Today's post is from our friend, Mae-Mae Han, from Our Journey in Journals. Mae-Mae is an avid bullet journaler and has been gracious enough to do a show & tell of her bujo! Enjoy!
Hi, everyone! I’m Mae-Mae Han of the blog Our Journey in Journals. I’m a bullet journalist, but I’m also a full-time student attempting to balance academics, extracurricular activities, a social life, hobbies, a part-time job, and my blog and Instagram (@OurJourneyinJournals) – all while trying to maintain my health and get a decent amount of sleep, which is something that I admittedly struggle with. However, my bullet journal (which is a DIY planner/journal/random lists/whatever you need system created by Ryder Carroll) is super helpful in keeping my life together, and for me, it also serves as a creative outlet. So today, I’ll be showcasing for all of you my bullet journal here on the Mighty Journals blog!
I’m currently using an A5 Rhodia Webnotebook with dot grid paper, and this is my third bujo so far. My very first page, which is something I know a lot of people want ideas for, is a contact page in case I ever lose my bullet journal (just to make sure that people know how to get it back to me).
My second page is my key. As you can see, it’s somewhat different from the original system’s key. One of the best things about bullet journaling is that there only few basic guidelines as to what constitutes as a “true” bullet journal, so you can adapt the system to fit your own life and personal preferences.
Next is my table of contents. It’s actually referred to as the index in the bujo system, but I think table of contents is a more appropriate name. Anyway, I only index collections that I know I’ll want to refer back to in the future (so no general planning spreads), and I also index the months using whatever colors I used for that month’s setup.
My first page after the table of contents is a year-at-a-glance calendar that I printed from Wendaful. Some people like to draw out their yearly calendars by hand, but I find that to be more trouble than it’s worth.
The future log is the first planning spread I have in my bullet journal. Some people are hesitant to try bullet journaling because of the apparent lack of capability to plan for more than a month in advance, so the future log is the solution to this concern that works for me. Six months tends to be enough, but if I have events beyond that, I just put them at the bottom of the last month. In addition, I star any big events that relate to school (like breaks and standardized tests).
This is my monthly spread from August. The “mi” column all the way to the right stands for “miscellaneous”, so this is where I put random notes that I want to easily refer back to in the future and tasks that I want to get done sometime throughout the month - but not necessarily on a specific day. I leave the box underneath that reserved for a “focus word” of the month (so something that I want to concentrate on throughout the month), and August’s focus word happened to be “focus”, since that’s when school started.
The original system’s monthly log is in a list format, but I don’t think of the month like that, so it helps me to make my monthly spreads in this calendar type of format. In addition, I use washi tape to make page tabs to flip to each month more easily.
My daily spreads are the main place where I spend my time in my bullet journal. I try to set them up in the evening, but sometimes I end up making them before or during first period. I add in all of the events, tests, and tasks that I know I’ll need to do, and I add tasks throughout the day. In addition to these things, I also sometimes write in random notes (like maybe something interesting that happened that day) or details about future events.
When I first started bullet journaling in the April of 2016 up until about a month ago, I used a different color scheme and lettering style every day, and I used a black pen for pretty much all of my general writing. However, when this school year started (August 8th for me), I started keeping a consistent theme for every two page spread of daily logs, using more washi tape, and using pens for my general writing that matches the color scheme of the spread. First of all, it just makes my bullet journal prettier, which is nice. Second of all, this streamlines my planning process if I don’t have to worry about using different pens every day.
Lastly, it makes me use more of the huge amount of stationery that I own. I don’t even know the exact number of rolls of washi tape that I own, but I do know that it is an embarrassingly large number. I enjoy buying stationery way too much, and so decorating my daily spreads more than I used to is a good way to utilize more of it. If you want some ideas on easy ways to decorate your bullet journal, then you can check out this blog post I wrote all about the topic. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to make your bullet journal pretty like the ones you see on the internet; the original bullet journal system is very simple and plain, and a good bujo is simply one that serves its owner well.
One of the greatest things about bullet journals is their flexibility to serve as the blank canvas for any of your thoughts, whether it’s sketches/doodles, reference pages, long-form journaling, habit tracking, brainstorming, or really anything else. Probably about half of the pages I use are for these non-planning related collections. A few of these spreads include my school’s bell schedule, monthly habit trackers, monthly memories spreads, planning for school projects, a list of birthdays, and more. If you’re a student, I suggest checking out this blog post I wrote about how to use your bullet journal if you’re in school.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my bullet journal! If you want to see more of it, be sure to check out my blog and Instagram. However, like I said earlier, don’t put any pressure to make your own bujo look like mine; a bullet journal is as unique as its user. Nonetheless, it is 100% okay to draw inspiration from others (as long as you’re not drawing comparisons).
Do you also bullet journal? Let me know in the comments down below!