Have you heard about The Bullet-Journal Method? Do you do bullet journaling?
Towards the end of the last year, I came across the book The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll and it opened up a new path of journaling for me! I have often written journals and diary since my childhood up until 2014. Once marriage and motherhood came into the picture, this habit was put to a pause. Reading Ryder’s book made me want to take up journaling again, this time with a twist!
I have been doing Bullet Journaling for three months now and have found it cathartic to give myself at least ten minutes on my own with my own thoughts! I really do hope I keep at it since consistency is something I really struggle with…
Bullet Journal is a personalised method of journaling your life with to-do lists, events, tasks and anything important to you and your life. It is not a cookie-cutter method of journaling, rather a few set guidelines which you can alter as per your taste and needs. I had come across the Bullet Journal method on social media and blogs where I saw beautiful doodles, stickers and elaborate calligraphy. Since I do not have an artistic bone in me, I did not think of learning more about it! I always thought what could I (as a SAHM then) possible write in my to-do list other than cooking, cleaning and changing diapers!?
Well, I was highly mistaken. The core of the Bullet Journal Method is minimalism and a basic notebook and a pen would do. Moms and SAHMs are the ones who most need it, I feel now, for our mind is on constant ‘what do I have to do next?’ thought. Artistic work and doodling in a bullet journal are an expression of one’s creativity and individuality and that should not put me off. I can decorate or not decorate my Bu-Jo as I want – That is primarily the idea of the Bullet Journal Method – To have a personalized journal customized to your needs and your own life.
In this detailed blog post, I will write about bullet journal ideas for Muslim Moms and how we can customize the Bullet Journaling method to our own needs and lifestyle.
The basics of Bullet Journal Method:
1.Index – It is the backbone of the Bullet Journal Method. All pages of a Bullet Journal are numbered hence any new page would be noted down in the index. More can be read on the Bullet Journal website.
2.Collections – A few pages of anything that you like. It can be anything like your weight loss journey, to-read booklist or already read book list, or a movie list or an itinerary for a trip planned, or a project you are working on. The main idea is it should be a collection of activities that bring joy, purpose and benefit to your life. So you would see people having collections of movies they have watched or want to watch. If you are a movie reviewer or a blogger dealing with movies, it is of benefit to you but if you are a layperson who just watched a movie for entertainment, does a movie list bring benefit to your life? So pick and choose what you want to add to your collections. To read more about collections.
Personalising Collections for Muslim moms – I have added Fasting as a collection where I note down how many fasts I have taken in substitute of the ones that I had missed during my pregnancy/breastfeeding years. It helps me to note the number of fasts I have taken and how many are remaining. I do not mention the day/date of fasting because I feel that is not a fact that I need exactly in this collection ( I do note down the fasting days on my habit tracker page. More on that later)
3.Yearly Log or Calendar – I have one page of the entire 2021 calendar where I also note down important dates, events, Eid etc. (From the Bu-Jo website)
4.Monthly Log – At the beginning of each month, I make a task list of everything that I want to achieve that month. For eg – Take 5 fasts, Finish 5 blog posts, Research upon skincare for brown skin’ etc and so on. (To read more about the Monthly Log)
5.Daily Log/Rapid Logging– These are further marked as Tasks “•”, Events“O” and Notes “–”. Any important task can be marked with an “*” which show that it is on the priority list. It is expected to write in short sentences (but gives a complete picture) (To know more about the Rapid Logging Method)
As I delve deeper into the Bullet Journaling method, I felt it was a good journaling and organising technique for Muslim moms. Besides the usual mothering chores, we also have a lot going throughout the day including the salaah, adhkars, etc. A bullet journal would be the best way to keep track of all deen wa dunyawi matters, all in one notebook.
Before I go further, I would like to reiterate, I have just one plain old notebook and a few pens. That’s it. I have not even bought the dotted journal which is generally preferred for Bu-Jo
I will just guide you through how I set up my February Bullet Journal. All of these can be customised as per your need!
Customizing the Bullet Journal for Muslim Moms
Monthly Log where I note down all the tasks that I want to complete this month. Events to be attended or Zoom meetings. Any birthday or special occasions to be remembered.
A monthly set up of Februray so it is easier for me to look up the dates and to note down any specific event or task that I will have to complete on the date.
My favourite part of my Bullet Journal. The Habit tracker. In the three months that I have used the habit tracker, I have found myself being accountable to myself and pushing on through some activities even if I didn’t feel like doing it, just to put a checkmark on here. I have divided my habit into three sections. the first is 1) Spiritual – 5 Salaah, Quran, Adhkar. Fasting and Tafseer 2) Fitness -10k steps, 2l water, CTM and 3) Hobbies – Reading and writing.
Something that I struggle so often is consistency. Keeping myself organised has helped me in being consistent! Alhamdulilah!
If we want to change something within ourselves, we surely have to do the first task by ourselves. That awareness is our first step.
Another favourite part of my Bu-Jo is the Expense Tracker. I follow the 50-30-20 method and it has helped us in maintaining an account of every penny we spent or save.
Do you know about the 50/30/20 plan of budgeting? This method was popularized by Senator Elizabeth Warren and her daughter. It is a great way to keep a check on your spendings and savings – flexible and customizable to each one’s income and situation.
So this budgeting rule states that 50% of one’s income can be spent on ‘needs’ – things that are absolutely required – like rent, groceries, petrol, telephone and net bill etc. 30% of income can be spent on ‘wants’ -I think of this as luxury items – eating out, takeaway, vacations, shopping, hobbies etc and 20% of your income should go into ‘savings‘ – It can be retirement fund, towards building a house etc and as the case may be. (Any amount that comes extra in the needs and wants section can be added to your savings.)
So how does this budgeting rule help? It helps us to reduce overspending and under-saving. It also makes us aware of our financial habits – where exactly we spent as a household. It is a very easy way to get a grip on ‘financial spending and saving’ which is otherwise quite an intimidating task!
My daily log where I have already made the templates for the entire week. Though I do not follow this method now since I feel the columns are restricting me from writing whatever I want. I cannot write free flow in such a short space. I prefer to write as and when ideas strike rather than put myself in boxes.
Meal Plan – This has been such an absolute life-saver ever since I started BUJO. I usually spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to cook rather than cooking. Just planning it out for the week has made it so much easier now, even if I don’t follow the plan to the T.
Alhamdulilah for.. where I write one word or phrase about something that I am grateful for the day.,…to truly centre myself to assess the things that I have been blessed with rather than moan about everything that is going wrong.
My reviews after using Bullet Journal for three months:
• Helped me to be a little more consistent and organised in my daily day to day activities.
• Intentional with my time and energy – To pray for Bharakah in time.
• Assess myself to know where I go wrong when I start any activity.
•Being grateful – To increase in Shukr and Hamd
•A log of memories, emotions and my story.
Hope this short post has been helpful for you to get to know the basics of Bullet Journal Method!
(A quick Google search led me to this blog post by Becky Keeps House on customizing the BuJo method for Muslim Women and it is a brilliant post! Go on and read it to know more about the Bu-Jo method!)