I have been bullet journaling for about a year now, and I’m still learning about what works for me. It’s always changing though. For those of you who are new to the bullet journaling and planning world, it’s very much like life. It is always changing, and you are always learning new things that may or may not work for you.
I have tried out the Leuchtturm 1917 was my first journal, and then I moved on to Portland Leather Company’s traveling journal that had less pages and were blank. I was given a Minte Studio Inspirational journal early last year to review. Some of my bullet journal groups suggested that I should get a new one for the new year coming up, so I just ordered one. This time I got the Archer and Olive dotted 160 page journal with 160 GSM paper for my personal, everyday bullet journal. I will show you what I’m using for work in a moment.
Fun fact: I had no idea what the hell 160 GSM actually meant.. so I looked it up. A GSM stands for grams per square meter (gm/2). So why does that matter? It’s the weight of the fabric and thickness, and this determines how much bleeding or ghosting you may see on a page. A thick, heavy t-shirt is around 180-200gsm on average to give you some comparison.
A Leuchtturm 1917 is 80 gsm, and I found that it held up well with watercolor when I wanted to get fancy with my bullet journal. I’m excited to try it out, and I will definitely provide a review as I go…. *is now thinking about doing one for every journal I’ve tried*. I just hate recreating the wheel when there are so many review out there. Post a comment if you are interested in reviews though.
Anyways, where was I going with this? Ah yes, hybrids. So I bring this up, because I was recently introduced to the Arc by Staples. I knew of Happy Planner, but I wasn’t a fan of the layout and cost. I took it as another simple planner with no flexibility until I talked with a colleague about her experience going from bullet journaling to the Arc/Happy Planner due to her fast-paced job juggling multiple clients. I loved the idea of a planner that could add and remove the pages as needed, and my job needed to have a similar set up that bullet journals couldn’t provide. I needed to be able to find pages quickly and add as needed. Queue the boomerang!
I tried out the Arc and Happy Planner system, and I bought smaller dotted pages for everyday notes. I found that I missed my bullet journaling system, and I thought… “Why can’t I just incorporate bullet journaling into this system? What is stopping me?” Nothing was. It’s not the traditional bullet journaling, but I found I went back to minimalistic setups for my work planner.
After buying the Happy Planner cover and size I liked, I took out all the extra junk. You can save it if you want to incorporate it later, but honestly, I felt all I needed was the “Future Log”. I kept the 2019-2020 year overview and then designed my own future log page with just a regular piece of paper, and I hole punched it with the Arc hole puncher or one by Happy Planner.
This kind of setup will save you so much money in the long run. You won’t have to always buy new paper by a specific brand. The hole puncher gives you the freedom to turn any document or paper into a compatible piece for your planner. I also love that the hole punchers can work on thin plastic as well (very very thin), so I can create post-it holders for my planner.
I decided that this particular planner hybrid would become my work planner. I have been trying really hard to separate work from life, and part of that is not taking my planner home with me; it lives in my office. The first thing I do in the morning is open up my hybrid bullet journal to the month tab which comes with some of the Happy Planner planners. I bought smaller dotted pages to fill within the month as my weekly logs, and they do not ghost at all (and I mean, I was totally pressing down on my tombow dual brush pens). I found it easier to model my bullet journal weekly logs using dotted pages, but it is really up to you. You can add trackers, notes, and whatever else you prefer on your bullet journal spreads. The only difference now is that you can add in paper and remove it as needed so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
I have folders and dividers in the back for clients and current projects at work. This is great for site visits or traveling for work since sometimes I need particular documents to come with me. I can hole punch papers provided by the clients or at conferences so they don’t get lost. I created a business card organization page out of half a folder page and mini envelopes that I stapled to the folder on the inside. At conferences and meetings, it is great to have a variety of post-its ready to stick to a document or card to remind you later on.
There are a lot of creative ways you can go with this type of setup, and I find that I look for things that I already have to make new pages. I’m going to take 2019 to really do a trial of this kind of setup for the workplace, and I’ll give an annual review next year.
Leave comments with questions or comments about this style of planning. Thanks!