How to Bullet Journal – Including Chronic Illness tips!

*Disclaimer; There may be personal information in this post or seen in photos.

To start, I am a MASSIVE stationery addict. If you didn’t know, lucky you! Because I could talk and talk and talk about Stationery all day long! My bullet journal is my baby. I write everything in it, whether it be my low moods, menstrual cycle to my lazy days. But not a lot of people understand what a BUJO (Bullet Journal) is, and how it’s different from a diary or planner. And some don’t even realise how relaxing or helpful it is either!

A bullet journal is a plain notebook/a ruled notepad, a piece of graph paper in a arch file, a bullet journal is basically anything at this point. You can use a bullet journal to explore creative ways of planning your life or keeping track things similar to a diary. 

I use a bullet journal in a diary sort of sense, but it allows me to express who I am and allows my creative bubbles to flow! If you want to learn how to create your own BUJO, keep reading.

Find your perfect notebook. Journals can be EXPENSIVE. The official bullet journal is around £60 in the UK, which is so bad for something that can cost £10, I believe personally. My journal is a “Dark Pink” Moleskine Large, which cost me £7 in Amazon January Sales, RRP £15! It’s lightweight, pretty and has many pages to fulfill the whole year worth of bujo-ing!

Plan Ahead…if you can! I found my bujo works best if I plan my weekly spreads ahead. And I don’t mean filling them in, but having the template filled out. Also, in regards to chronic illness, having trackers is especially handy. I myself, have a period, pain and mood tracker. With having “white coat syndrome” (a nickname for us who seem to forget everything once stepping into the doctor’s office)

Picture of my Pain Tracker.

Express Yourself! There are so many of us Bullet Journal Junkies out there, that you can find inspiration anywhere. However, a bullet journal should be an expression of yourself, not of others! So do a little research, see some examples via Pinterest or Instagram and take them and add your own little spark to them!

And don’t forget expressing yourself via stationery. Every good bujo-er loves a bit of washi tape! And once you start, you won’t stop! And then there are the stickers. Simply have a look via Etsy/AliExpress for products that scream “You”. For example, Moon Lume produces stickers I can use to fill space, and my all time favourite ones are their self care quoted animal stickers! I’m all about motivating myself, and the stickers are so cute and motivational! A win!

It’s okay if you forget! The amount of empty weekly spaces in my bullet journal would drive me insane at the beginning. There were many times, I could forget to fill it in OR didn’t have the time to. But in the end, I realised it’s okay. I could just add the notes into my phone, and then when I did manage to open it, I could fill it in without having to force myself to remember, or frustrate myself.

One of my recent weeklies, highlighting I do forget empty spaces! I try to fill them with stickers for that reason too..

Spoonifying a Bujo. I cater my bullet journal to adding certain aspects maybe others wouldn’t. I include a pain, mood, period and doctor appointment tracker. Weird right? I have a variety of stickers from The Geeky Planner suited towards my illnesses and other things. And that’s okay! Not only does the BUJO help me organise the mess that is me and my chronic illnesses, it helps relaxes me. If I’m unable to sleep, I’ll get my bullet journal out, and see what I can fill in to pass the time, saves going on my phone right? If I’m stressed, I’ll get it out and fill my mood tracker in right there and then, and it feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. And then, come next doctor’s appointment, it’s there in my bag, to help me explain how I feel or for the doctors to take a look at themselves! 

Do you have a bullet journal? Do you have any tips for beginners? Leave them in the comments below!

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