What do I use in My Bullet Journal?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I have been Bullet journaling to various degrees of success since 2018, that doesn’t feel like it’s been that long ago but it also feels like it’s been about 30 years since then. What I would give to go back to early 2018 and warn myself of what was to come and hope that somehow my timeline wouldn’t still shift into this hellscape we are currently in, I try not to swear but man y’all 2020 has just taken me by the front of my shirt and punched me in the face; repeatedly. 

            That is not the point of this post though but I like my stream of consciousness moments on my blog because it gives all of you reading this a view into my brain, it’s a scary place sometimes. I also just had my first Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks of the season and I am jazzed up on caffeine! 

            I have been Bullet Journaling for almost three years now and that is so hard to believe but this year is the first year where I have actually done all 12 months and I am happy to say that my 2020 Bullet Journal (you can see it so far in updates 1 and 2) is complete.

            What supplies do I use for my bullet journal?

Medium (A5) Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted Journal:

            They make a “bullet journal” version now but I don’t like it so I just buy the normal journal they will run you like $20 at Barnes and Noble, that’s where I get mine. I have had various colors over the years my first was Berry, second was I think a shade called Nordic Blue which was a nice icy light blue, this year is green but it’s not on the Barnes and Noble website anymore so I had to look on the Lecuhtturm website and it’s called Fresh Green, and next year is Powder which is a baby pink. This was the one that was suggested to me by a number of blogs on the internet when I was considering Bullet Journaling at the end of 2017. Thank you Pinterest for getting me hooked on another thing.

Fine line Pens in Various colors:

            I bought mine at Michaels when I started and they don’t actually have them anymore but the brand doesn’t really matter as long as it is colors you like and will use in your journal. I use mine for my habit trackers, my mood tracker, and a whole bunch of various other things in my bullet journal because I love colored pens and these are fine line markers so they are great and they don’t bleed through the paper. Mine came in a set of 20 and I think they were under $10 so find ones that work for your purposes, you don’t have to buy the fancy ones to get good results. Store them tip down they least longer! Sharpie also makes a nice selection of colored Sharpie pens which I also use!

Markers in Various Colors: 

            Again from Michaels in like late 2017 so they are old but they still work for what I need them to do, I use them for covers, for mood trackers, and for a lot of my large lettering. You do not want a large tipped marker though, medium tip at most and you may want to try them to make sure they don’t go through the paper and bleed onto the other side because that’s not fun. I store these tip down as well! 

Highlighters:

            I found pastel highlighters at Wal-Mart in 2018 and have not been able to find them there since which makes me upset because if I need more I will have to order them. I got a set of six from Mild Color and I really like them because I use them to highlight important things as well as making sure I know what week I am in. I use these for more than my bullet journal but they are used primarily there. When I replace them I will probably go with Zebra brand because they also have some really nice pastel highlighters. 

Colored Pencils:

            Does not matter the brand! I have a set that I got for Christmas a few years ago after salivating over it for years but I have a set of 150 Prismacolor colored pencils and I love them. I was so afraid to use them because they are very expensive but I used them for almost every cover if not every cover this year and a few last year and I love them so much! Crayola, RoseArt, any of the regular brands work just as well but I am going to use what I have because I love them so much. 

A straight edge: 

            I didn’t use a ruler until I started on working on my Bullet Journal for next year, I don’t even use a ruler I use the edge of the card that comes with my IPSY bags, it’s folded in half but it’s the perfect size for my Bullet Journal, it makes things look cleaner and I am kicking myself for not using one sooner because it made things SO MUCH easier! 

Washi Tape: 

            I have never bought a full priced tube or pack of Washi Tape I just wait for them to go on clearance and buy them then. I use it for mostly my habit trackers to make the pages look nice but I love the fun of washi tape. 

Stickers and Things: 

            There are a lot of premade journals out there, I love the versatility of a bullet journal because I can create as I go but I always have a bunch of stickers and things at my disposal, some come from those other planners, again clearance section! Why spend more than you have to, I mean really. I love stickers and tiny note pads, I don’t use them too frequently in my Bullet Journal but I have them so I can when I want.

