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Welcome to HerdingTheDragon.com!

I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Bullet Journaling while poor: two workarounds I've used


I love me some bullet journaling. It's been immensely useful to me for both organizing my messy brain and for keeping track of a much, much wider range of things than literally any planner has ever allowed me to track on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Since it took off, there's literally thousands of posts that give me (and anyone with a pinterest account) All The Ideas on new pages and layouts. I even have a list of pages that'll one day wind up in the journal as one of the pages in the journal.*

But there's a problem: It can get EXPENSIVE. And I am POOR.

So I've been forced to get creative. Which, really, is one of my fav things to be, so I can't complain and I thought maybe you'd like to see two little solves I've come up with for these issues!

PROBLEM: Everyone's favorite notebooks for Bullet Journaling cost like 25$ a journal, and I fill up a journal way too fast for that ish.

SOLUTION: Make your own dang notebooks.

In the header picture at the top of this post, you see my Book of Days And Weeks (the flowery one) and my Book of Ongoing Stuff** (the dotty one). I'm almost done with my most recent journal--Number 31 since moving to NC--and I realized that I've burned through my usual stack of so-far-unused journals and notebooks that I refill each school-shopping season. It's a billion years until the next school sales, and I needed a solution, since I decided that I was going to move all the plannery stuff out of my daily journal and try a real bullet journal.

What's a girl with no money and no blank books to do?

Make her own notebooks!

What I did have was printer paper and heavy-weight scrapbook paper. I didn't have a stapler big enough to bind it the way I wanted to, but I did have rubberbands, and really, that makes the notebooks a little more flexible, since now I can pull pages out and shuffle them in without having to deconstruct or tear up the whole book.

I made these with twenty sheets because I like lots of pages in my notebooks, and folding them in half makes it a 40-sheet / 80-page book! For essentially free, since I already had all this stuff cluttering up my desk!

PROBLEM: Space is limited and I'm both easily distracted and not yet up to skill for drawing all my own pages.

SOLUTION: Printables! They're fast AND they're pretty!

Here's a shot of the ones I put in this morning for tracking my summer TV-watching, since I a) watch a lot of tv, and b) have a show where we talk about tv, and therefore c) need help remembering what I've actually watched, like, constantly.


This is one of the pages from my Documentation Project Vol 2 printable, which I pulled out, printed two to a page, and then separated into sheets to stick into my Bujo! The big pdf that I had it in is currently not yet relisted in the new printables shop, but I think that I'm going to break out the individual pages anyway before I relist, so it's no big. If you'd like this to be available sooner then whenever I get to it, leave a note, and I'll post it up!

Anyway, tho, PRINTABLES MAN. There's so very many of them all over the interwebs. For liteally almost anything you could think you'd need a page for. Between the ones I make myself and the ones I can usually find with a quick google, I can fit many, many more pages in my handmade little notebooks than the 20 pages I made them with!

The trick I used in this pic: layering! It's the same page over and over ten times, and I didn't want to make a big wad of stuck in pages or fill up ten pages with the same thing, so I opened up the first blank facing pages and layered the printables up bottom to top, lining them up evenly, and taped them all down. Now I can track ten shows in two pages, and it doesn't fatten up the book too much*** or compromise the spine!

So, two fixes for two issues that come up when you're poor but you want a sweet-ass bullet journal!

What ways do you work in yours on the cheap? Share in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!

*Well, technically, it's a page covered in hastily scribbled post-its that together make up the list of pages to make, but it's still there so it still counts!
**What, you don't name your notebooks?
***I love a fat notebook, but I want them to be fat at the end, when they're full, not at the beginning when I've barely done anything to them!


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