Change and Changes (AKA My Journey to Bullet Journaling)

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Flickr image by

Ah. So you noticed the many, many, many months I did not post.

Yes, I noticed too.  Much of that was due to the uneventful life I lead. The rest was sheer forgetfulness/laziness/I’m grasping at excuses here hoping you’ll buy at least one of them.

But change, at last, has reared its head, and so I am finally journaling these changes so I can remember them in case I forget them again. I’m not senile…at least, I don’t think so. But heck if I can remember much of anything these days.

In order to combat this cursed forgetfulness–or maybe as a means to prove life is not as dull as I imagine–I have started journaling in a whole new way.  Two Words:

Bullet Journal

My friend Erin Shakespear brought this term to my attention way back in July. I’d never heard it before, and I will admit that I took an instant dislike to it.

The reason: it sounded like a journaling method used by those who are non-writers or hate writing (you know, because I was trying to figure out what bullets had to do with journaling, and I came up with a journal that uses bullet points, which is exactly what it is).   But I am not that person. I LOVE writing.  I am also a prolific journaler (don’t laugh–I know I’m terrible journaling here on this blog, but I’m on my 20-something-ish personal, bound paper journal).

But I pushed through my first impressions and checked out the original Bullet Journal website…and decided I that while I still disliked the term, I was well on my way to disliking the idea as well.  It sounded like a cross between a daily/weekly planner and a journal in a convenient bullet list form just like I used to write my old college class notes.  Not my favorite things by any stretch of the imagination, let me tell you.

Yes, it’s true that I detest daily/weekly planners. I prefer a Month-At-a-Glance view of upcoming events.  I also detest lists of any kinds–do not tell me to start a to-do list unless you are certain you wouldn’t mind a losing a body part or two.

But knowing the way my friend Erin works, I had to figure out what appealed to her about this bullet journal idea. Usually if she thinks something is awesome, I do, too.

So I turned to YouTube and typed in “Bullet Journals.”

And I watched videos like this one. And this one.  And especially this one.

And at last, I understood.

My artistic side was squealing things like “Look at all the shapes and colors!” and “They are so pretty!” and “I want one NOW” that a few days later, on August 5th, I gave in and started one.

But I went cheap.


Mon journal…voila!

Since this was going to be an experiment to see if I could really love his thing I hated the name of and possibly just hated period, a good old graph composition notebook would serve my purposes. It had to be graph paper, though, and not an ordinary lined book. Trust me when I say that YOU NEED THE BOXES. (Well, I need the boxes, anyway.)

I also bought some trusty felt-tip pens.

The package said this:


“Writing won’t bleed through paper.”

But, alas, my misplaced trust in truth in advertising has once again failed me.



(Though, truthfully, the very thin paper in the notebook is also to blame.)

Anyway, I set to work. I tweaked it to fit ME, just like they said I should. So I opted for this monthly format instead:


I decided this would replace both my planner (which I never used after the first month anyway) and my garden journal (which I use much more often but not nearly as much as I wish I did), so I added a place for my garden tasks on the same page as my month-at-a-glance.

And for the record, I still DO NOT MAKE LISTS. But I do log what I accomplish every day, in a daily log like this:image

Yes, yes, this looks a lot like a task list, you’re thinking.  The difference is that usually I write it AFTER I’ve completed the task, and I also write down other things I do (and other things my family and friends do or say). I really hate staring at a list of things TO DO, but I love looking at a list of things DONE.

I’m proud to say that, as of today, I haven’t missed a day yet. But I’m not so proud to admit that I was wrong about the journal. Not about it’s name (it’s still…blech), but about how I thought I’d dislike the idea. I’ve come to admire, respect, and love the Journal That Must Not Be Named. I am glad I took the time to embrace this particular change in my life.  Because I now use it for everything.  In my Whatever It’s Called Because It’s Not a Journal or a Planner but I Hate It’s Real Name, I have pages for things like:

-My homeschool plans

-My home improvement ideas

-My drawings (I’m working on faces for now, and no, they aren’t any good…I am not an artist as much as I wish I was an artist)

-My business ideas

-My health goals

-My Scripture studies

And I love that I am learning to NOT FIX mistakes, and to be cool that it’s not perfect. (See the monthly photo above for a good example of this…see where I started to cross out September 1st?  LOL)

I am a better woman now because of this Journal That Needs a Better Name. Truly.

But don’t worry. Those 20-something regular, old-fashioned journals have not been replaced. See? I just started a new one recently. Notice the dates.


Because, yes. Two journals ARE better than one.


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