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01        02        03        04        05

My Bullet Journal and Managing a To-Do List

*UPDATE: If video is your thing, scroll to the bottom of this post to catch the all-new in-depth look into my process of bullet journaling all while tapping your feet to the tunes.

I feel like I need to preface this post by saying everyone has their own method to their madness. What works for some will not work for others and it’s possible that my system could very well not be a good fit for anyone reading this. Which inevitably means that I am talking to myself about my to-do list… or typing to myself. Whatever. Even though this is a very real possibility, I will continue on and brave the possible embarrassment. Just promise that you will stay as long as you possibly can in order for me to ease the degree of said embarrassment.

Alright, so I get asked a lot about my method of keeping track of to-do’s. And when people see my notebook they usually have questions so I thought I would give you a peek inside the system that I have developed for myself and, at this point, pretty much can never stop. Just liken me to a crotchety 85-year-old man – totally stuck in my ways and yelling at the kids to get off my lawn.

It was about two years ago I came across the original brilliant idea from Ryder Carroll, creator of the Bullet Journal. Back then it was a creation of his in order to organize and keep track of tasks, ideas, schedules, etc. I believe today there is an actual bullet journal you can purchase so it seems that the idea has really caught on.

While this way of staying organized totally spoke to me being a pen and paper girl and all, I knew I had to customize it to fit my needs and how I wanted it done. I tend to have this issue. It’s why I can never invest in and purchase any type of planner. Because there is always something missing. Or something I want to change.

So there I was. Bitten by the bullet journal bug, but needing to find my system. The method to my madness if you will. And today I am going to share with you my bullet journal and managing a to-do list.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

For those of you who may be following along on here you might be wondering how this works with my love for Evernote. It’s a very simple explanation. I use Evernote to handle my “bigger picture” – the writing of blog posts, managing current projects, scheduling reminders and the list goes on and on. My hybrid bullet journal is for the day-to-day grind, the dirty work, the millions of to-do’s and my doodling while in meetings and phone calls. Very important stuff.

So let’s first start off with the tools. I loved the idea of grabbing a Moleskin notebook with great grid pages like you see Ryder use, however, I have this need for my notebooks to be ring bound. I am constantly folding pages back and I knew that a Moleskin wouldn’t lay the way I want it to when folded.

I absolutely love the Greenroom brand of notebooks at Target and just recently discovered they have come out with a leather cover spiral bound notebook. Score! It’s the perfect size and totally gets the job done.

Now, my luck in the past has historically proven that once I find a product that I am obsessed with, it becomes discontinued. So, dear Greenroom. If you are reading this, let me know where I can send a wad of cash in order to receive a lifetime supply of this notebook. Because a girl can’t lose her favorite notebook, you know?

Yours truly, girl with issues.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

The other necessities are my Pilot G-2 pens in 0.7 point. Wow. I really do feel like I am naked in a crowded room by divulging all of my OCD tendencies in one singular blog post, but believe me when I say, I do not and will not write with anything else except for this pen. It’s my ride or die. I am known to grab a new pack of them every time I am at the store whether I need new ones or not. They are littered throughout my life – in all handbags, in my night stand, in my car – and once one shows signs of quitting on me and the ink isn’t consistent then that sucker is dead to me and I move on to the next.

Along with my pens, I have to have my trusty Wite-Out Mini. Forget writing in pencil and forget using any other type of White-Out. It has to be these adorable little ‘Wite-Out’s’ that fit perfectly in my fingers, are sturdy for me to haul around everywhere and last quite a long time.

My last tool is the cherry on top and something that brings a smile to my face. And it may mean that deep down I am still just a little girl who wants to make things fun and pretty (there were several years of a Lisa Frank addiction back in the day), but it really does make the cold sweats of looking at my growing to-do list less painful. And you guessed it. There is only one brand and type of washi tape that I prefer and that would be by Scotch.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

Let’s get down to the actual system. I started with creating a key. Some of this is straight from the original Bullet Journal system and some are different or just not there at all. These few symbols allow me to pick out quickly within my notebook what it is that I am looking for or reviewing.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

Next I label a single page for each day of the month. So every day gets it’s very own page. I do not create a master calendar because I use iCal for the broader, birds eye view. I want to keep my organization as a daily outlook.

And as you can see my notebook in use, I simply note for that day any tasks, meetings/appointments, etc. You will also see that I have moved some things to another date or I have crossed something off that was cancelled all together. Ahem. In my defense this particular to-do was cancelled since I am under the weather a bit. I promise.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

Following the daily pages for a specific month, I will then select a certain number of pages to leave blank for notes, inspiration, ideas and of course, doodling. As I was just flipping through March, I know that all of my notes and ideas for that month will be right after my daily pages. And the process repeats – after March’s note pages, I will then create April’s daily outlook followed by April’s note pages

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

To be as efficient as possible and to find things as quick as possible, I simply create a tab using washi tape and add it to where my current note section stands. This way I know before it is the current month and after are my notes and where I left off. Simple, but effective. And pretty.

How I bullet journal and manage a to-do list | KaraLayneAndCo.com

So there you have it. My own take on the Bullet Journal system and how I manage my daily to-do list and constant thoughts. And if you made it this far, you and I should really be friends so make sure and reach out below I can thank you personally for not judging all of my quirks. You can also enjoy a quick little video as well to help you get started:

And I really have to ask, what is the method to yourΒ  madness?