A Good Black Fine Liner Pen:

            This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing for your Bullet Journal, you do a lot of outlining and all of the shapes are mostly a fine line black pen, all of the habit trackers, the weekly spreads, the daily tasks, the calendars that I do, and most of the covers have black outlines or sections and I use a black Sharpie Pen. I love this pen, it is the only one I use for my Bullet Journal and I have used about four since I started Bullet Journaling, I know the one I am using right now is already half gone because I already did the basic pages and layouts for next year so eventually I will have to get out another one. The tip does wear down on this one so the lines for written words sometimes get a little thick but you can always have a second one out just for lettering, which I should but don’t. 

            You don’t have to spend a bunch of money if you want to start Bullet Journaling, it’s supposed to be fun and creative instead of buying a planner that isn’t customizable to you, I love the freedom of a Bullet Journal because there is no set standard you can do whatever you want with it. I used to buy a planner every year because I needed it for school but now that I am out of school (I still have dreams about missing work during my master’s program and I have been out of it for over two years) I have the choice to allow my creativity one more outlet. In college I swore by the Lilly Pulitzer planners and I still would if I was in college because I loved them and they were what I needed at the time. Planners have become such a big craze in the last several years and I got caught up in it. You learn with every new planner, every new year brings new challenges and insights that you learn from years past.

            You can check out all of my other Bullet Journal related posts, I will list them so you can click at will! What I did Differently in my 2019 BuJo, Some of my fave 2018 pages, Some of my fave 2019 pages, and a random update from last year.

            Do you Bullet Journal? Any tips or tricks I am missing that you swear by? Let me know!

            Hope y’all have a great start to your week and I will see you with another post soon!

                        -MJ

2020 Bullet Journal Update 2

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So truth time, I am done with my 2020 bullet journal because I made a promise to myself this year that I would bullet journal the whole year not skip a single month and I didn’t so I am really proud of myself for that one. Quarantine really did allow me to spend some time on creative pursuits and that’s about the only upside to it.  I also have all of my “base pages” done for next year so all of my month things all I have to do next year is the pages at the front, the covers, the mood tracker, and the miscellaneous pages at the end of every month. So I really am going for it with this bullet journaling thing; only took three years to do every month, good job MJ. 

            So let’s review my last four months May, June, July, and August. My art is still not all that great but I am trying and at the moment that’s all that matters because practice does make perfect and that’s all I can ask for at the moment. 

            This post will probably look different than my original bullet journal update this year because I want to organize my thoughts differently in this one.

May Theme: 

Like last year was Star Wars themed because May the Force Be With You is just fitting for May. I am not going to show my mood tracker because it’s all very fanciful lightsabers and I don’t want to deal with the inaccuracy of colors on here. 

Cover: It is a much more expanded version of last year and I found a cute porg drawing on Pinterest because I love the porgs and I wanted them in my bullet journal again this year. The Falcon is a little less detailed than last year but I have been doing more with my covers this year so having nods to the new trilogy and the original trilogy on this page was great. The Death Star up in the corner was a lot of fun to draw though it’s not perfect. 

Movie Checklist: I haven’t seen all of the Star Wars movies I am missing Episode III and the the stand alone films which I want to watch but it’s just sitting down and watching them when you know all of the spoilers because of the internet but I also haven’t see The Mandalorian but The Child had to be a part of my bullet journal and I was really proud of how it turned out after again a tutorial off Pinterest 

June Theme:

            I am a child of the 90’s so I remember the original Pokémon and how big of a deal it was when it came out; I still have my Pokémon cards but because of that Pokémon has been a part of my life for most of my life, it came out here in what the late nineties so I was in my very early elementary school years at that point. 

Cover: Eevee is my favorite Pokémon and I know how cliché that is  but it is, my buddy on Pokémon Go is an Eevee named Monet and I love him. So the Eevee-lutions became my cover and I had to draw about half of them twice because I put the originals on the wrong page like an idiot but it gave me a lot of practice drawing them. 

