I bit the bullet

9:00 AM

I decided to give this whole bullet journaling thing a try this year, mostly because I had a massive crush on that cute notebook in my neighbourhood stationery shop and didn't want to go for yet another boring looking executive planner (I just about had enough of those way too safe leafy designs  in shade of green and beige).
Plus, after working with an "hybrid system" in my 2016 planner, I felt a bit limited still. I realised that the only way I could get a planning system that worked for me was if I built my own. The worse that can happen is that it doesn't work out and i make a switch back to a regular planner, so yeah, I pretty much have nothing to loose.

I went with a regular soft cover bound notebook from the Indian brand "Look what happened", as I said, because it really looked cute in my stationery shop (I get notebooks crushes often). This particular cutie can be bought on Amazon as well, be sure to check their other designs as well, they are all drool worthy (if you are a notebook addict).

Now I KNOW that the bullet journal lot seems to swear by Moleskine or Leuchtturm notebooks. If you live in Europe and US they are still affordable EVEN if they already fall in the higher end prices. In India it is downright RIDICULOUS. Moleskine notebooks prices start at around 800 rupees for a small size notebook and Leuchtturm ones fall in the 2700 -3500 rupees depending on the type of paper and the colour of the cover.
Sorry but no thanks! There is really not much to justify that kind of prices when there are plenty of very affordable and good quality options in the domestic market be it soft cover or hard cover.
The only problem with Indian brands is that they haven't yet caught on the whole "dotted" paper trend which comes in between ruled paper and squared paper. This could be the only thing that could motivate one for going for these high priced import if they are into a lot of sketching in their journal.

I myself keep a creative journal on the side, so having a dotted, or even blank paper planner made no sense. The one I use has thick quality paper and is ruled.

The first section of my planner is the : Year at glance section.

I made it fit on 4 pages (3 months per page) and wrote the month on a little strip of washi tape to add some colour.
This section will contain all the things that have been planned long in advance (long before we reached the month in question). I'll use this section to fill my Month at a glance page each time I create one (more on that later).

Right after the "Year at glance" section I created a "Blog Monthly stats" page.

This is what I felt very limited about in my 2016 planner, I had to write them in a corner of my "1st of the months page" and each time I wanted to compare a month to another I found myself leaving through the entire planner. Having them all on one page (front and back) makes much more sense. I lift these stats of my Google Analytics every month.

Another page that I really needed in my old planner was a "Goal page". Something I think all modern planners should have instead of that ridiculous bunch of pages telling you about all the ISD phone codes, measure conversion formulas and clothing sizes around the world or even the BMI chart. We have Google for all of this people!

Now that my rant is over, back to the goal page, it will contain all my monthly goals as I go. I used to write them on the 1st of the month page as well, and then forget about them because going back to that page really became annoying as the month progressed. Here I will again have it all at one glance, I hope this will hold me a bit more accountable to them.

Then comes the "Month at glance" page. This one is one I will create every last evening of the month for the next month.
This is the place where all those plans made for the month in the current month will go. On the 30th or 31st of each month I'll take time to make my new monthly spread and add all the events from the "Year at glance" section along with the ones that are more immediate.

On that monthly spread, I wrote a very simple little calendar on top, and then allocated 3 lines per day  below.
I even added a little box for the already planned "next month" events.

Last but not least, I wrote a little list of possible blog topics for the month (on the left) and started my daily planner.
As you can see it contains my to-do list and events listed in the "Month at glance". To make it easier for me to spot the blog posts planned for the day I wrote them in green. I added a column on the left to keep track of my cash expenses (I was already doing it in 2016).

Now for the big impressive bit you have no idea about : I am typing these words on November 25th 2016! All the pictures above have been taken in November and the spread and design was done in October (that's the Swiss genes at work).
As you can see, this very blog post is scheduled for January 2nd and yes it went live on that date. The instant I hit "Publish" to schedule it, I added a line in my planner saying "Going live @ 9am" Which is usually the time I publish scheduled post because by then I have enough tea in the system to do the promoting bit just right.

As we progress into 2017 I probably will have little updates on how I handle my Bullet Journal system.
In the meantime, if this is too advanced planning for you, why not download my 2017 Calendar printable? Or even just the January page which I published yesterday? 

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  1. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Meticulous planning. what is bounce rate?


    1. The bounce rate is the amount of visit that were spent without clicking on any other page on the blog. For blogs a bounce rate of 70-75% is pretty normal because it's typically the type of websites where you don't click around a whole lot and just read what you came to read and maybe just click on a few tabs or internal links.

      This is still the kind of stats to record, as those numbers are often asked by potential collaborators and sponsors. A site where people are engaged enough to click links is always preferred.


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