How the Bullet Journal Helps Me Stay Organized

How the Bullet Journal Helps Me Stay Organized

Photo by Jan Kahanek,

My Bullet Journal Approach

I started keeping a Bullet Journal 18 months ago, and it has made a tremendous difference in my ability to stay organized, both personally and professionally. I started it the weekend before my eldest daughter entered kindergarten, and had my BuJo in place for several months before embarking on my watercolor painting endeavor on Etsy.

I started off by reading up on the principles of the Bullet Journal system, then sought out blogs and pins that showed how different people set up their BuJo.  The great thing about this system is that you figure out what features work well for you, and adapt your journal accordingly.  For example, I found that I didn’t really use or need the Future Log, since I keep my various appointments and events in a Google Calendar (which I can access on the go).  I was inspired to create my own version of a Habit Tracker to encourage and inspire myself to get various things done (walk the dog regularly, do laundry daily, take vitamins, etc). Each month, I would add or subtract habits that were either unimportant or now a regular part of my routine.

How I Use the BuJo System

I’m not an effortlessly organized, planner-keeping type of person, but this Bullet Journal system works well for me.  I don’t use it to manage my everyday life, but I do use it to keep an ongoing list of tasks that need to be done… No more partially completed to-do lists on scraps of paper – it’s all in my journal!  I keep notes on various aspects of my Blue Jay Bay business development, and add the topics and page numbers to my index at the front of the journal. For example, when I’m considering what subjects to paint, I open up my BuJo to the index / table of contents and easily find the different pages where I brainstormed art design ideas weeks and months ago.  Another example is when I am in the initial stages of planning a vacation, I can jot down resources and travel advice to access as we get closer to our trip.

Bullet Journal BuJo Supplies BlueJayBay Moleskine Staedtler FriXion Washi Post-It

My Favorite Supplies

If you think the Bullet Journal system might be just the thing you need to keep your thoughts, to-do lists, and notes about life or work or projects, here’s a handy list of the products I use for my BuJo (all represented in the picture, above):

  • Moleskine classic notebook: mine is a size large (5 x 8.25″) with a purple hard cover, and filled with square grid pages. I love the stretchy elastic closure, and the cover has held up very nicely.
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens: if you like to color code or just add a pop of color in your writing, these pens come in various quantity packs with LOTS of colors! I like that they have very fine points (0.33mm) and don’t dry out if left with the cap off.
  • Pilot FriXion erasable gel pens: I’ve owned these pens for two months and they are a game changer! I prefer pens over pencils, but the chintzy erasable pens of my childhood just aren’t nice to use… Enter these erasable gel pens, in a range of colors! I love that I can take notes and erase as needed. It doesn’t leave any eraser fragments but uses friction to remove the pen marks. One important thing to note about these pens is that they are not archival (obviously, since you can erase them!) and they can become faded / erased with hot temperatures (so don’t leave your notebook in a hot car or take a blow drier to it).
  • Post-It tabs and flags: I have used these sticky, easily removable and reusable tabs and flags for years. They come in lots of colors and several sizes. The flags are pretty flexible and the tabs are a bit more rigid. I use them in my Bullet Journal to bookmark pages that I want easily accessible.
  • Washi tape: I used washi tape sparingly to add a pop of color or an interesting pattern to my BuJo, sketchbooks, notebooks, etc. It’s a fun and easy way to personalize your stuff!

* this post contains affiliate links to Amazon, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something – thanks 🙂

Welcome + photos of scenic Casco Bay

Welcome to my new site, Blue Jay Bay!

I’ve started this blog to share snippets of my creative pursuits. My interests include gardening, cooking, photography, and bird watching, plus I am currently focusing on watercolor painting techniques. In addition, I’ll occasionally take on an embroidery or sewing project. I like to dip my toes into many endeavors, and I have various unfinished projects… But that’s ok! I am a scientist by training, having studied and worked in the fields of botany, ecology, horticulture, molecular biology, forensic science, cartography, and geospatial sciences. I’m currently a stay-at-home mother to two sweet little girls.

I have chosen to name my creative blog Blue Jay Bay because I love the color blue, I think blue jays are beautiful, and I feel most peaceful when near the water. Plus it rhymes.

Here is a selection of water scenes I have photographed in and around Casco Bay in Maine, in no particular order. They are minimally processed – my editing is limited to contrast and color balancing.

Misty morning on the bay, 8/16/2007; Maine

8/16/2007: Misty morning sunrise on the bay; Casco Bay, Maine

7/14/2011: Moonrise and a lovely reflection over Casco Bay; Chebeague Island, Maine

7/15/2013: Picturesque little cove and island at low tide; Harpswell, Maine

7/18/2013: A seagull nicknamed “Flower Petal” enjoys a rocky perch; Bailey Island, Maine

7/11/2011: Patriotic view off the bow of the CTC ferry; Casco Bay, Maine

7/14/2011: Lovely sun ray striation in the clouds; Chebeague Island, Maine

8/16/2007: Here comes the Maquoit II; Casco Bay, Maine

7/15/2011: Pink moon on the rise, with lovely pink reflection on Casco Bay; Chebeague Island, Maine

7/10/2010: Purple sunset + fog makes for a beautiful scene on Casco Bay; Chebeague Island, Maine

7/23/2011: The sky was grand this morning (our last day on the island for who knows how long); Chebeague Island, Maine

7/15/2010: Strong reflection off the bay; Casco Bay, Maine

8/16/2007: Trying to get my ducks in a row; Casco Bay, Maine

7/4/2009: Rainbow over Crow Island; Chebeague Island, Maine

8/16/2007: Lobster boat on the move on a hazy day on Casco Bay; Casco Bay, Maine

8/16/2007: The sun has risen; Casco Bay, Maine

Please note that all images on this site are copyrighted by me. Do not use my images without permission. All images © 2004-2015 Blue Jay Bay.


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