One Year Bullet Journaling Update: Will I continue in 2019?

Let’s talk about me completing a year Bullet Journaling and everything to do with it today.

Hi!  One year ago, I made my first post about starting my Bullet Journal for 2018 and have tried to keep you posted on my experience trying out this new activity and exploring the world of Bullet Journaling. This post is the conclusion of my adventure with Bullet Journaling in 2018, the final update as well as talking about my future plans, if any, with Bullet Journaling.

If you have seen my post about My Bullet Journal Essentials, you know what pages I chose to have. The plan right now is to go over each of those pages, give you a before and after (If they change at all) as well as the new pages and talk about how useful I found those pages.

The Cover Page(s)

Obviously, this isn’t there as much for the “planning” aspect of the journal but mostly for the aesthetic value. I still love it and I made the last page to go with it and to cap off my year, contained in the pages in between. Its not as beautiful or meticulously made and I will get into why that is later.

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A Calendar

I enjoyed making a physical calendar for ready reference in the journal so I could plan my days and months out. However, this calendar ended up making me realise how almost independent of physical calendars I have become after having the ready access f my cell phone’s calendar. I barely used it and honestly, I feel a little sad because as a child I used to love marking dates on my physical calendar. Technology really has changed me and this was clear evidence, even if its the littlest thing.

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Year In Pixels

Year In Pixels was a great idea but the issue is that’s what it was. Maybe it’s just me and how careless I am or maybe its just being human but I found myself missing days. I’d fill them in later but that’s not quite exactly the idea is it. Still, I like having a reference of how my year went. It makes me realise that most days are just okay(In red) a good (in green) or an amazing (orange ) day are rare to come by so I should cherish them and cherish them well. Here’s my year in pixels when I started versus now at the end of the year.

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Goals for 2018

I made a list of Goals at the beginning f the year which I wanted to achieve through the year. At the 6 month mark, I went back and looked at the list and made a part on how things are going with all my goals. ( You can find it in my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update) At the end of the year, I did it again. This time, however, its a simple checklist. And I was happy to report that I somewhat achieved all my goals for the year though not all which I chalk up to being a mere mortal.

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Trackers

I made trackers for some of my broader goals to help me track my progress towards achieving them. They were:

1.A Book Tracker: A place for me to list all the books I read over the year. I am the most depressed to report that I got though ZERO entire books through the year and so my book tracker is as empty as it was the day I started it. It is my worst regret and I intend on making a post about my lost superhuman reading powers and just how much it bothers me. Here is before(and after) of my book tracker.

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2. A Movie Tracker: A place for me to list all the movies I watched over the year. I watched a total of 36 movies over the year and that roughly comes down to 1 movie every 10 days which are numbers I’m more than happy with. I have definitely made progress at movie watching (Which might seem like a stupid goal but I like stories and losing reading I needed to find a new way to get the required amount of stories to keep me and my imagination happy)and watched some great movies this year. Here is the before and after of my movie tracker.

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3. A T.V Show Tracker: A place for me to list all the TV shows I watched this year. I am honestly happier with the shows I watched viz a viz the movies because some of them are all-time favourites of mine that I binge watch often. I watched 5 shows over the year which may seem like a small number but, considering that it was 0 shows in 2017, it definitely is progress. Here is the before and after of my tv show tracker.

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4.A Blog Tracker: a place for me to record my blog-statistics related progress over the year. As you may have noticed from both my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update. and the goal update in this post I didn’t meet a lot of my blog related goals. I just struggled with keeping up with my new life as a college student in the first half the year and in the second half I tried and had found a stride but my health gave up on me. So my statistics hardly look great if seen as separate one year apart statistics but individually I am quite proud of how much my teeny tiny little blog has grown. (Even if it is just an inch or two) Here is the before and after of my blog tracker.

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Monthly Spreads

I had a certain format that Ive discussed before in my Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update. I write the name of the month, a quote that resonated with me that month and hello to the month with the origin of its name n the left page. On the right page, I write the month number on the top right corner and always have a firsts box for all the new things I did that month and a countdown of the number of months left in the year. Other boxes like Blog updates, mid-term and end-term updates and updates on other goals make regular appearances. I am happy with my monthly spreads and I enjoyed finding out the origins of the names of all months as well as having a summary of my month a lot, however, I found them a big hassle to make towards the end. I’ll talk more about this later.

