Before we dive in, I’d like to thank Ryder for developing this amazing system over the
years and sharing it with the world. I am honored to be sharing a glimpse into my Bullet Journal with you today and so grateful for the opportunity to share how I have made it my own.
My Bullet Journal Story
Before the Bullet Journal system came into my life, I was one of those people with
countless old planners laying around half-used and full of blank pages. I never truly
found a system that worked for me until now.
I have always been a list-maker and I love to put pen to paper. If you had looked at my
desk a few months ago, you would have found piles of loose papers, notebooks,
calendars, and post-it notes. I knew that there had to be a way to wrangle them all into a manageable system. I went on a massive Pinterest search and discovered the beautiful
Bullet Journal pictures and blog posts that abound there. I was hooked.
What I Love About My Bullet Journal
My absolute favorite thing about my Bullet Journal is it’s flexibility. In the past, I would feel incredibly guilty for leaving blank pages in my planners and would inevitably just stop using them. I now have the freedom to use as much or as little space as I need on any given day. Each page is a new blank canvass ready to absorb whatever thoughts, notes, tasks, doodles, or musings come to me that day.
I am a traditionalist when it comes to my key. I love the simplicity of the bullet points to signify my tasks each day. Putting an “x” or arrow through those bullet points is incredibly satisfying to me.
is the back-bone to my system and the one thing that has made my Bullet Journal the perfect system for me. I finally have a way to keep all of my notes organized within one notebook instead of multiple sheets of paper on my desk.
In addition to the front index
, I developed a color-coding system on the last page of my notebook. At a glance, I can easily flip to pages related to key areas of my life: Blog, Travel, Projects, Finances, Food, Health & Goals.
I used Ryder’s original monthly log
layout at first, but quickly discovered that I was running out of room to list all of my appointments, particularly on busy days. I switched this up in October and developed a layout with morning/afternoon/evening sections and a smaller column for my monthly goals. This is also one of the only ways that I color code my Bullet Journal.
My future planning spread is basically just a way for me to track important dates like birthdays and holidays. For more detailed events like appointments and travel plans I keep a shared iCal calendar with my husband so that we always know each others’ schedules.
At the beginning of each month I reference our shared calendars and fill in the details.
The daily pages are the heart and soul of my Bullet Journal. I do not necessarily migrate uncompleted tasks each and every day. As long as the open tasks are all on my current spread, I leave them there. I look at my entire current spread as one giant to-do list.
Once I flip over to a new page, I go back and either migrate or cross off tasks that have become irrelevant.
One of my favorite parts of bullet journaling is the ability to add in lists and collections
. Sometimes it is a simple list like “books to read” or notes on a project I’m working on. Other times I get very creative with doodles and hand-lettered quotes to make the page really stand out.
My monthly habit tracker is one of the most visited pages in my Bullet Journal. I developed this tracker as a way to eliminate writing repetitive tasks on my daily pages. I love to look back on this tracker at the end of every month. It’s a great tool for self assessment and reflection.
How to Bullet Journal Like Kara
When: Daily planning is a big part of my night-time routine. About 30 minutes before
bed, all of the electronics go off and I spend some quiet time with my Bullet Journal.
- Sometimes I will journal a short blurb about my day or write down a few things that I
am grateful for.
- I turn to my habit tracker and fill in everything that I accomplished that day.
- I write out the following day’s header on the next available line.
- I carefully look over any open tasks and decide if they are still worth my time. If they
are, I migrate them to the following day. If not, I cross them out or move them to
- I glance at my monthly spread and fill in the next day’s appointments/events.
- In the morning, I review the tasks that I need to get done and come up with a plan for
- Throughout the day I record any notes, conversations, to-do’s, or new lists as they
I also schedule in a mega-planning day near the end of each month. This planning day
includes reflection on the previous month and goal setting for the month ahead.
- Leuchttturm1917 Notebook (Medium A5, Dot Grid)
- Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen (Fine, 0.5mm)
- Staedtler Triples Fineliners (0.3mm)