March 22, 2016

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  1. Lora Ernest

    March 22nd, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I love your handwriting. I am definitely going to put some of your tips to use. I have papers everywhere, it’s crazy. Thanks so much for this post.

  2. Kara Layne

    March 22nd, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Oh man, Lora! Thank you – and thank you for reading! Hope it helps!

  3. Kimiko

    March 22nd, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Pilot G-2 0.7 for life!! I’m so obnoxious about them that I’ve been given them as gifts and from my husband in Christmas stockings:)

  4. Kara Layne

    March 22nd, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    So happy to meet a fellow addict! πŸ˜‰ And stocking stuffers is a great idea! Thanks so much for reading!

  5. Nym

    September 1st, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I absolutely love G-2s but my husband has gotten me addicted to the 0.38 version. It lets me do fine detail so well, it would be so difficult to go back to even the 0.5. I’m still new to bullet journals so I like looking at all the ideas out there.

  6. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you so much for reading!

  7. Dennis Bullock

    March 22nd, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I made it to the end and love it!!

  8. Kara Layne

    March 22nd, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Haha, thanks so much Dennis!

  9. Amy Emery

    March 24th, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I think I’m in love. Do you combine work/home in each daily page?

  10. Kara Layne

    March 24th, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Hey Miss Amy! Thanks for reading! And I do actually. I tried for awhile to separate, but the lines are always blurred in my life between work and personal so I keep everything together. Less fuss that way πŸ˜‰

  11. Katrina

    March 24th, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    i love your handwriting! I wish my lists looked that pretty. Mine are usually so sloppy, but I like to switch up the pen colors because it makes me happy. I do like the g-2 pens, but that’s the kind they supply us at work so when I’m at home, I like to use something else that won’t remind me of work. I’m weird that way.

  12. Kara Layne

    March 24th, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Hahaha, Katrina! I TOTALLY get that way of thinking so your weirdness totally aligns with mine πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading!

  13. Jennie

    March 29th, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Hi, Kara. So happy to meet a fellow addict of the G-2 pen! I use and LOVE the extra fine 0.38 point. Like you, I get nervous if I don’t have at least a few back-ups stashed away. I also can’t live without my correction tape! I’m always telling my class of 2nd graders how a little bit of ingenuity and creativity can make a great impact… πŸ™‚ Who wouldn’t prefer the neat and tidy correction tape over the wet messy liquid version?! I was so glad to see your post on bullet journaling as I’ve been reading about it here and there in the last few months and some seem very complicated and totally intense. I’m the sort of person who needs a checklist to keep up with a daily “to-do list.” πŸ™‚ It’s challenging to be consistent with it yet keeping a mental list of to-do’s is not working so well either… I like your take on system. It seems simple enough to keep up with and I’m totally encouraged to try it out. Perhaps it’ll help my days be a little bit more productive… Thanks, Kara.
    (p.s. I love your handwriting! It’ll make a lovely font!)

  14. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Hey Jennie! Thanks so much for reading and yes, I could not agree more. Before figuring out my own system, I came across other ways to bullet journal and it seemed like way too much effort for something that should be simple. As I said, it’s not for everyone, but I am glad it seemed like it may be a good fit for you πŸ˜‰ Let me know how it goes!

  15. Samantha

    March 30th, 2016 at 8:52 am

    This post literally saved my life, it was perfect! Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with journaling and collecting notebooks. My only problem was I never stuck to keeping a to do list or writing down my ideas in my notebooks because I couldn’t do it in a way that was organized and nice to look at so I would eventually give up on journaling. After reading your post I went out the next day to Target and bought all the supplies you mentioned and I’m pretty happy to say that I’m now obsessed. I’ve been able to create a journal that I’ve used every day over the past week and use it in a way that’s appealing and keeps me coming back. So thank you SO MUCH for posting this, like I said it saved my life and now that I can actually get every crazy idea and task out of my head and on paper I feel like a new woman. You’re the best and your handwriting is bomb!

  16. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Oh wow, Samantha! Thank you and thank you so much for reading! I am thrilled to know this system is working for you!! Keep me updated on how it all goes πŸ˜‰

  17. Peg Graham

    March 31st, 2016 at 11:14 am

    love this idea.

  18. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Thank you so much, Peg! And thank you for taking the time to read it!

  19. Donna Rae Barrow

    March 31st, 2016 at 11:51 am

    So thankful today that there’s another complex soul out there obsessing over just the perfect journal, the very specific (and only that) writing implement, and “the pretty” of the Washi tape!!!

  20. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Hahaha, Donna! It really helps me sleep at night knowing I am not the only one πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for reading – it means a ton!

  21. Silje

    March 31st, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    This is the simplest bullet journal I have seen (it’s meant in a good way πŸ™‚ ) I got overwhelmed by all the YouTube videos about the bullet journal and quit but this made me want to try it again 😊

  22. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Hi Silje! Thank you so much for reading! And I totally understand that because I was way overwhelmed by the ideas out there before figuring out my own. Some of them are extremely intense! Hopefully the second time around goes better for you πŸ˜‰

  23. Viky

    April 1st, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Enjoyed your approach — and Love anyone who puts as much thought into the “tools” of everyday living that you have! I also agree with everyone else that your writing is beautiful … makes me want to take a bit more time making mine more attractive. Thank you for the inspiration!

