This post is part of an ongoing series titled Things That Have Improved Your Life.
In this series, I welcome readers of this blog to share an improvement they’ve made in their life. This improvement could be anything – from a new diet or exercise plan to a certain place visited or person they’ve met.
I then ask questions as to how their life has improved, and whether they would recommend others try to make this same thing possible in their own lives.
Today’s interview takes place with Stacey Sacco.
Stacey tells us how her life improved when she started her very own bullet journal. To those who don’t know, a bullet journal is kind of like a filing cabinet for your brain. The great thing is you can set yours up in a unique way that works specifically for you – and that’s exactly what Stacey here has done.
I’m Stacey, a thirty-something living in Ohio with four kids ages twelve and under.
I’m the editor of a local magazine and a blogger. I’m an ISFJ and an Enneagram Four. I love reading, writing and summer weather.
What Improvement Have You Made to Your Life?
My new life-improvement is my bullet journal! I know what is on Pinterest about bullet journals and mine looks nothing like the professional artist rendering of flowers or beautiful calligraphy.
It’s purely functional. And I love it for its simplicity and usefulness.
Why Did You Decide to Try Bullet Journaling in the First Place?
My life is BUSY.
As much as we try to eliminate excessive activity for our kids, we still have a lot going on. This fall we had cross country, soccer, taekwondo, dance and gymnastics. Most of those were more than once a week. And that was in addition to school. Homework and employment.
I have deadlines for work that must be met to get a magazine on stands on the scheduled day. Photo shoots, interviews, meetings with designers and deadlines all have a place in my schedule.
Plus, I like to have goals. There is always something I’m working toward. It can be as big as launching a blog or as small as meditating daily, but I like growing in pursuit of a goal. As we all know, however, if I’m not committed to a goal and work diligently to pursue it, it never happens.
My bullet journal is the solution to all of these problems. Wall calendars typically have such small space for writing. Plus, they are stationary. I can’t consult a wall calendar at a doctor’s appointment. A digital calendar also didn’t meet my needs. I never found one that had all the functionalities I was looking for. I want to be able to use different colors for different activities. I also need a meal plan, to-do list and grocery list. And if I wanted to track my goals, I had to do it in a completely separate app also. Needing multiple platforms to track my life was cumbersome.
When I first researched bullet journaling, I was sure I couldn’t do it. Every post I found included beautiful artwork and perfect handwriting. But what I discovered is there is a simple, minimalist way to bullet journal. I don’t need a sketch pad in my journal. Drawing is not a hobby of mine so it’s not a priority to have Pinterest-worthy pages. The beauty of a bullet journal is that it can be whatever the user needs it to be.
How Has Your Life Improved Since – Can You Give an Example?
I use two basic structures in my bullet journal. The first is the weekly calendar. I need a two-page spread per week and that gives me the freedom to make giant boxes for each day. All of our appointments, classes, meetings and birthdays are written right on the calendar. It’s big enough to include all of the information like time, location and cost as well. I also write my meal plan into my weekly calendar. No more scrambling at 5:00 to figure out what to cook. I just consult my schedule to reduce decision fatigue during the most chaotic time of the day.
Also on my weekly calendar are my to-do lists. I make two lists- one for home and one for work. Anything that needs to be done that week goes here. For work, anything that needs to be written, scheduled, paid or sent goes on the to-do list. At home, I include bills that need to be paid, cleaning projects, organizational goals, projects, school assignments and more. All of my lists are in one place, right on the page I’m looking at daily.
The other feature I use is a habit trackers. Every month I choose about five goals. I always include exercise so I can track how many days I work out. Anything I want to try to do every day, I add to a habit tracker. I have included everything from doing the dishes and purging to journaling and flossing. Every evening I take a moment to review what I accomplished that day.
This has completely changed my life for the better because I feel so much more organized. It eliminates the need to make small decisions multiple times a day about what needs to be done. Plus, it’s a great way to monitor my progress and celebrate victories. After a month or two, most new behaviors are habits and I don’t need to track them any more. Then I can move on to changing my life in a new way.
A bullet journal makes my days run smoothly. There are always surprises when kids are involved, but a forgotten deadline or appointment never throws a wrench in my plans anymore. If I find I have an extra 30 minutes, I can simply go to my list and see what must be done during still this week.
Would You Recommend Other People Give This a Go? If So, How Should They Start?
Absolutely try it! The best thing is a bullet journal can be anything you need it to be. I have a lined book right now. You can use anything from a leather-bound specially designed book to a cheap spiral notebook from the dollar store. The most important step is just getting started.
Try different layouts to find what works best for your busy life. There are millions of suggestions online, but don’t get hung up on doing it the “right way” The right way is the one that is functional. Keep everything you need to know in one place.
Where Can We Find out More About You?
I’m fascinated by all the ways we try to change our lives for the better. My personal blog A Field of Clover, is a review of self-development books and what we can take away from each book.
I can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.
Anything Else You’d like to Share?
Let go of the need for things to be perfect or to do excessive research.
Bullet journaling is something that will develop over time. My first layout was useful. Each week that I continued to organize my life in this way, it got to be a better fit for my life. Now I can’t imagine not having this book that helps me track everything my brain will forget.
I’d like to say a big thanks to Stacey for sharing her life improvement story with us today.
- A bullet journal can be extremely beneficial for all of us – it’s a fantastic way to organize everything going on in your head.
- It doesn’t have to be fancy. The most important thing is that your bullet journal is functional for the person using it – YOU.
- It’s best to just get started using whatever you’ve currently got. Adapt from there, and make changes if necessary. Just keep making changes until you find what works.
Have you made an improvement to your life that you would like to share? Check outand get involved. Your story could end up being featured in this series.
You can find the rest of the reader interviews in the series here…