Happy Sunday friends! One of the hardest things about blogging is that I have to balance my dedication to this blog schedule (Thursday/Sundays) and you know, living my life. In the best ways, I’ve been able to have friends come onto the blog to give me a little break AND share their incredible wisdom with you. I’ve admired Sharon’s simple creativity and stamping skills for a long time even before she converted over to the bullet journal – and it’s a treat to feature her here.
Sharon uses an Erin Condren dot grid journal, which I’ve reviewed before. And, she has some of the best handwriting the Instagram world has ever seen. #goals. Please give her a follow on Instagram (@gaeshagirlcreations) if you like her stuff! Thanks Sharon!
Note: This post features some affiliate links, which means if you happen to buy anything, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you – which I use to do things like giveaways and other fun things on the blog. Thanks for your support!
SHARON’S BULLET JOURNAL & TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Hi, everyone! I’m Sharon, the gal behind @gaeshagirlcreations on Instagram. I’ve been bullet journaling since mid-April 2016, and until now, I’m still finding ways to make it work for me and my lifestyle. I’ve seen many bullet journalists use the Leuchtturm1917 dot grid notebooks. I have a few of them myself (which I’ll move into eventually), but I’m currently using an Erin Condren dot grid journal. Erin Condren is best known for making planners and notebooks, and her notebook line went through a big revamp this year with the addition of journals. The dot grid journals were released in spring, and I wanted to try it out as my first bullet journal. Here’s how mine looks like on the outside.
I went with a custom cover. This is a custom illustration that I ordered from Love Cynthia (www.lovecynthia.fr).
I use my journal as a planner and as a creative outlet. Each month, I start with a 2-page spread of a monthly layout on the left side, and a habit tracker aligned on the right side. On the left side, I also list tasks that I need to get done within that month.
For the habit tracker on the right side, habits listed are from left to right: retainer wear (every 2 days), morning break, afternoon break, walk dogs, off IG/FB during work hours, off IG/FB after 8PM, no soda, brush calligraphy practice, reading, and headache. I know, headaches aren’t habits, but I track how often I get them.
After the monthly layout, I reserve the next few pages for IG challenges. If you follow me on IG, I participate in the #RockYourHandwriting challenge every month. Sometimes I also participate in the #BulletJournalChallenge.
My weekly layouts tend to stay the same when I set up the layouts. I have Monday through Sunday on the right-hand side for day-specific things, and a running list of things I need to do during that week. Sometimes I will also make short notes of things I want to look into, and write those in the running list. Themes aren’t really my thing, although I do admire them in other bullet journals. I like color, so I tend to spread that around my layouts, or I’ll match it to the banners at the top of the pages. Sometimes I’ll even use washi tape for simple decorating. Here are two of my favorites from the past.
At the end of each month, I do a review of what worked, what didn’t work, what to improve on, and what to try next. As I previously mentioned, I’m still finding ways to make my journal work for me.
My collections are scattered throughout the months. Some of them are lists, others are journal entries.
As someone who is still experimenting with the bullet journal, I want to share some tips for those of you who are thinking of getting into bullet journaling or still getting your toes wet:
- All you really need are a notebook and a trusty pen. Personally, I love the versatility of dot grid notebooks. I can still align my writing, and I can draw boxes where I need to.
- If you use an index, you don’t need to index your weekly pages. Instead, use a page marker to mark your current week.
- Color the page corners of collections you want to reference often.
- Use a separate journal for mock-up spreads that you have tried and loved.
- There are tons of inspiration on bullet journals throughout the social media world. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. Just remember that whatever layouts work for one person, may not work for you. Make your bullet journal work for YOU!
What do you think? Would you add any other advice?