    BTW: I have tried bullet journaling in many different formats including using a Circa foldover, Moleskine and varying colors of Pilot G2 pens, mechanical pencils and fancy ballpoint pens (that are so much prettier to look at than to write with). My current bullet journal is a Midori Traveler’s Notebook (grid) in which I write with a Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen and add color here and there with a Staedtler tripus fineliner. I believe that if your tools honor your core desired feelings, you are more likely to use them with joy!

  24. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Hi Viky! I could not agree more – truly loving the tools you use makes all the difference! So that Midori Traveler’s Notebook is GORGEOUS. And I love that it has the option for grid! So do you just add paper to it when needed? I checked it out on Amazon and it looked thin, but then seeing images of it being used and there is tons of paper in some.

  25. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:37 am

    And a big thank you for reading πŸ˜‰

  26. Kate

    April 2nd, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I am continually trying different ways to manage my crazy life. It was refreshing to see I am not the only one sticking to paper and pen, staying away from pre-made planners…they can’t meet all my needs

  27. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Hi Miss Kate and thank you so much for reading! Hahaha – hopefully I didn’t sound high maintenance saying that, but I am glad someone else can understand. There is definitely no perfect planner πŸ˜‰

  28. Kristin

    April 3rd, 2016 at 9:12 am

    In your todo list what is the circled letter b and the arrow down represent?

  29. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Hi Kristin! Thank you so much for reading! So the circled “b” is my way of noting what I have scheduled for the blog that day. I didn’t add that detail in my post because I know not everyone is a blogger – that is just a more customized feature I created for myself. And the arrow down was simply a way for me to know that there were two posts for that day.

  30. Kathie Morgan

    April 3rd, 2016 at 9:33 am

    This is extremely interesting, I think I will give it a go. I too love the pens and have been given them as stocking stuffers, in fact, that’s how I found them! I have my sticky notes all over and they sometimes float away.

  31. Kara Layne

    April 4th, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Hi Miss Kathie! So glad you enjoyed it and a big thank you for reading! That is crazy that everyone knows the stocking stuffer idea except me! So glad you and others have mentioned it because it’s brilliant! And yes – Post Its can be so great, but I always end up losing some.

  32. Jenna Kellenberger

    April 4th, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I love this! It definitely appeals to my love of organization/journaling. Do the notebooks you buy have enough pages for all the days of the year, including your notes pages? Or do you just buy a new notebook midway through the year?

  33. Kara Layne

    April 6th, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Hi Jenna! Thanks for reading! The notebooks I am using do not have enough pages for the entire year. One notebook will probably last me three to four months. I just started using these new ones so I am not sure what I will do with each one when I run out of room. Seems like it could be a tough decision to throw them or keep them. Let me know if you have any ideas πŸ˜‰

  34. Sandra Wagner

    April 5th, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Still figuring out a system for a crazy busy job. Too many tasks,projects and categories. But this may be a solution. I love planners and have always wanted to create my own. You are right on. They just always need a little tweaking. Great system. Thanks

  35. Kara Layne

    April 6th, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I have had those same thoughts, but I think the planner I create would be the perfect one for ME and no one else πŸ˜‰ Haha. Thanks for reading, Miss Sandra!

  36. Visitor directed from Pinterest

    April 6th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Hello, just wanted to offer a suggestion about the Pilot G2 pens you love – since you are so committed to them and use so many, you might want to consider purchasing refills rather than a whole new pack of pens all the time. Just a suggestion to incorporate more environmentally-friendly choices in your life πŸ™‚ (If you’re already doing this then I apologise, it wasn’t too clear from this post and it’s the only one I’ve read from your blog!)

  37. Kara Layne

    April 6th, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for reading and thank you so much for the suggestion! The reason I toss them is because by the time they run out I have chewed them to death or the finger grip won’t stay tight on the body of the pen anymore. However, I will work to curb the nervous biting habit and perhaps I can change to using refills!

  38. Crystal

    April 6th, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I gasped when I saw that you too are obsessive about your Pilot G-2 pens. I prefer 1.0 to the finer nips. Harder to find, but I too buy them whenever I see them. One hint of skipping and it is banished to the “here have a pen” box by the front door.

    I also love my tiny bullet journal AND the white out mini. I discovered these on my own, but to see my go to items on someone else’s page is meeting a kindred spirit.

    But now I am wondering about Washi tape. I have seen them on pinterest and pooh-poohed them…but now. I must investigate.

    I look forward to following your blog.

    I look forward to your blog.

  39. Kara Layne

    April 9th, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Hi Crystal! Thank you so much for reading – so happy to meet a fellow addict of these tools because really, you just can’t explain it some times πŸ˜‰ Yes, try out Washi tape and let me know if you get hooked!

  40. Cheryl Sterling

    April 6th, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing your method. I’m in the process of corralling all my notes, schedules, etc., and the way you organize yours sounds completely manageable.

  41. Kara Layne

    April 9th, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Thank you so much for reading, Cheryl! Good luck with the herding – the hardest part is always starting that process!