Mood Tracker: Poké Balls and I feel like that’s just an obvious choice and I was going to pattern them like all the Poké Balls but I figured just the standard would do best here. 

Final Page: I watched the original series as a kid and I loved the section of “who’s that Pokémon” and I chose another favorite which is Piplup the penguin Pokémon who was also one of my buddies on Pokémon Go and I named him Orwell.

July Theme: 

           Okay so video games have always been a part of my life I just don’t play many of them and I love watching gaming content on the internet but I pretty much have had mostly Nintendo systems from the Game Boy Advanced to the Switch so July’s theme was video games. 

Cover: Lots of Nintendo and from video games I have mostly played (have not played a Kirby game but he’s so iconic) but I took a lot of time on this cover and it’s not half bad in my opinion. 

Habit Tracker Drawing: It’s Pac-Man I have played my fair share of Pac-Man and I thought it would make a cute little drawing to go with my habit trackers. 

Mood Tracker: Also have played a lot of Tetris and I really messed up on some of the pieces because I am an idiot but it worked and it was Tetris themed. 

Final Page: I have been playing a lot of Animal Crossing, there is a whole post about my Animal Crossing New Horizons fun but this at the time was my house and my outfit and I figured why not wo a full page drawing of it because I had no idea what else to do. 

August Theme:

            I grew up on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, my fourth grade teacher read us The Hobbit and I have been a fan ever since so August was Tolkien themed and I have loved it since I came up with the concept.

Cover: Bilbo’s house in the Shire, the Lonely Mountain and a quote, I know the map on the side is not actually correct but it was most of the major locations from The Hobbit series and I really enjoyed doing this cover. 

Mood Tracker: Cartoonish Smaug because I wanted Smaug in my bullet journal but I didn’t want him to be menacing and this was something I found on the internet and again did my own rendition because there are a lot of people who are a whole heck of a lot more creative than me when it comes to art and I sometimes need help.

Final Page: Quotes from the world of Tolkien, it’s all The Hobbit and lord of The Rings because I have most of the things he wrote but I hadn’t read all of them and I could have had more quotes but I have a meme quote in there too which I kind of love. 

So there it is my second bullet journal update of the year and I cannot believe we are far enough into it that I have two updates because we are almost in month nine of the year which I am still processing March so I have no idea what day it is anymore. I cannot wait to show everyone the rest of the year in December because my late year themes are some of my faves so I am looking forward to sharing those. 

I will see y’all later in the week with another post so I hope it’s a good week!

-MJ

2019 Bullet Journal Roundup

Hey, hey it’s MJ,

            Welcome to 2020 everyone, I have been rather busy this week so I have been putting off writing this because this was the first week back to school and that meant I was busier than usual. It’s been really busy because yesterday we were under severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings and today it’s sleeting and snowing, it’s bananas. (So I wrote this intro paragraph almost a week ago, almost two weeks back to school now and still just as busy!)

Though I did a post like this last year with my 2018 bullet journal, well I did some things different in 2019 and I am doing even more things different in 2020. I still can’t believe that this is already 2020, it’s bonkers! 

            Year two of bullet journaling is done now and I am on year three and learning new things all the time. I love the evolution of what I can/am doing with a bullet journal rather than a traditional planner or journal.

            So this is really my favorite pages from last year and I am so excited to show some more of my creative pages from last year, granted I did miss November again this year because the latter half of last year was really difficult for me. I am hoping for a much better and more productive 2020. 

