How I Use A Traveler's Notebook As A Bullet Journal | Planner

Published by Darron Toy on



hi everyone Tam's here in today's video I'm going to talk about planning now this video is in two parts part 1 I'm going to share my thoughts on planning and project management and in part 2 as well I will give you the overhead view of my actual planner and just share with you how it is set up so if you're not interested in my talking and rambling feel free to just skip on through and head on to the set up hey planning I have been very hesitant to do this video because I feel like there are tons of videos about planners and planning and planner setups and I enjoy watching them and everyone has these beautiful beautiful planners out there and they're fun and quite frankly my planner now not my journal not the journal that I keep in my Midori travelers notebook but my planner what we would call a planner notebook is not pretty it's pretty boring that being said I have been keeping a notebook of some sort for planning for over 25 years and it pretty much all started with this yeah I know this is old it's about 25 years old I remember reading this when I was in college in Raleigh North Carolina all my friends were reading it and the company that I immediately went to work for right after graduation actually paid for all of us engineers entering engineers to take a class on time management because you were expected to have your act together and to be able to manage your time and we were actually given something I don't know if you remember these I know everyone is probably familiar with Filofax but we were actually given it looked like a Filofax but it was called a Franklin Covey time management system I still have months somewhere I didn't take the time to find it I should have done that like I said I've always kept a notebook here is a here are a couple of examples just plain simple nothing special notebooks my entire life in addition to the Franklin Covey notebook that we kept years ago you know in between all that I was constantly being given the latest gadgets for my jobs and so there were periods when we were trying to go all digital and paperless and things like that and so I've been through all that I've tried just about everything and at the end the day I still always needed to have some type of notebook at the very least just to keep daily lists and because I enjoy drawing a box beside my task and I very much enjoy checking that box I don't know it's probably some kind of wiring in my brain but it's very fulfilling to put pen to paper and check so I've been doing this for quite a long time as far as project management and things like that I have had to use so many types of digital systems you know probably the most well known is Microsoft Project trackers Gantt charts you name it I've probably had to use it try it report on it and that's all great and that's usually that's what I'm used to is a very digital now digital way of keeping tracks of projects several years ago I started noticing a lot of these planner videos on YouTube back in the follow fox days when everyone was sharing their Filofax and I was pleasantly surprised because I do believe that keeping a planner of some sort will help you get things done I enjoyed watching people decorate them and you know put them together and get excited about all this stuff I found it very entertaining to watch um I still needed to keep my planner notebook fairly simple and playing because if I were to walk into some of the meetings I would go to with washi tape all over a planner I'd probably get a few weird looks everyone was very serious in my left brain world but I did enjoy watching what all you guys are doing out there and I think it's great if it helps you to get things done keep doing it like I said I never thought my planner was interesting enough for anyone to take notice of but I did have a friend last year was looking at how I kept my notebook and she said you really should share this I was like okay um I really don't know how to do that because a lot of your you know your planner information is I'm kind of tied to your work and you don't always want to share that but I got really excited last year when I started watching the boho berry videos that's Cora bins and I'll link her channel below um because what she was doing is she was taking what was called bullet journaling and she she jazzed it up and made it very creative and I think that was very attractive to a lot of people and what she was doing and this whole concept of bullet journaling is very much what I have seen over the years lots of Engineers do it they just don't have the pretty notebook some of them just write it on the back of cards and but the way of setting up monthly goals and daily tasks and you know knocking out things like that she was really the first one I saw that was using a creative outlet to teach true time management and project planning and I was really excited and I actually got to meet her at the Atlanta pen show and very hardworking young lady so I'll insert a photo here to prove that I met her I enjoyed her very much so I decided to watch a few more of her videos to see if I could take what I was already doing and add some of her touches and I have been working on the new style of bullet journaling for the past couple of months I've tried a lot of things and I'm ready for a 2017 I have found some things that seem to work for me and my way of doing it so I definitely don't think that your