Loads of individual lists, an agenda, a creative outlet: A Bullet Journal (BuJo) is something that you create yourself. Flow’s intern Suzanne starts 2020 with a whole load of empty pages and looks at how she can fill them.
Let’s talk about trackers. Every morning I have a quick shower, eat some yogurt with cruesli and leave on time to catch the 8:30 am train. I swim on Monday and Wednesday evenings and on Friday nights, I see my friends. Week in, week out. Because doing the same things gives me peace of mind.
I love routine, and I want my Bullet Journal to become part of mine. My very first one, however, went wrong. I started with good intentions, but because I wasn’t used to sitting down to it at set times, the pages filled up less and less.
Quite a few Bullet Journals later, I now manage to keep up with it regularly. Tuesday evenings and Saturdays, I set time aside for it as standard. First, I use pencil, then I trace the lines with fine-liner and then I decorate the pages with paper, stickers and washi tape. I follow the same steps time and time again.
Even the order in my BuJo is guaranteed. I split it into months: first the agenda and then my trackers. With those, I keep track of my habits, expenses and (change of) moods. The good thing about this is that you can always look back to see if you have made progress. For example, I look at my expenses for July last year and see that this was my most expensive month due to two vacations. To save costs, I will travel less this year. Even though that means deviating from my routine.
The nice thing about a habit tracker is that you decide what it will look like and what you want to keep up with. At first, I tracked ten habits, but that didn’t work. It’s better to keep a list like this short so that you don’t lose the overview. I’ve now chosen five useful habits that I like to keep up with. For example, I see how often I have exercised per month and whether I have eaten enough fruit.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or working, keeping track of your expenses is always handy. And with an expense tracker, you don’t write everything down in your housekeeping book, but in your BuJo. Make a note of what you spend your money on so that you can see, for example, whether you have spent lots on meals out. At the end of the month you add up the expenses and you’ll have a good overview of all your outgoings.
With a mood tracker you keep track of your changes in mood. Pinterest has endless ideas for designing a mood tracker. You could work with a graph or choose a theme—such as a tree with colored leaves, for example. I use a different color for every mood. For example, I think the yellow-brown colors fit well with the kraft paper that you see in the photo below. For me, this tracker works best on a per-month basis, because I find it irritating to have to thumb back to a 12-month mood tracker on a daily basis.
Text Suzanne Kuijvenhoven, Translation Julia Gorodecky, Photography Floor van Koert