I love my bullet journal, but I don’t use it as a planner. Instead I use the Google Calendar system – with widgets for my android phone and tablet.
What if you don’t… Should you still use your bullet journal as a planner, the way the system suggests, or should you have separate planner as well?
In my opinion there is no reason to write all your dates in your bullet journal. There are very good planners out there that can be adapted to the bullet journal system without too much fuss.
Well – you start with a weekly date book that has the week on one page and a note-page on the facing page. That means you can take your notes and keep track of your to-do lists per week – and (if you want) even per day.
Note that Moleskine also creates a planner. It has the usual weekly spread: 7 days spread over two pages. Their weekly notebooks have the week on one page and a note-page facing it. That’s the format you want for your bullet-journal-date-book.
You can still use the monthly overview pages the way the bullet journal system suggests. You can still carry over to-do-s from one week to the next. You can still number your pages and create an index in the back of the planner.
And bonus: you get stickers!
But here are the main items from the Bullet Journal system adapted to a weekly Moleskine planner:
- Index: Use the last empty pages in your planner for your index.
- Key for your Symbols: use the first empty page in your date book.
- Daily log / weekly log: just merge them into one.
- Monthly log: use the monthly overview pages that weekly planners inevitably have.
- Future Log: Use the Yearly overview pages that weekly planners usually have.
In short: I really don’t recommend the Bullet Journal proper as your calendar system. The bullet journal should help you get organised. It should NOT waste your time and that’s what you’d be doing if you were going to create a calendar out of a notebook from scratch. I have always felt undated planners were a waste of time and this is worse!
Of course if you are the kind of person, like me, who has so many ideas to tend to that a planner just doesn’t have enough room – you should by all means have two bullet journals:
- Your planner / bullet journal ( Moleskine weekly planner). Take it with you on the road. It will hold your appointments, to-do lists and on the road brainstorms.
- Your overflow bullet journal. It will hold ideas, sketches, mind maps, notes and everything else. Keep it at work or at home. Any notebook will do, but many people like the Moleskine Pro or the leuchtturm1917 (shown here). The latter is slightly more expensive, but it also has slightly better paper.
Both are available in dotted grid paper, have room for an index, the pages are already numbered, at least one ribbon and they have a pocket in the back.
You can reference back and forth between the two. The bullet journal PLANNER is the one I’d recommend as your base. The overflow bullet journal is for everything that doesn’t fit into the planner.
And remember: the result does not have to be pretty! Just legible and useful. It’s a help for you. You’re not there to keep IT happy.