Imaginary Skies Art by Carina Bruce-Kadow

Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal!


Yup, I’m still bullet journaling! However, I learned quickly that mixing everything in the same hardbound notebook drove me batty. I  hate leafing through the notebook to find my lists. And I hate relying on post-its to mark my place. Enter the loose-leaf bullet journal.

My Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal
My Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal! It’s BLUE.

It’s a simple Filofax notebook I picked up from amazon. I quite like it: The binding is reliably snug, and transferring pages from one section to the other is a joy. My only gripe is that it didn’t include the pen loop by default – I had to buy that one extra.

Layout of my Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal

I split it into four section:

  1. Future Log & Weekly + Daily Todos
  2. Rolling To-Do list
  3. Notes (aka Collections)
  4. Maybe and Later

Each and every of these sections has their purpose, and the fact that I can keep them apart cleanly is the big advantage of this method. I never want to get back to hardbound notebooks, at least not for this.

Future Log, Weekly Overview + Daily Todos:

Everything time related is in this section. I know Bullet Journaling suggests Monthly Overviews – but those are simply not working out for me. A month is too long for me to keep in my head, so I procrastinate. But Weekly Overviews, those work well. Mine also contain goals and a habit tracker.

Behind the weekly page I keep my daily todos – I love those. The less I need to decide any given moment, the more I get done. So I just sit down every morning and try to get the deciding done in one go. It works! My life’s quiet enough my plans work out more often than not.

After each week I remove its pages and add them to my to-do archive. I do not need old weeks for day-to-day purposes, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to check it once or twice – especially since these weekly and daily logs double as a to-done list: an archive of my daily accomplishments, plus my commentary for the day.

Rolling To-Do list

Originally it was projects, but it turned out that splitting my stuff into projects was more hassle than it was worth. So I turned it into a simply rolling to-do instead. First in, first out, unless something becomes really urgent.

Mind you, I do not tick things off this list, I use it purely for planning. If I decide to do something, I pull it onto my daily todo – that way I get a better overview for planning and a paper trail.

I like paper trails. And a Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal is perfect for those.

Notes (aka Collections)

Here are my notes on things I’ve learned, ideas for blogposts and illustrations, writing notes for Nyx+Nyssa and all the other stuff I use for reference.

I take out pages I don’t need anymore and archive them. That way I do not lose too much in case I lose the BuJo itself – and while these notes are important to me, they do not contain anything irreplaceable or identifying. Safety’s important!

Maybe & Later List

That’s a habit I kept from David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. There’s lots of stuff I’d like to do, but perhaps later or perhaps not at all – and I find it important to keep track of it, just so that I get it out of my head and do not need to keep thinking about it. But these items will definitely not get done these days, so onto that list it goes. It’s purely referential, and often I even add the condition of when I want to get it done.

For me knowing what NOT to do is just as important for prioritisation as knowing what to do.

That’s it!

That’s a short overview of my Loose-Leaf Bullet Journal – starting it was one of the best decisions I made this year. I get so much more stuff done – and most importantly, my prioritisation is better than ever. So I get the RIGHT stuff done!

Hopefully this will help you as much as it did me.

By Carina
Imaginary Skies Art by Carina Bruce-Kadow