Bullet journaling to success | Method to my madness

I’ve made no secret of how much I rely on my Bullet Journal. There’s no chance that I’d be as organised as I am without it. My meal plans would have gone to pieces and my oh-so important routines would have fallen apart. I’m not even sure I could plan for the week ahead without it, yet getting organised is so important as a teacher.

Creating the most effective BuJo is hard, but necessary. You need to build the best system you can to minimise the time you take setting yourself up every day, week or month, so you can be as productive as possible. It’s taken me six years to make my BuJo the best tool it can be, but it needn’t take you that long.

You’re about to read the three key steps that I take in building a better Bullet Journal. It’s a minimalist approach that will free you up to focus on what you desperately need time for every day.

Why minimalist?

You won’t want to spend an age setting up your BuJo every day. It’s good fun, and easy way to get creative, but what good is that if it takes away from the time you can spend on your tasks every day? I’ve seen gorgeous – and I mean gorgeous – designs, but they must take eons to make. Who has time for that?

Keep your designs minimalist; don’t spend much time on them. You have to remember: who is this for? Is it for a couple hundred followers on Instagram, or to keep your life organised? Spending too much time on the personalisation process will be a sure-fire way to fall off the BuJo bandwagon.

Why advanced planning?

What really changed the BuJo game for me was when I decided to create a spread of pages for the next 6 months, right before the New Year. I pre-made pages for each month, including a habit tracker, daily diary and meal plan. I made a cover page for 2020 that framed the year nicely and allowed me to be somewhat creative with my designs, without sacrificing that time later on, when I knew I’d be busy.

Of course, little did I know that Lockdown 1 would mean I had all the time in the world, but who can predict a pandemic?

In the past I’d made every relevant page at the start of every week and month. Changing my BuJo mindset made everything a lot neater and organised and made much better use of space. It cut down on time spent creating pages and, like the minimalist look, saves me so much time.

You can read more about my rationale for planning ahead (in just about everything I do) here.

Why these sections?

Here’s an overview of each section that I include in my 6-monthly BuJo spread. Be sure to check back periodically as I’ll include links to new blog posts, which break down each section in detail, as and when they’re written. In the meantime, here are the sections that make up my Bullet Journal:

  • A yearly front cover
  • Monthly pages, including deadlines, monthly tasks and habit tracker
  • Daily diary, to record a sentence for every day of my life.
  • Weekly meal plans. You can find a guide to mastering meal planning right here.
  • Weekly logs, to record everything that needs to get done that week.
  • A daily log, for what needs doing that day.

With these 6 sections, the complexities of my life resemble a semblance of normal. If I didn’t use these, there’s not a chance that I’d be able to juggle teaching, writing and blogging all in the same week.


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