DISCLAIMER 1: in this post I express my own opinions and my own interpretation of how to use the bullet journal system. It is not necessarily aligned with what the "creator" of the system (Ryder Carroll) describes. If you are interested in the basic original approach go to http://bulletjournal.com/ to find more information.
DISCLAIMER 2: if you are one of those people that get upset because I don't follow the "official rules", I add fancy decorations, drawings, etc and those are not "bullet point lists", please just stop reading here! :) While I get inspiration from the original system, I want it to work for ME. And yes, maybe I change it so much that I shouldn't call it Bullet Journal... but calling it "a notebook where I list things to do, plan my activities, projects, draw, write, doodle and learn new things" is a little bit too long :) So I stick with the name.
As Kara (from BoHo Berry) says beautifully (paraphrasing) "I spend some time to make my bullet journal pretty, and that is actually the thing that keeps me coming back to using it, but the reason I use it is because it helps organize my life". So no, the prettiness is not necessary, but how useful is an efficient organizational system that is always stored in a drawer because it is too boring to look at? :)
Ok... now let me show you some of my pages and shares some of the lessons I learned!!
Click each picture to see all the details.
-- MONTH TRACKER, MAILING TRACKER AND SPECIAL EVENTS --
About the October Tracker...
It is a little more sparse then the previous month... some things were not done not even a single time!! Oh well... I think that a lot had to do with the "shape" of the cells :) being skinny rectangles, it made me feel that even if I was going to do that activity, the "horizontal progress" was not that much, so why bother! :) is my mind strange? yes it is! I will test this hyphotesis next month, when I will use a different layou :)
The mailing tracker is really great because it is good to track if people receive what you send and if you receive what you are supposed to.
The "special events" pages show an example of a very easy to manage day (top) and a crazier event day (bottom). I think they both are great way to remember what worked and what didn't, and the lessons will be forever there for me to refer back to! :)
I love how I designed this page.
It's simple, it's cute (at least the latest ones are becoming cuter), it's functional.
At the beginning of each week, I list few things in the "Quilting and Crafting" section or "Home and Personal" section. I put them in approximate days, but I don't stress about it, because I have the view of the full week, so if I feel that I want to do something on Mon that is listed on Fri (or viceversa) it's all good!!
The coloring works great, and I can change up the overall design each week. It is just fun and functional! :)
Both have daily prompts to guide you on what to draw/write on.
While I enjoyed both, I didn't really feel enthusiastic enough for the writing one, so I dropped it.
For the ZenArtChallenge, I like zentangles but I don't particularly like designs that require a lot of shading or designs of object (flowers, ...). so in Nov I will turn this challenge into a "DoodleAQuiltingDesign" kind of thing instead... we'll see!
The second one is very free form: just pick 5 words (completely random, long, short, in my own language or any other language) and just "draw" the word in a special font. Not having the constrains of writing long sentences it allowed me to get more creative and wild! The only rule I told myself is to write them all horizontal so they will end up forming a "label cloud" kind of design.
I didn't really stick with this activity this month either... so I think I won't do it next month. I will add a different writing challenge, so I can practice fun handwriting (like mirrored and writing with my non dominant hand).
The "doodle an artist" pages are the ones that I most proud of!! I love the idea and I was looking forward every day to either draw something or find something to draw for the next day. The idea is to pick an artist and then copy some elements from some of her/his pieces (Steal like an Artist). The act of researching their life, reading the story of a painting, trying to extract simple elements that I can sketch just with a pen is very very valuable for me. Considering that I have NO art background, NO art education, I think I copied the different pieces quite well! And it's unbelievable how much the daily practice improved in just a month! It also improved my confidence (in drawing and life) and opened my mind to a world of possibilities. YOU SHOULD TRY THIS TOO, especially if you think you don't know how to draw!! just pick a simple clipart and copy that... you will see great improvement if you do it consistently for weeks. Don't try to make it perfect... just keep drawing new things every day and you cannot not improve!! :)
While I was planning to work on two artists a month, I was so busy that I managed to make only one collection. Well, I will keep doing this in my new journal next month as I have a list of artists I want to explore!
I am planning to use my Quilter's Planner (that should arrive at the end of the week) as my journal. It should be much bigger than what I have now, so let's see how I will be using the space!!