This is part 1 of a 2-part series on bullet journaling for busy, non-artistic moms. After you’ve read this post, check out post 2 here: Practical Bullet Journal Ideas for the Busy, Non-Artistic Mom
Bullet journaling is all the rage these days. I don’t know about you, but I’m too busy to keep up with the latest things. But still, when I kept hearing about bullet journals from various places, I was intrigued. A few months ago, I looked into it (on Pinterest of course), but quickly stopped when I saw the beautifully drawn journals and creative artistry of all those bullet journals.
That’s because I am not artistic at all and honestly, I’m okay with that. But because I equated artistic with bullet journaling, I immediately put bullet journaling into the “not for me” category.
Then my sister visited this summer and showed me her bullet journal. We’re pretty similar in that neither of us is artistic and we don’t love our handwriting, etc. But her journal was still pretty and looked fun and most of all, do-able to me. She inspired me to start my own version of a bullet journal.
I’ve been bullet journaling for 2 months now and I love it. It’s a wonderful way to express myself and keep track of the little things I enjoy.
Today, I’ll show you how to bullet journal, including what your bullet journal can do for you and my personal bullet journal results. This post is Part 1 of 2 (in part 2, I’ll show you practical bullet journal ideas, including my personal bullet journal.)
How to Bullet Journal for the Busy, Non-Artistic Mom
First: there are three things to keep in mind with bullet journaling.
#1: Your bullet journal should never be an obligation.
It should never become one more thing to check off your to-do list. If you miss a day or a week, don’t worry about it! Come back to it when you have time and want to. Or mix it up and try something new if it’s feeling “blah.”
#2 Don’t compare your bullet journal to others.
It’s meant to be unique to you. Don’t worry about rules or following someone else’s beautiful page example. That will get you stuck and if you tend to lean toward the perfectionist side (like me), you’ll probably never get started.
#3 You don’t have to be artistic or good at drawing or handwriting to have a pretty journal.
There are stickers and washi tape and other fun supplies that can help you make your journal pretty without requiring perfect calligraphy handwriting. Stickers and washi tape and color markers are my best friend with my bullet journal!
What a Bullet Journal Can Do For You:
Your bullet journal can be a fun form of self-expression and you can use it to keep track of things that are important to you.
Here are a few things you could track with your bullet journal:
- how much sleep you get every night
- your mood
- your health
- energy levels
- your period
- vitamins and supplements you take (this is a great way to track if a supplement is actually helpful)
- whether you caught the bug the kids were passing around
- how many steps you walk each day
- how often you connect with friends
- food journal
- menu plan
- quotes, Bible verses, affirmations – anything encouraging you want to remember
- things you are grateful for
- bills and finances
- kids’ activities
- clothing list (when you sort through the kids’ clothes and need to remember which clothes and sizes they need)
- a gift list
- movies or TV shows you want to watch
- a list of books you want to read
- things you want to organize or declutter around the house
- personal goals
- a daily to-do list
- and more…
Your bullet journal can be as practical or fluffy as you want it to be.
Personally, I recommend a combination of practical and fluff – aka fun – because that’s the best way to get the most out of your bullet journal. If it’s all practical, you’ll be less motivated to actually use your bullet journal, but if it’s all fun, you may find it hard to justify.
Also, for me, my bullet journal is one way I practice self-care. Honestly, it’s flat out FUN for me! I never have a chance to use colorful markers and stickers and Washi tape (again I’m not crafty or artistic) and bullet journaling is the perfect place to use all three.
While I sometimes include a few daily to-do things in a bullet journal entry, my bullet journal itself is never a to-do list or obligation. It’s something I look forward to doing. If I don’t have the time or I simply forget, that’s fine. I never feel guilty for missing a day or not filling in a section, etc.
My Bullet Journal Results:
I’m a list maker and as a busy autism mom with four kids, writing things down (whether an app on my phone or a paper notebook) is a necessity for me. I just don’t remember otherwise.
My bullet journal has helped me keep track of many more things beyond a daily to-do list. In fact, the to-do list aspect is probably one of the things I use the least of all with my bullet journal.
Thanks to my bullet journal, I was able to discover that getting too little sleep for a two-week period led to my getting sick with a cold recently. Now I’m making sleep a higher priority and especially making sure I get more sleep if I’m exposed to an illness or feeling run down.
You know how sometimes you’re not sure if a healthy habit is actually helping? I was able to see that consistently walking more has definitely helped me get leaner and toner. Yay! (And it’s motivation to keep it up.)
My bullet journal encourages me. Between my fun encouraging-quotes-stickers and my little, handwritten affirmations, I’m encouraged every time I open my bullet journal.
I work from home so there are many days when I go without seeing or connecting (and I mean good personal connections, not just emails or Facebook) with people beyond my husband and kids. While yes, I am introvert and cherish my me-time, I also thrive with personal connections.
A few weeks ago, I started using my bullet journal to track how often I connect with my friends or extended family. I noticed a definite uptick in my mood when I started making it a priority to check in with a friend or my sister more frequently. Just a quick phone call to my best friend while making dinner or making a point to actually schedule a date and time to call my sister (it sounds silly but we are both busy and it doesn’t happen otherwise) have made me feel much better.
Those are just a few of the results I’ve experienced with my bullet journal and I know I’ll continue to see those and others as I bullet journal more.
Ultimately, my bullet journal motivates me in a fun, no-obligation way.
In Part 2 of this bullet journal post series, I’ll share some practical ideas for how to bullet journal for us busy moms including supplies (it doesn’t have to cost much) and my personal bullet journal samples to inspire you. Read that post here.
I hope this simple guide for how to bullet journal has inspired you to consider your own!
Kelli Mcleod says
I love doing this, i was doing this long before it had the name “bullet journal”… I used to think of it as scrapbooking, journaling, and calendar planning all in one. I would add stickers, doodles, movie tickets, magazine cutouts, inspirational quotes that came my way that day, rants, plans, plus all the things you mention, and more stickers =)
Never thought of the washi tape, i’ll have to try that…
Most “new fads” these days are just old things that people have loved and used for years! haha!
I’m glad you love it too, Kelli!