  42. silvia

    April 10th, 2016 at 3:57 am

    I keep note paper in every room. With pen. 2 kinds I like. Am a nurses aid so wear scrubs. Notes go in container at door. When I leave in am they go in r pocket of pant. When done work I look at my notes and determine which r most urgent and do as many of those as I have energy for. They get crossed out. Every once in a while I condense the lists

  43. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Silvia and thanks so much for reading! That’s a great way to do it and I think I should wear scrubs all day every day to make it happen πŸ˜‰

  44. Jill

    April 10th, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Actually, the “leather” journal you spoke of from Target is described as a “leather look” journal, so you may want to change your post a bit so your readers aren’t mislead. The journal still looks good to me; I’m going to check if my local Target stores carry it! Thank you for the suggestion!

  45. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Jill! Thanks for the tip!

  46. April

    April 13th, 2016 at 5:49 am

    I want to first say I enjoyed your post. I have a moleskin journal that I have been playing with. But sometimes I feel like I really don’t need a journal because I do the same thing everyday… Go to work…come home. Do you right down every thing you have to do that day… Like cleaning and cooking? I guess I just am not sure if I doing it right.

  47. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Hi April – thanks for reading! I definitely do no write down everything I have to do for the day. Obviously, I need to wake up, get ready, cook meals, etc. What I do write down are more task based and things I need to remember to do outside of the daily routine. Hopefully that makes sense πŸ˜‰

  48. kelly

    April 14th, 2016 at 10:29 am

    omg your handwriting is AMAZING.

  49. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Aww shucks, Miss Kelly πŸ˜‰ Thank you!!

  50. Mary Wiking

    April 18th, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Kara, I am so thrilled to have found your blog. I have been collecting journal pins for a while, but I must be quite dim as I hadn’t really got it until I read your blog. So thank you so much and yes we should be friends. I am a 67 year old grandmother of 4. I run a B & B in Australia and I love travel. My life is pretty full on and I am a consistent list maker. I love moleskin notebooks and stationery of all kinds. I am drawn to making my own and my South African Friend and we plan to make one each together using leather left over from her upmarket handbag business. I have blogged a little if you check out my website http://www.yarrarangescountryapartment.com.au. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions that anyone could give me. I use an iPhone, iPad and Macair, so I find this writing in journals fascinating and almost a yearning for times gone by.
    I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers Mary

  51. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Mary! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing! A B&B in Australia?! How fun! I think in order to make list making worth it you have to find what medium best suits you. If you prefer things to be digital then definitely stick with that. However, there is something about flipping through pages and actually crossing things off that just works for me.

  52. iHanna

    April 19th, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Great walk through of a simple to do list but with a system! Seeing yours makes me wanna go work on my own list that is way too long! πŸ™‚

  53. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you so much for reading! And isn’t that the truth? I’m confident that every to-do list is far too long these days πŸ˜‰

  54. Mary Angela

    April 20th, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Hi there!
    Love the ideas you’ve put forth. I love maintaining notebooks as well. And your photos are so clean and crisp! Washi tapes are so essential in a notebook addict’s drawer. Lol. ^_^
    http://maryangela.in/10-epic-ways-boost-confidence/

  55. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Miss Mary – I could not agree more about the washi tape! And thank you so much for reading!

  56. Julie

    April 22nd, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Hi! I love your post. I’ve been considering doing something similar in my Bullet Journal because it seems like the “so many possibilities” aspect of the Bullet Journal is turning into chaos, really. And if there’s anything my mind needs LESS of, it’s chaos. I, too, use my Bullet Journal mainly as a means to keep up with a daily to-do list.

    How do you deal with perpetual to-do items? Like, if it doesn’t NEED to be done today, but it does need to be done in the future, and you don’t want to forget about it. Do you just re-write it every day until it gets done, or do you keep it on one of your notes pages?

  57. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Julie! Great to hear from you and thank you so much for reading! That is a great question and lucky I have an answer for you. At least for the way I do it πŸ˜‰ I keep an on-going list in my notes section of future to-do items. This way the idea or thought didn’t disappear, but it quietly waits for me to be ready for it. For near future items, I simply make sure that the day pages are set up in advance so for that task that needs to be done a week from today? I can easily flip forward and add it.

  58. Gypsy Jane

    April 22nd, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I totally get being attached to certain kinds of pens, pads, etc. I’ve been a major fan of Pilot Precise, until I discovered Pilot Frixxion, which are truly erasable gel pens! I’ve tried lots of kinds of notebooks but keep coming back to basic steno pads. They work well for me.

  59. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Oooh – you have me curious for sure on those Pilot Frixxions – I will have to look into them πŸ˜‰ And thanks so much for reading!

  60. Stacy

    April 22nd, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Thank you for the great bullet journal tips, as a new #Bujo freak I love reading new tricks!

    FYI, check out Frixxion pens… Erasable! Eliminates the need for whiteout and if you are super frisky, Rocketbook Wave notebooks (erasable in the microwave) after you upload the notes directly to Evernote for storage!

    stacy

  61. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Stacey – the concept of the Rocketbook is CRAZY. I had never heard of them before! And while I’m interested, the reviews would be the reason I wouldn’t go through with it. Doesn’t seem very high quality for having to use over and over. Thank you so much reading by the way!

  62. Cris

    April 23rd, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks, I grabbed a notebook, wrote up a key and got started. I think your ideas have really helped me stay on track. Even when I don’t get the majority of items done, I still love hashing through those cute little boxes. πŸ™‚

  63. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hahaha, Cris – I could not agree more πŸ˜‰ And not to worry, there are many times that I am “forwarding” items to the next day! Thanks so much for reading!

