With a little bit of a heavy heart, I made the decision to abandon my bullet journal for 2020. It wasn’t an easy decision, because deep down in my heart, I love the bullet journal approach, but I came to one eye-opening conclusion last year: when I used it, it worked great, but the truth is, I didn’t use it consistently.
I loved having the freedom of using every new blank page as I pleased, but I often got behind in creating my weekly layouts, then felt like I had to “catch up” on the weeks that I had missed. I know, this is completely NOT the point of a bullet journal, but having a journal with missing “time periods” made me more anxious than a dated planner that I didn’t fill out for a few weeks (if that makes sense). Yes, you guessed it: I am a bit of a perfectionist. Which can be good and bad.
I am not ready to give up on bullet journals completely, but when the new year was approaching I had to make a very quick decision: do I want to try and keep up the bullet journal or should I cave and buy that pretty (and might I add, very affordable!) planner* I saw at Home Goods?
Well, I decided to buy the planner at Home Goods and use this dated planner in 2020 to establish a more sustainable (for me) routine in using it again. I understand now that I put a bit too much pressure on myself, thinking that I had to create elaborate layouts or trackers or whatnot, even though I know better. I mean, I talked about it previously how you have to make your bullet journal work for you, how you don’t have to use trackers, if you don’t want to, that you don’t have to embellish your pages like crazy to be successful at bullet journaling. But of course, my perfectionism got the best of me.
Or should I say, my desire to do everything 200%? (Insert eye-roll at myself.)
It’s a slow process, friends, but I am learning to let go a little at a time.
The inside of my new planner looks like a lot of basic planners. I fell in love with the pretty cover and the spiral binding. You must know, before I started with bullet journals two years ago, I was a die-hard fan of the Inkwell Press planners. I loved that planner, the spiral binding and the muted color schemes. Unfortunately, they switched their planners to a disc-bound planner system in 2018 and I am just not a fan of the discs (insert sad face). I can’t really explain why, but they are too “bulky” to me. That’s why I gave bullet journaling a try for the last two years.
Well, my new planner has spiral binding and a muted pastel color scheme, so that was part of what sold me on going back to this basic planner. I also really like the simple page layout. I am not crazy about bold colors and too many embellishments. Here’s my new planner’s layout for March. I love the monthly tabs and that each month starts with an inspirational quote.
The monthly overview is great for some general planning.
So far, the weekly layout has provided enough room for all the things I wanted to write down and track, and it even had space to attach my weekly training plan at the top.
I do miss – on a theoretical level – the blank pages of my bullet journal, but every month has a couple of empty notes pages in the back, for anything extra I might have to write down, and so far that has provided me enough space. I don’t really ‘journal’ in my planner, so if I am honest with myself, I don’t really “need” more than a couple of completely blank pages.
And then, there is a double-sided pocket insert in the front that holds my geometric template ruler and some stickers. Very convenient. The only thing this planner misses is a bookmark, but I repurposed a bookmark from an old (Inkwell Press) planner, because it fits the spiral binding. (You can see it poke out just a little on the top there.) Win-win.
So yeah, so far this planner has absolutely served its purpose and I have been using it consistently since the beginning of January, which I am really happy about. I don’t really need a (paper) planner for work (we’re all using Outlook Calendar at my office), so this is strictly a planner for personal stuff (although I will write down field work or other out-of-office work-related appointments).
I am tracking workouts, water intake, and meal planning in my planner, and write down weekend plans and appointments (although I’ll put those in my calendar app on my phone as well, because I love setting reminders.)
So, there you have it. Let’s see if I can keep this up.
Do you bullet journal or use a regular planner? Or are you all digital at this point?
* #notanad, This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated by the brand or anyone else for linking the websites.