Browsed by
Category: Bujo

My Bujo Journey, Part 2

My Bujo Journey, Part 2

The “before”.

This is the second part of my post on bullet journaling. To get a background on what I’ll be covering in this post, head on over to the first part!

A look at my system before Bullet Journaling was pretty revealing. I was spending way too much time and energy trying to stay organized, rather than actually being organized. So I decided to try the bujo method after hearing about it from Jaedia.

The Bullet Journal Method


You can watch this nifty video on Bullet Journaling to get an idea on what it’s all about. But the TL;DR is—”[it] is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above…”.

And it’s true. My bujo has become all these things. It might seem confusing at first, but once you sit down and do it, it really does become second nature. And keeping it up to date is simple. It takes me five minutes at night to update tasks, notes, write my gratitudes, track my habits, and set myself up for the following day. Maybe it takes me ten or fifteen minutes if I decide I need to journal on top of it.

It took me about an hour to set up January because I was learning how to bullet journal, and I was setting up the yearly items (Index, Future Log, Yearly Gaming Log, etc.). It took me about a half hour to set up February, even with all the lines and boxes I drew out for the various logs I decided I wanted.

My Bullet Journal

I’m not going to be showing pictures of my bujo, as some of it is kind of personal, but I use it as a replacement for most of the items I covered in my first post, and I’ll talk about it.

Getting the supplies was the easy part. I just purchased the cheapest dot grid notebook I could find on Amazon that had a decent rating. You don’t need anything fancy. In fact, when I was waiting on this to come in, I just used one of my lined journals (which, admittedly, I didn’t enjoy as much, but it was something).

I also have a set of erasable pens that I absolutely adore made by Pilot. I like being able to erase (I hate scribbling thing out—it drives me crazy), but I also like the flow and feel of writing with a pen. These pens have been a godsend for me in that regard. Especially since they come in different colors. Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to find refills in Black, but that’s okay, because they’re the pens I use the most often out of the pack.

I decorated my journal a bit with some scrapbooking supplies, and I used sharpies (lesson learned for next time: Don’t. Use colored pencils instead.) to color code the edges of my pages as a secondary index (for instance, January is red and in a specific spot every time it’s a page relating to January). But all this isn’t necessary to bujo. There are plenty of people who use a minimalist approach, and honestly on a day-to-day basis, I use a minimalist approach. There’s barely anything decorated, and I only use cursive because I write faster in cursive than I do in print.

How the Systems Compare

  • Trello – I used this to track my media. Now, I have pages in my bujo dedicated to each type of media: games to play (listed), books to read (listed), comics to read (listed), comics to buy to try (listed), movies to watch (listed), and television shows to watch (using a grid-like system). Just to name a few.
  • Google Calendar – I still use this as a backup for when I don’t have my bujo, or when I need to pull up an address to GPS, or when I need an alarm reminder for a specific event.
  • Plum Planner – The bullet journal itself has taken on the job of my old plum planner.
  • Sticky Notes – I still have some laying around, but they’re more for when I’m tanking in raids. For instance, when I have to drag Cenarius around in Emerald Nightmare, I’ll write what marker order to drag him to (shorthand) and put it on my second monitor. They are no longer a to-do list or random thought dump area.
  • Tumblr – This used to be my journal. My journal has since completely moved to my bujo, and I’ll probably save my important posts and delete it.
  • Gratitude Journal – This has completely moved over to my bujo as two pages in the front of the month. I have space to write two shorter items, or one long one every day.
  • Legal pads – Everything I did on these (to-do lists, menu and grocery planning, thought dumps, etc.) have since moved over to my bujo. They’re kind of just sitting and collecting dust, now.
  • Magnetized Memo Pads – I still keep these on the fridge to write down what I’m out of when I notice I’m out of it, but other than that, they don’t get used for anything. Stuff I need to buy gets copied into my menu/grocery page for the week and off I go to the grocery with my bujo.
Overall I’ve seen a vast improvement on my stress/anxiety levels, and my pocketbook is glad to have much less in it on a daily basis.
My Bujo Journey, Part 1

My Bujo Journey, Part 1

Image from PopSugar

I’m a big to do list/day planner person. It’s one of the things that helps me stay organized, and I use it as a way to assist with my depression and anxiety as a part of my cognitive behavioral therapy. In layman’s terms, I use planners and lists to help manage my thoughts and feelings as a way to make healthier and safer choices for myself.

