I love bullet journaling and there is no tool, app, thing, or system I’ve ever used that has made me feel more productive + happy + energized + optimistic about life in general. When I was in college, I used a detailed to-do list system that was actually quite similar to the original, minimalist bullet journal the system was inspired by. Now, I love to use more intricate designs and spreads that I’ll come back to again and again.
I’m about to move into a new bullet journal. I want to share with you the system I’m currently using to organize my life centered around my goals and the things I want to achieve.
Background on how my system came to exist
My system is a spin on other systems that exist. First of all, bullet journaling in general, which you can learn more about at Bulletjournal.com. Then once upon a time, I stumbled on the idea of Level 10 Life, which you can read more about at Boho Berry.
Kara at Boho Berry came up with the idea of listing 100 life goals based on 10 areas of her life, an idea she got after reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. She created a cute spread in her journal to measure her satisfaction with each area of her life. Then, she made a list of 10 goals each in 10 different areas of life, like health, spirituality, and finances.
A little bit about me: I’m a work at home mom of four who freelances creative work. Here are some good words that describe me: creative, loving, filled with ideas, passionate. Here are some less good words that describe me: flighty, easily bored, not afraid to give up, anxious, easily overwhelmed.
After a year of setting up my bullet journal for day to day, task by task lists, I was feeling stifled. If I feel behind for a couple of days, I had these glaring empty blank pages that would haunt me for the rest of the journal. If I flaked and didn’t check every single little box on my cleaning chart, I would have big gaping white spaces that reminded me I had failed. My bullet journal was starting to feel more like a reprimand than the pat on the back I needed.
So I took Kara’s idea and put a new spin on it. I am now organizing my bullet journal spreads around my goals, instead of around my day to day tasks.
When I open up my journal in the morning, I can quickly find direction for the day. Not the cold, unfeeling items I neglected in yesterday’s list, but the map towards the goals and big things I want for myself and my family.
I still have a future log to keep track of appointments, and I write a daily freestyle log to capture anything that doesn’t fit in my system. I can create any different spreads I want further on in the book. But my goals (what’s important to me) and my good habits (that get me to where I want to go) lead the way.
This method celebrates me for each small step I make and helps me plot my progress to my goals without reminding me that I didn’t wash the dishes for five days in a row last week. That just works better for who I am and what I want my life’s priorities to be.
Oh, and it’s important you know this going forward — I’m no artist. Don’t judge my non-artwork, please. It’s the ideas I want to share with you. You are welcome to make this much cuter, and I would be so happy to see what all you beautiful people can do with it.
So without further ado, let’s get into my set up.
Level 10 Life, for me, is about spending the time to examine your life through ten different lenses. It gives me a chance to think through what’s important to me in each of those categories, and which categories I’m giving my time and attention to.
Looking for straight lines? You’ve got the wrong blog. Obviously from my shaky line work I am not an artist. I just have ideas, and goals, and need to organize them.
You’ll notice that each section of life has ten boxes underneath it. These correspond to the ten goals that I set on the next pages.
Quick note- Why am I on page 91 and 92 if I’m moving into a new journal? I practiced on a blank page in my old journal before starting the new one, and I decided the practice spread looked better and the end. So that’s the picture I’ve got for you friends.
The Goal Pages
Next, each section of my life gets a goal page. They look like this:
I won’t set my goals until I’m completely totally read to move into the new journal. A lot of it depends on what I accomplish before this journal is finished, and I still have 20 or 25 pages left. But it takes some times to come up with 100 different life goals for yourself, so it’s a good time for me to start thinking about it.
Cleaning Log and Habit Log
Once the goal pages are filled out, I refer back to them often to direct the things I’m doing every day. But they pretty much just sit there as reference. I needed a way to chart my progress in a positive way that focused on how far I had come and the effort I’d put into it. I couldn’t breathe any longer with a planner that focused on the times that went wrong when I wasn’t as productive and on top of things as I could have been.
To fix this, I created a chart for the cleaning tasks I need to do around the house. I created another chart for all the different “habits” that I listed on my goals sheet. Every day I fill in square on the grid when I accomplish a task, clean something, or engage in any of the habits I have.
Here’s a fairly raw picture of what that looks like:
It’s raw because it’s an actual page from my bullet journal and not something that I created with the knowledge that I was going to take a picture of it and post it online. But as you can see, I grab a different marker every day and fill in the squares as I go. I’ve been using this log since the last week or so of June and I there have been a couple of days that I skipped logging entirely. But this chart tells you a lot more about what I DID do so far this month, and less about what I DIDN’T do.
But it can also tell me the things I’ve been ignoring. For example, I haven’t cleaned the bathrooms for a while… I better go do that before the filth takes over.
I’ll write more about setting goals and deciding what habits are worth tracking and what aren’t later on. But I wanted to show you the set up and focus of my bullet journal to help you get some new ideas!
It’s been a great tool to manage my anxiety and look on the bright side every day.
I’d love to hear what you think about my level 10 bullet journal system!