bullet journal rehashed

Before I dive into this follow-up post, I wanted to share with you this sunrise that I enjoyed the other morning. Brisbane has been blessed with some stunning winter weather at the moment. It’s making me dislike the cold less.


As promised, this is the breakdown of my personal bullet journal. I’m going to make a confession: I haven’t been using the bullet journal system in my personal life for a few months now. Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. I’ve been bogged down in work-related tasks that my personal life has been left in some disarray. Well, I’ve relied solely in digitising my personal organisation, simply because I’m constantly attached to my iPhone. I restarted my bullet journal mid-June, and I’m making a conscious effort to go back to pen and paper. I realised that analogue forces me to slow down, which is definitely what I need. It also helps my poor old dying memory and aids in disconnecting from media.

Anyhoo, I’ve made some modifications in my bullet journal key. I’ve seen a few posts on social media sites of people using my bullet journal key. It’s certainly very flattering to know that people have adopted it to their planning and organisation. I’ve also seen a few posts/pins of my habit/chore tracking, too, which is nice. I’ve also realised that I can’t stop people from using my ideas and claiming it as their own. Unfortunately, it’s one fo those irritating/frustrating quibbles of the internet. I’m a fairly reserved person, and in a past life, I can also be very nasty if you piss me off, but luckily, I’m beyond that now. So I’m only going to say this here once and go back to my quiet life: I enjoy sharing my ideas, and I’m fully aware that bullet journalling is the brain child of Ryder Carroll. I’m not discouraging readers to stop sharing my ideas, but just please acknowledge that it is my idea when you repost/repin, even if you reproduce the key in your own handwriting in your own bullet journal system. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Where was I? Oh yes, my bullet journal modifications. I mentioned in the ‘you asked for it‘ post that I’m now using the TDW (aka a version of the MTN). I was trawling through my Instagram feed back in June and came across a photo of my pocket Moleskine planner in 2012, so I took a screenshot of it.

planner 2012

I remember taking this picture and realising that my planning system prior to my masters degree just wasn’t going to be good enough to withstand the deluge of research and clinical work. It was probably a month after this picture was taken when I ditched the pocket Moleskine 18-month planner that I had been purchasing religiously for 4 years. I discovered the bullet journal during the last 6 months of my degree, and it literally saved my a@#$!

Now that my life has gone back to relatively normal, I’m finding that I’m having to use the bullet journal system less and less. There were days when I’d write the date and that was it. It became more useful in my work life (blog post to follow), hence the transition to the iPhone. When I saw my Instagram picture last month, I decided to start integrating a similar format to the TDW inserts. I haven’t been very active on the bullet journal groups, so I’m sure there are already users out there doing this exact same thing. I guess I’m just very late hopping onto that wagon ;)

I’ve returned to the grid paper (how I’ve missed it!) in the TDW inserts, with the left page set up as the weekly spread. The right hand side are my weekly tasks and (usually daily) notes. I don’t use the circle bullet anymore to signify events because I just write those down in the weekly spread. Below is a mock-up of my modified bullet journal system:

mock spread

This is my new bullet journal key:

bullet journal mods

Tasks remain the same, and I’ve placed the arrow in the box for migrated tasks. I’ve also made annotations for my notes (i.e. icons), which are self-explanatory in the picture. The new addition is the hashtag.

In social media, the hashtag is used to sort posts into similar topics, and I use this in a similar way. I use the hashtag against tasks required to complete a project (e.g. wedding plans, blog posts, etc.) to transfer to a collection, and I also use it against notes so that I can write it in my lists collection (e.g. reading list, good restaurants, websites, blogs, etc.). I will normally highlight the hashtags after I’ve written them in the corresponding collections. I started using this because sometimes I just want to find a cafe/restaurant details quickly, and really couldn’t be bothered flicking through pages and pages to find it. I know that I can probably just use the icons in the margins to identify which collection it needs to go to, but there’s something more streamline to using the hashtag. I’m sure that I’ll probably drop the icons, if I get sick of them enough in the next few months ;)

I’ve forgone the monthly lists mentioned in my ‘bullet journalling… six months on‘  post. Instead, I have a master list kept in a separate grid notebook to my bullet journal. It’s mainly tasks with the date written in the margin. You’ll also notice that I’m not using the GTD @contexts anymore – this is purely so that I can fit everything on one line haha

I’m now in week three of this version of the bullet journal, and it is working a treat :)

I hope this post has been useful and I’d love to hear from the community how they are going with their bullet journal systems.


Instagram: dee15martinez

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11 thoughts on “bullet journal rehashed

  1. I love the sunrise!
    I’ve started using a bullet journal but with some twists. I tried to send a picture but all of the Internet parts weren’t playing nicely together. I’ll put them on Pinterest.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  2. Dear DM,

    I hope that you still to share your experiment since

    1) I love your handwriting
    2) You always are a big inspiration for me ^^

    p.s. for the #onebookjuly2014 I move my bullet journal on a 18 moleskine, if you want some inspiration follow me on instangram! ^^

  3. I really enjoy deriving inspiration from your organization systems and bullet journalling.
    I think a lot of the ideas have been out there before, but you definitely add your own style and flair. For example, the habit tracker is originally credited to Benjamin Franklin who tracked strove towards building his character through daily habits.

  4. I have been digging around on the reading all sorts of posts on Bullet Journaling. This may be obvious to most of your readers, but could you tell me what TDW and MTN are?

  5. What a beautiful bullet journal! Such an inspiration. Can you clarify what GTD @contexts are?

    Can’t wait I start my first bullet journal next month.

    1. Thanks Angelina! The GTD @contexts is to make reference to where that task belongs to. So @home will be a task specific to home that I need to complete.

      Good luck with your bullet journal journey and thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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