My Bullet Journal (BuJo) journey began in November of 2016, about 8 months ago. I started with BuJo iteration #1, moved on to iterations #2 and #2.5 in January, and have finally settled on something more like a ProJo (professional journal) in June with iteration #3. We’ll start at the beginning.
I remember hearing about BuJo on Facebook through a friend. I believe she asked if anyone had heard of or used the Bullet Journal system. Being curious and not knowing what that was, I fell into the rabbit hole of BuJo webpages, Instagrams, Pinterest pages, and Facebook groups. I am a huge fan of organization, and I already had a remarkable selection of stationery supplies gathered from years of buying but not having a need. This was my day! For my very first BuJo I chose a notebook that I purchased in Germany. It’s not a standard size, but almost an A5 (paper jargon for 4.25Wx5.5L, or half the size of Letter). It was also a grid notebook rather than lined, which I’ve always liked better. Soft red cover and spiral bound.
There I was with my notebook, grabbing all my colorful pens setting up my yearly planner, monthly planner, and daily spread. I brought it to and from work everyday, diligently bulleting out my tasks for the next day. Right away I noticed my ‘at home’ tasks were scant compared to the ‘at work’ tasks. I also learned early on that the cutesy, colorful, well decorated daily spreads I saw many people using were not practical at all for my purposes; instead of using two pages to cover a whole week, I began making up 1 page to cover a single day. So at that point I had my yearly planner, monthly planner, weekly planner, and daily planner. Every week I’d have to draw a new weekly planner and set up the next seven days worth of daily planners too--that’s 9 pages I had to hand draw and/or letter. Exhausting… I also was not very good at the short hand wording to be kept next to the bullet symbols; I thought this would come with time and repetition.
I did have a lot of fun in my first BuJo! I used the back for keeping hand drawn lettering and fun quotes (see photos!). I really enjoyed being able to pick each week’s color scheme from all the fun markers, highlighters, and pens I had collected over years (and more recently, since having a BuJo is a great excuse to buy yet more stationery supplies). I enjoyed sharing out my latest hand lettering or colorful daily spread.
Toward the end of December I became frustrated. What really ended the love affair with my first notebook was a few things:
Not enough space! Even with 1 page for each day I just didn’t have enough room.
Work life invading home life. Even when I was playing around and drawing in the back of my BuJo I had to look at all my work stuff… ew.
Lack of flexibility, literally. The notebook format didn’t work for me; I couldn’t easily insert printed documents next to notes from meetings. My bi-weekly meeting notes were spread out through the notebook and hard to find.
I needed 2 BuJos, and I needed a device that would allow me to categorize as well as insert full size pages: Enter Iteration #2 and #2.5