Monthly Covers: 

 March: I really let my creativity run with March and I know this was in my Bullet Journal Update post from earlier in the year but it’s still one of my favorite covers for the year. 
May: May was still Star Wars themed and this year I am doing themes more so May will still probably be Star Wars so I am hoping that I get a little bit more creative this year with the cover and the month over all.
June: Again I really took the time on my covers this year and used more than just markers, I actually pulled out my big colored pencil set this year and it really helped me with more depth and creativity.
 July: I think this is my favorite from this year, I spent hours on it and I loved working on it so much. 
August: Was probably one of my other favorites from this year, it was just one of those pages that I would go back and look at throughout the rest of the year because it was something that made me so happy.
September: Loved this one as well, I spent so much time on my covers last year and I am already spending so much on my covers this year as well so seeing the progression of my cover pages throughout the last two years is crazy.
December: What can I say, I didn’t do October or November for covers or November at all so I had to end the year with a good one, I think this one was pretty good. 

Mood Trackers:

January: I love dreamcatchers and I still want to make one or buy one for my apartment because there are some really beautiful ones out there so recreating something that I enjoy in my bullet journal last year was really cool. 

February: A jar of hearts, I really liked this one as well but I was sick most of February so it was a little more subdued than January but I still really enjoyed it.
April: This was another page in my Bullet Journal Update from earlier in the year but again like I said Edison bulbs are amazing and I have always loved the idea of them so being able to recreate them in my bullet journal was a lot of fun.
May: I liked the crystals, I would make them bigger if I ever did this again, I don’t know if it fit into the Star Wars theme but I tried.
 June: It’s a doughnut! I love it!
August: I see enough paper planes being in a school setting but having them in my bullet journal was much less aggravating than having to deal with them in real life.

Monthly Calendars: 

May: Return of the angry porg! I am still really upset that the porgs didn’t make much of an appearance in Rise of Skywalker, they were the best.
October: I didn’t do the cover for October but the calendar was cute.
December: Merry Christmas Charlie Brown is one of my favorite Christmas specials so being able to put Snoopy in my bullet journal was great.

Random Pages: 

 Books Read Page: I love having a bookcase in my bullet journal to chronical all of the books I have read in any given year. Last year my goal was 35, I actually read 32 and 12 of those were in December. 
Movies to see: I didn’t see all the movies that I wanted to but that’s okay, I loved the ones I did see which was two of the seven that I wanted to. 

            My 2019 Bullet Journal was different from 2018 and even 2020 has been different than 2019. Bullet Journaling is such a freeing concept because you can do what you want with your pages and your inspiration throughout the year and even throughout a given month. Last year when I posted this I was going to be working on February and that is one of my plans for this weekend (it will be last weekend by the time this comes out) but I am so excited to see where my bullet journal takes me this year! 

            I hope that everyone has a good week and I will be back later in the week with another post!

Bye,

                        -MJ

Bullet Journal Update

I am going to be completely honest with everyone, I believe in transparency and to be honest the last few weeks have just been emotionally difficult for me. I know why but I don’t really have a reason that I have been feeling the way that I have been feeling. I have all of the rest of the posts mapped out for this month and I am hoping that soon enough I will snap myself out of this funk that I have been in for the last 3-4 weeks. I am also writing this pretty late at night because I am in Northwest Arkansas and today we have been battered with some pretty severe storms and I am waiting for a watch to expire before I even try to go to bed. 

            I just wanted to hop on and post an update on my Bullet Journal, you can read about my BuJo journey in My Favorite Pages from Last Year (2018) and What I’m Doing Differently This Year. 

            I will say this year it has kept me slightly more organized because I have added more trackers and have actually been using it every day. Granted I started out strong in 2018 so I am hoping to actually Bullet Journal all 12 months this year. 

            I have been doing a few different things actually, one was two habit trackers and It’s been helping to remind me to do certain things and for the most part I have been keeping myself more accountable on things because of it. I also am implementing my monthly spread as of this month because I want to have my schedules all in one place not three. Right now it’s just for blog posts soon enough I hope it’s for the restart of my YouTube channel and various other events that I have during any given month (I am a home body, most of the time it’s just, MJ leave the house, it’s been days, you need help.

            I also have been putting a little bit more time in my monthly covers, I have an idea on what my themes will be next year and I am not going to spoil it until I make a post about my Bullet Journal at the end of the year.

