Business Bullet Journal Mistakes and How to Fix Them
I have, rather embarrassingly, tried and failed at Bullet Journaling in the past but I'm giving it another go. Let's take a look at my mistakes and how I've fixed them.
Business Bullet Journal
Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Why did I fail?
In all honesty, I couldn't quite understand why I had failed at Bullet Journaling to start with. After all, it's a system that includes everything that I love about getting super organised.
Bullet Journaling allows you to plan ahead, keep track of everything that's going on in your life, and know exactly what you're meant to be doing from one minute to the next. It sounds like bliss. But I just couldn't get it to work for me at all.
The topic of bullet journaling came up in one of my groups where one of my lovely members's shared some of her page layouts with the group and it’s inspired me to give it another go.
As I start my bullet journaling journey again, I want to share with you what I learned during my failed BuJo attempt and what I plan to do differently this time around.
I'm going to run through the problems I faced last time around and my proposed solutions. We will then take a look at my current setup (with pictures) as well as my future plans for bullet journaling.
So, lets dive.
First Attempt: Failures and Solutions
I went 'all in' waaaay too quick
I have to admit, when I first discovered bullet journaling and saw the beautiful spreads from the likes of Boho Berry and Tiny Ray of Sunshine and I got a little carried away. And who can blame me!?!
These guys have totally nailed the 'art' of bullet journaling and in my over-excitement to join this prestigious club, I began to get creative as I emulated these BuJo masters.
I spent hours, and hours, and hours creating the beautiful structures for every layout, spread and tracker I thought I could possibly need. Rather than using my BuJo as the functional item it was meant to be, it was instead an impractical work of art.
This time around I'm keeping it super simple and sticking to the tried and tested methods from the inventor for the BuJo system Ryder Carroll.
You can get all of the information you need to set up a simple, functional BuJo in a matter of minutes over at this website http://bulletjournal.com
I created layouts I didn't really need
In my excitement I created all kinds of weird, wacky and wonderful collections for my BuJo from gratitude and food logs, to TV watch lists, water trackers and even an Amazon delivery 'waiting on' lists. Sigh
Half of this stuff I really didn't need. Completing it didn't serve any real benefit or purpose for me at all. Instead I just set up loads of pages that I never really used, and certainly didn't continue to add my entries to.
My BuJo started to look awful with multiple pages that would never be used again. Seeing these incomplete page also started to put me off using it too which didn't help.
To start again in a brand new BuJo and remove the negative feelings associated with lots of unused pages and layouts and reminders of my previous planning failure.
Also, the pages I am creating now have to prove that they're necessary before the ink goes into the book. And rather than waste the empty pages in my old Leuchttrum1917, I'm putting it to good use and testing out spreads to make sure they're worth the effort.
#keepingthingssimple (there's a pattern forming here!)
Page set up was taking way too long
In my attempt to replicate some of the more creative and super arty BuJo enthusiasts, I spent too much time designing layouts, adding flourishes, experimenting with Washi Tape and generally making things pretty. Now don't get me wrong, I found all of this very enjoyable......but......it wasn't really getting the job done.
When it got to the start of a new month, and there were multiple pages to be re-created for the month ahead I couldn't be bothered. I was busy and didn't have time to sacrifice half a day creating pretty pages just so I could make a task entry. So, the post it notes came out and things very quickly got messy. Grrr
Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!
Now, this doesn't mean that I've banned myself from prettying things up. However, it's important that the basic setup of any page can be done free hand and with one black pen at my disposal. So, no need for watercolour pens, highlighters, washi tape or my collection of Llama themed stickers. They can certainly come later if I get the urge. It's important that when I need a new page, I can create it and use it within minutes.
#keepingthingssimple (there's that pattern again!)
I was reinventing the wheel
Again, in my excitement, I tried to move EVERYTHING over to my BuJo, including systems that where working perfectly well elsewhere. For example, my business is quite a complex thing, and just changing the systems I use to remind myself of meetings, deadlines, commitments and workload was a little rash.
I lost track of what was going on. I got confused. I almost missed appointments and deadlines but thankfully I still had the other systems backing me up.
I know from this experience that managing the whole of my business in a bullet journal is not possible, at least not until I simplify things even further. I therefore plan to start by organising my life and my newly started side/hobby business in my BuJo and keep everything nice a separate. I think this will work quite well. And while The Magickal Creatrix is very new and not really a business as such I can see how it works as I grow.
Also, I do prefer to keep life and business completely separate when it comes to planning. Combining them to me seems to blur the lines a little and I find that my work/life balance suffers. It's important to me to maintain a healthy work/life balance as I know, if left to my own devices my life gets quickly buried under my obsession with work. My life in a BuJo should help with this. Fingers crossed.
#keepingthingssimple (and there's that pattern again!)
My current bullet journal setup
I'm sure you noticed the theme to my bullet journaling solutions. It was all about simplicity.
Let's take a look at my setup so far.
Here I log future events and important dates. Each month I then check the information in here and transfer it to my monthly log when that month arrives.
My monthly log is over two pages and consists of a calendar and task list. Page one is for tracking events by day of the month, and page two for tasks by day of the month.
The daily log is for daily use. Each day, I enter the date and throughout the course of the day I log any tasks, events or notes as they occur. At the end of each day I then take action on each of these items by:
• Moving them to my future log
• Scheduling them to my monthly log
• Marking as complete
• Adding to another collection or system
Phases of the Moon
This one might seem a little strange, however my hobby biz is all about the magickal and metaphysical. I'm a little obsessed with the moon phases and the effect on day to day life which is why I find having access to a chart like this super helpful.
Keeping Things Simple
I think it's safe to say that I learned a valuable lesson here. I have the ability to complicate the hell out of anything. What can I say, it's a gift. Stripping back the system to its bear and very functional bones was all I needed to do. And guess what, the system works without any glitter or unicorns.....who knew?
I do plan to expand on what I've shown you here and as I do I will make sure to keep you posted. If you want to make sure you don't miss out on the next instalment, you can sign up to my newsletter by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and you will be the first to know how I'm getting on.
Do you bullet journal, or would you like to give it a go?
Scroll right down to the bottom of this page to leave a comment
Bullet Journaling Resources
I've got some Bullet Journal resources for you here, but a word of warning. Don't fall into the same trap I did and go all out to replicatesome of the amazing creations you will find within these links. Just use them as inspiration and create something you can use to staymore organised and productive.
Bullet Journal http://bulletjournal.com/ - This is a great site with plenty of links to great resources. I also recommend if you're new to bullet journaling to check out the start page.
Tiny Ray of Sunshine https://www.tinyrayofsunshine.com/ - Kim is a regular contributor to the bullet journal website above and has some great content.
Boho Berry http://bohoberry.wpengine.com/ - Kara from Boho Berry is a Bullet Journaling genius and one of the reasons why I really want this system to work for me too. Her designs are very inspirational.
Here are some of the main accounts you should be following for BuJo heaven!
@boho.berry Kara - Boho Berry
@paperandinkco.heidi - Heidi Currie
@that_journal - Emma Bryce
@plannersimplicity - Lisa F
@bulletjournalcollection - BJC - Bujo Collection
@minimalistbujo - Minimalist Bullet Journals
Here's a collection of great Pinterest Boards for you to lose yourself in
And if you would like to be surrounded by those who are also obsessed with bullet journaling then check out this article with a list of the best bullet journal Facebook groups from Living Between the Lines.
“Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler”
— ALBERT EINSTEIN