Bullet Journal Mom: A Practical Bullet Journal For Mothers

Being a mom is hard. It doesn’t take a genius to see that.

I look at my mom worrying about everything that she has to do for the day; about the house, the chores, finances, and everything else that needs doing that just doesn’t seem to end.

Of course, that’s just what she has to do.

Everybody knows that she also has to pick up after the kids, too. It’s part of a mom’s job description.

It’s the same for all moms. The things they need to do just don’t end.

With that taking up every bit of their time and space in their head, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget about taking care of themselves.

Luckily, I’m about to introduce you to something that can help.

It’s called the bullet journal.

Now, you have probably already seen what a bullet journal is. Doing a quick search on google will undoubtedly show you a plethora of immaculately designed spreads, so masterfully done that they should be in a museum.

If that sight instantly makes you think about the time you don’t have on making something like that, then don’t worry.

I scoured the web to gather the best tips and ways for mothers with no time to make a practical bullet journal of their own.

Now, if those kinds of spreads are what you actually want to do, then great! The information I’m about to present to you is the basics. And as everybody knows, the basics are always the best place to start!

A Bit Of Background On The Bullet Journal

The bullet journal is a productivity system that was developed by Ryder Carrol when he was just in high school. He had a lot of trouble keeping up with everything they had to do, juggle that with the high school environment, it’d be a pretty hard time for anyone. Having been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) didn’t help.

He used to go around with multiple notebooks, scrap papers, and checklists in an effort to keep track of what he had to do. You could imagine everything he had to bring, both physically and mentally.

This is what spurred him to develop a system that would help him organize everything in just one notebook. Over time, the bullet journal was born.

When it was first released into the world, it was a flexible planner system that married the focus for productivity and the practice of mindfulness. It allowed you to keep track of everything you had to do, with the added effect of being able to focus on yourself, and your needs.

It’s a flexible system resonated with many people who then became absorbed in the practice. The sheer number of people reinventing it to suit themselves gave birth to different forms of the system, evolving into what it is today.

The bujo community, or bullet journal community, has mainly two schools of thought.

The first was the minimalists, as to how the original system was developed, and the maximalist, who adorn their notebooks with wonderful pieces of art.

If you do a quick search, you’ll find that maximalists take a good portion of the search results. It’s no wonder why. Those spreads are really picture perfect.

But don’t let it scare you off. These types of spreads are mainly for those who find comfort in it, and use it as a creative outlet.

If you don’t have the time or skill to make one… like me… you’ll be better off with the minimalist spreads.

Ryder Carroll, himself, said it best: As long as it works, it’s right.

Bujo Basics For Moms

If you’re new to this then the best place to start is always the basics. While the more experienced bullet journalist often switch around components the ones I’ll be showing you will be the original parts that make a bullet journal. Here are the steps:

  1. Find a reliable notebook and pen
  2. Make an index
  3. Make a future log
  4. Make a monthly log
  5. Make a daily log

Find A Reliable Notebook And Pen

It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or cheap, what’s important is that it’s reliable.

For the notebooks, you will have the choice between lined, blank, or dotted paper, as well as how thick the paper will be.

If you’re going for a more minimal journal, I would suggest the lined or dotted paper, just so that it’s easier to use them as guides.

And as long as you’re going with a simple pen, you’d probably be okay with a low gsm paper. However, if you plan on using a fountain pen, I suggest a thicker paper for the best results. Anything over 80 gsm will do.

For the maximalists, I would suggest the dotted or blank paper, so that your art isn’t ruined by those ruled lines. You would probably be better off with thicker paper as well, just so that you can do more art without worrying about it ruining your journal.

For more on bullet journal supplies, check this article out.

Make An Index

The index is usually located at the beginning of the notebook.

This will act as your table of contents, and all the collections(another word for section) will be logged here. It’s useful in that it lets you keep track of all your pages, and with a notebook that isn’t present, this is a must-have.

It’s fairly simple to make. Just leave a page or two blank then label it index.

If you want to learn how to use other methods for the index, you can check this out.

Make A Future Log

The future log is the collection where you will be placing your future tasks, events, and plans.

This usually comes right after the index, and making one is as simple as drawing 2 vertical lines that are equally spaced. These will result into the pages being split into 3 boxes, and all you have to do is label them with the next 3 months. Proceed to do this for the other months, and you are done.

