As a productivity geek I am always in the lookout for new shiny things that promise to enhance my focus, efficiency or productivity. Well – that’s a lie actually ! I am not always looking out for new things, sometimes I do get a system that works and I stop looking – this is what happened this year with my Bullet Journal (I actually stick with it this time around!). As a simple plain human there’s always that spark of curiosity when someone mentions something new (or when a well placed Ad comes right into my feeds).
This year – as most – brought new challenges, realities, new things to manage. With that some uncertainty and unfocus time also came along.
In all fairness, I did manage to get going with my Bullet Journal setup in a very minimalistic way! I basically just started to build on top of basic spreads, etc..
This really helped me throughout my three months leading my team up until my summer break. And then all things and habits were lost.
90 Days Daily Planner experience
I was already in unfocus mode when a work colleague that told me about daily planners and how they were really working for her.
With a daily check in and checkout, 90 days goals, etc.. , they sounded like a great way to self-micromanage.
It all sounded great and as I started reading about it and checking reviews I decided I wanted one.
This happened around September and was a perfect timing as – worst case scenario – I could revert back to the bullet journal for 2023. I also knew it would have to be undated (as most my planners are), cause… I skip a lot of things and dated planners are really unforgiving in a pretty obvious way.
Disclaimer: the following notes are specific to my own experience + the planner I chose . (the ‘Law of Attraction’ daily planner)
Here are my thoughts – one month in:
- Daily checkins are important and a good way to create focus! So are weekly reviews, setting monthly goals (and checking in on them).
- The initial goal setting was realy interesting. This highly depends on the planner you get, what’s its focus, etc… For me – while the exercises are interesting, this planner is too much for a person like me to do. Even as I followed the advice from youtubers who had done this previously and I took my time the two weeks before starting to fill it in one page at a time.. it was still a LOT to do and take in and to this day some pages are empty
- I appreciate the idea of thinking of a year in 90 days blocks – it’s definitely less overwhelming, and easier to set goals to. I usually even prefer monthly, but there’s no reason not to break a 3 months period into months for larger granularity.
- Weekly review with set questions is pretty cool! The one thing i prefer in this planner (as opposed to bullet journal) is that the prompts are just there. there’s no need to write them every time a week is up (or, god forbid, daily!). Definitely would like to find an alternative to this (printing them in sticker sheets maybe?).
- It’s loads of stuff to fill each day. I had to get a 2 page per day planner to make sure i had space for notes , etc…, but some days I don’t use it and some i could use more.
- Can’t really skip a week (by priciple I know i shouldn’t , but it happens and things get out of hand easily). Catching up on monthly / weekly reviews after the time isn’t too easy.
The main thing that is bothering me now (after a week or two of not writing in) is that it’s like sitting there and making fun of me. It’s daunting to think of picking it up again or to catch up again.
On using a Bullet Journal
What I love about Bullet Journal, specifically mine:
- My bullet journal is highly forgiving and doesn’t really judge me if I don’t check in. There were months where I had basically nothing and others that filled dozens of pages. It’s ok and welcomed
- It has a bit of everything, it’s multi passioned as I am! If something new came up on my mind (crochet, blog post idea, ..), it was easy to add a title and start to brainstorm on the next blank page.. This allowed for a lot of mind dumps (even if I never got to them) – which I loved.
- Organization! ith a planner it’s harder to find related information. Example: recurring meetings about certain topics (like coaching sessions). With my bujo I have a spread where all my meeting notes are – organized by date / session. With a planner I need to find the dates of the last meetings and go back and forth to get all that in my head (or have an alternative note taking place).
- Minimalist bullet journallers our there helped me not to get caught up on making my bujo look good (find examples below) . I did get some cool stuff in the beginning of the year for when I feel more creative but it’s something I mostly don’t use.
Stuff I have / use for Bullet Journal (amazon ones are affiliate links):
- Bullet Journal book: this one was a pretty good surprise! I got it for my sister but actually managed to read it before I had to wrap it up. I actually might buy one for me – as it did fill in some gaps of what i thought bujo was about and how to organize stuff
- The notebook I use for Bujo: Scribble and Dot Honey . I love this notebook. It’s dotted and has thick paper, so it doesn’t bleed (I realized that i get distracted by this). Beware: the dots are barely noticeable! I like them that way, but have seen reviews of folks complaining so.. I’ll definitely get myself another of these ones for 2023! They have a pretty cool new design but so far it’s only on amazon.co.uk yet
- I mostly use one pen for everything (Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop with black G2 extra fine refills) . I also have a set of zebra mildliners I use – I usually pick up one color for any given month and use it thoughout.
Cool links to get into simple and minimal Bullet Journal:
- BasicBulletJournals reddit community
- Intro Men Who Bullet video to set up their 2022 Bujo – this channel is pretty coolr and often refer them to new people coming in
- Ashlynne Eaton’s videos on Bujo – I really enjoy her channel (really helped me this year with some tips and tricks + I really like her vibe). This is a cool setup video you can check
Me and Bullet Journalling have a love+hate relationship that already goes some yers back. This year it really clicked to the point where I missed when I decided to go a different route. I’ll stick to the daily planner fore the time being, but am actually looking forward to get to the end of it to get my Bujo back!!!
I definitely want to take some of the daily / 90 days planner stuff I really enjoyed and use it on my Bujo – I had already done this in my 2021 planning .
One idea i’ve been toying with is the idea of having a bujo companion that has the yearly and monthly layout. That would take some of the weight of the bujo yearly and monthly setup.
What about you? Any ideas? Have you tried daily or weekly planners? Do you prefer either over the Bullet Journal ?
Do let me know in the comments! 🙂
(please note that I included affiliate links throughout this article. This post isn’t sponsered in any way and it depicts only my own opinion and thoughts)