I started my first Bullet Journal in the first month after my Mother and Grandmother both died within only 4 days. It was an awful period! I needed something to help me change my life, to make me live healthier and also to give me the feeling of something nicer. Some kind of feeling that I am not wasting my days…
And because our lives are now going back to the normal, I decided to share my experience with you.
Probably, you have already read a lot of these “at a glance” articles and ideas. Me too. I had tons of drawings, printables and “change your life” downloadables, which I started to use, and then stopped after a while.
As a passionate paper-lover, I still use beautiful old-fashioned notebooks and paper sheets to organize my life and ideas. The first time I heard about bullet journals I was in love! So interesting, so creative, so inspiring and with all these decorations! It reminded me about the diary I used to keep throughout my young years at school and University…
Unfortunately, the decorative side of the activity was the first which grabbed me… I made my own, full of drawings, stickers and all the other beautifying elements you can imagine. Maybe you have the same experience and understand me very well.
Actually, my first bullet journal did its job very well.
If you are a planning journal lover, maybe this article will be interesting for you:
A snake in the journaling Heaven
Of course, after the first months the pages started changing. I realised that the decorations are beautiful, but they create three huge problems for me:
- They take a lot of time (which I didn’t have as a working from home mother and wife)
- They were distracting me a lot and it was impossible really to track my tasks for the day and the week.
- They are “eating” my writing space to the extent that I can’t properly organize my daily tasks and notes.
The biggest “eye-opener” came when I found Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog”. It was a life-changing moment! I wished someone had shown me this book when I was a teenager or even earlier. (So, you can imagine, I immediately shared it with my son!)
Believe it or not, I am not trying to sell you the book bit I am almost begging you to read it if you haven’t already. Or better – listen to the audio version while doing something else. I found it first as a free audio file in YouTube. So, you can find it too, I am sure. Listening to “Eat That frog” I realised where the bullet journal idea came from. But also for first time in my life someone was telling me exactly what to do, to create the life I really want.
And it changed my journal a lot
First it was not already a “bullet journal”. It became a “planning journal”. Real words for what it really was. And also, step by step, month after a month, I skipped the separate pages with habit trackers, goal trackers, savings trackers and created simple double pages for the whole week, which gave me everything I needed. Simple, with a lot space to write and be very organized.
The initial idea I found in Pinterest. It was a minimalist black and white table with 6 columns – one for each weekday and another one in two parts for the weekend. Plus the names and the dates of these days. Nothing more. It was amazing how much space this layout offered for planning. There was space for all the tasks and for planning the steps for each task.
I immediately adopted this layout. It was gorgeous! The only change I made was to add a few new separation lines – work space, home space and social media advertising space. The only problem was that I was missing my health space. A health tracker was very important for me, because I needed to lose weight ASAP and had started a complicated diet + life rules plan. For someone, who is living a healthy life probably the things are simpler and so much writing and organizing is not needed. But for me…
So, after a few months of changing pages right and left, I discovered the precious folding panels – absolutely like for a computer screen.
The final design
The only problem in this beautiful structure was I didn’t have enough time for all the housekeeping details. Is it time to clean the washing machine again? If I do it now, because I reminded myself, maybe this will take precious minutes from something else? And also, “Oh, I forgot again to organize the cupboard above the fridge!”. This happened a lot! The cupboard above the fridge is above my head too and absolutely invisible for my eyes. When I finally opened it, I was surprised to find things I had considered lost for years!
So, a little change was applied and now this is the final look I am using:
This layout gave me a lot of space for the long list of housekeeping activities and also – absolutely “look at a glance” at my whole day, week, month and year. What I am targeting, how to plan the different steps… Every new month or week I am opening all these extensions and can see all I need. No writing and re-writing all the time, no running forward and back through the pages to see what my Yearly tasks were and “what exactly were the monthly ones for this month???”. Great, easy and time saving!
The main rules for creating this simple life organizer
- The main body must be simple – black and white! Flowers and washi tape are beautiful, but they are also very distracting from the important tasks for the day and the week;
- The first week day columns – for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, must be wider that the last four. Psychologically and Life proven is that in the beginning of the week we have more power, work harder and feel somehow inspired. It is absolutely unreal, but it works. See for example, all the excitement about New Year resolutions? Can we stop smoking this Friday rather than the 1st of January? It’s not logical, but it is true and powerful. Why not use this opportunity?
- Only 3 main tasks for the day! I had huge problem with this. I always wanted to do more and more… Impossible. If you create more tasks, all of them suffer. And you do too, because you feel useless, badly organized, not serious enough to get things done.
- One day for one action stream. My Week organizer has different daily main tasks. Monday, for example, is a cleaning day. When you have the whole day to work on something and follow a step by step list, you complete a lot and the next days with only a little to do are easy. After our “lazy” family Sunday, when we are walking, going to a bookstore to enjoy the process of real book-buying, eating in a restaurant, having a lazy coffee afternoon and a movie evening, it is normal that the apartment starts looking a bit messy. Cleaning the entire home on Monday creates a precious environment which I can keep with just a few little “touches” here and there for the next days. You know, almost all the galleries and museums do not work in Mondays. Treat your life like something special and have free, special, precious Sundays. Sundays are not for dusting. “Dust, if you must…”, you know.
This is the simple idea of the Simple organizer. And as I said before, you can create your own with your own needs and tasks. Our lives soon will go back to normal after the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 virus and we have to be prepared don’t we?
Thank you for reading and I wish you a wonderful day!
This post may contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and buy something, I may get a portion of the sale at no cost to you. With these links I promote products and services that I am using and think are excellent. It also helps me make a living off of this site so I can keep creating content for you.
Thank you for helping me! ♥
If the recent situation makes you think more about starting a home based business, maybe my book Work from home in Amazon will be interesting for you.