Number and label the page, and log it into your index.

Of course, while these are the basics, there are also other methods of doing this. You can check it out here, if you’d like.

Making A Monthly Log

The monthly log will be where you place all your monthly tasks. These usually come after the future log, and are made as you enter the month. The monthly log usually takes two blank pages from your notebook.

For the first page, it’s as simple as numbering the left-hand side of your notebook with how many days there are in that month. So, say you have 31 days on that month, number that page from 1 to 31 vertically, making 31 rows.

Proceed to write the first letter of the day it falls on. For example if the first day is a Monday, it should look like this:

1 M

2 T

3 W

4 TH

5 F

6 S

7 S

For the second page, just label it “Monthly Log” and you’re good.

This is where you’ll be writing your plans, tasks, and everything else you need to remember for that month. If you’ve written something on the future log, be sure to “migrate” them here.

Migration is the act of transferring the entries that weren’t completed the past month, or the entries that need doing on that month. This simply means transferring one item from one section to another.

Number and label the page, and log it into your index.

Make A Daily Log

The daily log is what comes after the monthly log.

Here, it’s as simple as turning to the blank page after the monthly log and labeling it the daily log.

Write the date, then write anything you need to do under it.

Congratulations, you now have a daily log.

Number and label the page, and log it into your index.

That’s it for the basics!

If you want to learn more on the bullet journal basics, here’s Ryder Carroll, explaining it very straightforwardly.

The Benefits Of Bullet Journals For Moms

  • All-in-one Notebook
  • Time Management
  • De-stress And Self-care
  • Tracking Finances
  • Develop New Hobbies
  • For Working And Stay At Home Moms
  • Planning For The Family
  • Disconnecting From Digital Media
  • Preparing For Pregnancy
  • Tracking Toddlers

All-in-one Notebook

The bullet journal is the all-in-one notebook.

Its system is designed in a way that the components or modules are interchangeable and the user has complete discretion on which to use.

You can use it to track almost anything, you can use it for schedules, events, any chores you need to do. You can even develop new habits with it.

It will let you declutter your bag, and make for a more efficient planner, something you can use for everything and not have to worry about misplacing something.

It will take the load off your shoulders, both physically and mentally.

Time Management

For mother’s there’s never enough time to get things done. You’re always running around rushing everything you have to do, but it’s still not enough.

The bullet journal can help with that.

I’ve previously mentioned the migration process in the steps on how to set up your journal.

Please take note, because this is the time you will be able to see which tasks are worth your time and energy.

It’s simple and there’s really no trick to it. All you have to do during the migration process is ask yourself: is what the thing you are moving onto the next day worth your time and energy?

It seems so obvious but this is mostly what we experience, whether you’re a mom or not. We get too caught up with the what to do, instead of why do it.

Ask yourself that question right before you migrate an entry, you’ll find yourself with less things piling up on you.

De-stress And Self-care

I haven’t covered it yet but there are certain collections incorporated into the bullet journal which allow you to unload everything in your mind.

This is one of the reasons that the bullet journal has resonated with so many people.

You’re able to incorporate so many things into the journal, things that have previously been proven to work, and insert it into your day almost seamlessly.

It’s provided them with the chance to gather their thoughts, and become more self-aware, letting them take a better hold of themselves.

Further on, I’ll be discussing some of the spreads and collections that can help mothers specifically.

Tracking Finances

At its core, the bullet journal is still a productivity tool.

And while not everyone enjoys incorporating matters of leisure with something stressful, the bullet journal teaches you to embrace all that and compartmentalize each aspect of your life.

Basically, the notebook is a reflection of you. It has everything that you are currently in, and you’ll be balancing every aspect of you through the notebook.

There are many spreads to track these, and with those you’ll be able to track almost anything you need from bills, to just plain spending.

Further on, I’ll discuss some of the spreads that might help you with this.

Develop New Hobbies

Just as the previous is business, this is pure entertainment.

The bullet journal’s flexible nature lets you do that, and its ability to track virtually anything makes sure you do it properly.

Now, you might be thinking that you already have little time as it is, but that’s the beauty of it.

What the bullet journal offers is a system that lets you integrate developing new hobbies and actually make time for it.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing at first, it could be something checking in on a youtube channel every so often to get to know something until it transitions into something bigger.

As you build the habit, you find yourself being able to make more time for the things you want to do for yourself.

