A little over a month ago, I decided to run another bullet journal to parallel the one I was already using. I used a large reporter style Moleskine grid notebook for this parallel bullet journal. I was growing frustrated with the inflexibility of the Piccadilly notebook that I was using, and I found that I was gluing in pages which consequently added more weight to the notebook – a big con for me since I have neck and back problems, so try to keep my everyday carrybag weight to a minimum. Now, Moleskine notebooks can cost an arm and a leg here in Australia. The current reporter style notebook set me back AUD$33 and I haven’t found anywhere that sells these notebooks for any less within Australia. So, I was determined to make this reporter style notebook work, come hell or high water!
If you’re not familiar with the Moleskine reporter style notebooks, the only difference between these and the traditional notebooks, is that the spine is on the shorter edge of the paper and flips like a notepad. Oh and the elastic is on the opposite short edge.
When I purchased it, a rush of layout possibilities came into mind. I toggled between two – horizontal and vertical. Below is the horizontal layout I used.
I divided each page into two columns and then wrote my tasks, notes, etc. from the left most column on the left side of the spread all the way to the right. I thought about using three or even four columns for daily tasks, but it would mean too much setting up, and I like keeping things simple.
Below is the vertical layout I used for my monthly tasks
Setting up my monthly tasks like this just made sense, you know? I inevitably decided to set up my daily tasks like this as well (see below).
So what have I learned about this little exercise (besides spending too much time transcribing tasks from one bullet journal to another)? To be honest, I found the essentially longer length of the page a bit cumbersome, especially when you had to start from the top of a new page. This was a soft cover notebook, so it was easy enough to flip the pages over onto itself. In saying that though, I really started to enjoy planning on grid paper again. I’ve missed the flexibility of it when I feel like I need a bit of a change. Plus, I found myself sketching more in this notebook and using mind maps to brainstorm product and blog ideas. Will I continue to use the reporter style?
Probably not. I love the flexibility of the grid paper, but the notebook itself just didn’t suit me for ease of planning. I don’t like wasting paper, so writing on one side of the page just wouldn’t sit well with me. The longer pages, also not for me. I’ve retired this notebook and am currently using it for handlettering practice. I was gifted some Moleskine cahiers a couple of years ago and decided to dig these up from the trenches, so this is now my current bullet journal system. Life has currently become very busy as well, so I treated myself to an A5 leather compendium using my Etsy profits, to house my bullet journal cahier and all the different documents and papers that I need to carry around with me.
So what planning hacks have your tried lately? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?