The demise of my 2018 bullet journal & where I am taking my 2019 version
Yes that’s right my friends, we are nearly 2 months into 2019 and I finally have new bullet journal content. It’s been a long time coming but it took me a good month to get my journal up and running let alone in a fit state to snap some photos of. And then came the bad weather and the grey days and I encountered the perils of working until it was dark every day.
But now, now we have had some sunshine, I have left work when it is still light and it feels like spring it on it’s way - and with that, a glossy pure white brand new bullet journal. But before we can crack on with that, I guess we better talk about the demise of my 2018 journal first.
2018 saw a really sad end to my bullet journal as I fell completely out of love with it. The last quarter of the year was the busiest I think I have ever been and I think without noticing I had a real case of bad burnout. I was filling my festive period with weekends away and Christmas and sure loads of it was lovely things but I was just ridiculously busy working full time and every evening and all weekends and it all came to a head when I did my tax returns on January 1st the day before I went back to work and I felt physically ill from it all.
I was basically too busy to bujo - something I never thought I’d say. I was finding myself setting up my weekly spreads on like a Thursday with half of that week having already gone and I was doing a lot of retrospective filling in of things I was up to. I was too busy to sit down and work spreads out, instead I was favouring scrappy bits of paper at my kitchen table for daily to do lists and jotting down shopping on post its from work. Ironically my work bullet journal flourished.
I never finished my 2018 bullet journal. I finished it mid December I just never filled in my last weekly spread and never went back to it. It just sorta fizzled out in a sad kinda way and I feel bed for my beautiful berry coloured journal. I knew I still loved bullet journaling at the back of my mind and I knew I wanted to get back into it, so I decided to bite the bullet (pun intended) and still pop one on my Christmas list.
For 2019 I went for a pure white squared Leuchtturm 1917, a clean slate if you will and I am really pleased I went for it. I really analysed the reasons I stopped journaling in the last year and I concluded it came down to time and time alone and that the first thing to fall was the time it took me to draw up my weekly spreads.
I have also promoted the idea of taking your bullet journal as it comes, I have championed having weekly spreads next to shopping lists next to brain dumps next to packing lists. In my first ever journal I drew up weekly spreads month by month in 4 page spreads but quickly moved on and ridiculed it as restrictive and vowed never to return to it. My former self would have balked then at the set up I have given myself for 2019.
I will be doing a proper flip through in the coming weeks but in short, I have split my journal into two halves this year. I decided that as time was the biggest factor contributing to me not using my bujo in the most constructive way I would take the time factor out of it by setting out spreads all in one go. My journal is now split into two sections; the weekly spreads and the ‘misc’. Ribbon one reminds me which page I am on and ribbon 2 shows me where section 2 starts, where the brain dumps and the packing lists begin.
I have mapped out a weekly spread for the entirety of 2019, a double page spread for 52 weeks of the year, 104 single pages of to weekly to do lists. I wanted to eliminate the time it takes to draw up my spreads but also to maximise productivity by planning ahead. With such a busy life but such a pride in never being late with a birthday card and always remembering to buy Easter eggs and Christmas presents I wanted to get ahead of myself, so planning the whole year seemed the best option and so far, it’s working a treat.
How do I see myself taking it for the rest of the year?
I never thought I’d like to have so much mapped out in one journal but actually, two months in and it’s really working for me. The way I have laid out my weekly spreads is by adding event by event as they get planned and then having dates set in stone like birthdays or holidays or work I need to do. That way every week I can look ahead and see what’s in the calendar for next week and work toward it in plenty of time. Then every day I add jobs bit by bit to my weekly to dos reminding me to post something or text someone or plan this or do that.
The bit that’s working the best though is the second half of the journal which is much more my ‘creative’ part. So far it’s not got much in it but it started with my Copenhagen packing list and I’ve also used it for memories pages, for scouting out some options for air bnb’s for later in the year and ideas for my blog revamp.
Yes, I think this set up will last me nicely until 2020.