For Working and Stay At Home Moms

Housework is never done.

Along with all the things you have to do for your partner and kids, you have to do just about as much for the house.

You’re cleaning all day, cooking food, taking note of the expenses, everything falls into your lap.

With a bullet journal, there are some collections that will allow you to plan out your course of action, allowing you to schedule which chores are best for each, which meals to prepare, or recipes to keep note of.

What the bullet journal offers is a good overview of a period of time, because of this you can find patterns that will work better for you, and you can act on it.

Planning For The Family

More often than not, you’re the one planning and handling all the small details of the family trips, vacations, or reunions.

The bullet journal won’t just let you keep track of your time, but you can also design it to keep track of your family’s schedule. You can keep them in check, and plan for things so that they don’t forget anything, or don’t commit anything on a certain day that they aren’t free.

The bullet journal is a good way to integrate every member’s plans, and a good way for everyone to be more aware of each other’s activities.

Disconnecting From Social Media

It’s hard sometimes when you’re telling your kids to shut the phone or computer off, when you’re the one who’s having trouble too.

It’s okay, and it’s normal.

You don’t really realize it, but after a while you’ll see that you’ve scrolled just a bit too much, or binge-watched just a little more youtube than you should have.

Being an analog system, the bullet journal allows you to pry yourself from digital media and technology, letting you focus on the task at hand.

This will let you avoid scenarios like when you’re fixing your digital planner and a text comes in, or a notification pops up that you just have to tend to. Now, all you’ll have to focus on is your notebook and yourself.

It’s actually pretty refreshing for anyone looking to spend less time in front of a screen.

Preparing For Pregnancy

Given the bullet journal’s flair for tracking almost anything, you can use it to track everything you need to when preparing for a pregnancy.

With it you’ll be able to track appointments, meds, insurance information, birthing plans, and a lot more.

What’s more is you’ll have the luxury of keeping it all in one place, making it more convenient and efficient to monitor your health and status.

Their many applications for this, and you can go into such deep detail, that it’ll feel like your whole experience is logged on paper.

For more of this, check out this in-depth guide for tracking your pregnancy through the bullet journal.

Tracking Toddlers

Similar to when you are tracking your pregnancy, the bullet journal can be used to track almost anything for your new-born or toddler.

I know that it gets harder from here, with all the sleepless nights, diaper changing, and baby feeding, but the community has a lot of mothers who swear by the benefits the bullet journal has given them during this time.

It helped them arrange their schedule, plan out shifts, and of course, practice self-care.

For an in-depth guide for newborns and toddlers, you might want to check this out.

Bullet Journal Spreads, Collections, and Tools For Mothers

There are many spreads, collections, and tools out there perfect for any mom’s bullet journal. I went through a lot of them to find what would help you best and compiled them here.

  • Financial Trackers
  • Diary/Journal Collection
  • Gratitude Log
  • Brain Dump
  • Mind Map
  • Habit Tracker
  • Household Trackers

Financial Tracker

Financial Trackers are tools you can incorporate into your bullet journal to track any expense, bill, spending, or almost any matter concerning money.

Running your expenses against your family’s day to day activities will give you a better idea of where the money went and why it was spent there. Finding these patterns will help you change them and actually act on something you would not have found if not for the journal.

These will be great for letting you monitor and track all the spending for the house, and your children, allowing you to properly manage all finances when it comes to your household.

For more on financial trackers, here’s an in-depth article I wrote to help you.

Here are a few examples of financial trackers:

You will see that they are pretty simple spreads, that are straight to the point and easy to read.

 
 
 
 
 
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Diary/Journal Collection

If you’re a recent convert from journaling, then you’ll know how much of a help this is.

While the bullet journal does allow you to process and reflect on your day, for some having a narrative of it helps them process things better.

They can go into detail, add thoughts, and express things that they normally can’t when rapid-logging.

For this spread, it’s important to remember to allow enough space for the journal section, and to log it into your index for better record keeping.

If this section is indispensable to you, I suggest using a notebook with lined paper, to save you time and effort.

Here’s an article where I go more in-depth with this spread if you want to learn more.

Here’s an example to give you an idea:

As you can see, this spread also gives you a chance to be more creative and let your imagination free. Many incorporate collages in it as well.

