What Has Worked (And What Hasn't) In My 2018 Bullet Journal

It’s always helpful to take a look back at your bullet journal or planner and see what worked for you and what definitely didn’t. Take a look at what worked for me in my 2018 bullet journal and what my plan is for 2019! #bulletjournal #bujo #planning #todolist #productivity #organization #plannersupplies #bujosupplies

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It’s that time of year to take a look back at my 2018 bullet journal

It’s December and the time I always reflect on what has and has not worked with my planning system of that year. As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to look back at my bullet journal and see what worked for me and what didn’t.

I think it’s incredibly important to sit down periodically, but especially at the end of the year and see if your bullet journal or planner is helping or hurting your productivity. This way, you can make the necessary changes to your next bullet journal or planner and not get stuck in a rut!

Here are the different supplies I used for my 2018 Bullet Journal

If you’re curious about bullet journals and are ready to get one started but don’t know where to begin, check out this post on how to start a bullet journal! And don’t forget to sign up for my email list at the bottom of this post to get your very own bullet journal started with free dot grid and graph paper along with a weekly single page spread!

What has worked, and what hasn’t, in my 2018 bullet journal.

So, what what worked in my 2018 Bullet Journal?

  • I loved the size of the Leuchtturm 1917. My Leuchtturm that I used was the Medium, which is an A5 size. It was easy to hold and carry around, laid flat, and didn’t take up much space on my desk or in my purse if I took it out with me.

  • Dotted bullet journals are my favorite. The first time I tried bullet journaling, I used a lined journal. It was fine, but I got the dotted journal for 2018 and it worked much better for me. The dots are light gray and don’t get in the way visually. I momentarily tried graph style paper and it definitely wasn’t for me. I know a lot of people love it, but it was too distracting for my eyes!

  • Making lists was easier. One thing about most planners I have used in the past is that I am a list maker and pre-printed planners don’t always allow extra room for list/note taking. I loved that I could make my pages fit my needs month to month, week to week or day to day.

  • Stencils saved me time. The stencil set I have helped me make spreads quicker and easier than doing them freehand. I’m not terribly good at drawing straight lines and the unevenness of a hand drawn line makes me crazy!

What didn’t work in my bullet journal this year?

  • I sometimes didn’t want to create the next week’s spread. As much as I love bullet journals, sometimes the thought of doing the next week’s spread just wasn’t doing it for me and there were weeks I literally just had the day of the week written down with a few bulleted tasks under it. No boxes, no banners, no thrills. Just plain Jane.

  • Having a bound bullet journal wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be. This is where I think I had the most disdain with my bullet journal this year. Having spreads inbetween different weeks just wasn’t cutting it for me. I like to be able to move things around and even though I had an index, I wasn’t always good about writing pages down in it and would get frustrated trying to find something.

  • The layouts I experimented with were either too much or not what I was looking for. Spend any amount of time on Pinterest while searching “bullet journal spreads” and you’ll go down a rabbit hole of ideas that will make your head spin as to what you want to use in your bullet journal next. While I’m not terribly artistic and am more of a minimalist in my bullet journaling, some of the fancy spreads were just too tempting. And then I’d mess them up and just stick with it because I didn’t want to waste pages. All around a bullet journal downer.

What has worked, and what hasn’t, in my 2018 bullet journal.

What my bullet journal plan is for 2019

So here’s where things are getting tricky for me. Honestly, I’m nervous to take a new path. I don’t think full on blank Leuchtturm is the right fit for me in bullet journaling.

I’ve played around with a Traveler’s Notebook lately. While I love it for personal journaling and note taking, I’m not feeling it for a planner/bullet journal hybrid. But it is amazing for my personal journaling and I will definitely continue using it for that!

But drum roll please….

I’m going to be using an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner that my aunt gave me! I’ve never tried an Erin Condren planner before and I’m super excited to use it!

What I like about the Deluxe Monthly Planner is there are 4 lined note pages this year after each monthly spread, which I could easily use for weekly spreads. Plus there are note pages in the back of it that I can make my lists and notes in, which I love to do. This way too, I can keep all of those notes and lists in one place instead of between my monthly/weekly spreads like in my Leuchtturm.

I want to keep my personal and blog/Etsy calendars together and the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner seems like a pretty good way for me to be able to keep everything together and organized.

So while I am going back to a planner, I will continue using it as a hybrid Planner Bullet Journal and see how it works. If it’s too much having personal and business all in one, I will still use it for my blog/Etsy tracking for sure. I’ll keep you updated on how it’s working for me in a few months and do a walk through of how I’m using it and how I’m liking it.

What do you use to bullet journal in? Do you use a blank journal, a bullet journal/planner that you created or a planner/bullet journal hybrid like I am switching to?

Let me know and sign up for my email list below to get dot grid and graph paper printables plus a weekly singe page layout you can use in your very own ring or disc system bullet journal!