Thanks to Ryder, both for the creation of the Bullet Journal system and for sharing it with us – I think we’d all be a little lost without it! I’m honoured to be invited to contribute to the blog.

My Bullet Journal Story

I have always been an organiser and lover of paper and pens. I am a list maker, diary keeper and planner. I had a mess of different systems running, including a diary, lists in various notebooks, post-its, apps and a digital calendar. Luckily I discovered the Bullet Journal concept in January 2016, when I stumbled upon a Instagram post.

I love the flexibility of the system, being able to include everything I need and the freedom to change it when I want. My bullet journal is currently my to do list, diary, goal setter, habit tracker, meal planner and notebook. As much as I love to admire a pretty planner, I try not to spend too much time planning, which is why I have quite a minimal, simple but functional bullet journal (which I love). “Your planner doesn’t work unless you do” – you can do all the planning in the world but unless you are achieving goals and getting stuff done, it’s just a pretty notebook. I definitely agree with Austin @minimaljournal that “It’s about getting crap done, not making your crap look good”.

Walkthrough

Monthly overview

I haven’t used the original Bullet Journal Monthly layout as I am a digital future planner. I do however use a monthly traditional Calendar layout to keep track of work shifts, my partner’s work trips, birthdays and Instagram challenge prompts.
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Habit Tracker

I use a monthly Habit Tracker to track health, self care and hobbies. While I am definitely trying to work on my physical and mental health, I try not to look at it and feel guilty if I skip a day. I tend to think of it more as tracking the last time I did something.
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Gratitude Log

I have also been using a monthly Gratitude log inspired by @tinyrayofsunshine which I endeavor to fill in every day. Finding things to be grateful for is definitely good for my mental status – I need to find the positives as I can be a bit of a pessimist!
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Weekly Overview

I love a good weekly – I lay out the coming week on a Sunday in terms of work, events, meals, workouts and major day specific tasks. I also list To Dos – general, home & work. This helps me organise my week and get through everything, especially having the visual of the upcoming week.
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Daily log

The workhorse of the bullet journal and my favourite spread where things really get done. I find it really satisfying to see everything that I’m achieving. I set my daily up in the morning while having breakfast and coffee. I include work, events and tasks, and find a simple layout best for the way my brain works.

Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Future planning

I haven’t really used the future planner I originally put in my bullet journal, however I use this House Planner every month – it helps me keep track of seasonal chores & maintenance. I reference it at the start of each month and tasks get added to my weekly spreads.

Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Collections

Some of my favourite collections include a Waiting on List, 30 Before 30 Bucket List, Go To Meals, Every Week & 2016 Goals. You can check out all of these collections on my Instagram @bujo.auslife.

Waiting On

Inspired by @tinyrayofsunshine, this helps me keep track of anything I’m waiting on – parcels, email responses, tax invoices etc.
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Go To Meals

This is another powerhouse for me as my partner and I suck at deciding what to eat. By arranging them into time categories it makes catering for rushed weekday schedules and lazy weekends that much simpler.
Laura Hickman Bullet Journal Show and Tell

Digital Planning

I am a bit of an Apple geek, and I am a digital future planner. I use a shared Calendar with my partner and shared Reminders lists for grocery shopping and paying bills. Other Apps I use regularly are Dropbox for sharing photos and accessing notes at work, and Evernote for storing recipes, travel planning, tax related documents & anything from the internet. I have recently been loving tracking finances digitally too, using a Numbers budget spreadsheet.

How to Bullet Journal like Laura

  • Daily (10-15mins)
    • Wake up, get coffee, check weekly spread and plan out the day.
    • Check off tasks, add more, check off again throughout the day.
    • At the end of the day fill in Habit Tracker and Gratitude log.
  • I migrate tasks as needed – I like to know which day I have completed a task so will tend to migrate it to the day it was completed. Migrate unfinished tasks weekly.
  • Weekly (15mins – Sunday)
    • Check digital Calendar and make weekly layout, migrate and add tasks.
  • Monthly (20-30mins – end of Month)
    • Make up Habit Tracker, Gratitude log and monthly Calendar. I add tasks from my House Planner to my weekly to do list and aim to get them done throughout the month.
    • I like to review my 2016 Goal page at the start of the month to refresh and refocus.

