bullet journal set-up

If you’d said the words “Bullet Journal” to me this time last year I’d have not had a clue what you were talking about! It’s only since I have been watching more You Tube videos that I picked up on the concept and decided to start a Bullet Journal (or BuJo for short) myself. I’ve had a few people ask me how I’m getting on with it and so I thought I’d do a little on going series throughout the year as I progress with my Bullet Journal; how I set it up, what journal I use, what supplies I use and what does and doesn’t work for me.

It’s so much more than just writing in a notepad or making a list – how many times have you bought a fancy new note pad and told yourself you’re going to get organised only to find your notepad languishing at the bottom of a drawer in a months time? Too many times to count I bet. A Bullet Journal has relevance and it’s flexible. You can make this blank notepad what you like following some basic, core foundations.

So what is a Bullet Journal?
The bullet journalling system was devised by a chap called Ryder Carroll. The idea behind the Bullet Journal is that we spend less time making traditional notes or journalling and become more productive as a result. How is this possible? Ryder uses a form of note making he refers to as ‘Rapid Logging’. You can read more about Rapid Logging on the Bullet Journal website; there are four components and each is explained thoroughly.

Essentially your BuJo will be made up of topics, bullets (these can take different states), page numbers and short sentences. It’s crucial you give each page a topic and number the pages as you go. The pages and their contents are listed in the index at the start of the journal – this will be key to keeping your BuJo organised.

There are four core modules that every good BuJo should consist of; an index, a Future Log, a Monthly Log and a Daily Log. Again, further explanations of these are found on the website but their essentially where we rapid log tasks for the future, month or day and give them a signifier such as ‘O’ for an event or ‘-‘ for a note.

‘Migration’ of tasks is one of the cornerstones of Bullet Journalling. It’s basically taking any unresolved tasks from the previous month and either migrating them to another month or striking them through if they are now irrelevant. It can be difficult to get your head around all these terms to begin with so don’t worry if you’re a little confused.

What supplies will I need to start my BuJo?
Essentially all you need is a notepad and pen but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to give yourself the best chance of making it work and do a bit of research into what other people are using and what they find works for them.

Most importantly you will need something small enough to carry around if required and something of decent quality as it should last for months to come. I opted for theLEUCHTTURM1917 346703 Bullet Edition Journal Notebook Medium A5 240 Pages dotted Lines, Colour: Black.Leuchtturm are well known among the Bullet Journal community and dots are the way forward instead of your usual lines. It allows for much more flexibility on each page; they can help give your logs structure yet from a distance they disappear. I find the paper is just thick enough to stop any bleed through but you will need to be careful about what pens you use.

bujo

I invested a small amount into a pack ofStaedtler 334 Triplus Fineliner Superfine Point Pens, 0.3 mm – Assorted Colours, Pack of 20 (you can see an example of these in this posts featured image) which I find ideal for the job. I rarely use the coloured pens at the moment as I am still trying to find what I do and don’t like in my journal. I’m quite a fan of simple, monochrome designs at the moment. If you’re an arty kind of person though head over to Pinterest as there are some amazing designs using brush pens which could make even the least creative person feel like picking up a pen.

I’ve recently bought a few cheap rolls of Washi tape from our local Tiger store too. I find it handy for creating divides between information or just for jazzing up the page edge. It’s a good way to add colour if you’re not feeling artistic!

washi tape

My Bullet Journal Set-up
As I mentioned earlier, I’m still trying to find my feet with my Bullet Journal. I have all the key elements which should be there but I feel like I’m yet to find my signature style.

The great thing about the journal I referred to above is that it is specially designed for bullet journalling and so the index is already for you to complete and the pages are pre-numbered. A real time saver! The first entry into my Bullet Journal is the Future Log. It highlights major events throughout the year. I spread mine over two pages with six months on each spread.

future log

Following this I added a few ‘collections’ which are relevant to the whole year such as ‘2017 Goals’ and my blog and You Tube channel stats tracker. I also have pages dedicated to keeping track of the brands I’ve worked with and a to do list for my blog. This is what I love about Bullet Journalling. If I suddenly decide I want to keep track of how many times I post on social media I can just add a page in, link it back to the index and then continue with my daily logs etc. It’s all there, easy to find and accessible.

stats tracker

Then I delve into March. I drew out my Monthly Log which is just a one page list of dates for the month with any pertinent events or deadlines for that month. It’s high level and shouldn’t be too in-depth. The page opposite is for ‘Tasks’ where I list all the things that need to be done in that month. For example, this month I needed to pay a speeding ticket (naughty girl) and also some blog admin I had been putting off.

