I’m into my second year of using a Bullet Journal and since the post I wrote last year is one of the more popular ones, I thought it was time for an update.
I’m still using the Leuchtturm 1917–in fact, I’m on my third–each one seems to last about six months, so I find that it’s worthwhile to spend the money on a book that I find enjoyable to write in. I also splurged on a Makers South case which gives me space to carry some stickers and any loose bits of paper I might collect during the day.
The only collection I really managed to keep up with was the reading one. I’ve combined the “to read” with the “am reading” collection. I’m no longer tracking daily habits–it was too much for me to keep up with and after a few weeks when I really struggled to get everything logged in the notebook and in Habitica, I decided I preferred Habitica for things I need to do every day.
I’ve also started carrying a separate calendar to keep track of appointments–I didn’t like drawing a calendar every month and printing one out was a pain in the butt, so I went ahead and ordered a calendar insert for the Travelers Notebook I’d bought last year and not used. I don’t put everything in it–work stuff generally stays in Outlook unless it’s really important that I not forget.
As for layout, I do a weekly grid on one page and then set up each day as it comes. This allows me to have an overview of my week–I do jot down work appointments there–but it also gives me the flexibility to allow each day’s list to be as long as it needs to be. I follow a few planner feeds on Instagram and I have to admit that I don’t know how people who plan out their entire week on Sunday manage. In my more cynical moments, I suspect that there’s a BuJo for show and one for reality and never the twain shall meet.
At any rate, this is finally–finally!–a system that works for me. I tend to be fairly uptight about writing neatly and doing the semi-fancy lettering for the days, but that’s because I find it fairly meditative. When I use this for brainstorming or journaling, I’m less neat. And the nice thing is that it works for pretty much everything except my calendar and daily habits (which include things like “take meds, brush teeth, floss” because I am a middle aged lady who is starting to fall apart).
I try not to get too precious about it because my bullet journal is a tool, not an art project. It is a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.
She dabbles in writing speculative fiction and poetry, but non-fiction is her bread and butter. She’s known for her coverage of various issues within genre around sexism and harassment, and can be found on Twitter as @eilatan.
With Annalee Flower Horne, she is a co-founder of the intersectional geek blog, The Bias.