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How to "Bujo" and Plan Your 2019

How to "Bujo" and Plan Your 2019

The art of bullet journaling has swept the nation, overtaking many bloggers’ Instagram feeds and spamming Tumblr posts. The trend of bullet journaling, or bujo, has gone so far as to define the subculture of studyblr, also known as the study community of Tumblr that produces pictures of aesthetic study goals along with posts about study tips and staying motivated.

Perhaps in correlation to the growth of influencers and content creators being increasingly seen as acceptable job occupations, many that are self-employed and in the workforce alike see benefits in bullet journaling. Bujo-ing consists of essentially creating your own planner, diary, to-do lists, habit tracker, and goal setter to fit your own daily needs to effectively plan your days, weeks, and months ahead. Such a personal and individualistic option seems to surpass those basic and stock planners that offer little motivation and creativity.

However, the blogs that promote bullet journals that have intricately painted designs, measured out columns, and typewriter-like handwriting can seem daunting and even impossible to many. While the bullet journals with frills are admirable, they just are not attainable for everyone.

Here is how to bujo without bull for the minimalist, time-crunched, and can’t-be-bothered:

Pick your planner—many journalers prefer the journals from Leuchtturm1917 or the traditional Moleskine planner. However, don’t feel limited to these options. If these don’t work for you, pick any notebook, planner, sketchbook, or pad that works for you and will get your pen moving. Personally, I like softbound covers and I like that this one has lined pages and a linear calendar, making it the ideal choice for me. Below are some pictures of the beginnings of my own bujo:

Create an index—this is very useful in keeping track of what you put in your journal. The great thing about the bullet journal is that is a planner that doubles as a journal, so you can write your grocery list in the middle of your weekly to-do lists. The index allows you to do this easily and in an organized way with page numbers to reference back to.

Choose your elements—Bujos typically contain daily or weekly and monthly spreads on top of other options like habit trackers, a budget spread, lists of annual and monthly goals, etc. Feel free to pick whichever works for you!

Actually start writing—with the new year, it is the perfect opportunity to begin your bujo. For example, I started mine off with New Year’s goals, manifestations for the next year, and then got right into planning my week. Luckily, the planner I have already has the monthly spreads of the year laid out in the beginning, but many find success in starting off with a monthly calendar and then going into their daily and weekly spread. Experiment with different spreads, keeping note of the ones that you keep coming back to and the ones that you find hard to write in.

Keep it effective but creative—do not feel pressured to include watercolor art and washi tape in your spreads or to measure everything out with a ruler. However, don’t be afraid to use different colored pens, markers, and highlighters to accentuate your journal. I find that if my planner is just a black blob of writing then I am less inclined to keep writing and continue using it.    

Bullet journaling is all about trial and error. While this can be extremely difficult for a perfectionist like me who used to shudder at the idea of creased pages, slanted lines, and scribbles, getting past the idea of a “perfect planner” allows the freedom to not only be creative but to use the time to go after and achieve the goals that get written down instead of obsessing over planning.

With a bujo in hand, here is to a productive new year full of human memories, mistakes, and new intentions.

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