An Introduction to My 2017 Bullet Journal

Cappuccino from Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago

Cappuccino from Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago

What in the world is a bullet journal anyway? If you are asking yourself this question, please know that a month ago I was asking myself the same question (which should imply that these journals aren’t nearly as hard to understand as they look). Check out this intro to the Bullet Journal by creator Ryder Carrol to get you started… then, read on for some ideas from a newbie Bullet Journaler.

Determine What You Want Your Bullet Journal To Do For You

I was initially drawn to the Bullet Journal because it would allow me to consolidate a lot of notebooks that I previously kept separately, and it does a better job of organizing all that info than I was previously doing. I wanted one notebook that could act as a planner, list manager, tracker, journal and blog manager. Fortunately, there are so many ideas online, on Pinterest and on Instagram from professional Bullet Journalers around the world that I was able to find some inspiration for page layouts that I think will work great for my needs this year.

(I found my initial inspiration here, here and here.)

Don’t Get Intimidated With The Setup

One of the main ideas of the Bullet Journal system is forward movement (at least, that’s how I’ve been describing it to myself). Since the journal starts with an index, you can write any type of page anywhere you want within the book. If you mess up, you can tear out a page (or glue pages together). If you need more space for one week or day than another, take a few extra pages. Overall, it offers you the freedom to build the structure you want but keeps it organized for you… so there’s never a need to estimate how many pages you’ll need for something. Just start using pages, and record them in the index.

Does Bullet Journaling Work for Travelers? Bloggers? Travel Bloggers?

These will be the questions that I’ll focus on answering for in 2017. So far, I created two pages (also called a “spread”) to track all my blog stats and post topics from last year, in addition to goals for 2017. I think that having all this data laid out visually in one place (even if these pages are very busy) works well for the way I think and plan. The portability factor of the Bullet Journal was always a serious draw for the traveler in me: the fewer notebooks and planners (and the fewer items in general) that I need to carry on trips, the better. Therefore, I have high hopes for my first Bullet Journal… and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with lessons and thoughts on it throughout 2017!