On the bullet (journal) train

I love planners. Love. I can spend hours filling in a new one at the end of the year, figuring out what kind of system and I want to use and what colours correspond to what kind of activity – red for important stuff, grey for studies, blue for writing, purple for exercise, green for socialising, black for work.

For the last three years I have ordered a Passion Planner. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it is an amazing product and is hands down the planner that has met my needs in a planner the best. But it has things I don’t need – like the monthly reflection pages at the end of each month, and I feel it’s a bit of a waste. I modified this year’s Passion Planner quite a bit but the end result wasn’t as handy as I could have wishes for. I didn’t want to waste a page for an index so I made little tabs, and they would snatch on everything. And fall off. And some I had to code because I didn’t want other people knowing what as on that particular page – my weight tracker and the present list, for example.

Friends of mine have been using a bullet journal, or a BuJo, for a while now. It’s also all over the Internet.

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.
Definition from
The Official Bullet Journal Page.

And I was intrigued. I have been playing around with the thought of making my own planner for several years now but had no idea how to start or even what I was missing in planners already on the market. But I decided to give it a try and went on Pinterest and Instagram sometime mid-November last year.

Big. Mistake.

There are so many talented people out there who make the most gorgeous of journals. They have little illustrations and banners and an eye for colour and everything is just so beautiful. So I went with the Passion Planner I had already ordered and, as I said, modified it.

But I kept coming back to bullet journal. And then my friend E gave me a Nuuna book with a dotted grid, perfect for bullet journalling. It has “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” on the front cover, for crying out loud. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t plan anything without consulting my planner, so this was just perfect. It sat in my bookshelf with the rest of my empty notebooks for a while. I would take it out, look at it, feel bad for not using it but also scared of messing up.

Perfectionism and bullet journalling doesn’t go together. It’s not supposed to.

In mid-February I decided that fine, I was going to give this a try. E had been linking me to some videos on how Meghan Rhiannon, a fellow autistic, was using hers, and some of the ideas were just perfect for me. She talked about how she wanted to keep her layout as simple as possible so it’s easier to process, and that just clicked with me. So I decided to look for easy was of setting up a bullet journal. Her layout was good, but not quite what I wanted. Lo and behold, I found the perfect layout to get me started. And I haven’t looked back since.

I’m still learning to use the bullet journal to its full capacity. I have a hard time taking down notes in it, for example. But the whole point is to have everything in one place, so I have better start getting used to it. I have a couple of collections and different spreads (yes, bullet journalling comes with its own language, which was part of what made me apprehensive to start using one) that I’m learning to use. Some will work; others won’t. That’s fine; the next bullet journal will be different. It’s a learning progress after all. It’s learning what works for me and what doesn’t – like the monthly reflection page from Passion Planner.

At the end of this month, I’m going to play around with a different weekly spread. Looking forward to it already.

“Pardenonnez-moi, monsieur.”
– Marie Antoinette’s last words, said to her executioner as she stepped on his foot.

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