Exam Schedules

I would write my exam schedules in as checklists with the name of the subject, date and time of the exam for both my midterms and my end terms so I’ve made a total of 4 schedules,2 for midterms and 2 for end terms.  Checking these was very fun and I did find writing my schedules down helpful because then the dates had a greater chance of sticking around in my head.

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Birthday Page

Since my birthday is in the first half of the year you might have seen this in my post about it. basically, I wrote a letter to myself talking about my progress as well as shortcomings from the last year, my goals and aspirations for the upcoming year and a lot of positive affirmations. This was probably my favourite part of the BuJo and practise I plan to continue.

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Final Thoughts: Will I continue Bullet Journaling?

The simple answer is well, no. I am not the artistic kind and by the end of this putting all this time and energy into something that is supposed to help me plan my life more effectively was frustrating and a big hassle. It is obvious through the pages too, the first few are dine with patience and I sat down and beautifully did them whereas the last one I just rushed through because the truth is, I dont happen to have a lot of time in my day.

As i mentioned before, my Last page is nowhere near as pretty as my first one and this is the very simple reason for it. It might just be me, my lack of artistic prowess or maybe it is normal to feel so defeated about a bullet journal. I felt the pressure to keep it pretty, mostly self-imposed and i struggled with it. I would forget to fill in the year of pixels in some days, I’d be drawing two monthly spreads together, I’d keep notes to remember to write in the movies and tv shows I watched.

What I would like to carry forward from this experience is the organisation it brought to my planning. So essentially I want to have its planner aspect and thus am not opposed o the idea of using a planner. For now, I have embraced the technology boom i was born into and use the Notes app to set reminders, make lists and make notes and basically, plan. It has been working well for me so far but it’s only the first month, who knows?

Would I recommend this to someone? Absolutely. It was fun when I wasn’t time-pressed or just under pressure or stressed. If they are artistic and like planners, this is the thing of their dreams. They will enjoy it so much. It may not be for me but that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it.

Lastly, I end my last post about bullet journaling (for now, who knows what the future holds?) and offer my admiration and respect for people who bullet journal regularly and have been doing it for years. It’s a task and its hard work and while i have realised i cant keep doing it that in no way means I am imposing my opinion onto you. Enjoy the BuJo adventure, fellow journalers and au revoir!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you Bullet Journal? Have you done it before or do you plan to? Comment below with what you think about it I’d love to hear from you!

Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update.

Let’s talk about Bullet Journaling and how my Bullet Journal looks, halfway through the year.

Hi everyone! If you’ve been around a little bit, you might be aware that this year I kept a Bullet Journal. If not, well, now you know! ( Have a look here for more on the thought process behind it.) I’ve made a few Bullet Journaling related posts since I started and have tried to take you along on this journey. So, here’s another one, to keep you in the loop as to how things are looking.

Now that that’s cleared up, getting back to the topic, this is the Half Yearly BuJo Update. How its going, what I like, what I dont like, how it looks, all that jazz. Yes, shockingly we are halfway through the year of 2018 already. It makes me uncomfortable too. Just a heads up, I’m going to try my best to be super honest because I’m not an artistic person and so my Bullet Journal is not something that is easy peas lemon squeezy for me. We’ll go covering all the little aspects of the Journal and I’ll try to update you on each of them.

The Year In Pixels

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So, my year in pixels is pretty red, because life is usually just okay and that’s okay. I like the Year in Pixels because that way you can look back and see good days, bad days, okay days, amazing days. Its a great jog down the memory lane but I admit that it’s not much of a help as an organisational activity. Its a hassle to keep up with too. I have had days where I forgot to colour in on that very day and did it the next day instead. Would I like to have it in my future Bullet Journals? No, I don’t think so. It makes for a nice memory box but with the compulsive picture taking habits I have, I pack them in just fine. It’s still a fun way to look at your entire year and how it went.