planners have to be pretty whatever it takes to get things done I'm going to show you what I'm doing you can see I already have made mistakes cuz I just I don't have time to keep a practice journal and then copy it over so that my handwriting is beautiful but it is nice to cut certain titles you know it's fun to play with your handwriting and make it pretty if that's important one big thing I want to point out there's tons of books out there that help you with goal setting and time management and things but this one that I shared earlier this one has stuck with me my entire life there's been a part of this that has just stayed and it's very important as I see a lot of people doing planners and planner videos it's very important to know why you're you're doing things every day it's very important to know where you're spending your time and if your time is being spent in the areas that are important to you so every year sometimes twice a year I do set goals and resolutions and then that trickles down into my daily tasks because I want to make sure you know time is golden time is a new luxury and I want to make sure my time is spent the best that I can spend it and I do think of a big fan of this bullet journaling trend because it's one of the best ways I've seen for people to actually think about these things and and get things done so yeah without further ado I'm going to share with you how I set up my bullet journal okay here is my 2017 planner setup as you can see I am using a basic black Midori travelers notebook I have three inserts starting on the outside I think everyone has seen this trick by now but you can take a bulldog clip and clip it on the side and use as a pin holder I use a very simple black pin I prefer microns but there's all types out there so whatever your preference and then inside as I mentioned I have three different inserts now I have in the back here this is my project notebook which I'm not going to share with you because you know certain information just want to keep private in the middle I have a monthly calendar and I'll flip through that very quickly now as I mentioned before all my appointments calendars everything or digital but I do like to keep these month at a glance type calendars in in here because in particular these Midori ones these are great for marking your travel we will have some travel coming up in the year I have not planned that out yet but this is a great place to you know a year at a glance to mark your travel and then I like to use the month at a glance to just kind of pencil in my fun events and my side events things that I'm doing on the side like maybe teaching a class or going to an arts event or just things that are fun you know just so you can plan around them and work those in and then in the front I did put a cover on this but this is a let me show you the blank part this is a Midori grid insert I'll link below the insert numbers that I'm using and I have turned this one into a bullet journal and I have watched lots of videos as I mentioned and I have been playing around with this for the last few months I was doing it in another notebook but I decided to switch to the grid back in and I do like it very much and I will flip through very quickly I think most of you that are familiar with bullet journals you know that there's tons of videos out there if you want to get into the details of what is included how to set it up that sort of thing so here's what I've got so far I am trying to do the index thing I'm not sure if I like it just yet but I've been doing it for November and December and honestly I'm not really sure what the point of it is but if if there is a point I'm sure I will get it a little later and I do set up a November log and a November task I kind of like this it's just nice to go back and remember a few things that happened and also this is great for project planning too when you already when you fill in before the month is up when you fill in this information you can kind of plan backwards using it here are some I tried to do something different with paper Tam's posts didn't really work out like I want it but oh well and then I do love now I love the tracker idea I've seen this on several bullet journal videos and I really enjoyed that way and you can you can just see like wow you can quickly determine areas that you may want to work on with these trackers I really like doing this and this analog way instead of traditionally I've used all kinds of digital trackers and I have found putting pen to paper but the tracker has been quite a bit of fun and then I do the dailies so here's the you know November and I did you know people add in notes as you're going along doing your dailies you know people add in notes and things like that and I did the 17 and 2017 this is my December set up so far and tasks and then I can go into this more this is where I talked about setting up your goals and these are my goals resolutions whatever you want to call them for 2017 I use a mind map and then what comes out of this little exercise pretty much determines what my tracker is going to be for the month and if you'd like for me to go over that in detail I'll be happy to do it it's a little too much information for right now and then my December dailies have started so I am going to keep this up throughout the new year and see how it works but so far I am enjoying this so yeah there is my planner setup that's it thank you so much for watching guys I really appreciate it


