Am I Still Bullet Journaling?

A few days ago, I created a new Instagram profile. I’ve decided to go into it this time with zero expectations and see where the journey takes me this time around.

Anyway, the short answer to the title of this blog post is: kinda/sorta.

Let me explain…

I am but I’m also not–not in the traditional “bujo” definition of the word.

During my absence, I played around with different styles/planning methods in order to see what the hell I needed in my life.

I played around with sizes once again, although I did always stay in a B6 sized traveler’s notebook. (Yes, even if it meant duplicating spreads. I had to see what was going to work, and now I know: B6 is where I’ve stayed the most comfortable for the longest, even beating out my OG size, A6.)

I thought I’d found peace when I started using a scripting method of planning my days by listing my goals out in a lot of descriptive detail at the beginning of the month, then implementing those goals throughout the month so they got done.

That worked for a while, until it didn’t.

My family got some unexpected, shitty news last fall which I’m not going to discuss. It forced my husband and I to make certain adjustments and one of the adjustments I chose to make was to put my schooling on pause and start working again.

An opportunity came for me to begin freelancing so I took it. Suddenly–all of my meticulously pre-scripted in full detail goals were null and void. I had to roll with the punches and start over.

I decided it was time to chuck all other methods of planning and go back to the absolute basics: a pen, a notebook (in a gorgeous cover though, of course, cause who the hell am I kidding? I love my leather). Maybe I’d add some washi. But I definitely had to start keeping a running list of shit I needed to get done that day.

However, since I was freelancing, and working on several other projects, I had to figure out a way to make it work. Specifically, I had to maximize the hours while my kid is at school. I had to start blocking off chunks of time…something I’d never had to do before.

I needed some Me Time–only not the Me Time the planner community often speaks of. No, I needed my Me Time to focus on what I was going to accomplish that day and my planner/bujo/commonplace notebook/whatever-the-heck-ya-wanna-call-it had to be flexible enough for me to list my tasks, block my time, and also pursue my personal goals.

Enter…my Stalogy notebook. (Cue trumpet fanfare…and my sarcasm.) ;P

Here’s a pic of the one I started using last year. Not much is left in terms of blank pages, maybe less than the last 1/3rd of the book.

This baby will carry me through to the end of February 2019. I began using it in April 2018.

Stalogy is a notebook brand that, for me, beats out all the others. It’s available in different sizes and the paper has a non-intrusive light gray 5mm grid pattern, and it also features the days of the weeks, months of the year, and is numbered 1-31 at the top so that you can either highlight, circle, or underline your day/month/date. I started off using this feature but gave up after about a month because: (a) the light gray is really fucking light and (b) the text is about the size of the text on a coin. I don’t want to have to scrunch my eyes every time I’m trying to see what day it is.

Note about Stalogy paper: it is *not* Tomoe River paper like what’s inside a Hobonichi notebook. It’s similar to it, but I’ve found that my gel inks dry way faster in the Stalogy than in the Hobo. Since I’m going for “as easy as possible,” I’ve put away the fountain pens and have been sticking to my gel pens for now.

I’ve even switched things up in the last 24 hours and started using my Pilot G2 Ltd. with Navy ink, which I’m enjoying.

Anyway, I’ve owned many other brands of notebooks, and this one is my personal favorite. It won’t work for everyone, but you’ll never know unless you do your research and try it. I know some people don’t care for the Stalogy notebooks while others love them. I’m obviously in the latter group and have already purchased my next one.

My new Stalogy, fresh, brand spanking new, and still in it’s pristine plastic. Can’t wait to set it up for March.

A great thing about experimenting with sizes and planning systems is that it really helps you figure out your needs depending on what your life is like at the moment. In my opinion, this is the beauty of a blank notebook: there is no compromise or feeling restrained to boxes or predetermined layouts.

So here’s what I’ve been doing.

The Stalogy was designed to be used as one page per day. I found I needed more room if I wanted to add some decoration, so I use two pages per day.

If you remember my spreads in the Leuchtturm 1917, I’m not into stickers and washi but I do own some and this time around, I’m determined to use them. 

[Unpopular Opinion: Stickers bug the shit out of me because of the bump when you’re writing on the other side of the page. I know washi tape does it too, but I tend to stick my washi along the edges of my page where I don’t write. Sometimes I’ll use thin washi as a separator, but it doesn’t bug me as much as stickers do.] 

Since my brain functions best when I have a list, I make one on the left and block my time off on the right. (See those stickers I wrote the date on? Yeah, that’s me trying to use them up. Someone RAK’d me a few KAD sticker sheets back in like 2015 and I hadn’t used them until now. o_O)

Not the prettiest but it works and that’s what matters. 🙂 In March, I’ll start using my DLD stencils again. <3

I’ll even include a little snipped of my day I want to remember, and the quote at the bottom of the left page is from something I signed up for at Bob Proctor’s website called “Insight of the Day.” Go check it out if you want to start your day with a motivational quote. I love it and always write it down.

The best part is that I’m giving myself a ton of grace when it comes to my planning as well as my life. In the spread above, you can see that I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t make dinner. It ended up being a canned soup night for my husband and me, and my kid asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some Greek yogurt. Sometimes I kick ass; sometimes I don’t.

Forgive and let it go. 🙂

I’m not going to beat myself up anymore if something doesn’t go as planned. I just add a note to myself and boom, done.

I’m also anal about writing my dinners down; because we don’t dine out often, so we need to eat any leftovers before they go bad. What’s better: looking at the planner or doing the dreaded “sniff test” to determine if food has gone bad?

So yep, I’m still kinda/sorta bullet journaling but I’m doing it my way.

Will it change in the future?

Maybe? I don’t know? We find things that work during some periods of our lives that later on no longer work, so all we can do is adjust and keep going.  

This post was not sponsored by Stalogy nor have I been compensated in any way for sharing my opinion. Everything has been purchased with my own money. These opinions are my own about stuff I’ve enjoyed using for a long enough time to know I love it.  

Xo, 

Ana

PS: If you’d like to follow me on my new Instagram profile, my username is @plannersnpolish, just like my Twitter handle. It’s a brand spanking new account. Starting fresh—which is exactly what I wanted.

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