Inside my Journal

Something’s in the air–everyone is talking journals these days.  And that makes me all kinds of happy!  My journal is the place where I do my best thinking and creating.  It holds our homeschooling plans and records, my calendar, menus, and work schedules…..along with kid scribbles, glued in leaves, drawings, and collage!  Here’s a closer look:

Bullet Journal and More

Lined Composition Book

These are cheap, easily accessible, and I really like the size.  Large Moleskines (5″ x 7″) just weren’t big enough for all that my journal needed to hold.  If you are doing a more traditional bullet journal, I do recommend grid paper.  The grid makes the format easier to work with.  I tried to use grid paper, but in the larger format, it was too busy for me.  I’d really like unlined pages and thicker paper, but I’m going through a notebook every three months.  So cheap and accessible are trade-offs that I’m willing to make.

Monthly Spread

I use a traditional calendar spread over two pages.  The templates on Large Family Mothering are great for setting up the monthly view.  I found that my mind didn’t process the list/calendar used by bullet journalers as well as these boxes.  I use Google calendar for birthday reminders, but other than that, this is our real calendar.  It marks out the hard lines–work obligations, saint days, fieldtrips.


For the most part I don’t use an index.  The simple, elegant solution of adding a piece of washi tape over the edge of the page (hat tip to Mommy Coddle!) helps me to easily spot monthly spreads or homeschool plans.  I use a dedicated roll of tape for each broad category so that all the monthly calendars are the orange polka dots.  I don’t have to flip to the index and search for a page number anymore.

That said, for my newest journal, I am keeping a traditional bullet journal index.  Because this quarter is includes Christmas and a new year, I thought that there would be lists and collections that I would need to reference.  But I am using a hack from Journaling Sage: only numbering every other page (because I have to add them by hand–comp book pages aren’t numbered).  And numbering on the left hand side because it’s easy to flip and add numbers.

Everything Book

Even though I use a lot of ideas from bullet journaling, my journal holds much more than lists and calendars.  My journal includes

  • menus
  • cleaning schedules
  • homeschool plans and records
  • art and handlettering
  • notes for work
  • blog planning
  • journaling
  • bu jo collections: books to read, movies watched
  • monthly calendar
  • weekly spread

That last one, a weekly spread, is a very new and happy addition.  I’ll tell you more about how it works and why I love it later this week!


  1. This is an excellent idea. I always look for ways to use the cute and cheap composition notebooks!! Thank you. I will definitely do this. Tomorrow!!

  2. I LOVE journaling. I’ve been doing it since I was around 8 years old, so I have TONS of journals.

    I don’t keep as much in them as you. I keep my calendar and meal plans in Google calendar. I never thought I’d leave a paper planner behind, but at this point that is easiest to share schedules with my husband.

    I also keep small moleskins with me at all times in my bag where I jot down ideas when I’m out and about.

    But mostly I keep a true “journal” or “diary” with thoughts from my devotional readings and life. I also have always kept a sketch book. I’d like to merge these two books into one eventually, sketching/painting and writing together. However, I keep finding lined journals I love too much to pass up! I just needed a new one and bought Katie Daisy’s “Be Filled With Joy” journal because I’d been lusting after it for a good year. Ha ha. Maybe next time I will be able to make the switch to combining, because I think it would encourage me in my visual arts more.

  3. Thanks for this fun post! I love my mixed-up journals, too, where the to-do lists are right next to the sketches and devotional thoughts and dreams about the future. I also mix in some kinds of journaling I do alongside my kids for school (mostly nature walks and foreign language copywork)…for some reason I get a kick out of seeing those jumbled right in with everything else. I haven’t ever tried such neat calendars, or bullet journaling…I may need to try that, now.

    I’m so glad I found your blog (through the RAR forum)–I’m enjoying looking around and reading old posts. Thanks again.

  4. If you want fairly cheap, unlined, thicker paper, try simple sketch or mixed media pads. 🙂
    My daughter loves to paint and sketch and we have found some very reasonable sketch pads for her. 🙂

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