  64. emae

    April 24th, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    thank you for the great example. I have been trying to start a bullet journal. a few false starts and many different journal types so far. I think I am going use different colors that match my phone calendar, purse big calendar, and wall calendar for the family. I am pinning this post and favorite tab on my computer to remind/encourage me.

  65. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    That is the BEST way to do all of your management – through a color code system. If you want to dive a little further into, search “block scheduling” on my blog and there is a post I wrote awhile back about managing your work day. But taking the color management idea you can apply this to your family and personal calendar / task list as well. Thanks so much for reading!

  66. KaREN

    April 26th, 2016 at 3:29 am

    thank you for sharing your bullet journal, this I could do. Many other articles and ideas I have seem were so complicated. Yours is straight forward.

  67. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Karen! Thank you so much and I have to agree. I was overwhelmed with what people are doing and knew that it could quickly become a time suck. Simple is best for the most part πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for reading!

  68. Christy

    April 27th, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Pilot G-2 0.7 points are the only pens I can stand to use. Fine point? Gross! Ball point? Hideous! The scratching of a ball point (or pencil for that matter) I swear I can feel that scratching at the base of my skull. Your tips are wonderful! We should be great friends. Thank you!!

  69. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Oh man, Christy! You said it! The sound of those pens literally make me cringe – I don’t think I have met anyone else who understood the pain and agony that comes with it πŸ˜‰ And thanks so much for reading!!

  70. Marcie

    April 27th, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I’m currently using a bullet journal but I find myself getting bored now and then So, its not consistent…..Thank you for your authenticity, it’s got me back on board with using my bullet journal with new purpose!

  71. Kara Layne

    April 28th, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Hey Marcie – yay! So glad to hear it and thank you for reading and reaching out! πŸ˜‰

  72. John

    May 2nd, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hi,
    Interesting system. My go to for years has been the Harvard International book. It has a similar integrated system for keeping track of appointments, scheduling, delegating things. etc.. It has been my go-to system for over ten years: love it.
    1-800-harvard.com Harvard planners. They come in many different styles with daily, or weekly views. (Don’t mean to sound like a commercial, I’m not connected to them, you just wondered what we use that works.)
    I too like your printing. I appreciate style in a world where texting makes my handwriting suffer.
    Lots of ideas. Thanks for posting.
    pens:….hmmm I used to use the Zebra BP-F-01 as my go to pen. Also had Pilot mechanical retractable pencil for years (best on the market) but they discontinued.
    cheers.

  73. Danielle

    May 13th, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I love the Pilot G-2’s so much that I have them in every color and width I can find. They are the glue that keeps me wanting to be organized. I have one issue with them, which makes me so sad, and that is they are not waterproof paper compatible, so I cannot use them in my professional life. They run like cheap mascara and it just makes me want to cry.

  74. Nefeli

    May 20th, 2016 at 4:38 am

    Your handwriting should be a font ! πŸ™‚ Loved your tips, thank you.

  75. Melissa

    May 20th, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, I LOVE this. I’ve followed your work since, well, forever but I’ve just now wandered over to your blog. What a treasure trove of…EVERYTHING! Love it, and you (and, of course the ocd tendencies!)

  76. Ande

    June 2nd, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much. This makes what I want to do work. I have been struggling trying to change my ways of thinking to work with the bullet journal system ( due to my own OCD tendencies).Nnow I feel like my eyes have been opened to making it work for me instead of me working for it! Love love the G2 pens and always pack an extra. Thanks for the time you put into this.

  77. Kara Layne

    June 3rd, 2016 at 1:25 am

    So glad you found it helpful, Ande! Thank you for taking the time to read it!

  78. Cinthia

    June 2nd, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I love it. Thanks

  79. Kara Layne

    June 3rd, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Thanks, Cinthia!

  80. Judy

    June 21st, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I read the entire post and appreciate your honesty. I have just started bullet journaling and already want to make changes, similar to yours. Thanks for the suggestions! I wrote down your products to check them out at Target tomorrow😊

  81. Kara Layne

    June 27th, 2016 at 2:54 am

    Hi Judy! So glad you found it helpful and thank you so much for reading!

  82. gigi

    June 23rd, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    i simply love your handwriting and your site! you’re in my ‘inspiration’ list, for sure, as i will be starting to blog soon! i’m a woman of few words, more of visual and that’s exactly what i see in your site. count me as one of your fans! more power!
    ggb

  83. Kara Layne

    June 27th, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Thank you so much, Gigi! And sending inspirational and motivating thoughts your way as you jump into blogging. Have fun with it!

  84. Diane Quintana

    June 28th, 2016 at 5:28 am

    This is great! I’m a list maker in a notebook that I love. It’s great to meet someone who does things similarly. My notebook of choice is the one by arc (formerly sold at staples – thankfully still available online). I love it because it is spiral and the pages can be moved from section to section.

  85. Kara Layne

    July 26th, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Ooooh, you have me curious, Diane. I will definitely be looking into that notebook!

