I went back through my 2014 bullet journal this week. It is a black moleskine squared notebook. I wasn’t sure if bullet journaling would be for me, so I picked up a notebook that was enough of an expense that I would feel bad if I didn’t use it. Plus, I think this was the closest that I could find to the notebook in the original bullet journal video I watched.
It was fun going back through this first bullet journal. It’s packed full of good (and not so good) memories. Nothing in this bullet journal is pretty or artsy. It was purely practical and how I survived the daily and weekly grind. My boys were 16, 15, and 12 and I was in the thick of homeschooling middle and high school boys and teaching a class or two at our co-op.
At the front of this bullet journal I had a list of major holidays and birthdays then jumped right into the monthly and weekly pages. Mid February, I made a list of what was amazing about all three of my boys (two shown here). I needed this, and added to it once in a while to remember why in the world I was homeschooling them in the midst of teenage anger, fighting, and attitudes.
Below is pretty much how I set up my weekly plans for the duration of this bullet journal. Each week, I’d make a grid and fill it in. From top left to bottom right: Meal plan for dinner, spiritual goals for the week (this was when I was writing out the book of Proverbs for my middle son, and reading my Bible 3 pages a day), then family/home things I had to do, personal goals, work goals. (I used to sew and sell fashion doll clothes. That was so fun!) And then a box for notes and other things I needed to do.
After the weekly page, I’d just start the daily lists.
Another weekly grid page, then a page of reflection on my birthday.
In between weekly and daily pages, I kept a lot of notes. This is where I was working through scheduling themes for weeknights so I could be more productive. And I copied down the 4 quadrants rule of life, I think this was mentioned by Dave Ramsey. In 2014 we were still paying off debt and working through our Total Money Makeover. (I’m SO thankful we did that!)
More of the same, with a few changes and notes here and there.
Now we skip into summer. We had a co-op meeting to plan classes for that upcoming school year. Also some notes on summer rules/goals to keep us from falling into bad habits, and a weekly review that I did off and on. (I should start doing this again.)
Looking back through this, I realize that I was reading a lot of garbage self-help and motivational books. There are lots of notes from books that sounded good, but looking back, I can see that they were a waste of time at best.
I probably wrote these sticky notes and stuck them near my computer screen so I could do some of those things instead of scrolling through Facebook (which was SO MUCH better back then, but a GIANT waste of time).
These final few photos are from a system I tried to set up in my bullet journal at the end of the year that I still think would be pretty cool if I tried it again. It’s based on a super cool planner system I stumbled across called DIYfish Life Mapping System. Here’s an old video that explains it. It’s a bit complicated, and I wasn’t able to keep up on it at that stage of life, but I still really like the idea.
This first page was a cardstock page I cut out and taped into the bullet journal. The idea was to write my monthly calendar events on this fold out page, so it would always be open for me to see my month at a glance. It’s a sideways calendar with the weeks going down the page instead of across, but it’s done that way because it lines up with the weekly pages that I’ll show in the next pic. The inside of this fold out page was to make monthly goals and jot notes and I wanted to tape a pocket in there. Then the next bullet journal page would ideally be full of weekly review notes from each week of the month.
On the back of that weekly review page is my weekly set up. The week days go down the page and line up with the days of the fold out calendar. Then on the other half of that weekly page are my goals for the week. I know, it’s all a bit complicated, but it was fun to play around with.
The folded pages on the right are my daily pages. I folded them in half because it would lay on the weekly page, just covering half but still allow me to see the weekly events and plans.
Here’s a daily page laid next to my weekly page. Using it this way, each page had 4 daily half pages. Monday on one half, Tuesday on the flip side of the folded page, unfold and refold to have half a page for Wednesday, then the flip side for Thursday. The next folded page was the same for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and notes.
That probably doesn’t make any sense at all. But here’s another weekly page with days and goals, and on the right is my unfolded daily pages.
Here it is with the month, week, and daily page all lined up and then a page I had notes and a review on. And I love that my youngest son drew a mini-comic on the side of the page. It’s the little things like this I love about bullet journaling.
Here’s a blank week that I never filled out (Christmas week, so that makes sense). I set up the daily pages a bid differently.
Then, the idea was at the end of the month to fold that calendar page over enclosing all the weekly and unfolded daily pages, and have it all stored nice and tidy together. There is still a LOT about this system that appeals to me. I wonder if I could give it a shot again for February? Hmmm… Would you be interested in seeing that?
I hope this gives you some ideas! Even though this is the least “fun” of my bullet journals, it is one of my favorites because it was simple, practical, messy, but holds many, many memories.