Following the overview of March I then head into the weekly spreads where I log daily to-do’s, events and I’ve also started keeping our meal plan in here too as well as a page dedicated to meal inspiration and ideas. This is really where I am still trying to find what works for me.

weekly log

I like to start the day by writing all the things I need or would like to achieve that day. I find this focuses my mind and as soon as Elsie goes down for her nap I get cracking. I keep track of appointments on my daily logs as well as any deadlines for blog work that I have that week.

Starting simply is the best idea. You can then add or takeaway from it as you decide what is and isn’t useful to you. I’m already hating this weeks layout and wishing the week away so we can start afresh with a new design next week!

I do hope you found this post interesting or useful – I’d love to hear if you keep a Bullet Journal or are thinking of starting. I’ve really only just covered the tip of it; there’s  whole world of journalling to explore!

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Most people begin blogging as a bit of a hobby, a way to document their life or perhaps share something they have experienced. I’m not quite sure why I started.  Work was pretty stressful at the time and with two young children I felt like I needed a release; somewhere that was just mine.

I never envisaged my blog would have grown in the way it has and it has certainly opened my eyes to what’s possible from blogging. I remember, a few months after I started blogging, I came across various social groups online and realised people were making decent money from blogging. It was a total revelation to me.

There’s no denying it’s hard to get yourself out there; you spend hours online and your friends and family might think you’ve turned into a social recluse. After a few years slogging away at this myself my best advice would be to listen to the professionals.  They know their stuff and they’ve done the hard work for you.  Have a read of Blogging Your Way To Riches – a recent release from two ladies who have collaborated to bring you everything you need to know about blogging from pitching and pricing to content and marketing. Even if you’re not a newbie blogger, this book will help you refocus and evaluate what is and isn’t worth the worry when it comes to your blog.

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I find this book, and it’s authors, very relatable. Both Emma and Lynn are mum’s just like me – they’re normal people who had day jobs in accountancy and teaching. However, blogging is now their full time career and they’ve stared the highs and lows of their experience in the book.

It’s very easy, when you first start out blogging, to undersell yourself as inexperienced compared to others but as Lynn notes in the book; this is one of the biggest lessons she has learnt along her journey. Great content is worth something whether you’ve been blogging for two weeks or two years. And, if you have been blogging for two years and already earn from your blog there’s always room for improvement! I guarantee Lynn and Emma will improve your blogging game no end.

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I’m feeling so uninspired recently and I can’t quite put my finger on why. I have an urge to sit and write lots, make plentiful notes in pretty notepads and film tonnes of videos and edit my heart out. But then I just don’t. I sit during nap times and think thank f**k she’s asleep and wonder how I’ll cope through until bed time.
I’m the sort of person that likes to do something properly or I don’t want to do it. I like to put my all into something and produce something I’m proud of. I’ve written many half hearted blog posts just to ‘get something up’ but they’re mostly sitting in my drafts because I feel like a fraud writing something just for the sake of it. Who cares what colour nail varnish I’m loving this week or what my meal plan is? I don’t!

I think since Florence started school we’ve been on a slippery slope of illness. Florence has had a cough since the week before half term and she’s just coming to the end of it. Since then Matts been ill, Elsie’s been really ill with a high temp and all that jazz and I’ve just come down with the same cough and cold Matt had. I cried at the breakfast table this morning as I wondered how I’d find the energy to make a sodding pack lunch. And actually I did make the pack lunch and then Florence informed me she wanted hot dinners *insert red angry emoji*

I’m praying, with all my mite, that we’re all going to be back on top form by Christmas Eve because I really want to immerse myself in it all. It’s our turn to have Logan with us for Christmas Day and seeing as it’s Elsie’s first Christmas it just feels like it’s going to be really special.

I guess I’ve said all I need to. Hopefully just tapping this out has made me feel better. Bugger, ive got to go anyway….Tesco’s is here. I bloody hate putting the shopping away.

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Being a blogger and mini vlogger I know how important, and lovely, it is for other people to recognise what you do and share it with their own readers.  I can’t promise I’ll do this every week, but I thought Fridays would be a good time to share some of my favourite things and this week I’m starting with bloggers.

I guess being pregnant kind of influences my choices at the moment as I love reading people’s updates and seeing what they’re buying and how they’re feeling. I also noticed, as I was writing this post, that I have chosen female bloggers I admire, you know when you think “how does she do that” – I have that thought about these ladies frequently! I’ve chosen my favourite 3 bloggers and linked a post from each below.