  86. Shannon

    July 7th, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I love this post! We are definitely kindred spirits, but when I read the line about things you become obsessed with being discontinued… Well, I thought for a minute that I clearly have a twin I didn’t know about. That has become such a pattern in my life that my boyfriend (sounds silly to call him that when this Dec is our 20th anniversary!), but I digress… Anyway, he knows we have to practically hoard things I truly love or I’ll be scouring eBay and Big Lots all over Florida trying to find them! πŸ˜’ I love a spiral because I like to fold it back, but I tried a Moleskine (and a couple of Yoobis to start) and while they feel nice in the hand when closed, I like to have them open all day and prefe to turn back. I also do not like the almost antiqued color of the paper. I prefer white. I also love G2s but they seem to have a very long dry time in the Moleskine. ANOTHER reason to go back to spiral. As far as bulle journals, I started doing something extremely similar (lists, migrating (though I simply called it moving), etc since the early ’80s. So when I saw that there are others whose brain works like mine I loved it! And as for planes…oh my god have I spent too much $ trying to find a fit. Only to stick to Google calendars and my notebook!
    Cheers, Shannon

  87. Kara Layne

    July 26th, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Oh, Shannon. We really might be long lost sisters! πŸ˜‰ Could not agree more on ALL counts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and keep hoarding your favorite things with confidence knowing there is someone else out in the world doing the exact same thing – haha!

  88. Shannon

    July 7th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    GASP! Please excuse all my typos! I was moving a little too fast for my own good. πŸ˜‰

  89. Jessica

    July 10th, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    When you are in the market for a new notebook, the leuchtturm 1917 has a grid, dotted, or lined option. I like that it is center bound (much more friendly for lefties than the rings) but it does a really good job of laying flat without feeling like the pages will fall out. I’m pleased with it so far.

  90. Kara Layne

    July 26th, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Oooh, thank you so much Jessica! I am adding it to my list to look into. I’ll let you know how it goes πŸ˜‰

  91. Jodi

    July 18th, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I love this information but I have a question. Can you give me any tips for processing/handling/organizing the actual to-do’s? So overwhelmed with it all coming at me all day long.

  92. Kara Layne

    July 26th, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Oh man, Jodi. Thank you so much for reading, Jodi and I so wish I had solid advice for this area. As a freelancer, I try to be very realistic with the tasks and deadlines I am given. It’s easy to say that I can get them done quickly, but those quick things add up for sure. When I get requests in or know things that need to get done I make sure to look a day or two ahead and pace things out. And from there I’m really just a girl living on a prayer πŸ˜‰

  93. Ruth

    September 16th, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Hi Jodi. Check out the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It talks about how to do the quick 2 min jobs as they arise and then how to plan to do the rest, including how to break down into smaller sub-tasks. Plus you take and use some bits of his process and leave others. Hope it helps!

  94. Rowena

    August 11th, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I read to the end, even read the section on your tabs for notes twice ( I am borrowing that idea, for sure!) , And I love your method. I am currently experimenting with weekly layouts over 2 pages, but I can see certain months getting so full of things to do where a page a day would make lots of stress disappear. I can relate to wanting and using one product only, forever. You are not alone! Your simple efficiency and washi tape add-ons are great, and the fact that it works for you is an inspiration, to me at least, that it doesn’t take much to make the bullet journal work! Thank you for sharing!

  95. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Oh man, thank you! And yes – I had the same thoughts at first that one page for each day was a lot. That is until I started filling in everything between business and personal and everything in-between πŸ˜‰

  96. Liz

    August 22nd, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Ooh, I like your planning method! Mine’s kind of similar: I JUST recently found my planning system preference, except more with color! I’m also like most people with planners – buying one but not actually using it….but just last Friday I finally found a planner at Walmart that had a vertical weekly spread, which is perfect for my daily to do lists, so I had to have it. I also have a journal on the side with collections of lists and among other things! (Similar to how your journal goes)

    The pen you use is a good pen! But I’m a fan of Papermate’s latest Inkjoy line with their colorful gel pens (see my pattern here? I love colorful things). And I love washi tapes, too. Using washi tapes as a tab is a great idea! — I use them as a border or for other decorative purposes. I have like 10 at the moment… (I ran out of 2, went to buy 2 new ones, & the store had a buy 2, get one free sale. Ha!), but I’m resisting to buy more…..

    And, I have tried the Bullet Journal method using only the journal in the past…but it got so overwhelming. I realized I’m not the best artist when it comes to making weekly/monthly layouts and all that creative stuff. I’m more for the simplicity of it all, so…hooray for simplicity!!

    Please excuse the novel comment. I’m excited to see someone else who share almost the same “method to my madness.” as me! πŸ˜€

  97. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    My dear Liz – NEVER apologize for a ‘novel’ comment πŸ˜‰ It was so great to hear from you and thank you for reading! Yes, I agree. Simplicity for the win and I am definitely going to check out Papermate’s Inkjoy line – thanks for the tip!

  98. Kari

    September 1st, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I love this!! Thank you for this PIN. I began BuJo recently and have been struggling with not doing “future planning” like the traditional method stresses. I WANT to draw out my whole month the way your video shows! It’s like this: nothing is wrong with Bullet Journaling; however sometimes it doesn’t feel right to not have your month laid out. I love your video!! More please! P.S. Great supplies!! I love the Washi “signifyer” on the edges of your pages. Such a dope idea dude! You rule! Keep it up. And thank you for this!

  99. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Goodness gracious, Kari. I am blushing πŸ˜‰ Thank you, friend!

