When I first started my journey with LisaMaj I always knew that notebooks would be one of my favourite things to make and design. I already had a love affair with notebooks so it was as natural as breathing to start my own line of notebooks.
I have always been a collector of beautiful notebooks. I usually have one in my handbag for note taking and a little collection on my bookcase waiting to be used. I would frequent the news-agencies and the boutique book shop looking for another beautiful notebook to add to my collection. Every now and then I would find one that was exceptionally beautiful and bringing it home with me was my greatest joy. Even working in my corporate job (way back before I had babies) I refused to use an exercise book or a standard notepad. I wanted to write in something that was both beautiful and special.
What I didn’t discover though for quite some time was the “Bullet Journal” method. The bullet journal method was created by Ryder Carroll and I highly recommend that if you are serious in starting out your bullet journalling journey, that you read his book. you can purchase it here. Funny looking back now how much that discovery of the humble dot grid page has revolutionised my life as well as my notebooks. I am now in my fourth year of bullet journalling. Each year I add and update the layouts a bit more. At the start I spent so much time working on beautiful cover pages, perfect titles and unique layouts. Now that I have been journalling for several years I find that my style has become so much more minimalistic and a whole heap more functional when it comes to actually planning and achieving what I need to do.
Here are my top 5 tips to successful bullet journaling.
(1) Simple is better than nothing.
I found that if my planned layouts were too time consuming for me to be able to draw up a beautiful spread, ten I tended to put off setting up for the month until I was nearly half way through the month itself. There is no point having complicated and time consuming layouts if it gets the way of productivity. These days I use 1 pen and 1 highlight colour per month. Headings are simple and I even print and stick in my calendar for the month.
(2) Stop comparing your layouts to the ones you see online.
If you are putting off using your bullet journal because every layout that you see on Pinterest is professionally done, then you need to remember that the influencers that produce some of those layouts put sooooo much time and effort into them because that is their business. You do your own thing and what ever you do as long as it works it’s great.
(3) Work your goal planning in 3 monthly sections
I now do a special spread which deep dives into the things that I want to achieve over the next three months. These are broken down into categories. For example, “online” “marketing” “work” “personal” Doing this help me to break down what I need to achieve every month. It turns my bullet journal from a to do list into a very powerful strategy document.
(4) Track your milestones regularly.
When I set up at the start of the year I spend quite a lot of time and pages recording and comparing the growth and improvement from the previous year and compare it with what I want to achieve in the current year. I think this is really important as it gives you some clear markers to look back on and see just how far, (or not) you have come in the year. It’s also a great motivator as you start to see the progress in your goals. It is a very powerful tool.
(5) Choose the right journal
When it comes to journals there are soooo many on the market. I highly recommend that you choose a journal with 100gsm paper or higher. I find that the cheaper journals have very thin paper, and the bleed through can be really unsightly. Especially if you are a heavy pen user. Some pens can bleed right through the page. When I create my journals I actually send out the journals to testers to test as many pens on the paper as possible so that when you use the journal you have a great starting point as to what works really well on the paper. You can find a full range of my journals here.