I made the switch from a filofax ring planner to a bullet journal back in April of this year. I felt that my Filofax, A’s much as I loved it, just wasn’t fitting my life at that moment in time and had become to ridged and inflexible in my life though I still loved writing down my plans and things that mattered. It was hard to properly realise and accept that the system I had been using for years and truly loved just wasn’t working for me anymore . So I sat down and thought long and hard about what I needed in my life at that point and after doing some research and looking at tons of pictures and posts on Facebook, reading blogs and generally poking about at the ton of information on the web, I came up with a few things that I wanted in a new planning system. For me that was something that was flexible – somewhere that I could play around with layouts, make notes, use a day per page if I decided then flip to a week on 2 page spread should I choose, a place to track life statistics – sleep, steps and mood are big ones for me and useful to track as I have anxiety and stress and need to be able to be able to identify links between these things, and I wanted something that I could be creative in – I’ve not really done much art (painting and drawing mainly) since uni and wanted something I could doodle in and decorate with my own art, it had been suggested to me at a Stress Management course that doing something creative can help dealing with stress and anxiety levels. This is where the bullet journal came into its own for me…it offered me all the things that I needed in my life, everything in one place, something that can change with me and gather everything together, a more true version of me.
So, which bullet journal did I choose to purchase and make mine? I did a lot of research online and cross referencing prices and a whole host of other features and decided that the Leuchtturm1917 was the bullet journal for me. I chose dot grid paper and the medium sized journal in azure blue (I really was undecided on the colours, there are so many beautiful colours to choose from!). I ordered from amazon and as I am a prime member I got it a few days later.
Since it arrived I have been filling it with monthly layouts and weekly spreads, doodling and drawing in it, using watercolours, pencils and pens to add colour to my pages. I pick it up at least a dozen times in the day and add to dos, daily logs, notes and all matter of other things that are important to me. And it makes me feel so much better and a lot calmer.
I’d never knock the filofax, it will always be my first love and I will go back to that format of planning at some point I’m sure, but right now, with only one job to monitor along with my health and well being, the bullet journal is the place for me to lay my thoughts, it feels like I’m home – anything goes and it’s not judgemental if my pages are full or empty, pretty or a mess. It has taught me that not everything needs to be perfect or fit into a certain section and that you can be creative in the smallest way. The only thing I do miss is being able to easily remove and move pages around like you can with a ring bound planner, but that’s where your index comes in handy!
Here’s some pics of pages I have done
Plans is a sub category that I used a lot when I was in college and University, it was similar to a to-do list but more specifically orientated around things I wanted to do rather than things that needed to be done in a certain time frame, for example, things like watch xyz tv show, rent out movie to watch one weekend, visit museum, etc. I started a Plans section so I could group all these random wants together as a sort of brain dump and ideas page for when I was bored or in need of inspiration. I don’t have a Plans section any more which I thought was a good thing, I use my week on 2 pages and post its to write things down on but I loose ideas and things I want to do/watch/visit/look at/read/make within those pages and forget to flick back through to obtain the data I want. Perhaps it is time to bring the Plans pages back?
Do you record your plans separately? What do your pages look like? Mine were always a jumble of different colored pens and scrawled writing and crossing out
I don’t use Month On 2 Pages (MO2P) inserts anymore, but, when I was in School, College, Uni and working a few different part time jobs I found this kind of insert to be the most useful for planning my time and knowing where I needed to be at a glance. I did have some for one of my planners the other year but aside from setting them up I never really used them so decided not to add them to my planner this year.
I had 2 or 3 different planners on the go at one point (a Domino Pocket in Indigo for my work stuff, an A5 for my college and uni notes that I bought from Paperchase and my pink Filofax Classic that combined all of my day to day itinerary.) and I had MO2P papges in all of them. My work one held all my shift rotas, my college and uni one held my timetable info and class times and my everyday planner had all of my timetables and rotas combined (along with annual leave days, holidays booked and festivals, camping and car mot/insurance/tax) on it – it was a mess! I wish I had kept the pages or photographed them so I could show you, they looked really chaotic but made sense to me!
All my MO2P inserts came from Filofax (you can buy them here)
Do you use MO2P pages?
Today on Planner Makes I am going to talk you through making your own dividers for your planner. I know what you are thinking, its the same thing I had running through my mind before I made my own… “this is going to be hard” or “where do I start?” and then “ok, whats the easiest way to do this?”… Read on and I’ll go through it all step by step with you but first I’ll show you the dividers that I made and have been using since December.
So, these dividers are double sided so I can flip them over if I fancy it and use co-ordinating scrap book paper that I bought a while ago, I believe it was Dovecraft’s Back to Basics Paper Stack from Hobbycraft (but I don’t have the sleeve for the paper anymore and only about 2 sheets left…). These dividers have been laminated to make them a bit tougher and are used daily in my personal sized Filofax Malden.
What you will need to make your own dividers…
- Cute paper (I used scrap book paper but you could use wrapping paper or wallpaper, any paper that takes your fancy)
- Old dividers
- Laminator (optional)
- Hole Punch
- Lay out your paper face down onto a flat surface and then place your old dividers on top , making sure all the tabs are in the right place (for double sided dividers this does not matter so much, but for one sided then it can be useful to make sure all the tabs are in alignment then mark them so you know which way up they need to face.)
