Saturday, February 18, 2017

Catholic Style: Planner and Bullet Journal

Have you jumped into the Bullet Journal craze yet? If not, I think you should consider giving it a try. I am a mommy that is responsible for a lot of planning in my household and I am sure many of you can relate whether you are a mom, dad, student or just a busy person.

This post may contain affiliate links that I receive a small commission. It does not change the price for you but it is a small blessing to my family. All opinions are my own.

I am responsible myself for keeping track of my work schedule, which varies since I work in a restaurant, my doctor appointments (I was born with Spina Bifida so they have been pretty frequent lately and can include physical therapy and pain management) and scheduling myself time for myself to enjoy my workouts, hobbies and volunteer commitments. My children are your normal crazy kids that want to be involved in everything: altar serving, football, soccer, Cub Scouts and extra curricular school activities. To make things even more exciting, my youngest son is developmentally delayed and has weekly speech, occupational, behavioral and group therapies. In addition to the craziness I just described, I am also responsible for planning our family meals and running errands because my husband works 60+ hours a week and commutes 90 minutes each way to work. We are also a Catholic family, so that means we set aside time for prayers, devotions, Mass and the Sacraments. Now I am sure that you are probably reading this and thinking that I must be completely crazy to juggle the schedule that I just described but nowadays it is the norm to be extremely busy and feel stretched thin at times

Now, I am not going to convince you that the Bullet Journal is the answer to every families needs but it has certainly made a HUGE difference in mine! Not only has it become essential to my planning routine but it is relaxing and can be a great tool to increase your faith! If you are a little weary, don't be! I will be sharing some of my page layouts and explaining why I have decided to include them in my Bullet Journal. If you are convinced to try this system out, do not feel obligated to include every page layout in your system. The beauty of the bullet journal is that it is something that can be personalized to your unique needs.

I have always been a lover of organization and I have always utilized a planner even before including a Bullet Journal as a supplemental planning tool. To make my system a little easier to understand you first need to know how my planner is put together so I am going to divide this into two sections to make it easier to refer to as a template for your own planning needs.

Schedule Planner:

Some things to consider in your planner and how you need it to be utilized to be the most beneficial to you and your purposes:

1: How do you keep track of your schedule and the schedules of those you are responsible?
2. How detailed do you need your planner?
3. Do you use multiple planners? Print and/or electronic? Both?

I use a planner that has times written down each day and color code the events that are written in the planner. I also make sure to write the corresponding times even though there is spaces between the times to make sure I do not make myself late to something on accident. I do not normally include end times though because as a hospitality worker I know that NOTHING ends on time. You can only estimate which would add additional  planning so start times work best for me.

CoziI also stated that I have recently started utilizing a bullet journal but I also use an online planner called Cozi to have reminders sent to me daily as well. Cozi is a great family app that allows your entire family to access the family schedule through a shared family password. The amazing thing is anyone can add, delete or update an event and you can send a notification so everyone that is attending will be made aware. You also have the option to set reminders before events occur just in case you need to have a warning before you move on through your schedule. There is a place to record your grocery list, find recipes and so much more. I highly suggest checking it out, especially since the basic package is FREE and can be downloaded on to your smart phone! 

Here is my color code system:

Me- Pink
Husband- Light Blue
Kids- Dark Blue
School Event- Orange
Important/ Need to Remember- Red
Church- Liturgical Season Color (Advent/ Lent- Purple, Ordinary Time- Green, etc)
Bill Due Dates- Light Green
Black/Brown: Menu

As I mentioned earlier, I do keep track of Liturgical Calendar events in my planner. It helps me plan our menu and family activities. It is the first thing I write each month when I am getting organized for each new month.

As you can see from this exert from my planner that there is room for me to write "scheduled" events but not much room for writing to-do lists, errands or other important things such as book lists, blog ideas, exercise routines water intake and so much more. What about ways to hold yourself accountable to your prayers? attending Mass? Adoration? Devotions? Fellowship? That is where the Bullet Journal comes in to play.

Bullet Journal:

A Bullet Journal has no defined order. No necessary inclusions. It is completely your creation used in any way that you deem important. For me, creating healthy habits is vitally important.

Habit Tracker: A Habit Tracker is one of my favorite ways to increase my good habit making decisions and have a physical copy of things that I can visually look at, to see my strengths and weaknesses. You could also utilize this to help with Natural Family Planning as well. This habit tracker is a monthly one that I really did like but I decided that things I am unable to do everyday, such as, Confession, Adoration and attending Mass should be included on my weekly spreads since it is something I tend to do weekly versus daily. Praying the Rosary and other daily prayers could easily be included in a Monthly Habit Tracker like the one above.

Reading Challenge: Reading is one of my hobbies and an essential aspect of growing my faith. Included in my Reading Challenge for this year is A Walk in Her Sandals and Rediscover Jesus. Many of the books that I have been pulled to read are devotionals or are inspirational. This Reading Challenge layout is suppose to look like a library and I am coloring in each book as I finish reading them. You could modify this layout to contain the devotionals and bible studies you would like to complete throughout the year.

Rosary Tracker: I'll admit that this tracker I actually found online and just printed it small enough to fit on the inside cover of my bujo. If you follow the link it will take you to a PDF that you could also utilize in the same fashion or you could go ahead and draw a similar copy if you prefer. With this being the 100 year celebration of Fatima, there is no better time to get on your daily family rosaries.

Weekly Layout: My weekly layouts are used to create to-do lists and keep track of when I attend my Sacraments. I keep things simple and try to utilize the same color code I mentioned is in my regular planner so my organization flows more easily but sometimes I have to jot down an errand or idea with whatever writing utensil is readily available.

Adoration Intentions: It is so easy to create a list of intentions to bring with you to Adoration and to know you have a location to jot down a friend or family members special prayer requests. If you ever see my posts asking for your requests, you can guarantee I write them out so that they are with me. I also revisit these requests each time I attend the Sacrament of Adoration. This layout is similar to the ones I've already shared but because several of the intentions I have written on my list are personal for myself and several others I decided not to share.

Obviously, the layouts that can be included in a Bullet Journal are infinite. Anything you dream up can be included in your unique journal. I would also like to point out that my Bullet Journal pages are not works of art. I have seen some absolutely beautiful pages on Pinterest and in Bullet Journal Groups I participate. If you are not artsy, do not allow that to push you away from trying out this great organizational tool. The purpose of these tools is to make yourself more accountable and organized. I would love to see some of the beautiful Catholic style layouts you design in your bullet journals and feel free to share how you use your planners. Are there designs you would like to to create? Just ask and I'll do my best to help find or create something that can help you.

God Bless!


  1. This is amazing organization- although, with as much as you have going on, I bet you need mad organization skills. This is awesome. Thank you for sharing how you bullet journal!

    1. This at least makes me feel organized. lol Sometimes just feeling organized helps! :)

  2. Replies
    1. The ones I use right now are called Staedtler triplus roller pens