My First Bullet Journal and Setup

A bullet journal: seems like 90% of the people in my Instagram and YouTube feed has one. After seeing hundreds of pictures and videos of them, I eventually gave in to my curiosity to check out first hand what all the fuss was about.

As you may know, I’ve had various planners throughout the years - different shapes, sizes, levels of customisability, you name it. However, I was never able to fully commit to one. One of the main issues was that I didn’t like having a set space for each day and not much freedom to write anything else in it, so the BuJo system seemed to be the right one for me.

I picked up the Leuchttrum1917 bullet journal for two main reasons: the numbered pages and the dotted grid as knowing myself, I knew that this was the easiest choice to ease myself into it.

I came at it with no prior experience except for what I could see others doing, so I started from scratch without overdoing it.

I think for most people there’s a lot of creativity and effort that can go into how their BuJo looks and when starting out it can be a little intimidating. As much as I love drawing and decorating, I wanted to focus on experimenting with various systems and layouts until I'd find the right one for me, instead of being distracted by the look of it.

Prioritising the function over the form really worked for me, so the main thing I would recommend for starting from scratch is: to go basic. I limited myself to use one black pen one highlighter, and it worked perfectly to not get too distracted while I tried to figure out what exact things I needed in my BuJo to be more productive.

There are many elements that are common for bullet journals, but I knew I wanted to ease myself into the system gradually rather than going all in, to make sure I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. So, I started off with just the barebones and the most simple elements: a monthly calendar as an overview for the month, a general to-do list for things I wanted to accomplish during the month but for which I didn't have a set date or a deadline, and finally the daily planning section.

Although my goal was to keep it simple, I was still adding some sort of flourishes to the dates, and after trying it out for a couple of weeks and kind of being bothered by how untidy it looked, I decided to switch to a plainer layout which now works much better (less distractions for me!).

Something I'm still on the fence about, is having a weekly to-do list. I find it a bit redundant, yet I don't plan my week all at once but day-by-day or a couple of days at a time, so it's useful to have a dedicated space to jot down some of the tasks I want to work on each week.

A vast majority of people also uses some sort of habit tracker, but in my specific case I didn't find it useful nor I thought using it was making me any more consistent than I already was, so I tried it out briefly but decided to abandon it.
However, a tracker I do enjoy using is one to keep record of my graphic design work; I simply write down the name or topic of the project and then track each step from draft to completion.

As I'm writing this post I'm still working towards finding the "perfect" layout for my Bujo, but I can already tell you my productivity has spiked since I started using it, and I'm really happy about it. I would love to share more of it as I go if it is something you'd be interested in seeing here ☺️

Do you have a Bullet Journal, too? How are you liking it?

Ζ’. xx

Let's talk about books! #1 (freebie)

This year I promised myself to get back into books. Don't get me wrong, I never stopped loving books, and reading in general, but with classes and exams I couldn't focus on leisure reading as much as I wanted to.

Since January, I've now read 5 books, which may not seem that much to those of you avid readers, but to me is kind of a big deal, considering that it is probably more than I've read in the past two years - although I'm quite ashamed to admit it.

Now that I have this newfound hobby, I decided to make it even more fun by keeping track of my books both online (I have a Goodreads account, if you want to be friends there!) and in my planner, and I even made a little printable for it.

β†’  click here to download personal size | A5 size β†

I also started to enjoy reviewing them. Of course, I'm by no means qualified to do that, I'm not even sure any of my reviews can actually be called so, but since none of my offline friends is into reading, it's kind of a way to still be able to discuss them. Like a solo book club :P

Anyway, do you keep track of the books you read? And do you enjoy sharing your thoughts on them with the world? β˜Ί I'd love to know!

Ζ’. xx


Workspace Wednesday: Filofax Update

One of my New Year's resolutions is to keep up with my Filofax and continue to be as organized as possible. It worked out pretty well, against all odds, last year, so I'm hoping to get even better now that I have a little more experience with it.

My setup hasn't changed much: I still keep business cards and emergency paper clips in the front card slots, and a bunch of cutesy page flags inside the pocket. Although it's a very common practice to change the dashboard page quite often, I just kept my old one because I still really love it.

I decided not to print my own inserts (yet) for my diary section, because as I've said countless times, my life is not that busy, and it just wouldn't be worth the effort. I decided to go with the Paperchase own brand 'week on a page' inserts, instead, which aren't the most beautiful and creative (but better than the Filofax ones, that's for sure), that I'm going to jazz them up with some washi tape and stickers as I go.

