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Bullet journal personalisation: make the system work for you

Did last week’s ‘Bullet journal basics’  post help you start to get control of your to-do lists and life plans? Hopefully you’re on your way to getting all those tasks and notes that are whirling around your head or in various notebooks or devices,  into one crisp new bullet journal, with a clear system for identifying long-term goals, priorities and deadlines.

If you’re still getting to grips with the system, work with it for a good few weeks, let it become part of your routine. As you use it you may find you want to tweak things to make it work better for your individual way of doings. I’ve made several tweaks, additions and enhancements which I’m going to share with you today.

First I tweaked the key:

  • I fill in my task boxes and event circles, rather than tick them, once the task or appointment is completed and once I’d filled in the circles they looked too much like the circles used to signify a note. So instead of a circle for appointments I use a triangle.
  • I use an exclamation point not to highlight an inspiring note, but to mark a task that has as deadline. I then note the date inside the exclamation point.

Bullet journal key

After a few months using the system I dropped the monthly calendar because I didn’t find the layout worked for me. Jo Gifford, The Dexterous Diva,  posted a great bullet journal round-up post last year, and there I found a  monthly plan layout which I find a more meaningful because you see at a glance how the month is shaping up.

When I have a particularly busy month ahead, like last month when I moved house, I create a plan for the month. I like doing this, but it’s a bit of a faff so I don’t do it very often, next time I decide I need a plan for the month I think I will simply print it from the calendar on my MacBook.Monthly plan

My  next addition is a weekly plan. On a Sunday night (or thereabouts) I sit down and write my plan for the week. I adapted this from a weekly page created by Kate at Riot and Frolic who I found on Pinterest. I’ve got a sidebar for Notes on the left, a sidebar for shopping lists on the right. The left side of each day is for appointments and time allocated tasks like my weekly ‘Switch off night’ (no TV, computer or phone!), and the right is for my ‘chore’ schedule and meal plan – which I add in a different colour  so it stands out. (More about my cleaning schedule and meal plans – a very new addition to my newly organised life – in future blog posts!)Weekly plan

To help me easily find pages of particular interest, the start of each month, the current week, and day, I use sticky flags.

Marker flags

What do you think of these enhancements to the bullet journal system? Will you try any? Let me know if you do, and/or tell me about our own enhancements in the comments below. Oh and don’t forget to follow my bullet journal board on Pinterest.

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6 Comments

  1. The Happy Typewriter says

    Wow, that is so impressive! Very organized. I love journals and organization and this is one of highest quality combination I’ve seen.

    Like

    • Thank you. For the first time in my life I do feel organised! Quite an achievement. Are you going to give it a try? Take a look at the Bullet Journal website and go from there.

      Like

      • The Happy Typewriter says

        Well, I think I’ve got a system that works for me. For years now I just use a simple calendar and put everything in there. I loved the idea of diaries, but I like to see the overall layout of the month. Love finding what works for you. And so good that it looks like you’ve found the system for you,

        Like

  2. Pingback: Bullet journal basics: how to organise your life and stay on top of tasks | Lulu & Poppet

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