cannot remember who originally created what. I am so sorry!!) I have a serious addiction to doodles and handwriting font styles. But I digress. This layout served me so well this week that I decided to go ahead and make next week’s layout in the same fashion. We will get to that in a moment. I am not using my “homeschool” sections to write my full lesson plans in, these are just to notate any quizzes, tests, special projects or field trips. With my daughter, she has MANY quizzes and tests in a week and it is so helpful to see and know what is coming for the week in full view all at once. This was perfect for that! Another hugely important factor for me with this layout was that I got to include a weekly scripture memory for myself. My children learn Bible verses and take Verse quizzes for their homeschool curriculum but I too wanted to learn more scriptures and begin to store them in my memory so I thought this would be a great addition to my weekly layout. It also provides some immense peace to my stressful week and helps me to stay in God’s Word no matter how busy or chaotic my day gets.
Once my weekly layout is done, I created an entire section to be used on Sunday of each week: “Sunday Morning Sermon Notes”. Here was my first week’s:
In all honestly, this was a spontaneous decision that I made as I sat down for our Sunday morning service last week. At first I struggled with waiting so that each week’s sermon notes would be available for that week’s Sunday morning sermon. This would mean that this section stayed blank the whole week until we went to church that Sunday. However, I realized that by having this in there from the PREVIOUS Sunday, I could reflect on those notes and use them to help me stay focused on working on those areas in my own life throughout the whole week. You could make this one page if you chose to attempt something like this but I tend to take a lot of notes so I knew I needed at LEAST two pages. I will be lucky if I don’t need more in the future . (I seriously take a lot of notes.)
Notice, the “Highlights” section and the Bubble Cloud. These, of course, are both thoughts my Pastor shared that I loved and wanted to remember so I used these methods to make them stand out to me, plus I wanted the page to have some color and appeal as well. At the top, I used parts of our worship lyrics and parts of my pastor’s sermon to also highlight some things that struck a cord with me. These would stand out and that was important for me. And, of course, I had to add at least one cute doodle….
Once I got home, I began to think about other areas of my life that I want to focus on and grow in. I took some time to reflect on areas I want to make changes in or things that are important for me to help me redirect my heart back to God so with those things I mind I created this next layout for each week. (You will see when I share next week’s layouts that I changed it up a bit and will probably continue to tweak this section or have it vary from week to week depending on what is happening in my life as I go forward with this project.)
My goals with this section are pretty self explanatory:
- I want to spend more time diligently and specifically praying to the Lord and making note of when God answers in that particular area. I want to leave a legacy of prayer and devotion to God for my children to look back on and honestly, I need moments of remembering all that God has done in my life when things get hard. (I don’t think I am the only one that needs this! Am I right?)
- I wanted to make note of areas I am struggling with while at the same time remembering those struggles in light of WHO GOD IS. Sometimes we are facing battles we don’t recognize because we don’t pay attention to what we are struggling with. I don’t want to be that way. I want to know my struggles, recognize who God is in spite of them and surrender my weaknesses to Him. I tweaked this a bit the next week because I want to rotate between different areas of my spiritual journey each week.
- Meal planning for my week has become so very important because we get SO busy. Our family was spending too much time eating terribly because I would be struggling to juggle all things on my plate and would often choose grabbing something for dinner so I didn’t have to try to worry about cooking that day. This has led to a significant weight gain on my part and a very unhealthy lifestyle so I started working hard the last month to plan my meals and cook in the home as much as humanly possible. This not only saves money but helps us to eat much healthier.
- Finally, I want to become more consistent with exercise. This is a HUGE struggle for me. I loathe all things physical activity. I know. I know. That’s awful but it’s the truth of who I am. The thought of gyms make me cringe and the thought of exercise makes me want a double order of chili cheese fries. Stat. However, I so desperately want to work on this area of my life. I am approaching my 40’s much faster than I would like to be and I want to take back my health now before it’s too late. I want to begin to work on making sure I am here for my family for many, many, many more years. With that in mind, I thought I would track how long I work out each day. I will be honest. I did ZERO exercise yesterday. There was no time. (Story of my life as ole One Direction would sing if they were here.) I had an 8-page research paper due and the kids schooling also. Maybe this will motivate me to do something so that my days aren’t blank. I am not sure but we will see.
And that is what I have so far. My plan, for now, is to use these types of layout each week for the next month. I created next week’s also so that I would be ahead of the planning and designing. Here are next week’s layouts and any changes I made:
As you can see, the weekly layout stayed the same aside from the cute images I used and the handwriting styles. I have not yet picked my Scripture for next week but will do that before the week begins.
My last section had a few changes. I changed my “Struggles vs. Gratitude” section to “Gratitude & Truths.” This will help me highlight things I am thankful for and allow me to reflect on a Truth of God’s Word each day. In addition to this, I changed the layout style of the Exercise Tracker just a bit. I think I want to work on this section a bit more but am not sure yet how I want to approach that.
I did not capture an image of my “Sunday Morning Sermon Notes” section because it is exactly the same and it looks pretty bland without anything written or drawn on it yet.
I am really very excited to see where this journey takes me and I am already loving how personalized, creative and organized it all is. But more than anything, I love that this method allows me to work on myself. It allows me to find areas that need growth, how I can implement them changes to help me while watching the journey of growth unfold. What a precious memory these weeks will become. I am very excited to press forward and will keep you all updated on my progress.
If you are a bullet journalist, as I like to call us, I would love to see some of your pages too! Until next time!!!!
Happy Journaling in Christ’s Love,