Are you a busy momma looking for ideas to help organize and manage your life? This completely customizable planner can be an extremely valuable tool when it comes to organizing your life and increasing your productivity.
I am a Google Calendar fan for life! I absolutely love having my calendar at my finger tips any and everywhere I go.
With that being said, I 100% can appreciate the genius that is bullet journaling.
I was first introduced to bullet journaling many months ago and was intrigued by the idea of containing my organization and ideas all into one convenient spot.
I am in love with all things organization and anything to do with increasing productivity. And to have it all packed into a very portable book?!?!?
I’m in it to win it, ya’ll!!!
Potential problem? I have zero artistic ability.
All of that went to my little sister and youngest brother.
But take heart, dear friend. You can still do this even if, like me, you struggle to draw a straight line. (No, seriously. I can’t really draw a straight line. That’s why they have rulers ya’ll!!)
So, let’s jump into all the things organization and bullet journaling.
What is a bullet journal?
Bullet Journaling, also called a Bu Jo ( I don’t know who thinks this stuff up, honestly!), is a notebook you can utilize as an organizational system for note taking or journaling.
It’s called a bullet journal as, at it’s core, bullets are the information delivery method of choice. They are an easy way to get information down as well as to reference.
What are the benefits of using a bullet journal?
- Bullet journals are easy to set up. Your journal can be as simple as a series of to-do lists. Nothing complicated needed. If you have a pen, an hour or so, and an idea of what you want to start tracking– you’re off to the races!
- Bullet journals are a self contained and easy option to keep yourself organized. Most journals are about 5″ x 8″ a great size for throwing in your purse, or tucking under your arm when you are out and about. And everything is all together in one centralized spot.
- Very budget friendly option. There are tons of great journal options and none of them should break the bank. I’ve seen $5 options all the way up to $25 options. A terrific investment on something you can use for many, many months.
- 100% customizable to your needs. A new journal is literally a blank slate. You can make it 100% customized to your needs.
- Great for tracking lists and goals. One of the difficulties I always struggle with is keeping all my lists and notes together, organized and accessible and this addresses each of those.
- Great for motivation. Looking to drink more water? Read more books this year? Save for vacation? Utilizing your journal can help keep you motivated by tracking progress as well as keeping an easy to reference record.
- Boosts productivity. Have 100 things to do, but you aren’t sure what to do first? Or next? Creating a running to-do list can help you stay on top of pending tasks to make sure you are are making progress through those never ending lists.
- A great (& inexpensive) creative outlet. Holy smokes do I stink in the artistic department. BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t have a good time giving it a try. Who doesn’t love using fun colored pens? How about stickers? There are TONS of youtube videos and Pinterest ideas of how you can get creative and personalize your journal.
A Bullet Journal Cheat Sheet & Page Ideas for Moms
Before we jump into all the different journal page ideas, make sure that you don’t forget three key actions you need to take when you are putting your book together.
First: Number all of your pages.
Second: Create an index or table of contents at the front of your book so you can easily reference all the different pages in your journal!
Third: In your index, make sure you annotate any symbols you plan on using for shorthand. I created my own symbols that were intuitive to me, but if you are looking for some BuJo symbol inspo, Zen Of Planning has some great examples.
Now, busy Mamas, here are some quick ideas to get you started:
Schedule + Planning Bullet Journal Ideas
- Year Long Over view: A look at the year ahead and key dates you need to be aware of.
- Monthly Spread: A look at the month ahead.
- The Daily Spread: Your daily schedule/ time blocking for your day
- A Weekly Spread: Your week at a glance
- Birthday List: Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, BFF– track it all here!
- One-Off Planning: Planning a trip? An end of the year school party. Keep track of all the details here.
- Routines: Morning routines, spring cleaning, etc.
- List of deadlines.
Family Bullet Journal Ideas
- After School Schedule
- Special Events. Kids music concerts, field trips, art shows, tap recital, Kindergarten registration date, etc.
- School Supply Lists
- IEP (Individual Education Plan) Meeting Notes
- Needs follow up. A list of things that need to be addressed but don’t belong on a to-do list. i.e. child needs braces in a bout 9 months so need to start looking for an ortho.
- Baby’s feeding schedule.
- Important contacts list.
- Chore lists.
- Life Skills.
Health + Fitness
- Water Consumption: How much water are you really drinking– why not find out?
- Food diary: Ever wanted to know what you eat in a day? Maybe you are worried about food allergies– keep a food diary.
- Self Care
- Exercise Plan
- Class Schedules + Childcare Options (& Cost) for Gyms
- Step Tracker
Home + Maintenance
- To Do List: This is the running list of things I need to get done.
- Meal Planner: One of my favorite ways to save on my groceries is to plan my meals out.
- Grocery List: What you need to buy for the week, month, etc.
- Favorite Recipes: If you have some family favorite recipes, keep track of them here!
- Cleaning Schedule: Whether it’s spring cleaning, changing air filters or simply your weekly cleaning schedule, stay on top of everything.
- Maintenance: Whether it’s for your car or your house, you can plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Grocery price list of commonly purchased items: Where is the cheapest place to get diapers, milk, eggs, etc.