Book/Movie/T.V Show Tracker

The first thing you might have noticed is that there is no picture of a book tracker at all. That is because, as I shamefully admit, I haven’t got through an entire book this year yet. Blame it on long or boring books if you will, but the truth is, at one point in time I could get through 4 books a month easily and I have lost my momentum completely. It’s very sad and I will make a blog post about it soon because I NEED to fix this and that empty book tracker woefully reminds me of this tragedy every day. Movies, I watched many. I’m happy with the number. T.V. Shows, I didn’t do so well with but that’s because I keep binge-ing things I’ve already seen. I blame me. Are these trackers fun? Yeah, absolutely. These help me keep up with my goals for the year so if I have similar goals the next year I would continue having these trackers.

Monthly Spreads

I do monthly spread a tad differently because for me the idea was tracking my progress over the month and things I do. I have the name of the month, a quote I liked that month, a little “Hello” to the month with the significance behind the name of the month and an explanation for it all on the left page. On the right, I have a “Firsts” box to write whatever new thing I did that month and little boxes for updates on various other things like the blog or my end terms. I like doing monthly spreads a lot, though being artistically challenged makes it a little bit frustrating many times. Or, not having done much to document over the month, not all months are that productive!

Exam Schedules

An exam favourite! I draw out my midterm and endterm schedules as soon as I get them in the journal and the happiness that ticking the boxes next to the exams gives me is unreal. It helps me see how many are left, times, dates and is just a great planning and motivation tool during dreary exam days. I would definitely keep these in future Bullet Journals.

Birthday Pages

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I loved doing these too! It is a great thing to look back on and a practice I plan to continue, a little letter to self every year with goals for the next year, praise for the progress and acceptance of the shortcomings of the past year. I talk about these in depth in this post.

Half Yearly Goal Update

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I made this little goal progress check for myself writing down the exact goals I wrote at the beginning of my journal for the year and how the realisation of those goals is coming along.  It made me realise what I needed to work harder towards, reaffirmed my goals for the year and was a great reality check. I would definitely do this again as I found it quite useful and informative.

Quote Pages

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I make quote pages like this one when I am free and have another quote that really inspires me that month. I am someone who is very moved by words and for me and my abysmal lettering skills, this is also great lettering practice. I like doing these because its entirely up to me if i want to do one and the flexibility is relaxing.

And that’s all for the half-yearly Bullet Journal update! I hope it was helpful and I was able to keep it real. I really tried. Have a good next half of the year!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: How did your first half of the year go? What are your hopes for the second half? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

My Year To Be Bold.

Let’s talk about birthdays and growing up today.

Hi everyone, it’s been a while! In the meantime, I’ve been swimming quite deep in the waters of a busy college life and life, in general. I’ve missed this place and its people a lot and have so many blog post ideas just waiting to be written sitting in my phone’s notes app.

So, why one today? Why not one of those prompts just waiting to grow and blossom into a blog post? Why this conversation of a post rather than an idea? What’s so special about today?

Well, I write this to you at 1 AM on March 10,2018 and also my 19th birthday as I receive calls and messages that congratulate me for something I have no control over. (A.K.A Existing, growing older.)Last year of my teenage and a little bit more adult than I’m used to. Should exciting, nerve-wracking and feel really good, right ?

Except it doesn’t? It’s my first birthday ever away from my family and also simultaneously my first proper adult birthday, first birthday completely alone(I’m sitting alone in my dorm room typing this) and first birthday in University. Phew, that’s a lot of firsts.

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A drawing I found on Pinterest that is a pretty accurate description of me typing this to you. The artist has really beautiful art and their link is mentioned as a watermark in the photo.

I am not excited? I am happy because you always get extra love and attention on your birthday, I’m definitely scared to my wit’s end about being a grownup but the waves of excitement that hit me from the fortnight before my birthday was conspicuously missing this year. Even the surprise cake cutting(Thanks to the lovely circle my family has here!) I had today with my College Dance Crew( That I’m a part of, yes!) didn’t trigger them.Even on my birthday, right now I’m more like yes, its my birthday, no big deal, everyone has one of those which is obviously, a tad depressing a place to be in.

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The beautiful pre-birthday cake that was cut with my Dance-Crew.

I like to think this is what growing up feels like and man, I didn’t think I’d be a grownup so fast but apparently one year in college living alone can really do the trick. I’m not sad about it but I really miss that pure, undulating joy I felt every year?I feel like somewhere down the line I lost my innocence and I am not sure if I’m perfectly alright with that?

