I wrote a little while ago about my latest adventure on my traumatic brain injury (TBI) recovery journey, bullet journaling! Just in case you didn’t catch that first post that explained my reasoning for giving this a try, let me give you a quick catch up.
Crazy Journal Girl
So I have always been a crazy journal girl, even before the accident. I had journals for horseback riding, for prayers, for what I ate, for my workouts, a gratitude journal. You can imagine that leads to a large stack of journals.
When my friend first asked me if I had heard about bullet journaling, I was interested. She sent me some youtube videos and then, of course, I did my own Pinterest and google research.
Everything In One Book
It appears that bullet journaling is the solution to my problems. I can still obsessively journal, now though, all my information is going into one book. No more trying to find the right journal to record stuff in.
A Personalized Planner
Many would say why don’t you just buy a planner. Well, a planner has the calendar pages that I need but it does not have a well-organized way for me to keep track of everything else.
That is where the bullet journal is like the ultimate solution because there is no wrong way to do it. You can set it up however you’d like, and make whatever pages you want for it. When you have a TBI, anytime you read you can do something and that there is “no wrong way to do it”, it sounds perfect! So, I decided to give it a try.
The Arrival Of The Journal
I have to say as much as I was excited to get started with it, the big empty book was a bit intimidating. I needed to buy a large book because my eyes are still messed up from my TBI and I need things to be big. Not to mention, my handwriting is not pretty. I can write legibly if I write relatively large. So, that was another reason I opted for a larger notebook to start. I had ordered a dotted journal from Amazon, or so I thought. When the journal arrived, it was exactly what I thought it would be as far as size, which is great. It does not have dots though, the pages are blank. Well, they were blank.
I took a deep breath and decided like everything else in my life at this point I have to conquer this bullet journaling thing one step at a time. I used a different notebook and came up with a daily layout that I liked. Once it was tweaked to perfection and I decided I wanted to try this format for April, I went ahead and laid out the month of April in the new book.
I wanted a monthly calendar page to write appointments on so they wouldn’t get lost on my daily page. Since my book turned out to be blank pages and not dotted, I decided I wasn’t going to attempt to draw my monthly calendar myself. I cheated and took the monthly calendar page out of a 2019 planner I had purchased before I decided to try bullet journaling.
My monthly spread appointment calendar and table of contents are the very front and are cut and pasted out of the other book. Sound ghetto, but it actually doesn’t look half bad at all if you ask me.
My daily pages follow the monthly spread and the table of contents. I have only been using them for 5 days now since I just started this. So far, I’m happy with the layout that I came up with. It is functional, with plenty of space. It even has enough room left near the date that each day I can cutesy the page up with a sticker if I want to.
Since this is my first attempt at bullet journaling and my very first month, I didn’t want to get too crazy with pages. I have a weather tracker, a period tracker, mood tracker, positive affirmation page, self-care page, books I have read this month page, fishing report page, financial tracking page and last but not least, an Easter page. I figure if a holiday comes during a month, it is worthy of its own page.
So far, I’m happy with how using my pages is going. It is easy and looks nice. I keep getting more and more ideas of pages to add, but I’m holding myself back from adding anything else to April.
I’m Not Artistic
So I’m a creative person. Not an artistic person at all though! I have beautified my bullet journal by using my best attempt at drawing, most of which looks pretty cute. I also have a ton of stickers to choose from. Adding stickers in each day is fun.
I thought from looking at the bullet journal posts online that I wouldn’t be happy with how mine looked because I’m not able to do a lot of fancy writing or art. Luckily, I was wrong. It is perfectly personalized to me! I draw when I can, use stickers when I want to, and I love collages. I cut and paste a lot of pictures out of magazines as well.
I did my April layout sort of in a rush because I wanted to start on the first of the month and my book didn’t come until the day before. The calendar spread is for appointments and the same daily spread format since so far it is working well.
May will have a theme. Not sure exactly what yet. Maybe a racehorse theme since the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness are both in May. Who knows! I will come up with something! April doesn’t have any particular theme besides “getting the hang of bullet journaling and adding random cute stickers”.
I See A Craft Store Trip In My Future
I see a craft store trip in my future! I’m sure the many aisles of Micheal’s and AC Moore can provide me with plenty of inspiring ideas! Bullet journaling is a hobby/habit that totally enables my obsession with shopping at the craft stores. I always want to go to Michael’s and AC Moore, a lot of times without a good reason!
My new bullet journaling obsession now gives me a reason to go to the craft stores, which is awesome.
I Wish I Would Have Discovered This A Long Time Ago
If only I had found out about bullet journaling sooner! I can’t believe that I have been missing out for all this time! I’m so glad that I heard about it and was brave enough to give it a try.
I wasn’t sure my TBI brain could handle it, but in fact, my TBI brain loves it because I have it all set up in a way that is easy for my bruised brain to understand.
Anyone out there who is journal crazy or planner crazy like I’m should consider bullet journaling. It may seem intimidating, but once you get started and realize it is about finding a system that works for you and your needs, it is actually really fun!