1. Kerry Dyer – Lived with Love!

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I’ve been reading Kerry’s blog and watching her vlogs since I set-up my first blog back in 2014. We have daughters of similar ages and we both went through some difficulties to finally get our babies. I can relate a lot to Kerry albeit she is somewhat younger than me.  Her latest addition to the family, baby Aria, is beautiful and though Kerry must have her hands full with two kids, a dog and a house to run she still manages to blog daily.

Like Kerry I struggled with breastfeeding my first born and it put me off trying with Florence (she had one long feed straight after birth) which I deeply regret.  Having overcome the worry Kerry is now successfully breastfeeding baby Aria and they both seem to be loving it, read Kerry’s breastfeeding update here.

2. Alex Pearce – Lamb and Bear

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Again like me, Alex is expecting a baby in May. We’re going through all the same stages at around the same time; struggling with clothing for special occasions, the big baby name debate and preparing our hospital bags. We’ve also both been chosen to be Butlins Ambassadors for 2016 so maybe we’ll get to meet one day!

As well as being a mum and being pregnant, Alex runs an awesome online shop selling toddler fashion leggings. My favourite post of recent times has to be Alex’s take on hospital bag essentials. The design of Alex’s blog is clean and bright – it’s an absolute pleasure to read.

3. Emily Peacock – Emily and Indiana

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Like Kerry I’ve been following Emily and her little family for about two years now – I think Indiana was just a few months old at the time and I enjoyed catching up on her pregnancy and labour with Indiana whilst I was trying to conceive myself.

I’m envious of people like Emily who started blogging and vlogging from a much younger age than me – they will have so many amazing memories to look back on and show the kids. Emily’s husband is also a vlogger so I should imagine there are few times when one of them doesn’t have a camera in their hand! The Peacock’s latest addition, Parker, is super cute and I love the outfits he wears.

My favourite post, of recent times, from Emily has to be this one; such amazing photos of Indiana having fun in some very, very muddy puddles.

These are just of a handful of the blogs I read regularly and have been really loving. Which are your favourite bloggers and why?

 

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One thing that I’ve been wondering for a while, especially since writing my own blog, is are all mummy bloggers loners?  Specifically ‘mummy’ bloggers.

I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.  I’d describe myself as a bit of a loner. An introvert I guess.  I like my own company, time to do things I want to do.  Maybe that’s what happens when you have kids? You treasure the time when the house is empty?

I’ve noticed many of the mummy bloggers and vloggers I follow tend to spend a lot of their time alone (or just with the kids). The majority of their day is spent in the house or garden with only their children for company and when they finally get the kids to bed or the husbands gone out they blog, comment on other blogs and socialise through social media.

I heard a quote the other day that seemed to resonate with me “The smarter the phone, the dumber the person”.  I’m not sure if I agree with this but it made me think how times have changed.  When I was younger I’d spend an hour on the telephone actually talking to my friends, friends who I’d seen at school two hours earlier.  The thought of spending an hour on the phone to someone now is just weird a) because I don’t have anyone I would consider a good enough friend to talk to for that long and b.) I would miss out on doing stuff at home that I want to do.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Does blogging make you a lonely/introverted person or is it that lonely, introverted people tend to blog?  Or, can you have it all? Kids, a husband, an active and successful blog and a whole load of friends which you see often?  I’d love to hear what you think and how you see yourself on the scale of extrovert/introvert.

Being a mum I guess makes you a little more housebound then you used to be – putting the kids down for a nap or maintaining that crucial routine, but does that then lead you down the social media route? It’s a slippery path.  My husband didn’t know a tweet from a like three years ago but now loves to catch up with all his mates and football news online.  It’s a nightly ritual that we get into bed and look at our phones before finally putting them on the bedside table and saying goodnight.  I wonder what we’d talk about if we didn’t have our phones?

I’ve often wondered if blogging replaces friends.  Does a blog act as a sounding board.  Do I empty all those daily thoughts on to my blog instead of communicating with a real life person and exchanging opinions? Yes, I think I probably do.

I work from home, not just blogging, but I have a real, paid part time job that usually means I don’t speak to another sole for days on end between the hours of 8-6pm.  Since changing my hours from full time to part time and from office based to home based I’ve noticed a massive shift in my confidence.  The thought of going to a meeting scares me a little (ok, a lot) and the judgey eyes and small talk in the office is something I’d rather do without. I’m content in my own little corner of the house, with my laptop and my notepad.  I don’t have interruptions or chats over the coffee machine.  I’ve definitely become introverted and anxious.  Is it just coincidence I love blogging or is it something a lot of mummy bloggers feel?

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