I have been using a bullet journal for almost two years now, and I wouldn’t go back to any other organisation system for a number of reasons that I might decide to list on a separate post. As for this post, I would like to share my 2022 bullet journal setup, in case this might inspire or help other people figure out what works best for them, and what can be done with this flexible, customisable organisational system.
I would like to start by sharing what kind of notebook I use for my bullet journal. I have tried different types, including the “traditional” Leuchttrum1917, but I have finally settled for a Stalogy 365 in A5 size, again for a number of reasons:
- I prefer grid rather than dotted paper, and the Stalogy’s grid is great as it is very faint, thus allowing me to follow it without intruding too much. In addition, in the A5 version the grid is 4 mm, which is the perfect size for my handwriting. The 5 mm grid of most notebooks feels slightly big, while the 3.8 of Hobonichi or other Japanese notebooks gets a little too tiny.
- The paper is lightweight and a clean, nice white colour. However, in spite of its thinness I rarely have problems of pens or markers bleeding through. It is not as spectacular as Tomoe River paper, but differently from it I can write with gel pens on Stalogy paper — this proved to be impossible on TR as the ink would never dry. In sum, the paper is in my opinion a perfect mix of usability and nice look, which is exactly what I am looking for in a notebook that I plan to use daily for a whole year.
- The pages are very minimal, yet the tiny timeline on the side as well as the frame around the page make it easy to count when you want to divide the page into section, and give the page a generally pleasant, elegant look which I don’t find in notebooks that cover the whole surface with dots or grid. It is a small detail, but again it makes the experience pleasurable for me.
- The notebooks are not too expensive (more expensive than an average school notebook, bot not as expensive as other brands) and come in a variety of colours. The range is not as wide as Leuchttrum offers, for example, but enough to give my years a bit of variety by changing notebook colour.
The future log
This year I have decided to try a different layout for my future log, one of the staples of the bullet journal system. I have always used the one recommended by its creator, but this year I would like to try this vertical version. The advantage that I hope to get is that the separation of birthdays (first row) from events (second row) and tasks (third row) will make the spread easier to navigate at a glance. Plus, I like the aesthetics of it, which is something that will make me enjoy using it a little bit more.
I have introduced this page last year, and it has been the most useful page I have ever had in my bujo. I have mimicked the laout that can be found in some printed planners (e.g. Hobonichi Weeks) in order to fit thw whole year on one page. I will then use symbos and letters throughout the year to track things that I need to keep in view during the whole year, as for example vitamins intake, health, specific chores that we don’t do every week, and so on.
It has been a real game changer and has allowed me to see immediately when I was behind with something, if I needed to water my orchid or give flea medicine to my dog, etc.
Again, I have been inspired to create this spread (which I am trying for the first time this year) by printed planners. One year when I was using a printed planner I used the yearly index to write down one event or highlight per day. At the end of the year, I obtained these froup pages which gave me a wonderful sense of how the year had gone, what I had accomplished and what memorable things had happened that year and so on.
This is great when you feel down, or you feel like life is passing you by without you noticing it. This spread gives you a wonderful sense of how much your life is made up of small moments that little by little make up who you are. I prefer this to a daily gratitude as it is more impactful for me psychologically, and it is a very nice memory keeping spread that I think will be great to look back at.
All in all, I am definitely satisfied with this set-up, which I have been tweaking in the past two years to suit my needs and habits. If you have never tried bullet journalling, I strongly recommend that you give it a go. It makes my life easier, and the chore of keeping track of tasks, appointments and deadlines much more pleasurable.