I am obsessed with the written word. Not just "writing", but actual writing - - pen to paper writing. I've kept a journal religiously since I was 9 (actually, I started at 5; dictating to my mom and calling it "keeping my memoirs", because I was convinced I'd be important/famous and an exact record of my life would be needed in the future, but I count age 9 as the "beginning", because that's when I started writing on my own each night at home). I love nothing more than a good pen, a nice feeling piece of paper, and twenty minutes alone to get my thoughts out. Making lists calms me down and quiets the noise in my head. Stationary and empty journals are always perfect gifts to me. So, of course I heard about Bullet Journaling a while ago. It's gotten a lot of buzz in the past six months to a year. There are hashtags to track and a whole community of bullet journal-ers.
What the fuck is bullet journaling? Instead of re-hashing the buzzfeed article that opened my eyes to this growing organizational trend, I'm just gonna link it. Short answer? Bullet journaling exists somewhere in the world in between keeping a planner and a journal. And, to be quite honest...I don't know how I feel about it.
Now, I'm also a self-confessed planner addict. I have tried several different brands of planner. Erin Condren is my favorite (more on that later), and I've come to adapt my planner style to a combo of bullet-journaling and Erin Condren-ing.
Let's get the first thing out of the way; I am too busy, lazy, and not visually artistic enough for traditional bullet journaling. I'm semi-crafty, but I can't draw to save my life and my hand lettering/penmanship could use a lot of work. So, bullet journaling felt really intimidating when I tried it out at the beginning of the year during the blog hiatus. I also didn't want to start from scratch, in a medium that I'm not friends with. Why should I give myself a headache attempting to draw a calendar when Bando and Erin Condren exist?
Now, I have adapted how I use my Erin Condren planner a bit, taking things that I learned from bullet journaling. I keep throwing around the name Erin Condren. For those who are unintiated into the planner world, Erin Condren is a stationery brand and her life planner is hands down my favorite. I had an Erin Condren - switched to Bando half way through the year, and am back with Erin. After attempting to switch how I used my planner and adapting some tips I learned from bullet journaling, I think Erin just fits me better. I also felt like my Bando was starting to fall apart after a while. I still love their other products, but I don't think I'll have another Bando planner.
Now, my Erin.
It's 7" x 9", so it fits into the majority of bigger bags that I'd carry with me to work. The covers are layouts are all customize-able and interchangeable. I'm this one out with a black cover that's got hearts allover; goth and femme, like me. I got the monochrome interior. While the colorful is cute - - it can be a little too cutesy and a bit much to me. I also prefer the monochrome, because it doesn't really clash with the stickers I might use. Erin Condren planners start out with the year (or 18 months, since I have an 18 month planner) at a glance.
Then you get your long-term goal planning page. I've got my 2017 goals here and my planner glossary. I'll add to this page as other things come up; I'll more than likely add a "to watch" and "to read" list on these pages.
Erin Condren planners have a lot of cute little inspirational quotes in them. Cheesy, but we all know they hit the spot every now and then.
Then you get into your monthly pages. So each month has a note page at the beginning, for July I've put my current shopping list and my monthly "budget" (I'm really bad a budgeting y'all. I need HELP).
Then when you get into the month, there's a month at a glace. I don't really use this; I prefer to use my phone for my monthly calendar and I can't imagine copying it over; it's intense ya'll. I'm trying to figure out something cute to do here.
And then you have your weekly layout! This is the beginning of the week.
I label my vertical sections for three different uses; tasks, notes, and journal. I'm more "bullet journal"-esque in these sections. Super quick bullet points in tasks, short detail oriented notes in notes, and a little micro-journal in the journal section - if I feel like it. If I don't, then I don't stress about it. Decorating your weekly section is a big thing among planner addicts - stickers, washi tape, hand lettering - there are full youtube channels dedicated to it. I'm attempting to walk the fine line between planner madness and bullet journaling - cute doodle here and there, some stickers to liven it up and use the space, but nothing TOO MUCH. I think I'll also start making mini-collages here.
Just for comparison sake - this is what it looks like by the end of the week. I think the whole point of keeping a journal/planner is to be less stressed and the idea of a full-on bullet journaling was just tool stressful to me. That said, I don't want to keep a boring planner either. The fine in-between is working very well for me.
How do you like to keep organized? Let me know in the comments!