I believe some of it could also stem from the fact that my parents have always made my birthday’s very very special, despite the fact that it fell during exams for 6 years out of 19. It has to be a factor.

In my Bullet Journal, to commemorate my birthday I have done a series of pages.One of which is a quote that says,” This is my year to be bold.” Which is a personal motto of sorts, for the year that is coming? I take 2018 as my year to take risks, to be brave and to be strong in the face of whatever life throws at me.

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Alongside, I’ve written a letter to self of sorts titled,” To Me on my Birthday” and I’ll transcribe it here, for the sake of having a digital copy and to share it with everyone because 2017 was a monumental year and this letter is a series of things I learnt over the year which have made me a better person yet the reminder wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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This was a major year for you. Milestone-ly, life situation-ly or otherwise.This year you’ve found strength in the face of adversity, resilience in the face of failure, optimism in the face of dejection and most importantly, your dignity while swimming in the pools of dangerously low self-esteem. In your first year as an adult, you’ve done many ‘adult’ things and have grown several years over the span of 365 days. You’ve gained maturity, insight and pride in who you are. You’ve made so much personal progress this year and today is just the right occasion to commemorate it with pride.So, be proud of who you are and who you will be because it’s always going to be one step(Or in 2017’s case one step on the Moon-sized step) ahead of who you were.This year will be yours to claim, to grow, to live and to live boldly.Happy Birthday. Let’s do it the 19th time.

(Part 2 of this post where I talk about what actually went down on my birthday,a riveting tale with many twists and turns is right here)

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What would be/was your personal motto for the coming year on your birthday? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

My Bullet Journal Essentials!

Let’s talk about the pages I chose to have in my bullet journal, as a first-time bullet journal-er.

Hello! In my previous post, I talked about how I came to start Bullet Journaling. First off, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and lovely advice. It has been a bigger driving force for me than I could put into words!

In this post, I wanted to talk about the few starter pages(That is, pages minus the monthly/weekly/daily spreads) I felt were essential for me in my bullet journal, at this point in my life.

(Also a massive shout out to Little Coffee Fox whose blog posts about Bullet Journaling have been such a boon and who a lot of my attempts at brush lettering are inspired from. I have also used Shelby’s free month printables in some places in my own journal because I’m only beginning to learn and there are some places where cutting and pasting makes things so much easier.)

A Cover Page

I really just wanted to design a cover that sets up the theme for the journal and is commemorative of the fresh start that is this new year.The cover was important because it sets the theme for the rest of the journal and is the representative of the journal itself.Since I’m not particularly artistically gifted, I knew I had to keep it simple and elegant. I had been idea-searching on Instagram for months and this is the end result.

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A Calendar

While, in today’s smartphone age, physical calendars are going out of vogue, I personally liked the idea of having a written calendar in my bullet journal, which being my planner, organiser and journal hybrid, will make it a massive boon for me throughout the year.Something about being able to see the months and days together appeals to my organisational side. This is the final calendar I made. The beautifully written 2018 is Shelby’s free printable 2018, credited above.

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Year In Pixels

A wonderful little project that I recommend everyone should do, not only people who bullet journal. It is an easily made record of how the year went, that I first found on Instagram last year and fell in love with. The number of categories and colours and level of artistic-ness is totally up to you and it makes for several jolly trips down the memory lane, so I had to have it. This is how my Year In Pixels spread looks.Also just for your information, this picture was taken a few days after New Year’s hence some days are already coloured in.

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Goals For 2018

I had to have all my major goals for 2018 listed out explicitly and in one place, so I could have a look at what i want to achieve over the year whenever i want, enjoy the clarity of thought it brings and judiciously work toward achieving said goals. The broad goals and what I do for them is something I’ll track through my monthly spreads.This is how my Goals for 2018 spread looked. You’ll notice goals related to all the important things in my life; academics, personal happiness and growth, this blog and my passions.

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Trackers

Knowing my broad goals, I set up a bunch of trackers in my journal to track their progress and just keep a record of how things are working out with that yearly goal. It also offers me a chance to record things I’ve done/achieved over the year that I can look back on later. I made 4 trackers in my Journal:-

  1. A Book Tracker: A place for me to maintain a record of the book is read over the year to track my goal of reading more.

