Journaling Small Victories

I want to be a bullet journaler. I really, really, really do, but I’m so bad about doing it. I have stencils, washi tape, stamps, markers and colored pencils in every pretty color imaginable, and even gorgeous fountain pens I love writing with. But I never find the time to sit down to set up a layout that works for me.

So last year I went another route. I bought the Clever Fox Planner, undated so I could come and go since I always feel guilty buying a dated planner and then not using a quarter of it in the summer. Dated planners don’t work for me, but the Clever Fox Planner is nice. It’s part traditional planner and part bullet journal. It has habit trackers built into each week, a To-Do List, and wins for the week, but then the last third of the journal is just dot-grid paper.

  • Clever Fox Planner Weekly Layout
    Weekly Layout - Kaweco Frosted Sport Fountain Pen in Soft Mandarin

I thought having the whole week laid out for me would make it easier to sit down and write, but even that failed. Until I realized I was using it wrong.

I was using this planner and my older bullet journal like I used my planner in college, to write down due dates and appointments and reminders. I wasn’t using my journal the way that works best for me.

I’ve discovered I need to write down accomplishments, no matter how small, to remember what happened that day so when I’m climbing into bed, I can look down and say, “Hey, I got stuff done!” Even on those days where it feels as if all I did was scroll social media and watch the clock, I did stuff. I just didn’t bother to acknowledge it.

Hopefully this new strategy will help me be more productive. I don’t need to use my journal to only record word counts or huge victories like a book release or finally finishing my first draft of a book. I can write things down like “Bought a new headboard!!!” and “Decided to buy that orange dresser. Screw subtlety! Orange FTW!”

I did that today. I’m buying the Hemnes dresser in Red-Brown, but it’s really orange, right?

All this struggle with figuring out how to best use my bullet journal left me to wonder how other people use theirs. What do you write in yours? Do you record the small victories or only the big ones?

I’m finding out that during the quarantine of COVID-19, journaling about the small victories is essential to my mental health. It has helped me a lot.

If you’re curious about the fountain pens in my slide show above, I buy mine at Goulet Pen Company. Great customer service, amazing video tutorials on YouTube, and they are super nice people.

Kaweco Frosted Sport in Soft Madarin
LAMY AL-Star in Tourmaline
TWSBI ECO-T in Coral


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