Since my go-to pen is black, I use some good old Stabilo Mini pens to add some color accents here and there, and to highlight important or completed tasks. 

Something else I've been doing to make it more colorful and fun-looking, is hole punching some cards and using them to accentuate holidays, birthdays and such β˜Ί

There are so many planner pros out there, that I almost feel out of place sharing my very modest Filofax, but I've realized that as much as I enjoy looking at those people's pretty and super stuffed planners, the method that works best for me is 'simple and basic', otherwise I can't focus and the whole purpose of it is lost. 

How do you like your planner, instead?

Ζ’. x β™₯

Stationery Spotlight: my Filofax essentials

It is granted that getting a Filofax can be an quite an investment, but that doesn't mean that also having fun with it must be expensive as well! Today I'm gonna show you my Filofax "essentials" that I use to organize my life which I'm sure you're gonna find - if not all, most of them - already in your stash.

  • Highlighter: great to write off your completed tasks.
  • Gel pen: it's just my type of pen of choice to use in my Filofax but any other pen will do to write your everyday tasks and lists.
  • Colored pens: I sometimes like to color code my informations, for example, I write my expenses in red and my incoming in green and so on, to make it easier to recognize at first glance.
  • Round stickers: or any other sticker set you like, really - are very useful to mark tasks using the color coding method. For example, I use them to manage my monthly budget: at  the end of the month, a red sticker means I exceeded it, a green one that I stayed in, etc. And that's really helpful to keep an easy stat on how you do every month.
  • Page tabs: what they're used for is pretty obvious, but they can be rectangular, rounded, tall, short, any way you prefer.
  • Paper clips: are always good to keep on the go to make sure that if you have to add something (a note, a receipt...) to a particular page, you can easily do it making sure it will stay put.
  • Sticky notes: I found them to be great when you don't have much space on a page or section and you need to add more information to it  (for example I use a week on one page template for my diary and sometimes the day space isn't enough, what I do, I just add one of those little post it notes above so that I can add up what I need without having to go into another day space).

As for some actual tools, I just use a paper cutter - because I print my own inserts and I'm rubbish with scissors - and a regular hole puncher I got years and years ago, that use on any type of insert simply using a template as guide.

What are your essentials? Do you have any suggestions for me? β˜Ί

Ζ’. xx

Filofax 101 for Beginners (part 3)

I'm fairly new to the Filofax world myself, but after having done a lot of research before buying my first one, I've collected quite a few tips I'd like to share with anyone who might be thinking of getting started as well. 

Part 3 - initial setup

So, you've picked up your Filofax and you've chosen the right diary for you: it's not time to assemble your organizer and let the fun start! There is no scheme to follow for this part, or any real suggestion I can give you, all you need to do is asking yourself: what kind of sections do I need?

To help you, or maybe inspire you, in this decision, I'm going to show you how my Filofax is divided and what kind of inserts I use (and bonus! Some of them will be available for free download ☺)

So, my Filofax is divided into 5 sections: Diary, Mail, Blog, Money, and Lists.

Having a pocket size Filofax, I went for a week on a page diary inserts that I designed myself.

Being a full time student I don't have an excessively busy everyday schedule, and this type of diary give just as much space as I need; I also use a calendar view of the month where I highlight important dates (such as birthdays, exams..) so that I can have an overview of what's to come for that month.

For my Blog section, I designed some pretty simple inserts that help me keep track of my blogging activities. Next to the post title, I thick the bubble speech icon if I've written the post, the camera icon if I've taken pictures, and finally the list icon when the post is published. It's pretty basic but if you're like me and like to plan posts in advance, it will be extremely useful!

Not shown in the picture, in the Blog section I also have some normal lined pages inserts where I write notes, ideas and sometimes even text for my blog posts ideas.

For my Money section, I designed some pretty simple inserts as well (you may have figured out by now that I don't really like excessive frills). I write when and what I buy, tick the corresponding icon if I paid in cash, with my card, or with Paypal, and then how much I spent.

At the end of the month I use a green sticker if I stayed in the budget with a large margin, a blue one if I barely make it, or a red sticker if I exceed it.

Then we come to my Mail section. Here I have a list of my penpals, and then these mail log inserts that allow me to keep track of my incoming and outgoing mail, as well as keeping notes for each letter I send out (e.g. if it was a parcel, if I included stickers, and so on).

Lastly, there's my Lists section, which is really self-explanatory: I use it for any kind of list.

I keep a monthly to-do list, and then using the numbered dividers that came with the Filofax, I also keep random lists (for example: my grocery lists, my wishlist...). 