Laura’s Gear

Leuchtturm 1917 Hardcover (A5, Dotted, Black)
Pilot G2 Gel Pen (0.38mm, Black)
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen (Superfine, 0.3mm, Black) 
X 30cm Foldable Plastic Ruler 

Bullet journaling has empowered me to get the things done that need to be done, so that I have more time for enjoying life and self care. I found that while I was studying at uni I wasn’t looking after myself. I wasn’t enjoying myself. And I wasn’t reaching my full potential. Obviously I had huge time commitments – studying full time as a vet student (which has crazy contact hours and even stupider amounts of studying), and then working part time as well. I found my ‘life’ – the fun stuff, seeing friends and looking after myself becoming an afterthought. I wish I’d known about Bullet Journaling a few years ago, as I think I would have been more productive and better enjoy that time of my life!

 

About Laura Hickman

Laura is a veterinarian with a coffee addiction living in Western Australia. She uses the Bullet Journal system as a sidekick to life, to help her get things done so that she can take the time to enjoy life.
  • Wow I am in awe – great suggestions and insigts.

  • Lauren P.

    This was great! I’ve only been doing this since Jan but I loved seeing the simplicity of the design which really emphasized the power behind the content. I made a “core” grocery list and then a “core” dinner choices list but I love that you binned them by amount of time they take. That’s key!!
    Thanks for the write up and pics. I’ll be following you to stay inspired. 🙂

  • Jayne Kalika Duey

    Thanks for sharing! I especially like your “go-to meals.” I think that will help me a great deal. I’m also struggling with my layout – I’d like to land somewhere between total minimalist and art journal. Seeing what other folks do is really helpful.

  • arto7

    This is very cool. I have haphazardly used mine for almost a year and have ordered the next one. I hope to incorporate some of these ideas. One thing that sadly stood out – your gratitude log is empty. Perhaps you can add “Helped some other bullet journalists today with ideas for organization!”

  • tishushu

    This was awesome! I love your minimalist bujo!

  • Rachel Goeres

    Thank you for sharing! I am inspired by the gratitude log and the weekly layout. I too use a traditional calendar layout but place it in portrait view with “Big Deals” of the month at the bottom of that page. My monthly “To Do” list goes on the facing page. It’s fun to see how people customize their BuJo based on Ryder’s template. Thanks again!!

  • Judith Favia

    I love those Pilot G2 .38 pens too! They are so fine that they never ghost or bleed. Thanks for all the excellent ideas!

  • Vicki

    Really great ideas – thank you for sharing. The house planner, gratitude and habit tracker are terrific additions. Here’s to enjoying life!

  • Dena Zavier

    Love your Habit Tracker and House Journal pages.

    I have been struggling with the habit thing, just putting them all as “to do’s” in my daily log, but it is too repetitive on a daily basis and makes it hard to see how I am doing over the course of time.

    The House Journal is what I need – I am always late doing seasonal chores. I think I will call it a House/Car Journal because Car chores also are often late.

    Thanks again!

  • lmyers

    Thank you for such an informative article! I’m about to start a bullet journal and this has given me a great basis to start from. I was initially really worried seeing images and videos of very artistic bullet journals, but this has shown me it can be just as powerful no matter how artistic you are. You have given me a lot of great ideas.

    From another West Aussie…thank you!!

  • Hi Laura! So happy to see you here 🙂 Your Bullet Journal and the thoughtful intention you have behind it are wonderful! Thank you for the sweet mentions, very appreciated! ♡ You know I’m a fan of your work and it’s so awesome to get to see a full walkthrough! Thank you for sharing your drool-worthy pages 🙂

  • Elizabeth ‘Lyzz’ Pickle

    Laura, thanks so very much for sharing your process and success I gust started this week (!) and I saw plenty to try from your post. Cheers!

  • Susan Barrett

    Thank You for sharing your Bullet Journal. I love to see how people take the simple system and adapt it to meet their style and needs. Your simple habit tracker is Genius, and I will give that a try in September, I’ve been trying to think of ways to do something similar. Again, thank you for sharing!

  • Mia Sorcinelli

    Thank you for this–I love your instagram feed and really admire your minimalist style! Thanks for the tips, I’m going to try a habit tracker this month and re-do my gratitude log!

  • Nathália Grams Teixeira

    Love your black on white style. It’s clean e straight to the point.

  • Moon Boise

    Love your style. As much as I admire others bullet journalist with their lavish designs, I simply don’t wish to invest that kind of time. Your system is clean and functional. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wow! I have a ruler similar to the one in these pictures that I’ve never had a use for…until now! Thanks for sharing.

  • Marc Littlemore

    Love the “Go To Meals” idea. Thanks.