2016: The Year of the Bullet Journal

While I'm a decently organized person, I have one huge flaw--I tend to store everything inside my head, which inevitably means I forget something. I went through a kick of writing my to-do lists on Post-It Notes and other small scraps of paper...which get lost or forgotten at work or stolen by a cat.

Not anymore! I've started a bullet journal this year and hands down it is the BEST thing I have tried to stay organized. I really prefer pen and paper organization to digital, as it's too easy for me to forget to update an app. (Also I hate typing on my phone for long periods of time.)

I'm using an Arc notebook from Staples, which is a pretty neat system I hadn't heard of until I went looking for my perfect journal. You buy a notebook that already has standard lined pages in it, but the pages are interchangeable and you can buy all kinds of other page formats to add to your notebook. I chose one with a nice (hot pink!!) leather cover which feels sturdy, and added a weekly organizer page set that includes a calendar spread at the beginning of each month.

I was really inspired by some of the pretty, doodled, artistic bullet journals I saw online but let's be real--I don't have time to do that! So mine is very utilitarian and sparse. I'm mainly using it to track my workflow, but I am including 'real life' events and to-dos as needed, like appointments.

I included the key at the front for reference, and tucked a business card in the front pocket in case it ever goes missing.

A lot of people include 'good habit tracker' type pages which I think is genius! I'm tracking my exercise every month to remind myself to get more. I used to workout 3-4 days a week but lately I've been so focused on getting everything else on my to-do list done and I'm not prioritizing my health. As you can see, I am hopefully going to do a 30 days of yoga challenge...we'll see!

This is what my weekly pages usually look like:

Top: I write my tasks out for a day either the night before or that morning. I'm trying to strike a balance of planning ahead and leaving myself some flexibility to work around my mood, or in case other things come up. Like last night, when I was supposed to do pattern layouts but instead had a manic urge to clean the house which never happens--so I went with that!

Middle: I had to be cute and write our date night into my plans, haha.

Bottom: My latest addition is to document my hours and total them up at the end of the week and keep tabs on exactly how much time I'm spending on work. I plan to do this for a few months and then evaluate my hours, decide if I'm accomplishing an amount I feel happy with or if I want to try and increase my time commitment. (I also work 20 hours/week outside the house in my 'day job'.)

I'm very pleased with my bullet journal so far! I think the simple act of being able to cross things off a list is helping me feel much more accomplished, which in turn fuels me to work harder and do more. I'm looking forward to a very productive year!