And that's it! I apologize for not showing pages that are actually filled with informations but I still hope you can get an idea! Which sections do you have in your Filofax?

Download the inserts:

I hope this helps ☺ Thanks for reading,

Ζ’. xx

Filofax 101 for Beginners (part 2)

I'm fairly new to the Filofax world myself, but after having done a lot of research before buying my first one, I've collected quite a few tips I'd like to share with anyone who might be thinking of getting started as well. 

Part 2 - a guide to paper

In part 1, I covered the difference in size of all the available Filofax models; in this segment I'll go into more details about the paper and layout for the different sizes.

To better understand the gap in size, if you don't want to gear up with ruler and scissors and make samples, here's a chart that shows them all together; You can easily make a rough estimate just by holding a regular sheet of paper (or comparing it to an iPhone5 if you have it).

Something you have to keep in mind, is that you will loose at least 1 cm (0.4 in) to the actual width because you'll have to punch holes in the paper.

Something you have to keep in mind, is that you will loose at least 1 cm (0.4 in) to the actual width because you'll have to punch holes in the paper.

But, will the size actually matter? It depends on your approach to planning and organizing, a more crucial decision is choose what type of diary to use in your Filofax. 

Both branded and printable diaries comes in a variety of layouts, and the main ones are:

  • Day Per Page (DPP) - that is the display of a single day (often sub-divided into hourly sections) onto one page.
  • Two Days Per Page - pretty self explanatory, displays 2 days onto one page.
  • Week Per Page (WPP) -  it displays a week on a page, sub-divided into days.
  • Week on Two Pages (WOTP) - same as above but in a two pages spread.
  • Month on One Page - often organized in a square grid.
  • Month on Two Pages - same as above but in a two pages spread.

Personal notes:

A4 & A5 - are suitable for any kind of layout: whether you want daily inserts, weekly, or even monthly, as they offer plenty of space. For the same reason, they're great to double up as proper diary, or even a scrapbook if it's your thing.

Compact & Personal - due to the narrow but tall size, they're great for bullet journaling, lists and the likes.

Pocket & Mini - are essentially a shrunken version of the A5, so depending on how busy you are, they can fit nicely both daily and weekly schedules.

I hope this helps ☺ (read part 3 here!)

Ζ’. xx

Filofax 101 for Beginners (part 1)

I'm fairly new to the Filofax world myself, but after having done a lot of research before buying my first one, I've collected quite a few tips I'd like to share with anyone who might be thinking of getting started as well. 

Part 1 - Choosing the size

Filofaxes come in 5 sizes: A4, A5, Personal (& Compact), Pocket, and Mini. 
In order to chose the right size for you, you have to ask yourself what use you'd like to make of it. Are you gonna carry it around with you everyday? If so, how big is your purse? Are you a very busy person, or you just need to get a little bit more organised?
Of course this step is going to be different for everyone since it's a very personal choice, but to get a better idea, here's a visual size comparison chart:

A few other things you may want to keep in mind before making your choice:

  • the Mini and the Pocket can double up as a wallet. They have very convenient slots and pockets that you can use to keep you cards and money.
  • the Personal and the Compact are often seen as the best 'entry level' organizers, considering their ideal medium size.
  • Although the Personal and the Compact are the same size on the outside, their difference lies in their ring size: the Personal rings measure 23mm, and the Compact ones 15mm: the smaller the ring size, the least amount of pages you'll be able to keep in it.
  • Another thing that has to be considered about the Personal and the Compact, is that the pages are quite narrow and tall, and it is a layout that not everybody enjoys.
  • due to their size, the A5 and A4 can double up as a practical desktop organizer, so they work best especially if you don't need them on the go.

One last, pretty obvious thing, is that the price varies with the size, so if you're setting a budget, you will definitely need to keep this into consideration. Size aside, Filofaxes aren't cheap to begin with, but they can be considered an investment because you'll be able to use them for as long as you want, since the content is interchangeable. 

Once you've made up your mind, the next step is to choose where to buy it.

The Filofax website would be the nΒ°1 choice for various reasons: besides being the official retailer, they also have available all the limited and seasonal editions that may sell out more quickly elsewhere, and they also offers a few sales throughout the year that might be worth keeping an eye on.

A good alternative is Amazon, and of course, there's always Ebay as well (but since it is Ebay, you may want to make sure that you're buying from a reliable seller to avoid scams). 

I hope this helps ☺ (read part 2 here!)

Ζ’. xx