- List of Items Under Warranty + Expiration Dates
- Home Improvements
- A Budget: Keeping tabs on your income and expenses every month.
- Bill Pay Tracker: Tracking what you owe, when it’s due and when you’ve paid it.
- Irregular Expenses: Taxes, car registration, safety inspections, etc. Track them all with amounts and due dates.
- Net worth tracker: How much money are you accumulating every month?
- Debt tracker: Is your overall debt getting smaller?
- Savings tracker: How much money are you really saving every day, week, month, etc.
- Spending Log: What are you spending money on every day?
- Saving for Holidays + Birthdays.
- Taxes. Self- employed = quarterly taxes.
- Dream-Wish Board: Pictures and other media that you want to use to visualize your dreams or wishes for your life.
- Habit Tracker: How successful are you with making new habits for yourself?
- Quote Page: Favorite quotes that really resonate with you and you want to ensure that you hold onto.
- Short Term + Long Term Goals: A goal is easier to achieve when you know where you need to focus. Whether you want to learn to play the guitar to to save up for a new house– writing down your goals is a great place to get started.
- Wish Lists.
- Gift ideas.
- Mind Dump. Whatever is on your mind. Worries, concerns, things to follow up– it’s literally just getting whatever miscellaneous thought out of your head and onto paper to do something with.
- Books to Read.
- Restaurants & Places You Want to visit: When you read or hear about new places to eat or cities you want to visit, keep track of them all in one spot.
- Netflix Binge-watch queue: Shows you should watch when you’re finished with your current show.
- New Release Movies
- Upcoming Albums or Concerts
Travel + Trips
- Summer bucket list: Fun things to do with your kids over the summer.
- Vacation Planning: Airfares, hotel reservations, trip confirmation numbers, points of contact, etc.
- Best Days to Travel or Visit.
- List of Destinations You Want to Visit
List of Super Basic Must Have Bullet Journal Supplies to Get Started
Disclaimer: Straight out the gate– I’m a thrifty Momma and have like negative time to waste so this is a super basic list of things I used to organize my life with my bullet journal.
If you are looking for a super creative, art-to-the-max bullet journals please check out Little Coffee Fox. She has got lots of great tips for more creative types and great recommendations for other types of products like: watercolors, brushes, and calligraphy pens. All it is so beyond my ability, but it is full of so much pretty!
With all that, let’s jump into getting supplies to get started!
There are tons of options for bullet journal notebooks, they can come blank, lined, square or as a dot grid notebook.
Dot Grid Notebook. I personally prefer the dot grid as it makes it quite easy for you to create bullet lists, graphs, calendars etc. with those dots as guidelines to keep all your text and lines organized and neatly together! However, depending on how you want to use your journal, you may choose another option.
Quality of the notebook. Your journal will be a daily use item and you want it to hold up well. So making sure it has a solid binding, heavier weight paper so you don’t need to worry about your pen bleeding through to the other side of the page.
Mine gets crammed in my purse and doused with goldfish crumbs on the regular and still going like a champ, so if you are going to spend the money get something that can stand the test of children.
You can get crazy creative and fancy with your Bullet Journal if that’s your jam or you can keep it super minimalistic– it’s 100% your prerogative.
There are a few basic items you’ll need whichever direction you decide to take. I’ve listed some of my favorites below!
This is a super popular notebook and the one that I personally use. For about half the price of the ever popular Leuchtturm 1917 notebook I really like this budget friendly and minimalistic option.
This notebook comes with the option to purchase as plain, lined, squared, or dotted versions.
It’s hard backed and comes with 192 pages (96 sheets) of excellent quality, thick paper!
Felt tips pens are my obsession.
I’ve been obsessed with them since my 5th grade teacher started correcting all my writing with them (twisted I know). So…. it’s been a minute, but non the less, my obsession persists.
Lots of great color options, relatively inexpensive and they write really well. Bonus– not crazy expensive.
So, I may have mentioned that I am art-challenged. I can whip up a super sexy spreadsheet for you in no time flat, but holy smokes, please don’t ask me to draw something. I will leave you with nothing but the bitter taste of disappointment.
I’ve made peace with this and subsequently turned to stencils to pick up the slack.
I love this multi pack. I’ll be honest, I don’t use them all, but there’s such a variety on here and the price point is on point (Badumpsh!) So, it’s an easy win for me.
Putting it All Together
We’ve talked about what a bullet journal is, why you would want to bullet journal in your life, ways a bullet journal can help you get your $#!^ together and what budget friendly basics you need to get started. Whew!
The next step is to simply get started!
When I did the deep dive into bullet journaling I went down the rabbit hole a bit and if I’m honest, felt a little intimidated about the breadth and depth of how far you can go with this.
But, after sitting with it, I realized this is simply another tool to accomplish a few of my goals.
And when focused on through that lens, there was less pressure and more motivation to just get started and tweak it as I went.
I’m still tweaking and will probably continue learning and making changes.
I find better ways to build something out. Another way to track a different facet of my life. And more importantly another super portable tool to help me tame the chaos in this mom life I’m leading.
Have you started with Bullet Journaling? I’d love to hear from you how this has worked for you or if you have any tips and tricks!
Please comment below.