  100. Jane

    September 8th, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hi, really enjoyed your blog and video. So simple, quick and easy but still cute and girly. Who cares about the OCD -I don’t. Was looking for ideas when I found this and was agonising over what to use between notes, reminders Evernote and notebooks ( good old paper). Now I can have a bit of everything. Fantastic. Can you answer a couple of questions please?
    Do you keep your notebooks after they are completed
    Do you get annoyed if there are not enough pages to do a full month
    How to you mix journal and Evernote

    Thanks again

    Xx

  101. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Jane! Thank you so much for stopping in and taking the time to read! To answer your questions…

    1. I have not kept a notebook yet. If there are specific notes or ideas that I don’t want to lose, I will take a quick snap of it and toss those pages into Evernote for eternal safe keeping and then toss the book. It’s sometimes hard to throw out after all of the “love”, but otherwise I would have a library of these things πŸ˜‰

    2. I do get annoyed if there isn’t enough room and I will actually leave the rest of the notebook for notes and start the new month in a new notebook if that happens.

    3. Evernote is like my digital filing cabinet. I use it for document storage, bill storage, links to articles or images that give me ideas or inspiration, etc. My bullet journal is the day-to-day grind. I use it for brainstorming, list making, etc. Nothing will ever cancel out putting pen to paper!

    Hope that helps and thank you again!

  102. Stacy B

    September 11th, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Dana, my ride or die is Frixxion erasable gel pens…. No need for correction stuff then! And I hate pencils…. Check them out and also my etsy store has some fun bujo customs if anyone wants to peek…
    Happy bujo’ ing
    Stacy

  103. Stacy B

    September 11th, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I totally meant Kara then saw your post about Dana and got all mixed up typing! Sorry

  104. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Hahaha, no worries at all Stacy! Thank you so much for reading and thank you for the info!

  105. Barbra

    September 14th, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I just love that you respond to your viewers comments so nice to see.

  106. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Oh man, Barbara. Blushing πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your sweet note and thank you so much for reading!

  107. Ruth

    September 16th, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for sharing! I found BuJo last week and now becoming slightly obsessed seeing what other people are using and including in their systems. I’m glad I’m not the only one obsessed with a particular brand of black pen! Mine are Stabilo 208 0.7mm. I can only find them in certain shops here in Dubai so I also buy in bulk when I find them!! I also use check boxes rather than the dots for tasks as it’s way more satisfying to tick them off or colour them in πŸ™‚ Will be looking into washi tape next, particularly looking for anything cherry themed

  108. Kara Layne

    September 19th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Ruth! Thank you so much for reading and you said it perfectly about checkboxes – it truly is satusfying πŸ˜‰

  109. Lyn

    September 23rd, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Read to the end and enjoyed hearing how you do the journal! Keep writing!!

  110. Kara Layne

    September 24th, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Aww, thanks so much Lyn!

  111. Kylie

    September 28th, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Pilot G-2’s rock! I’m enough of a newbie to not even know there was a difference in size, but I love how they write. πŸ˜› It was actually my hubby who got me into them, and now I really need to buy some of my own ’cause I’m always stealing his. Glad I’m not the only one. πŸ˜‰

  112. Kara Layne

    October 4th, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Kylie! Thank you so much for reading and I love that I know another Pilot G-2 addict πŸ˜‰

  113. Michele

    October 1st, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I really love your take on the bullet journal. It has been so helpful for me. I started using this format and I love it!!! Your images and videos are excellent. Thanks for idea and inspiration πŸ™‚

  114. Kara Layne

    October 4th, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Wow, Michele – thank you SO much and I am thrilled to hear this system works for you!

  115. Elaine

    October 5th, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Bless Pinterest, which is where I found this post. I am a list maker from waaaaay back, and I love me some G-2 0.7 pens for a long long time now. This was a welcome post, and I know I am going to implement some of your ideas for a bullet journal instead of just making lists – everywhere! I’ll be back to check in with you again!

  116. Kara Layne

    October 5th, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Thank you so much, Miss Elaine! It means the world that you took the time to read it. And cheers to Pinterest! πŸ˜‰

  117. sua

    October 18th, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Another G-2 fan.Love the video.Which fonts did you use?

  118. Kara Layne

    October 20th, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hey and thank you for watching! The font I used in the video is called Black Diamond Regular and you can find it at CreativeMarket.com

  119. Nicole

    October 20th, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Hi!! I came across this post via pinterest. And let me just say that this is the BEST way to bullet journal! I’ve been wanting to jump on the train but felt so overwhelmed. Your way is much easier. Definitely much easier to manage. I will be implementing your method ASAP! Thanks!

  120. Kara Layne

    October 22nd, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Nicole – thank you so much!! Seriously. So thrilled there are a few people who have found it helpful, because I felt the same you did. Completely overwhelmed! Have fun with it and thank you again!

  121. Rebekah Keizer

    October 22nd, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Thank you for your on using a bullet journal. I also really loved the video. I am a life coach and shared a link to it in my blog post today. http://www.rklifecoach.com/get-those-to-dos-down-on-paper/

  122. Kara Layne

    October 23rd, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Wow, Miss Rebekah! Thank you so much for reading and also linking to it for your readers!