23 Comments

fernmom3k · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

I agree that there are sooo many videos on planners. However, I am always looking to watch new ones! Great job and keep it up! Thanks!

Swaggy Toast · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

what kind of engineer are you ?
I'm currently studying Mech E

Alicia Fecker · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for your video- I'm brand new to bullet journaling and I'm still just dipping my toes in and today I'm setting up a traveler's notebook system for 2018. I also enjoy seeing all of the beautiful and creative spreads people share on social media but I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself to make something beautiful. I really need it to help me plan my time better and track my habits and goals so that I can actually make progress toward them. I could fall down an (expensive) rabbit hole of markers, stickers, and washi tape but I that won't help with my current goals. I"m using an insert for collections so I might try to use that as a creative outlet and keep my actually planning more simple. I've read 7 Habits a few times but haven't managed to fully take its teachings to heart yet. I hope that my new journal will help me, as you say, live a more intentionally and focus my time where it really serves me.

Cool Crafty Creations · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

My job had us do that as well, and they gave us The Franklin Covey 6 ring binder and the other little goodies way back in the early 90’s lol. I use so many different planners for my current job because I’m a Case Manager. I so agree with you, I keep mine really simple although I like the Washi tape but that’s for the Planner at Home. Lol thanks for sharing this timeless truth

Adam Pawlaszczyk · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Very nice!!!

Lisbeth · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Awesome video thank you so much!

Victoria Alvarez · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Of course, Franklin Covey. I used one for years and parts of the system as well.

Katherine Crerar · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

OMG we are twins! I started planning with Franklin Covey and The 7 Habits book was life changing! And I'm an engineer! But love writing and crafts! Hi hi hi! So glad I watched this.

butrflis31 · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Absolutely wonderful video! I love the part where you admit that you don't have the time to do things over just to make them perfect. i am a physician and i too do not have the time to always make things pretty. In fact, often, i just need them to function. Besides, who knows which side of my brain will take over on my day off..left or Right???

TheWriter ThatReads2 · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Can I request a video on time management please? I really enjoyed your video. Bought a standard midori and always gravitating towards your videos. 🙂

nordicpapermouse · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

I like your TN's simplicity! I don't use Index, it didn't work for me. Totally subbing 🙂

talaytalai · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

would love to see your mindmap-to-goal-setting process! thank you for sharing!

Hali Chambers, Labyrinth Gal · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

New subbie! I also mind map so I appreciate seeing yours. How long have you been mind mapping and where/when did you learn? 🙂

Ciarra Taylor · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for taking the time to make this video. I really appreciate your perspective and seeing how you use your journal for work. I'm at a software company and just dipping my toe into project management, and working with our PMO. I always used to keep a journal but somehow got out of the habit a few years ago. Recently I've realized that I don't feel as productive as I used to be and I think not keeping a journal is part of that. I just put in an order for some supplies and I'm excited to get back into this! Thanks again! I would also be interested in seeing how you mind map your goals.

Brenda M. · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

I've also had planners forever and they are plain and simple. Every now and then I'll add a penguin or cat sticker to a page just for fun, but my planners are for planning and being at appointments on time.

Deb Houck's Crafty Cottage · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Not an engineer, but worked with many engineers and scientists and did financial/contracts traininig for Project Managers at a company I worked with for 26 years. I still have one or two Day Timer "planners" from back in the day and know exactly where you are. Started watching planning videos and, at first, just wasn't understanding Why anyone would spend so much time decorating planners. lol Love the mind map and Yes, would love a video on that. Also, your penmanship is Beautiful!!

eccentricpeasant · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Enjoyed your video! Thank you for sharing. I just found your channel and it struck a deep nerve: NC State Pulp and Paper grad (85), left industry after 12 years of tech service, sales, marketing, product development, and have always had reading, writing, stationery obsessions! Definitely subscribing. BTW, went to both DayTimer and Franklin training then to Covey training after he merged with Franklin. Small world.

XINHE DENG · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for your sharing. I like your handwriting by the way :)

Mia Ödmark · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Hi Tams! Yes, please! I would love to see a video on your resolution page. Especially dealing with how you deconstruct your goals into manageable steps, or daily tasks. Iwould also love to hear more about your thoughts on living with intent. What that means to you and how you go about doing it. Thank you!!

lightwave66 · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Lovely video. Please make one about mind mapping and bullet journal – I would love to learn your techniques.

Freda Pon · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for sharing your bullet journal process! The black Midori looks so nice. I too was introduced to the Franklin Covey planner through my employer. I've carried a Franklin planner for years (day on two pages) and I outgrew the system, but I didn't realize it until last year. My planner pages were empty day after day. I'm trying to find my way now and I'm experimenting with the Filofax and Midori. Happy Holidays.

SuperTech14 · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

I really loved this video-thanks for sharing your process and your thoughts. I started out with a Franklin Covey also 😀

Brown Girl Reading · May 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for this video! I've been trying to work out how I'm going to organize myself for next year. I was contemplating getting the monthly insert. I've already bought a calendar for work because I need one that has the day by the hour got my work appointments. I'd like to also organize a reading journal whichbcaontainsvsolebinfo on each book I read and maybe even have an insert for quotes. Ideas! Ideas! Need to be organized.

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