Friday 3 October 2014

My Bullet Journal far....

After hearing so much Hype on various other Mum blogger facebook pages about this "Bullet Journalling", I thought I should give it a go.

Don't have any idea what a Bullet Journal is? Check out the Website or this VIDEO.

The basic idea is that you use a journal to record your everyday events, similar to a diary, but with the flexibility to add the things YOU need, with plenty of room to write up whatever it is you need to add. 

I guess you could say its a planner and basic journal all in one.

I do have a smart phone, and no doubt there are hundreds of apps out there for this exact purpose, however, when it comes to this sort of thing, having it on actual paper, the actual act of sitting down and planning out my week, and then recording my day, on paper, helps to not only cement in my head what is happening, but helps me focus.

I bought a simple journal from Officeworks (THIS is the journal I chose). 

I wanted something nice looking, small enough to carry with me, and relatively inexpensive, at least while I trialed the system. Now I know it works well for me, when I need to get a new journal, I may spend a little more and get an even nicer one! 

The basic bullet system doesn't use colour, but I find the use of colour motivating, helps me focus and see instantly what is important. So I use a 4 colour pen, keeping the most important things in red, next most important in green, then daily tasks, regular appointments etc in black or blue. 

One of the important parts of bullet journal is the BULLETS, using symbols to signify what the task/appointment/note is for. These you can personalise to your own use. These are mine at the moment, although I am still refining my journal. Once finalised, this will be stuck to the inside page of my journal as a reference.

Then there is a Index Page. This helps you to find certain information if you need to go back over something. I number each page as I go, so if I do a major stuff up, I can rip that page out and start again! Eventually, at the end of my diary, I will have simple reference lists such as birthdays and anniversaries, long term goals, renovation ideas, etc.

Next in my journal is my 2 of my most important lists, daily and weekly tasks. As a stay at home mum with 3 kids, husband and my Dad all living under the same roof, organisation is important, so these 2 lists are part of my everyday.

Then comes your monthly planner. I have a little calendar at the front of each month, where I can write in appointments, birthdays, etc for the whole month. Then on the opposite page I have a monthly To Do List. This list is bigger tasks that I want to accomplish this month. As September was my spring cleaning month (post on that to come!) a lot of my tasks for September were de cluttering type tasks.

With the next section, I have trialed a few different ways, but the one I have settled on works well for me. Basically, the idea is to have a daily journal, something like a quick fire reference of each day. Whether its a page long, or just a couple of lines, then when that day is done you rule off and start the next day. The problem I found with this is I like to plan my whole week on a Sunday night, so I had to section, put a reasonable space limit on each day so I could map out my whole week. This, in the end, is what works well for me.

2 days to a page, with plenty of room for planned things, then a quick summary of each day, things I may have done that I didn't plan, a summary of the day. There are plenty of ways you can do this daily part. Check out my Pinterest Board to search other bloggers ideas. 

I plan on adding to this journal as time goes on. I want to have a menu planner included in it, rather than having it as a separate document. I also want to include a symptom tracker, so I can track the progress of my disease and the symptoms it presents. This will be useful to show my specialists in the future. They will be able to see not only the symptoms, but how busy or quiet my day has been, and eventually even maybe a food diary, so we can see if any foods cause a flare of certain symptoms. 

So, after a month of using this system, what do I think?

I love it. 

I chose to do this last week without filling out the journal, just to see how I managed and have to say, with all honesty, that I am much more organised, focused and on task using the diary. The process of sitting down for 30 mins on a Sunday planning my week, then for 5-10 mins each night to fill in what wasn't planned but did get done, really helps me be more organised. I love that there is so much flexibility in this system. Just take the basic idea and make it work for you. 

I will keep refining, and after Christmas, I will again review it. I will see if I am still sticking with it, or if the wheels fell off, and if so, how I have managed to stay on top of everything (if, in fact, I have managed to stay on top!).

I also have a bit of an idea on how to get our weekly menus, a food diary and a symptom tracker all organised and connected, and will give it a go, using my Christmas planner. Being such a big time of year, and big financial burden, and a major social and family time, I want to be prepared, and so I am following Organised Home Challenges and getting all the tips and ideas on how to prepare for the big day! Check out their page and give that thumbs up a click! One of many pages I use as inspiration.

How do you organise your family, you house and your life? Do you have a fail proof method, a tried and tested method? Please, feel free to share it in the comments below! I am always looking for ways to improve and save time!