            Here are some of my favorite pages so far: 

I switched my weekly layout this year and I am finding that this is actually a lot more functional for me.
I for sure used the same quote last year but it’s still a good quote, like I said I am taking my time on my monthly covers or at least trying to.
I am continually changing and updating my habit tracker because i find that there are things that get dropped from being tracked or things that I need to track and don’t.
Coming up with a creative mood tracker is hard but I am a huge fan of Edison bulbs and I chose this as my theme in April.
That’s right, May is Star Wars themed! Don’t mind my very angry looking porg, I am not super great at drawing. Also if you type “porg” without Star Wars in Pinterest it gets mad at you and thinks you are looking for something else, get your mind out of the gutter Pinterest!

            Side note: I am not going to put these in a “gallery” because it seems that when you do that with a bunch of pictures nothing formats to be the same size an that’s just annoying. 

            I know this really isn’t a long post, I have been writing a lot of what feel like novel length posts recently and I need to step back from that because sometimes that gives me anxiety and I really don’t need more than what I already have. 

            Do you have a Bullet Journal? Do you want tips from me on my experiences? Any advice from more experienced Bullet Journalists (I don’t know what else to call it.)? 

            I will see everyone on Saturday/Sunday with a new post, have a good rest of your week!

            -MJ 

What I’m Doing Different in My 2019 Bullet Journal

            When I started Bullet Journaling I promised myself I would not be one of those people who would make a post of anything like “what I will do differently” “what I wish I knew before I started” but here I am because everyone’s journey is different when you take on the task of bullet journaling. It’s a task, it takes time, it takes energy, and it takes creativity. It takes planning to plan out a Bullet Journal to make it something that is actually useful for your life. For me it became a chore part of the year because I was dealing with other things but I used my Bullet Journal as an anchor point. 

            This year it is a little different, my life is a little different this year and I am going to try and do more with my bullet journal to make it my own not just a copy of some of the cool things that I have seen on Pinterest. Though I am still constantly inspired by the people who I see on Pinterest with these amazingly beautiful Bullet Journals

            This post is not going to be super long because I have only gotten through the set up pages, January, and by the time this goes up I will be working on my February layout.

             I’m adding new pages, I am doing different things and I am really excited to have a chance to do different things as my bullet journaling journey continues to evolve. I am doing a full monthly spread before each month this year so I can eliminate a monthly planner, I use one for blog posts and when I was still doing my YouTube channel I would use it for video scheduling. I am hoping to get back to that this year as well, without spreading myself too thin because I have real life adult things that I have to do outside of the sphere of social media even though I find myself coming back to social media over and over again trying to be a better version of myself. Back to my pages though, I decided that I wanted to eliminate another planner from my life and make sure that everything is just in one place so I can do better at keeping myself on schedule. 

            I am also doing calendars at a glance for each month because I don’t want to rely on my phone when I am looking for a date if I am on the phone, that is why calendars were invented, actually to be real I don’t know why calendars were invented but I can hazard some guesses. Maybe I will research the history of calendars for my own personal enjoyment. 

            I am doing my weekly layouts different as well this year than I did last year, last year is on the right and this year is on the left, even this year I may switch up my weekly layout, I thought about doing that last year but I never got around to it. 

            I’m also doing two habit trackers this year, one general and one beauty/skin care. I am trying to become a better human being and part of that is working on me. I’m trying I promise. Last year is on the left and this year is on the right.

            I am working on a lot of things this year and keeping a Bullet Journal is hopefully going to help me keep more organized, I am consistently dealing with a lot so having something as a creative outlet that isn’t on social media may help me out some. Self-care, mental health, all that stuff.  

            I think that I can say that this is not for everyone and that’s totally cool, in a few years when the trends change maybe I won’t do it anymore or maybe it will evolve into even more of an art form than it already is. 

            I will be checking in with my Bullet Journal every few months, it’s a way to keep myself honest and make sure that I am working on it even if no one else is interested in it, I can’t shrug over the internet but that’s about how I feel. If I am on this journey by myself then here I am on it by myself but if you feel like joining in, you’re welcome to join me. 

