I am a list writer, and a doodler, and a brain dumper. I feel better if I can write a list, even if I don’t actually do anything on the list, I feel better just being able to get it all out of my head and down on paper. So I went and bought myself a pile of pretty notebooks and pens the other day. Because when you have notebooks and pens that automatically makes you organised… right??
I am determined to keep on top of things in 2015, not just some of the time, but all of the time. So while notebooks and pens are a good start I know I’m going to need more than that.
Last year I came across the idea of the ‘Bullet Journal‘ and I tried it out for a while, but I didn’t stick to it. The idea seemed simple enough but I couldn’t keep track of the icons and the numbering of pages and filling in an index and flipping back and forth… it was just a little too full-on for me.
I am inherently lazy. I need things to be simple if I am going to stick to them, really simple.
There are two main things that I really liked about the bullet journal system – I liked the monthly calendars being right there in my notebook, and I liked the idea of one notebook for everything. I just didn’t need it to be quite so organised and regimented, so I set about making my own simplified version.
I call it my ‘brain dump journal’.
It’s a very simple system.
- Step one : get yourself a nice notebook – I use the A5 spiral bound notebooks from Typo because they are lined, small enough to stick in my bag, cheap and easy to replace.
Step two : get some nice pens – because you can’t be organised without nice pens.
Step three : At the start of the month add a monthly calendar to a page in your notebook.
Step four : On the pages after the calendar write anything you like – a daily list of things to do, ideas, drawings, gift ideas etc.
Step five : If a page has something important on it that you might want to refer back to, use a bit of washi tape to make a little tab so you can easily find it again.
Step six: At the end of the month start all over again.
My brain dump journal isn’t going to keep me insanely organised on it’s own, and I do need other systems to make sure I keep on top of things (like my monthly calendar on the fridge, a menu plan, a filing system, a weekly planner page – more on those later ) but this is my beginning. This is my ‘write it down so you don’t forget it’ place, and I am going to try super hard to keep up with this system, and write in it every day if I can.
If you’d like to have a go at a ‘brain dump journal’ I have a helpful A5 sized monthly calendar to get you started.
You can find my new 2016 free printable calendar here .
There is an A5 sized calendar that prints two to an A4 page – these fit perfectly in your brain dump diary. Just print, trip and stick them in wherever you need each month.
There is also a full sizes A4 calendar and some fun printable tabs and accessories and extras.
I stick in one month at a time as I am not sure how many pages I’ll use before I get to the next month, so I just pop the unused month print outs in the little pocket at the front of the Typo notebooks so they are there when I need them. I also add a little washi tape tab to the calendar page so I can find it easily.
And that is my super simple ‘brain dump journal’ system. It’s my first step in getting organised, and staying organised in 2015!
You can also find my A4 sized 2015 free printable calendar here, and keep an eye out early next week for my weekly planner free printable.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Just found this as I redesign my bullet journal. Love the printable – thank you! :)
Hi – will you be doing this calendar for 2016?? Please please as it is the only thing that will fit in my notebook! After reading about the brain dump journal, I tried it and IT. HAS. REVOLUTIONISED. MY. LIFE. I have everything under control – a lovely notey place to keep my to-dos and thought. Thanks so much for that suggestion and really hope you are doing the calendar.
So glad it is working for you, I’ve loved it too!
Yes, I will hopefully do another calendar to fit the small journals this year… but it might not be till mid January I’m afraid. I’ll be taking some time off after Christmas for our summer break, but I’ll try my best to get them out as close to the start of January as possible!
I loved your post! I too use a bullet journal as a brain dump just to remember all of those little details. I have found if I leave a monthly Google Calendar pulled up on my main computer all of the time, it is so helpful! I have a calendar for so many things! Works great! I need to learn how to make a printable- I am not very savvy at it.
Do you happen to have printable calendar with Sunday as first day? My pay period for work starts on a sunday ( as I am sure it is for many who work retail) and i track my work shifts by the pay period for advance financial planning ( yay for living paycheck to paycheck :/ )
No, I’m sorry I only have the calendar with the week starting on a Monday as that is the most common one here in Australia. But it’s pretty easy to shrink down any printable calendar when you print it, and there are loads of options out there that start the week on Sunday :)