  123. Erin

    November 2nd, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    So happy to read this. When I learned about the bullet journal I went all in but then realized I was writing too much. I tried to make a full switch to Evernote but missed my pen and paper. I’ve been trying to figure out a happy medium and your blog just helped me do that. Thanks!

  124. Kara Layne

    December 6th, 2016 at 3:15 am

    So glad to hear it, Erin! And thank you for reading – I hope this is the fix you need as well πŸ˜‰

  125. Linda Bruce

    November 3rd, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    What a cool idea! It’s going to take a while for me to get my head round how to do it, but I already make a TO DO list at work every day, and this could work out better for me. Thank you!

  126. Kara Layne

    December 6th, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Miss Linda, you are more than welcome! Thank YOU for reading πŸ˜‰

  127. Michelle

    November 11th, 2016 at 6:51 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE G-2 pens!!! (TBH love pens in general…but these are my go to). I’m still tweaking the bullet journal methodology for me…like you, I either don’t buy planners or I buy them and add/take away to meet my needs. Thanks for this post!

  128. Kara Layne

    December 6th, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Hey you! Always happy to hear I’m not alone with feeling like there is NOTHING on the market that fits my needs. Thanks for reading!

  129. Dee

    December 20th, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Love your handwriting!

  130. Kara Layne

    January 4th, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Aww, shucks. Thanks Dee!

  131. Katie

    January 17th, 2017 at 2:21 am

    I’ve read this post twice already and I will most likely read it again, I love the advice! I’m glad you posted this, I was beginning to worry I was the only one using just the to-do list way.(I like to call it the ‘no extras’)
    I love your voice, the way you write is so friendly and honest.

  132. Kara Layne

    January 19th, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Miss Katie – I cannot thank you enough for reading! And I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  133. Pat Fraser

    January 18th, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I’m inspired. I’ve been keeping a diary ever since we married, 48 years ago. My accompanying note books for holidays and other life events need a room of their own but you’ve given me new ideas. Thank you from Scotland.

  134. Kara Layne

    January 19th, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Pat, I am in awe at your dedication to journaling. My father journaled until he passed away when I was young and his journal is such a gift to have. You have inspired me as well to be better with it. So thank you! And thank you so much for taking the time to read this post – take care!

  135. Lydia Hutchens

    February 8th, 2017 at 1:52 am

    I loved your ideas and how clearly they were presented but for me the cherry on top was your magnificent and engaging and delightful and (gush lots more) writing style! Thank you for sharing and I’m sending this straight to my daughter who is an author and homeschooling mom of four. She is gonna just go crazy. Blessings to you!

  136. Kara Layne

    May 8th, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Oh goodness, thank you Lydia! And I hope your daughter enjoys it as well!

  137. Danielle

    March 2nd, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    You sound like me, certain pens, a paper and pen girl and everything in organized lists but no one planner on the market that suits all of my needs – I have my filofax diary as an broad picture and a daily book for…. well you guessed it, daily stuff! This is great!

  138. Kara Layne

    May 8th, 2017 at 9:42 am

    A girl has to have her STUFF πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading, Danielle!

  139. Teresa

    April 15th, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Hi Kara, I love your handwriting & video! Great tips, thank you for sharing!

  140. Kara Layne

    May 8th, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thank YOU for reading, Teresa!

  141. Sharon Schmidt

    April 18th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve been doing bullet journals 4 years before I knew it had a name. What I didn’t like was having to rewrite an entry if it wasn’t accomplished on the first day. Plus I’m a doodler so the bullets came pretty naturally when they understood the process. WHILE not as cute as yours, it’s pretty functional

  142. Kara Layne

    May 8th, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thanks so much for reading, Sharon! Always glad to meet another bullet journal-er πŸ˜‰

  143. Claudia

    April 18th, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Love the simplicity of your method, and I wish it could work for me, but my OCD won’t allow it. I need to have all my info with me at all times or the world will end. So I lug around everything I could possibly need at any given time in order to avoid global oblivion. You’re welcome. A few years agoI was taking a couple of classes at university and found a Mead notebook I really liked. Besides the notebook being approximately an A5 size and having 4 divisions with their own pocket folders, it came encased in this wonderful folio with pockets and zippered compartments. I still use it today for my planners, agendas, and notebooks. The size is very manageable, and the folio closes with a very sturdy velcro tab which allows for quite a bit of plumpness. Besides that, I have a thick, big, hardcover ruled notebook where I keep layout designs, banners, doodads, cleaning schedules, books to read, places to go, inner reflections, etc., etc.

  144. Kara Layne

    May 8th, 2017 at 9:39 am

    It’s so interesting for all of us creatives and how many methods are out there that work well with how each of our brains are wired. Your system sounds amazing too! Thanks so much for reading, Claudia!

  145. Kelly

    May 11th, 2017 at 3:55 am

    I loved ready this. I’m a paper and pen kinda girl, love my diary but like you I find it inadequate sometimes and want something else. I am going to take away a few things you do and play with a few of your other ideas. I am yet to find my perfect pen, but I know it’s out there waiting for me. Thankyou for opening your personal thoughts on this. Thankyou

  146. McKenzie

    May 17th, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Thank u for sharing. I LOVE journaling. The funny thing is, what stood out to me in your whole article was that’s loved Lisa Frank. lol I love love love he designs and try to find anything of hers I can. Please contact me if you find a spot where you can buy L. Frank things!

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