Friday, April 29, 2016

Part 2: Bullet Journaling: Original System and Deviation Breakdown

Today I will do a side by side comparison of the Ryder's Bullet Journal System and the way I do my journal which will henceforth be called a #StringPlanner, because hey! Why the heck not? The basis of which is the Midori Traveler's Notebook. I'm going to show my system next to the bujo you'll get the basics and two different systems for doing the things you need to get done.

Ryder's Bullet Journal System has a lot going for it, the first thing being it's dead simple. A lot of people when they first look at anything related to bullet journaling get scared because there are a huge amount of next level bullet journalers out there! Most of the bullet journals that are posted online are beautiful, but I will tell you the majority of them do not look like that.
I founded a planner meetup here in Wichita and while all of our planners are super gorgeous, they are all very different and varying levels of complexity.

I had a friend ask me yesterday, "how do you remember to look at your planner?" The original system never worked for me because not looking at my planner was a very real thing! I started my original planner with the best of intentions, but just never actually looked at it. Putting in a wallet and a space to write down my thoughts completely changed that because I had to carry it with me everywhere and if I was buying things, I was definitely opening it.

On the left will be the simplicity of the Bullet Journal and on the right will be my deviation from it.

Grab a notebook. Open it.
Page 1 write 'INDEX' at the top.

So my index goes in the back. I don't need to organize my dailies, just my collections. More on that here shortly..

Page 2-3 Yearly/Monthly:
 Write the months of the year, go back and add this page to your index. Most awesome Bujo-ers will actually write this out nicely with a ruler and a note book with an actual grid system in it...I didn't have one of those for my examples. Sorry about that!

I don't do this because I'm not a busy person with tasks all the way out to Christmas. For anniversaries and the like I put those in a collection titled 'Important Dates', which I when I switch out my daily notebook, I look at to see if there's anything coming up!

Page 4-5 Weekly:
write the spread of the week, which you can do day by day or all at once. Add this first week to your index.
I should plan to get my nails done...
I do the week planner along the bottom of each one of my day pages because I don't have kids or go to school. My schedule doesn't have a lot of variables in it and I usually only have 1 or 2 top priority things - usually bills! Note that on the Bullet Journal side I wrote a couple of examples for the various things you might write down in your day - things to do, things to check out, and a book or other thing you might of heard about.

Page 6 - Collections:
In the original Bullet Journal I have two things I noted on May 1st as wanting to add to a collection. I added an app and a book. So here you can see I turned to the next blank page and wrote the title of each of the collections, then added those collection titles and page numbers to the index.

At the end of the day and month you'll go back and migrate all of the tasks and important things you heard about into their appropriate collections, which, by this time are scattered like wildfire through your note book. I prefer to keep all my collections together in a notebook at the back of my Midori/Fauxdori/#stringplanner

My main problems with this system are:
1. I don't use the Monthly or Yearly Spreads
2. The Weekly Spread doesn't allow for actual journal entries
3. There Weekly Spread doesn't make sense for me to use.
4. The organization isn't clear enough.

this is how you put a Midori/Fauxdori together
Here's how I fixed them.
Make yourself a heirloom quality notebook holder. Or buy a Midori Traveler's Notebook.
Grab two notebooks that fit in the holder.
Open the first one.
Tape in a calendar on the first page, circle the numbers of the dates that are relevant this month and write the date at the bottom.

Go to the next page. This is your first official page.

Write the date on the top left. Write the days of the week on the bottom right.
Anything cool you hear about, write on the left side under the date. Anything you want to track daily write in either the bottom left or top right. Fill in your main tasks for the week under the names of the days.

Write everything you ever wanted in the center. Keep going on the next page, and page after that and page after that...Fill the entire notebook with your thoughts if you want - though I think that is an actual diary. The point is, I don't ever want to be limited to just a small space in a weekly spread for my thoughts.

This also removes 'paper guilt' which is a real thing - paper guilt is when you waste pages in a notebook because either you don't like the notebook itself, or you fill out a spread and then don't end up using it...That happens to me a lot with big habit trackers, which is why I decided to move to daily ones.

Anyway -

Now, collections - Collected Lists of Rad Stuff

Open your second notebook.
Write Index at the top. Look back to the left area under your first date. Did you write down something cool? Awesome - let's start a collection. Do not be tempted to preplan your collections! I did this in my first journal and ended up with a lot of paperguilt and a lot of wasted space!
Now, all of my super awesome lists are in one place. I can make a new one anytime by flipping to the next page. Let's say that I make a collection of books, move on to the next thing and by the end of the notebook I've run out of space on the original - Just make a new page, write the same title with 'continued from pages _through_. Done. Easy peasy. When you migrate this main collections notebook - ie, you fill up this one and want to move to the next one - take both the sets of the same collection title and put them together in your new notebook.

If there ever comes a time that all of your collections are important and you cannot migrate them to a new notebook without immediately filling up that note book, call me. I will take you to lunch.

Grab the Last Notebook

Open it. OR
Throw it back in your bin of other notebooks and put in place a wallet holder, a receipt envelope, a 'dashboard' to hold all your stick notes, a pocket for holding baby pictures...Whatever you want to do.

That's it.
That's all it is.

At the end of the day, all of this is about YOU and is about what YOU want to accomplish with your planner or journaling system.
I see a huge amount of people get hung up on mistakes they've made in their notebooks, and people who feel like they've failed because their journals just aren't 'instagram pretty'. You and I both do not have instagram lives, and therefore our planners will not be instagram planners. Living that way is not helpful or important if it's not actually helping you accomplish what you need to do in life.

Let me know in the comments if there's anything you're not getting! Or e-mail me at and we'll figure it out together!!

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