- Mark around the old dividers onto the paper with a pencil, it may be useful to use a ruler to make sure the lines are straight.
- Once you have got the outline for all dividers drawn out you can then cut around the new dividers or use a guillotine to get most of the straight edges cut. You will need to use scissors to cut around the tabs.
- Now that the dividers are all cut out you can either run these through a laminator then re cut with a bit of a border around the plastic or you can just hole punch the new dividers and add them to your planner.
If you want to make double sided dividers then you will need to re-visit step one but turn all of the old dividers over before tracing the shape out onto new paper, so that you have a mirror image of each, new, divider. You will then want to attach the mirror images together with glue or double sided tape before laminating and finally hole punching.
Variations that you could incorporate are using different shapes for the tabs (like parts of circles – punch out or cut some circle shapes from different patterned or colored card) and overlay the shape on to the tabs so the shape just covers the original tabs before fixing down and laminating. You could personalize the dividers with letters or pictures, photos or artwork, glitter, stamps or material….the list is almost never ending!
Have you made your own dividers? What did you choose to make them more personal to you/your planner?
This weeks spread uses a kit from Oodlemadoodles called Unicorn Dreams which I fell in love with a short while ago! I bought the kit and it came super fast, it is lovely, the colors are bright and the Unicorn is the cutest! I think this might be my all time favorite spread so far!
Here’s a look back at last weeks layout (also from Oodlemadoodles…)
How have you decorated for the week ahead?
I have really surprised myself, normally by now I would be having layout and planner envy and wishing that I had set up my planner in a different way or be wanting to introduce something else into my planner to “try”, but this has not happened yet…. Maybe I have found the elusive “Planner Peace” finally?
I am still enjoying decorating my pages and filling in my plans week to week, the only tweak I have made is the addition of tiny post-its which I write future plans on and date before sticking to the relevant day if the week has not yet been decorated.
I have been using Oodlemadoodles kits for a short while and I am loving the inclusion of the meal plan stickers (little circles with knife and fork motif’s) which have been helping me to plan my meals (and shopping lists). I am usually a really lousy meal planner and just grab something and go , and while this has worked in some ways, in others it hasn’t (like it can be a pretty unhealthy way to eat…) so meal planning is something new but is helping me diet wise and also time wise – less faffing around and thinking about what to have, and it’s something I think I may just stick with planner wise!
Here’s a look back at the last few weeks layouts..
Kits from Oodlemadoodles and KayeLimePie
What things have you changed in your planner this month? What has worked and what hasn’t?
This month’s wish list is fairly short and short and sweet, and I may need your help with some recommendations too…
This month I am wishing for anything Wales themed for my layout for February 27th to March 5th as it is St David’s Day on the 1st March (he’s the Patron Saint of Wales!), or anything Welsh Dragon, Daffodil, Leek or Love Spoon themed! I have had a search on etsy for weekly kits but not found anything yet…
This New Filofax! A zipped Saffiano in Vista Blue would be the perfect wallet planner for the spring!
And finally an Easter themed weekly kit, this one from xoMamaPlans has caught my eye!
This weeks spread is using a kit by Oodlemadoodles called Foxy Love. I chose this kit as it incorporates hearts and cute foxes and is perfect for Valentines day/week as its not too obviously Valentines. I really like the zigzag and stripe prints and the orange and pink tones. I decided to rotate the box stickers by 90 degrees so they fit better within the day spaces – I think I am going to use these to write my day to day chores in.
Here’s a look back at last weeks pages…
Details can be found on my “Weekly Layouts” post here.
How have you decorated for this week?
In today’s “Other Inserts” series post I will be talking about Record Inserts and what you can use them for in your planner but first I want to talk about what a record is and why it is different to a tracker.
A record is something that has happened and will continue to stay the same no matter how many minutes, hours, days or years have passed. It is a factual piece of information that is finite. A tracker is designed to record something that can change over time and can differ from day to day (like the weather, moods, how much water you have drunk etc). So, a record can be a book you have read, grades you have obtained, jobs you have done, savings you have made, these things will be the same regardless of the time frame that passes.
Personally, I don’t use a record at the moment, but I am in the process of setting one up so I can record the books I read, what genre they fall under and giving them a scoring system so I can see, at a glance, whether I should get the latest book by a certain author based on my enjoyment of previous books.
Do you use a record in your planner? What do you record?
This weeks spread was purchased from KayeLimePie over on etsy and the little recycle bins were purchased from DookPlookDesigns. The kit had been sat in my cart for a while and I finally purchased it after my pay day in January. I really love it and chose to use it for the week that my Mum has her birthday in (the colors and patterns Kaye has used in this design remind me of my Mum <3) The mis-matched but totally fit together patterns are lovely and the peacocks are lovely teamed with the feather decorative stickers. I cant wait to start planning out my week on it! 🙂 And can I just point out that the turquoise in the stickers pretty much perfectly matches the blue of my Kingfisher Malden Filofax!!!
Here’s how my last week ended up looking (see here for the full details)
How is your week looking?