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  1. A Movie Tracker: A place for me to list out all the movies I watch over the year to track my goal of watching more movies. You’ll notice one movie already there, because like I previously mentioned, I took these pictures a couple of days after New Year’s and thus had already seen a movie by then.(Also since we are already at it, can we talk about the amazing-ness that is Ant-Man?)

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  1. A T.V. Show Tracker: A place for me to take note of all the t.v. shows i watch over the year to track my goal of watching more quality television.

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  1. A Blog Tracker: A place for me to track where things go on my blog o meet my goal of working harder towards my passion,i.e. blogging. I took a bunch of statistics like my follower count,total views,number of posts and total visitors and noted them down from the Stats section on my Site Admin on the 1st of January 2018 and will write those same statistics again on 31st December 2018 to see how much my blog has grown using those numbers.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Which pages do you HAVE to have in your own Bullet Journal,if you have/were to have one? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

To be a guest writer on Musings Of A Whimsical Soul, fill the form below!

 

The Start Of My Bullet Journaling Experience.

Let’s talk about Bullet Journaling today.

Hi.

Let’s begin with answering the burning question.WHERE WAS I?

I’ll be honest. Life caught up with me. I was busy navigating dorm life, University, adapting to a new study pattern, coping with all the new subjects, building myself an identity in said university and living in a new place. I ran out of time to devote to things I loved to do.

Don’t get me wrong. I love University. It just gets a little too much to handle at times. Thus, I read less and less, till I barely read anymore, watched less and less movies till I watched none anymore, and the worst part, wrote less and less till I barely wrote anymore. It takes its toll. As happy as I was with my new life, I still felt frustrated because I couldn’t do things I liked to do as much as I would like to.

This is when I found Bullet Journaling. I found some journal spreads on Instagram and then looked into Bullet Journaling and saw it be the ultimate tool to the time-management and organisation I crave and desperately need in my life with an outlet to my creativity that would refresh and re-energize me.

According to the amazingly helpful bulletjournal.com ,” The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less. ”   Basically, a Bullet Journal is an all-in-one planner system, that can be whatever you want and need it to be.

I then started compiling all the ideas and things I definitely needed in my Bullet Journal and organizing my goals and dreams for 2018 in my head. I told my family and friends about my ideas, which were received warmly and with lots of love which I’m extremely grateful for. Now, all I needed was the stationary and a start. (And a Journal but that’s a tad too obvious!)

These gorgeous spreads are courtesy of (L to R) the folks at Lazy Genius Collective  and Minnevore.com. I was greatly inspired by them, though I’m hardly talented enough to produce anything similar!

Deciding on when to start was the boggling one. The stationary I only had to buy, really. I had always considered the concept of New Year’s Resolutions silly because no one really followed them two, maximum three weeks past New years and it seemed pretty desperate. But, now, as an ‘ adult’, I saw the charm of the new year, a fresh start, an opportunity to begin over.(The adult is in quotes because my being an adult is a highly debatable thing to me,)So, it was decided. I would start Bullet Journaling from January 1st,2018. Then, I was lucky enough that my parents gave me a Vintage Journal and different sorts of stationary as a Christmas present this year, knowing I meant to use those from New Years.

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My Starter Pack: A Vintage notebook,AddGel Little Artist Brush Pen set, Faber-castell highlighters(Yellow, Orange and green), Pentel Roller-Gel Pen set and Uni-Ball Sigo Pens(Silver, White and Gold)

Hence, I’m all set to dive into Bullet Journaling. Today is the 28th of December where I live, and I have been and will continue to ready my journal, to be used in the upcoming year.Since it’s only my first time around, I may falter, I may make mistakes and I might fail.But, I’m including you guys on my little “BuJo” (As it is affectionately called in the Bullet Journal community) journey so you can help out this not-so-artistic novice and keep me accountable.So I’ll make a few Bullet Journaling related posts this year (Fingers crossed) and you’re most welcome to join in!

Lastly, I would like to wish you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my side. I hope you that this holiday season onward, positivity and goodwill abound in your life!

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A Watercolor painting and brownie courtesy of my mother.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you have a Bullet Journal? If yes,what tips/suggestions do you have for a first time Bullet Journal-er like me? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

To be a guest writer on Musings Of A Whimsical Soul, fill the form below!