If you're anything like me, you will go through at least three different diaries a year, forever getting bored of the layout, realising it just isn't working for you anymore, and that you should never have bought yourself a diary you knew you couldn't fit into your handbag. Last Christmas, I received a Leuchtturm1917 notebook from my boyfriend, with dotted grid paper. He had been using his one for quite some time, and of course, his stationery-addict girlfriend took some interest. My bullet journal, therefore, started at the very end of 2017, and now in April I think it's time I shared the bullet journal love with everybody else - why do I think they are so awesome?
1. You give yourself the freedom to decide on a structure that works for you
It's daunting starting the first page of a clean notebook, isn't it? I felt this myself when I realised that even after watching tonnes of bullet journalling videos I had no idea what I wanted mine to look like. But that is the beauty of it. I treat my bullet journal as a place to look back on how I was feeling at a certain time. When my spreads were precise and structured, I can tell I was absolutely determined to be at the top of my organisational game, maybe when I had a deadline coming up. When my spreads consisted of sprawling text and doodles, you can tell I hadn't been thinking about how clear my task lists were. Each month with my bullet journal so far has been very different from the last, and I can, at last, say I quite like it that way. Gone are the days when I used to fill my diaries with planner stickers and proceed to become frustrated when a sticker was put down crooked. Imperfect is fine with me.
2. Everything can be in one place
Do you ever just scrawl 'to-do' lists down on scrap paper that just ends up getting lost? Do you ever start one list and never reach the end, because by then you have moved onto making another? Me? All. The. Time. My bullet journal has given me a kick in the backside to keep everything as organised as possible. The Leuchtturm bullet journals come with pockets in the back to keep loose papers in which helps to store things you haven't put in the notebook yet. You can also create yourself a 'Future Log' at the beginning of the pages, in which to scribble important dates in the future that you can't write down in your weekly spreads yet.
3. Keeping track
Bullet journals are great places to jot down your goals and achievements you hope to reach. The satisfaction when you can finally tick one off is immense and you can look back and see how far you came since your last target was hit. I have recently got into habit tracking. March was the first month I managed to successfully complete a monthly habit tracker and I hope to continue that way. I can adjust it with each month to see what I want to make changes to and what I want to work on incorporating into my daily life, and celebrate when I see how many times I meditated or mopped the kitchen floor. Honestly, it might sound like a bunch of floss, but if you're struggling with keeping on top of your chores, this is is a great way to track your progress and beat procrastination.
4. Store your memories
When I've been on a trip, a day out or experienced a great weekend out of the house, I love using my bullet journal to record what I was doing in a diary format. I always used to keep diaries through my teens but was never good at continuity. With my bullet journal, things are a little different. I can write about what I did or the way I felt when I want to without feeling the pressure to keep up day in and day out. Reading back through my journal and looking at the pictures that I stuck in is such a nice feeling. I would refer back to the Bu-Jo community on YouTube if you want some inspiration for laying out a journal spread. Mine are nowhere near as impressive as those you find on there, but the point still stands. Using your bullet journal as a memory keepsake is such a nice idea and I would love to do some more of it with time.
5. Creative license
Similar to before, you can quite literally put whatever you would like in your bullet journal. If you want to put your paintings in it or pictures from Pinterest, it all adds up to a satisfyingly fat book of memories in the end. I can't wait to see what I do with my bullet journal in the next few months, and it's what keeps me excited to use it in new ways.