Organizing with Bullet Journals

I love making lists…that’s my happy place. When I first read about bullet journals this summer, I was immediately intrigued. They’re a little pricey, however, so I didn’t pursue that creative avenue. I may have already had a couple or twenty unfinished projects cluttering up my craft room. Then, when I found a pack of 6 Moleskine notebooks for less than $20 at Costco, I remembered the bullet journal concept.

It’s simple, really, and any notebook, composition book, or spiral would work. You can buy a journal already printed with a contents page and page numbers, but I’m pretty literate, so I was confident I could create my own from a blank notebook.  My middle schooler created one in math last year, in a grid-lined composition book. What a genius teacher…I didn’t realize that’s what a bullet journal is, but the method for notetaking and numbering the pages with a table of contents kept him organized all year, which is no easy task. Until he lost the whole notebook the week before school ended. But I’ve gone off on a tangent (see what I did there, with the math discussion?)Journal-Title-ChaosServedDa

“Throw kindness around like confetti” is one of my favorite phrases, so I used this sign from a Stampin’ Up! kit from last year, along with a few fun washi tapes, to embellish the front of one of the kraft journals. These are 7-1/2″ x 10″ journals, so can hold a lot of information. And lists.

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At the top of the first page, I wrote “Contents,” then “Page” and “Description.”  I also seized an opportunity to use a couple more tapes, and sketched a little cross-hatched strip between them. I plan to add to the doodling, down the side of the page, as the table of contents grows.

Next, I simply added a page number to the bottom corner of the page, and started making lists and notes.  As my demonstration teaching approaches, my hooligans are most worried about what we’ll be having for dinner each night.  They’ve been learning to cook this summer, so they can each be in charge of a weeknight meal (with my supervision, of course). We came up with a list of 20 meals they can make largely without my help.

I also made a list of 20 family favorite meals.  A big drawback to my cooking magazine, blog, and cookbook addictions is that we rarely have the same meal twice, unless it’s really outstanding. There are just so many recipes I want to try!  I’m planning to use this list of favorites throughout the fall when meal planning, and I’m vowing to give up looking for new recipes until demo teaching is complete! We’re also going to be stocking the freezer with meals, so once school starts, along with gymnastics, swimming, and soccer, weeknights will (hopefully) be a little less hectic.

I didn’t photograph every page, but I’ve also made my Christmas list, vacation planning, and DIY projects for the hubs. See…it’s a very useful book!

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I also embellished a black journal for demonstration teaching. I haven’t used it much yet, mostly just for jotting down questions for my host teacher. I anticipate that I’ll use it for deadlines for my culminating project, dates for school events, notes from my cohort class, and whatever else arises.

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These journals are really fun to create. I’ve embellished the pages with washi tape and doodling, as I really make them my own. I like the page numbers and table of contents, rather than just flipping through a notebook looking for something I wrote down months ago. It’s one more step accomplished in my back-to-school list, too.  Of course, that list is right where I put it…in a bullet journal!

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