The Mom BuJo: How to Start a Bullet Journal for Your Life as a Mom
If you’re a mom, you know it’s a busy life. Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s not, and don’t ever let anybody tell you that Mom Brain is not a thing… because it is!
You need to make sure this tiny human is doing well, and when you don’t even remember what you had for dinner last Wednesday, how are you supposed to remember what your baby had that caused him or her an allergic reaction? That’s where the Mom Bullet Journal (Mom BuJo) comes to work.
I mean, have you ever seen a planner with a baby food tracker, or a poop tracker? No? Didn’t think so, because I haven’t either.
How I found out about the BuJo
I first found out about bullet journals around April 2017. I had a Happy Planner back then, but I remember I loved the idea from the very start. Then I started hoarding pins on Pinterest for when I wanted to give it a try (who else can relate? LOL).
Since I already had a planner, I thought I would give it a try the following year, but I couldn’t wait that much longer. I learned about Collections (we’ll talk about that in a moment), and since you can add any pages to the Happy Planner, I decided to do a hybrid of the two just while I got the hang of the Bullet Journal system.
The beauty of this system is that it can be a planner, a memory keeper, and a journal all at the same time, AND you tailor it to your needs.
What is it exactly?
You can find a lot of people who claim they have been doing the same for many years, but the one who came up with what we currently call the Bullet Journal is Ryder Carroll.
The original method consists of the following:
- A Key with bulleted items such as tasks, events, notes, and signifiers;
- Index (in the front, but you can also get a notebook with no index and put it in the back, like conventional indexes);
- Future Log: here is where you put stuff you need to schedule months in advance;
- Monthlies (dates and tasks);
- Daily Logs (using the bulleted items mentioned above)
You will find I have modified the original Ryder Carroll system to meet my current needs, but that’s the best part. You make it your own!
The following are just ideas of what you can do in your BuJo, but remember that you can add or take off anything you you want. It’s yours, after all. This is just what’s working for me now.
- 2018 At-a-Glance – This is just very similar to what regular planners come with. The only difference is that I used a full page for all the birthdays, holidays that pertain to Puerto Rico, and my own important dates. For now, I’m not using the Future Log because I found the At-a-Glance to work better for me.
- Monthlies – Some people draw a calendar, but I do mine very similar to the original which is a two-page spread with a list of the days on the left page, and the tasks, goals and inspiration on the right page.
- Weeklies – Here’s where you can start to see it’s really a Mom BuJo. It includes what I call my Baby Tracker. For now, I’m just tracking the food, any reactions, and poop, but you can also include breastfeeding (which side, so you remember), and nappy times. I don’t include them anymore because after the hurricane, baby L started breastfeeding more (it was taking up too much space), and because he’s now on a more consistent napping schedule. I also include events and appointments, memories, headlines, and a “currently” section.
- Dailies – What?! You do monthlies, weeklies AND dailies?! I used to say the same thing, but I found I loved doing dailies. Here is where I do my traditional journaling, write my Word of the Day (WOTD) complete with pronunciation and definition, and my Verse of the Day (VOTD). I also add pictures of events or nice memories. Sometimes I’ll even add a quote if I have room left!
I like to keep these at the back of my BuJo. I find it’s easier to find, instead of having them scattered all over the notebook (even if I use the index).
- Vision Board – This is the only one I have at the very beginning, but that’s just because it’s my cover page. Another idea for a cover page is to choose a Word of the Year.
- One Line a Day – That’s just it. I write what I did that day in one line. This is great for memory keeping!
- Habit Tracker – My favorite quote is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” You can add as many (or as few) habits you’d like to keep track of. It’s so rewarding to see you’re making good habits. Some are easier than others, but you know… that’s life.
- Mood Tracker – I use this for memory keeping, but a lot of people use it for mental health purposes. This one is very personal. I always think you should track what benefits you.
- Period Tracker – This one can be great for all menstruating folks. I find it extra helpful to track possible pregnancies. Also, if you’re irregular you might forget when was the last time you had it (which happened to me A LOT before I got pregnant with baby L).
- Baby Milestones – Do you remember when your baby smiled for the first time? You might say, “Oh yeah! I took a picture of it” But did you write it down? If you didn’t, good luck finding it among the thousands of baby pictures I’m sure you have by now!
- Birthday Party Planner – I love this one because it’s the place I go to write ideas I have for the party. You can also include a timeline for when stuff needs to get done.
This is just a list of Collections I want to add but haven’t yet.
- Vaccination Records – Not every mother will have it and I understand, because it’s a personal decision we take as parents. We decided to vaccinate our baby and I need a place where I can track it. Of course we have a record, but I always put it someplace safe where it’s usually out of site, and I end up forgetting it. We don’t get appointments for this because we are taking a different approach to it, as recommended by the pediatrician.
- Cleaning Schedule – This one is hard for me because my baby is very demanding of me. I want to take the zones approach and choose a zone for each day.
- Shopping List – I saw a great idea where you add a large sticky note to the page for continued use. You just take the sticky note out if you don’t want to take your BuJo to the grocery store. It’s genius, I tell ya!
- Savings Planner – This one can be used for travel savings fund, or for an emergency fund (or both).
- Favorite Memories – This one is a work in progress. I’m debating on doing a Monthly Memories spread at the end of each month, or just one big Collection at the end of the notebook. I love recording memories, I guess it’s because I ‘m so forgetful (I really should check that with a doctor), but I just love to go back to old journals and scrapbooks.
These are the supplies I currently use, but the possibilities are endless. I do suggest you choose archival-safe supplies. They will stand the test of time.
- Scribbles That Matter (Pro version) Dotted Journal A5
- Sharpie Pens Fine Point
- Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
- Crayola Super Tips
- Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Write – just have two from a scrapbook convention I went to a long time ago (but I’m dying for the Tombows)
- Scrapbook Paper – I currently love Crate Paper, Maggie Holmes, and DCWV, but there are tons of brands out there you can choose from
- Die Cuts – I buy or do my own
- Washi Tape – I’m dying for some skinny washi!
These are the bullet journalists I go to for inspiration when my creative juices aren’t flowing. They are all so talented, it wouldn’t be fare to not mention them.
- Ryder Carroll at bulletjournal.com
- Boho Berry
- Life by Whitney
- Misfit.Plans on Instagram
- Tiny Ray of Sunshine
So you see? The BuJo is an excellent tool for moms, and I encourage you to start your own today. Since it’s literally just a notebook with a dot grid, you can start whenever you want.
In fact, you can start with a plain journal, or even a lined journal you may have lying around in your house. You don’t even have to start with the fancy pens and markers. All you need is a pen and a journal… any journal. The idea is to start organizing your life with the resources you have available, and tailor it to your needs.
What do you think about the Mom BuJo? Did you like the suggestions in this article? Have you tried it before? Please tell me about it in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time!
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