Tuesday, 15 June 2021

my bullet journal set-up and a hummingbird drawing

For many years, I tried to maintain shop-bought planners/diaries but I would always fizzle out by the time I got to March or April. Then back in 2015, my friend Rita, mentioned Bullet Journals and I was hooked. The Bullet Journal has been the only planner that I have stayed with religiously. Maybe because I can tailor it to my own needs, and chop and change things up, as desired. I like to use stick-in tabs to quickly access the section I want.

For the most part, I stick to a the basic layout similar to what Ryder Carroll recommended. Ryder is the creator of the original Bullet Journal method and you can see a short video on his original method HERE. Bullet journaling then became a phenomenon where it gathered a huge following on YouTube and Instagram. It was warped into something very decorative and, in my view, time-consuming...not what Ryder intended. Like him, I wanted simple all the way without all the glam. He uses an index, I don't, as I find tabs easier to work with.

So I thought you might like to see my basic formula and what works for me. I love setting up each month as it comes, deciding which format that month will take. I flit back and forth between vertical columns and horizontal layout for my daily task lists and entries.

At the start of a new year, I draw up pages containing vertical columns for each month. Here I keep important dates such as birthdays and appointments which can be transferred across to the monthly/daily pages. 

Then, I follow with my Tracker pages (below). Some people like to do their Trackers beside each month in their journals but I prefer to have them altogether where I can compare, side-by-side, at a glance. These are not necessary to the Bullet Journal method but are helpful if you are trying to get into regular habits.

Then, I follow with my Monthly To-Do notes OR commonly referred to as Future logs (below). Here I will add tasks for upcoming months that I haven't drawn up yet. They are then transferred to that month when it is drawn up. 

Then I have my annual Books Read/Completed pages (below). I love to read and I like to keep track of what I've read, month to month. On average, I read 5 books per month.

Then I follow with my annual Donations pages (below). I'm big on supporting Farm Animal Sanctuaries among other things. 

Note, that not all of the above sections are necessary to the Bullet Journal method. It's an entirely personal and different set-up for everyone. You tailor it to suit your own needs. 

After the annual pages are set up, I just work month-to-month. As one month nears to a close, I set up the new month. 

I start with the Month view which I have in three sections. I log things relating to the Personal/General, Creative, or Finance columns. This includes appointments and birthdays in the personal/general section.

Then, I follow with Gratitude and Quotes pages (below). I like to keep track of quotes that make an impression on me that particular month.

Then comes the Brain Dump and Check-in pages. Brain Dump is for notes on anything that may crop up that month, that I don't want to forget. Or just info that I may find useful at a later date..quick notes. 

Check-in relates to how I'm feeling at the beginning of the month, emotionally and physically. Plus mindfulness where I think about where I'm at spiritually and if I'm aligned with my beliefs etc.

From there, it's straight into each day as it comes. I sometimes do 2 days to a page using a vertical column for each day, e.g. below....or I split the page in half horizontally, so still 2 days to a page.  Occasionally, I will do one day to a page....see, no set format, just whatever suits my needs at the time. Daily tasks are always listed just under the day/date, then Notes from the day are below the tasks.

I love my Bullet Journal!


Now to my drawing. This cute little Hummingbird was drawn back in January using Graphite. 

Sincere thanks and credit goes to James Marvin Phelps, on Flickr, for the use of his image as my reference. Link to his original photo HERE.

And that ends my post for today. 
I hope you are all keeping safe and well. 
Serena x


Christine said...

Lovely hummingbird! Glad the bullet journal works for tou!

My name is Erika. said...

Bullet journals are great ideas. You have a great format. And I love the hummingbird too. They are my one of my favorites. Hope your week is going well. Hugs-Erika

Rita said...

I absolutely love my bullet journal, too!! It's also the only one I have stuck with for years. Mine is even simpler than yours. Stayed the same for a several years so Leah made me up sheets to print off, but I still have space for leeway. I'd be lost without it now, I think. Yours looks really nice and fits you and what you need. That's what so cool about them--they are flexible.

Love the little hummer!!

DVArtist said...

When I worked I had to be very organized and everything had to be listed down. When I retired from that type of work I simply can't get into any type of journalling. I am glad you found something you like. As for the art. OMGosh beautiful

craftytrog said...

Goodness Serena, your journal is very organised!
I love your beautiful hummingbird.
Alison xx

Jennifer Rose said...

I can't get into bullet journalling, im too lazy to keep it up lol

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Christine. x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Erika. I hope your week has been going well too. Mine....so, so....I'm having a rough trot with asthma this winter. Cold air is one of my triggers, unfortunately. :( Coping though.

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Rita. I know you are loving the printed sheets. It's feels so good to have a journal/planner that truly meets our needs. Yep, being a flexible system was a real winner for me. Mine can get even more simple at any given month...love it!

Enjoy the rest of your week. x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Nicole. I understand...journaling isn't for everyone. x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Alison. It works so well for me...love it.

Serena xx

Serena Lewis said...

That's how I used to be with the shop-bought, pre-formatted journals/planners. For some reason, the bullet journal has been entirely different for me. The flexibility and tailoring to personal needs was a win-win.

Hope you're enjoying a lovely week,
Serena x

Victoria Zigler said...

I like how you keep it flexible and go with what feels right for you each time. I also love the fact you have the places for quotes, and the check-in section.

Rain said...

Hi Serena :) Your hummingbird is gorgeous! Well done. :) I used to do a bullet journal, but couldn't find the time to keep it up. I love the "brain dump" idea though!! :)

sandy said...

First off - beautiful hummingbird sketch~ And I've never heard of this bullet journal idea. i'm going to go watch a bit on youtube and i must have lived in a cave since this idea came about ...where have i been, lol. I find it interesting to read your words and how you are using yours. Now I have one more thing to research on my big list, thank you very much lololol. The idea is fascinating to me.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am in awe of your hummingbird sketch. It is gorgeous. I am not into bullet journaling. I have a calendar I use for what I did that day. I don't use mine for appointments because I don't go anywhere. However, I like the idea of a brain dump. I think I need to try that (grin)!!

Serena Lewis said...

Yes, I love that the Bullet Journal can be so easily tailored to the individual needs. x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Rain. It's the only planner system I have been able to keep up with. It's not for everyone though. :) x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Sandy. I'm surprised you haven't heard of it either. Enjoy getting caught down the bullet journal rabbit hole online. :) x

Serena Lewis said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. Whatever works for you is best. The Bullet Journal system is not for everyone but it has been perfect for my needs. The Brain Dump has been so handy. :) x

Mary said...

I watched part of the set up for the Bullet Journal and was worn out!!!!!!
Guess I'm too old now to be that organized, or to have that many things to get organized for - do you get my drift dear lol!!!!
Your hummer sketch is awesome - I've only had a couple come to their feeder so far this season, more later when the Morning Glories bloom hopefully.

Serena Lewis said...

It’s not as complex as it looks but, yes, I get your drift. lol

The tiniest birds I’ve seen here are the little Fairy Wrens….adorable!