Gratitude Log

A gratitude log is a tool where you log in all that you are grateful for. It’s useful to remind us of all the things we have going for us and to keep us more positive and mindful of our surroundings.

There are many reported benefits for having a gratitude log, but for mothers who are feeling pretty overwhelmed you can use this to let out a little steam.

Some do this every day, while some just do it whenever they need to. It’s important to find what works for you. To learn more, check this out.

Here’s an example of a gratitude log you might want to try:

While there are doodles on the side, they are optional for minimalists who just want to have a log. However, having fun with it is also recommended.

I have an article about it here.

Brain Dump

A brain dump is a free-flowing tool you use to declutter your mind when you’re feeling particularly overloaded.

This could be a valuable tool for mothers, especially when there are things to do and you can’t keep track of it anymore.

It works by giving yourself some time to just sit down and write down everything you are thinking on a piece of paper. You can write all the fears, insecurities, ideas, chores, tasks, events, the list goes on as long as it’s in your head.

Once it’s on paper, you can then categorize it based on your priorities.

So take a load off, and let it all out… 

For more on this, check this out.

Here’s an idea you could try:

If you want to really go minimalist on it, feel free to discard the acorns and highlights.

Mind Map

Mind Mapping is when you use images and keywords to help you remember certain things.

It works by simulating how the brain works and forming visual connections. This is extra useful when planning or brainstorming.

You can do it by first identifying a subject and drawing it on a piece of paper. Once you’ve done that, think of all the keywords directly related to it then write around the first image, connecting them to the image with a line. This should look like the beginnings of a tree

You can repeat the process by doing the same thing for each keyword.

For a better idea, check this article out.

Here’s an example of it:

You’ll find that it is a very visual tool, perfect for visual learners.

Habit Tracker

The habit tracker will help mothers practice self-care.

Not just because they are busy caring for others doesn’t mean that they should forget themselves. This includes finding time for self-improvement through hobbies and habits.

They can develop new habits or keep track of existing ones to further enrich their lives. An example of this is a book tracker.

They can use it to list and track all that they want to read, as well as those they have already written.

I made an article specifically about book trackers that might be of use to you.

Here are other kinds of habit trackers as well:

For a lot of habits rolled into one, this is a great idea. It’s also very minimalistic and straight to the point.

This is a bit more work, but still minimalist enough that you might want to try it.

Household Trackers

As I said, a bullet journal can track almost anything you can think of.

This extends to recipes, meals, and chores. Basically, it can track the household basics, that will surely help any mother.

You can layout the meal for the rest of the week with a meal tracker, allowing you to plan out when to buy ingredients and allowing you enough time to cook and juggle the other chores like the laundry, the sweeping, and a lot more.

You can even log recipes you want to try, and anything that needs fixing.

Here are some ideas that you could use:

 
 
 
 
 
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Tips For Bullet Journal Moms

  • Analog Vs Digital
  • Have Fun With It
  • Index Habit
  • Printables and Stickers

Analog Vs Digital

While the bullet journal system was developed as an analog system, you can’t deny that there are some benefits to having it on a digital platform.

This has mostly got to do with the accessibility of having it on multiple devices, as well as the ease of not carrying a notebook around.

So while both may have benefits of their own, you might want to find out which is better for you.

More on that here.

Have Fun With It

While the purpose of this tool is to increase productivity, it is also a means to relieve yourself of some stress. So loosen up when using it.

You can paste pictures that you like, write funny or inspirational quotes, or even doodle on the pages. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look like those Instagram spreads, what matters is that it helps you relax and lighten the load on your mind.

Index Habit

Always remember to log the pages in your index.

It is a common problem to waste time having to look for a certain entry or collection just because it wasn’t logged properly in the index. So. Please. Remember to log it in always!

Printables and Stickers

Printables and stickers are something that you can buy online and stick to your notebook.

They are sometimes decorative, or lets you use a predesigned collection.

It serves to enhance the aesthetics of your notebook without you having to spend time on doing it, or having a large amount of skill artistically.

It’s fun, and it saves time. It’s a win-win.

scribblerplanet

Jm here! I run the Scribbler Planet website. If you're new to bullet journals and journaling, I think I can help you out. I've always had problems with keeping on track with what I'm doing, so when I heard bullet journaling could help I tried my hand at it. Here we are about a year later and I'm glad to say it significantly helped. Here's hoping I can help you do the same!

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