            Do you bullet journal? Any tips for someone who is still pretty new at it?

            See everyone on Thursday with another post, I am trying to catch up before the end of the month. 

            -MJ 

Some of my Favorite Bullet Journal Pages from 2018

First of all, welcome back. I have been a little MIA so far this year because of work and just general life stuff. Being an adult is hard sometimes you guys. I feel like January has straight up knocked all the creativity out of my body and I hate it. I miss writing blog posts and even writing in general because I haven’t been doing much of that this month. I am in the middle of my revisions on a few novels so that has kind of been taking up some of my time. Other than that I have just been tired, January is gloomy and even though there have been days in the 60’s down here it’s still just a little gloomy. 

            That is however, not what this post it about. It is going to be more photos than anything else because last year was the first year I attempted the fabled Bullet Journal that has taken over Pinterest. I was mostly successful I missed two or so months because I had some low points last year but when I was using it, it was keeping my sanity pretty well in check. Most of my page inspiration came from Pinterest and blogs that I found through Pinterest for pages ideas. That is one thing that I am going to try to branch away from this year because I have already started my 2019 Bullet Journal. My next post is what I am doing different this year so be on the lookout for that in the next few days. 

            I am not as skilled in drawing as many of the other Bullet Journal creators out there but I try.

Monthly Cover Pages:

January, this was my first cover page and I really liked how it turned out when I started this thing in January. 
 March, so this was inspired by a glass terrarium I saw on Pinterest and I am a huge fan of succulents. My one problem with this was how the glass didn’t line up right because making a 3D object into something 2D can be tricky. 
April, I mean, the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is super true where I am so I liked the idea of an umbrella. 
August, I don’t live anywhere near a beach anymore but I got the inspiration from Pinterest and it was either a real sign or a monthly cover, I honestly don’t remember but if I did I would give credit to who inspired me
September, this is where I got ambitious, I was feeling better about life and I did a garden scene that was inspired by an actual photo, it was a lot of greens and I tried to make it look realistic, not sure if it actually worked but I tried. 
October, again I got ambitious, this one is probably tied with September for my favorite covers of the year. It was also a photo so making it look realistic was a goal of mine. 
December, the last one of the year. I completely skipped November so I wanted December to be something that I was proud of. It was simple and cute because it was a very holiday inspired scene. 

Mood Trackers: 

            July, it was a hot air balloon and for some reason that screamed mid-summer to me. I used the same colors every month so some months my color schemes made less sense than other months. This one turned out pretty cool in my opinion.

            August, this was one of those months when my colors made less sense, it’s a very weird looking pineapple but overall I liked the pineapple itself even with the multi-colored color scheme. 

            December, of course I had to pick a Christmas tree, there is no other option for December for me. I wish though I would have planned the light placement better. 

Misc Pages: 

            Quotes, I am one of those people who loves inspirational quotes and I picked a few that I liked and filled a page with them. It’s a simple thing but it made me feel pretty good every time I turned to that page.

            Things that Make Me Happy, I did a list like this in my writing journal which was kind of my first foray into Bullet Journaling before I knew what that actually was. I didn’t fill the whole page and that was okay. I think I am going to do it again this year but a little different because I like the list idea more than I like the bullet pointed spread that I had last year.

            There is no title to this page, it’s just a long form quote that I came up with almost in a poetry form, I moved to a place where there is a lot of nature and I wanted to get more into it. I probably actually will this year but I just needed a calm page in my August spread to remind me. 

            One Phrase, I wrote one phrase over and over again in different handwriting and it was a really cathartic experience.

            Holiday Movie Checklists, I did one for Halloween and Christmas and I will be doing it again this year for sure. 

            A bullet journal can be so many things, it is for you to decided what you do with it. I actually really enjoyed doing it and am still enjoying it this year even if I haven’t started my February layout yet. That is my plan for this weekend so when this post goes up I am probably working on my February layout.

            Do you bullet journal? Got favorite pages?

-MJ