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I know, I know! I have an entire post about how much I love planners and was in love with my Happy Planner. But I wasn't completely happy. Something was missing. There was so much more I needed out of my planner that it just couldn't provide. I needed a change.
Enter the Bullet Journal
As I said in my Happy Planner post, I did try once before to bullet journal, but I felt like I was trying to re-invent the wheel. Honestly, it didn't work because I was comparing it to those beautiful, artsy bullet journals of the pros on Instagram.
I mean, c'mon. I'm a SAHM that is a blogger, homeschooler and dabbling in some work at home jobs. This mama ain't got the time or patience for all that artsy business.
But this time around, I did a little more research. I dug a little deeper to find the not so artsy journals. The minimalist ones with a little flair that was most appealing to me. I loved, loved, loved my Happy Planner, but I couldn't get it to work exactly how I wanted it. For a pre-made planner, it will always be my go to, though!
The Leuchtturm1977 is one of the top journals used by bullet journalers (if that's even a word? I'm making it one). But I didn't want to just jump into the Leuchtturm.
The Office Depot in our city was closing down and I bought a few of these lined Eccolo black leather journals. Mostly because I just can't help myself when it comes to office supplies or the fact that they were like $3 each.
Back in July, I started using the Eccolo journal as a practice bullet journal. I spent the rest of 2017 playing around with layouts, lists, calendars, etc. I started getting the hang of it and was finding what worked for me and what didn't.
If you're really serious about wanting to bullet journal, but get intimidated by those amazingly artsy Instagram journal spreads, check out the video on the original bullet journal website. It was very helpful for me!
After a few months playing around with layouts in the Eccolo journal, I was itching for the Leuchtturm1977. My sister in law got me the Emerald A5 sized dot grid for my birthday. I LOVE IT. Yes, the pages have ghosting. But from what I've seen of the more popular journals, it doesn't ghost near as much as others.
I spent my free time over a weekend in late November looking over my Bullet Journal/Planner Pinterest Board trying to get a feel for how I wanted to get my journal set up.
I definitely lean more toward more minimalist spreads, but love to add washi tape for a little flair (that I don't have to draw or create!!). Also, I LOVE these stencils so I can add some prettiness to my journal without having to free hand it!
Here's some pictures of a few layouts I've constructed.
Why I Now Love My Bullet Journal
Life gets pretty busy for me. Between being a SAHM and running everything in our household, homeschooling and running the blog, I can't keep everything in my brain and do it on time.
I'm also a chronic list maker. I have lists for everything. Post-It notes used to cover my desk and kitchen. I've always used a planner, but I think it's just something about a pre-printed planner that just doesn't work the way I want it to.
I tend to need extra space here, another box there, etc. that I would get frustrated with my planner and pull out the post-its again. Being in control of my pages in a bullet journal has definitely helped curb my frustration and tendency to have post-it notes scattered across my house.
And I can make my bullet journal do whatever I want it to do. I can put all my monthly pages in the front, or make them month to month. Need to make a list? Just go to the next blank page and write it up. I don't worry about it being beautiful because I'm making it for me.
I have definitely been more organized lately since I started with the new Leuchtturm. Honestly, I don't know that I would go back to a traditional planner after this!
Don't Like Bound Journals?
I know some of you out there are thinking "But I just don't like bound journals! How am I supposed to bullet journal in a Leuchtturm or other journal if I can't move pages around to where I want them??"
I have something for you then! Knowing that not everyone loves bound journals, I have created a US Letter size printable of both a Dot Grid format and Graph format. This way, you can print out onto whatever kind of paper you would like and cut down to whatever size you would like for your own personalized bullet journal!