After more than a year of bullet journal obsession, for 2018 I decided it was time to put down my Leuchtturm and stop bullet journalling. Here is why I stopped, and how I’m keeping myself organized instead.
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I had a well documented love affair with bullet journaling. I actually first discovered blogging through bullet journaling, and my introduction to bullet journaling was the first post on Xoxo, Rosana more than a year ago!
Where it All Went Wrong
I shared it with my friends, encouraging them to start their own and creating my own bullet journaling community both at school and online. I maintained that it would never be too much work to spend time making the pages look beautiful, using every single dot on the page.
However, when I started my job this summer, I realized that my bullet journal had become too pretty, and always had to be picture-ready for the blog and the instagram. I started carrying around extra notebooks for each of my projects, and my bag started getting heavy.
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In honor of #bulletjournalday, here is one of my first spreads with my currently weekly spread How has your bullet journal changed over time? #bujo #bulletjournal #bujojunkies #weeklyspread #bulletjournalcommunity #bujolove #showmeyourplanner #plannergirl #planneraddict #chicagoblogger #womenwhohustle #workinggirl #mealplan #mealprep #mealplanning #summertimechi #followyourarrow #pibetaphi #piphi
When my job ended, I decided to just carry a thin, Rifle Paper Co. notebook to collect my thoughts during the few weeks between my job ending and school starting. It was invaluable, so by the time classes rolled around, I put my bullet journal back in my bag along with the everything notebook.
And then I didn’t touch my bullet journal. I carried it around in my bag every day until November, when I decided to switch bags and just left both of notebooks in the old backpack for the rest of the quarter.
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While I was in Charleston, I picked up this set of gorgeous @riflepaperco notebooks and I'm in love. • Hope your week is off to a great start! I know this makes me excited for back to school shopping! Keep an eye out for my back to school haul! • #riflepaperco #stationery #notebook #coffeeshop #backtoschool #haul #whatsinmybag
This year, my school switched learning management systems from Chalk to Canvas, which has a really comprehensive assignment tracking and submission calendar, complete with alerts and google calendar integration. I actually happened to have done a project for a class last Spring that explored the features Canvas offers, so I knew how to make it easy to follow along with the assignments online.
Also, most classes have a regular schedule of submission dates, and halfway through the quarter, I usually have a groove during the week. I don’t need to schedule meetings with study groups because we all know that we’re working together on the problem set the night before its due.
For social events, interviews, and other meetings, I would just use my google calendar. Even while bullet journaling, I always included meetings and classes in the google calendar because the notification helps me make sure I will actually be where I said I would be.
I Bought a Real Planner
One of my favorite parts about starting a new year is getting to look at all the new 2018 planners. I’ve always exclusively gone shopping for calendars in September with the start of the academic year, but this time when I ran across one I actually loved, I decided to buy it.
I bought the gold stripe, 5×8 Day Designer planner, and I’m obsessed with it! Each day is on its own page, which I need because I’m juggling 4 classes, summer job applications, and some very exciting new projects!! On the left side of the page is a vertical schedule for the day and on the right is a list of to-dos.
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I'm using the A5 monthly calendar inserts to track work deadlines, business goals, all of the things I am TERRIBLE at remembering off the top of my head. Some may say the fancy lettering is excessive, *I* say it helps remind me how important these things are to me. Plus, it makes a pretty IG picture, which is always a bonus.
Mine has a top-three section at the very top, which makes it really easy for me to prioritize my tasks. It also has a daily quote and at the bottom, it even provides a spot for a gratitude log. It has monthly tabs, and has held up well in my bag over last month. Every month has a grid view of the whole month so I can include important events like tests. My only complaint is that there isn’t an easy way to immediately turn to the date, but I fixed that with a paperclip that I keep moving through the week.
I am still using my Google calendar and the Canvas integration, but with so much going on right now I can’t see myself going back to tracking all my to dos in a messy notebook or just following along online. The only other permanent pieces in my bag are my laptop, my charger bag, my water bottle, and my phone.
After a couple of crazy busy months, I have closed my leuchhturm for now. Although I can’t promise I’ll never pick it up again, there’s so much in store for the next year that I can’t wait to live my 25th hour lifestyle to the fullest and share it with you.
Are you still bullet journaling? How do you track everything you’re doing?
Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!
I have always wanted to start a bullet journal but I am so not artistic at all!
There are so many different ways to do a bullet journal, you could check out @simplyproductivity’s instagram for minimalist bujo inspiration. I think the system is worth giving a try, but the moment I started posting my spreads, it pigeon holed me into making it artistic consistently!
I use both the bullet journal and 5×8 day designer planner. I started bullet journaling about six months ago and i love it! I am not an artistic person at all, so I use a simple and minimalist style of bullet journaling because I just want to use it to give some structure to my life and help me reach my goals, aspirations, etc. In my BuJo, I have a monthly planner in which i just write all the things that needs to get done in that month (to-do list, goals, appointments etc). Then I use my 5×8 daily & weekly planner to plan out my monthly agendas more specifically. I do not keep a weekly and daily agenda in BuJo because I feel like it’s just too much writing and I find it complicated, instead I have a separate planner for that. I know it’s a “two book” system, but it has been working very well for me. 🙂
That’s really clever! I might miss having all of my goals and a format for my quarterly review in the same notebook!
Do you take your bujo with you everywhere or do you just pick it up when you need it for long run things?
I keep my BuJo at home and I just carry my 5×8 daily planner with me everywhere. However, I do try to open my BuJo at least three times a week for check-ins, just to make sure that I am on track with everything just as I planned and make adjustments, if needed. I also use sticky page markers, post-it notes in my BuJo and daily planner for important pages.
Love this honest post, and I’ve got a post planned for the future all about why bullet journaling doesn’t work for me. I use a real planner with a page per day because, like you said, every time I try to start a bullet journal I always get too wrapped up in making it picture perfect and then it’s not an effective productivity tool for me!
Thanks Emily!! It’s so easy to get carried away and make it more of an art project!