I’m also big on writing things by hand. It helps me stay focused, and keeps me more grounded in what I’m doing. It’s also cathartic when I can just write and write. In a way that’s different than typing. While typing things out can help sometimes, writing it down by hand gives it more meaning and permanence, and helps me work things out a little bit better than typing.

My old system, however, was starting to get a bit overwhelming, and I needed to find an alternative, and found bullet journaling.

A Look At My Old System

  • Trello – I use Trello to keep lists of media to consume. I’m big on media consumption—movies, television, games, visual novels, comic books, etc. Before using Trello, I didn’t really have a system, and I became overwhelmed with things I wanted to try, or where I was in a particular season of a television show, for instance. Thanks to an episode of the Geek to Geek cast, I tried out making a list, and it helped tremendously to keeping me focused on what I wanted to look into, and made me feel not as guilty for possibly putting something to the side because I wasn’t enjoying it.
  • Google Calendar – Google Calendar is what I use day-to-day outside of my Plum Planner (more on that next). I live via my Gmail, and I use it as a way to keep my contacts and calendar organized. It’s a good quick on-the-go tool for me when I need to add an impromptu work meeting, a get-together with a friend, or a therapy session. And it’s easy to pull out my phone rather than my Plum Planner, which can get kind of unwieldy.
  • Plum Planner – I like paper planners, and I liked this one because I could keep (most) everything in one place. It had pockets to keep papers, to do list sections, menu and grocery planning sections. But, the more I used it, the more wasted pages it had because I wouldn’t use a particular section one week, or I’d be using another one of my systems for a few days, etc. There were also the times when my sticky notes would get lost, or papers would fall out, and I wouldn’t know where something went, and it was just too big to carry around casually in my purse.
  • Sticky Notes – Sticky notes are my go-to “I need to jot something down to remember it now.” sort of thing. Especially when I didn’t have my Plum Planner around. But then they would get lost, or fall out of my planner, and it was never a good thing.
  • Tumblr – As a part of my CBT, my therapist likes me to attempt to journal twice a week. About anything I want. It could be extremely personal stuff, or just general things that I would/sometimes did put in the blog. For the extremely personal stuff, however, I have a private Tumblr account where I could just let it all out. But, typing never really did it for me 100%.
  • Gratitude Journal – As another piece of my CBT, I keep a gratitude journal. Just one or two things every day that I’m thankful for. Or that even just made me happy. I keep these in a small notebook by my bedside table.
  • Legal Pads – I use legal pads like nobody’s business. They end up full of to do lists, but then I have a difficult time tracking if it’s a repeat task (things like dishes get done every day, so did I check it off yesterday or am I behind on dishes?!). And then sometimes I end up with random thought dumps, but then if I lose the pad, I lose the thought dump, and a lot of times those were half-written out blog posts.
  • Magnetized Memo Pads – This one feels like a no-brainer for me. I keep magnetized pads and a container with pens (and a few things like coupons and my stamps) on the fridge. If I need to purchase something for groceries or I have a menu idea for next week, I jot it down. These then get torn off the fridge and used as my grocery list and a way to menu plan (which would then be planned out in the legal pads).

An Evaluation

This was my “organization”.

As you can see, that’s three digital forms of keeping memos, and five physical ways of keeping memos, all in different spots at different times of the day, with no semblance of organization. It was annoying to, for instance, need my grocery list because I was going to stop on the way home from work, but I wouldn’t have it because it would be in a legal pad or on the refrigerator sitting at home. Or I’d make a thought-dump at work on my lunch break and forget to bring it home because my Plum Planner was sitting on the counter at home. Or I’d leave my planner at work by accident because it was too big for my purse and I had it out to jot something down.

I think you can see where I’m getting with this. In an effort to simplify and keep myself organized, I wasn’t really doing much of anything. And while it helped for a time, it started to just feel overwhelming. So I started looking for alternatives. That’s when I stumbled onto this thing called Bullet Journaling that I discovered through Jaedia, but have since found a few other bloggers that have made it a habit.
I’ve only been doing it a month, but it’s helped tremendously. I’ll delve deeper into what it is, and how I bujo (bullet journal) in another post, however, or this one will become much too wordy.