Friday 3 February 2023

Things that don't go in my bullet journal

Recently I wrote about how I've been trying out the bullet journal organisation system. I've been using my bullet journal for about two months now and I'm loving how well it's working! The system makes a lot of sense to me when it comes to planning both in the short term and long term, and it's helping me to keep up with both my daily tasks and my long term goals.

I appreciate how customisable the bullet journal system is, and I really enjoy both reading about and taking inspiration from ways in which other people use their bullet journals. But as much as I'm enjoying using this analogue system, there are some things that just don't work for me in the bullet journal format. 

Woman writing in blank journal
Photo credit Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Long term calendar or Future Log

For years we've been using an Outlook calendar, because that's what we use for our personal e-mail. It works very well because I can sync with my husband's calendar and we will probably also add the children as they get older and more responsible for their own diaries. In my bullet journal I only work a week or two ahead, and because we have so many things in the calendar I would soon fill up a Future Log type page. So at the weekend I will go through our shared calendar and make sure that any appointments for the next week are added into my weekly pages, as well as adding them in as the week progresses.

Weekly shopping list

We use an app called Our Groceries which is brilliant for organising our weekly shopping list. Again it can be synced so that both me and my husband can use it, and it's sorted by category to make it easy to add to the online shop. If the list was in my bullet journal only I would see it, and it would be repetitive having to write out the same things each week. It also means I always have the list with me on my phone, as I don't usually take my bullet journal out with me.

Meal planner

I use the Notes app on my phone to keep a list of the meals that I want to make for the next few days, and I don't tend to allocate each meal to a day as I like to keep it flexible. I'm also using my phone to add things to the Our Groceries app and also to do the online shop. I do however have a long list of meals to choose from which is currently stored in Trello, but I may move that over to the bullet journal at some point.

Holiday packing list

I have a very comprehensive holiday packing list which is stored as a Word document on the PC. It covers all sorts of different holidays - self-catering, cruises, camping and so on - and when we are going away I print it out and cross through all the things that aren't needed on that occasion. I definitely wouldn't want to be writing everything that we need out on a separate page each time we go away!

Reading log

I do use my bullet journal to keep track of the books in my to be read pile. I find it very useful, and I enjoy highlighting through books as I read them and adding new ones to the bottom. But I don't use it to record my thoughts, star ratings or anything like that. Instead I use my Goodreads account to keep track of everything that I've read. This is mainly because I know that my bullet journal won't be around forever and I'll probably recycle it when it's full, so the Goodreads account lets me store that information for longer. 


I have a rough notebook that I use for brainstorming - writing down ideas for craft projects and blog posts, general to do lists and so on. I'm finding that my bullet journal is filling up quickly enough just with weekly and monthly pages and so I don't want to waste all the pages with rough notes that are just going to be scribbled out! I might take out the best ideas and add them to my bullet journal if I think that I'll be referring back to them, for example a particular list of things that I want to work through.

What things do you find don't work for you in the bullet journal system?

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