Bullet journaling, will I ever get the hang of it…

Saturday February 18 2017, at the first Dutch Pen Meet, I was reminded of the joys of bullet journaling by a few other ladies there. I frankly stated that the elaborate tracking and journaling wasn’t for me. With three kids, a job and a handful of online shenanigans going on, I simply do not have the time to color in the glasses of water I drink each day (one, to be exact, in the morning after rising, lukewarm preferably, and perhaps one at night if the food was salty) or track my level of happiness. I already keep a gratitude log, and that works pretty well for me.

But I have tried the bujo thing on and off and just never sat down to think of a very minimalistic system that would allow for some embellishment when I felt like it. So this morning, my head still slightly spinning with all the impressions from the Pen Meet, I decided that I just wanted two places to make entries: a monthly spread to have a full overview of the most important activities and plans for that month, plus the classic bullet journal daily entries. I took a sheet of copy paper and made a rough draft of what I wanted to go for regarding the monthly spread.


After a bit of tweaking with the line spacing and the subjects I wanted to incorporate, I came to the above spread. Some thoughts on that layout:

  • I like the balanced look of this layout;
  • I have no idea if all of the items in the right banner will remain there. Time and experience will tell;
  • I might still find a space to add week numbers. I’m thinking the left border would be a good space for that;
  • The empty fields at the start and end of the month can be used to transfer activities from one month to another;
  • I like the basic frame and text to be black and in print. That way the entries can be done in any ink color and in any style.

I will keep you posted on how this spread is working for me and the tweaks I will incorporate.

Now for the daily entries. I have no idea if I will continuously use the look I chose for the first entries. The nice thing about bujo is that that doesn’t matter. If you want to shake up the look of your daily entries, you can do so on a whim. In previous bujo attempts I got fed up with hourly trackers and elaborate weather doodles. For the new daily, I’ve deleted the hourly tracker. I like a quick doodle, so a very simple weather doodle has survived. I love to do faux calligraphy, so I decided to use my regular style for writing down days and dates.



A couple of thoughts on the daily entry:

  • The spacing between the day and month needs to be a bit wider, but so be it for these entries;
  • I feel the space in between the grid is a bit restrictive, so I might just write in my natural letter height from Monday on;
  • I feel uncomfortable using elaborate decorations, washi tape, stickers, stamps… I love seeing those in other people’s bujos, but I still have to feel my way around with them. Even thought I have loads! If it turns out I’m simply not using them, I’ll do a giveaway at some point, because I don’t like not seeing them used. So I put the doggie post-it in on purpose, to see if those will work for me. If not, I will just have to record future tasks in the dailies and check those regularly for items not yet crossed off. Or put them on the monthly spread;
  • I like the thick lettering of the headers, that way I don’t have to draw separate dividers. I am comfortable with this faux calligraphy style, so that will not take up too much time.

As a little extra, to show you how I do this style, here are some process pictures:


I start by simply writing out the full text with a liner or marker such as this wonderful Artline 0.3. On this Rhodia paper, it doesn’t bleed or show through. I might give the 0.2 width a try, to force myself to write a bit smaller to fit in Wednesdays and such.


Step 2 is adding the embellishment lines. I actually like the letters like this as well. It allows for another color to be used to add in if I feel fancy and have time to spare, or to make a special day stand out from the other entries.


Step 3 is coloring in the railroad lines to give the false flex effect. You can add this effect to any writing style to give your writing a bit of an umpf.

Well, fingers crossed for finding the stamina to keep this style up. (Crunching face into quizzical expression…..) I’ll keep you posted on this. Not every Sunday, because on Sundays I have allowed myself to post on whatever takes my fancy or for whatever I actually do have time.

Hope you enjoyed this and do let me know if you have tips or tricks on how you keep up bullet journaling!