Using a Hobonichi Cousin as a Bullet Journal

Life has been pretty stressful this past two months.

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This has led to a bit of an overhaul in terms of how I’ve been planning. For a couple of weeks I just didn’t really plan at all. Between life things and illness getting in the way, and having less to plan (the shop and blog took a back seat for a while) I didn’t plan in my Cousin. I started planning again in my Weeks but it was really basic.

The Weeks isn’t really big enough for me. However, I didn’t want to go back to using the weekly pages in my Cousin. As much as I enjoyed planning in it, it didn’t really match my needs.

I’d just finished reading the Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll* (highly recommended even if you don’t bullet journal) and I was itching to get back to some bullet journalling.

Instead of starting a new notebook (I have enough) I decided to start using my Hobonichi Cousin as a bullet journal.

I still continued to plan in my Weeks. However, this is just basically a weekly overview, so I have it all in one place at a glance.

I also use the monthly pages in my Cousin like normal.

I like having my monthly and weekly plans in separate planners.

Although I do still plan my month in my Weeks so I know my plans when I’m out of the house.

When I’m planning I don’t like to be flicking back and forth within the same book. So when I’m planning my week in my Weeks, I can have the monthly pages of my Cousin open to refer to.

Equally, this means that I can have my Weeks open while I’m planning my days in my Cousin.

In terms of how I bullet journal in my Cousin, I basically use the layout of the daily pages, and don’t alter them.

I use the times for my schedule (though most days I’m just at work 9-5), I use the right hand side for my logging and underneath I’ve started trying some journalling.

I tend to use the checklists at the top of each day for high priority tasks and the planned Instagram post of the day.

Doing this has also given me an opportunity to start using more of my washi and decorative stickers. I’d accumulated a lot of both and was very aware I was barely using either. Now I get to add a bit of decoration every day.

In weekly pages I feel like I need to use kits, but not so much on the daily pages. I feel like I have a lot more freedom to just use whatever.

How I use these pages is going to continue to evolve over time but I’m enjoying using them. I’ve developed a key that works for me, and stuck it to my pencil board so it’s always visible.

Having somewhere to ‘catch’ everything on a daily basis has been perfect for me. My reliance on post it notes for random information has massively reduced. Now it’s all just contained in my daily pages.

I regularly flick through those pages and make sure every has been migrated, or scheduled. I use the usual bullet journal signifiers for that.

When I flick through I’m checking that all bullets are crossed or migrated, and that everything else has a migrated or scheduled signifier. Not all notes need to go anywhere, so I need to find some way of marking those.

I know some people put a mark on the top corner of their pages when the page is ‘complete’ so I may try doing that. It means I can quickly flick through my pages and know if there’s any that still require something actioned on them.

Journalling has been a new thing for me. I’m still finding my feet with it. At the moment I’m just writing about my day. I’d like to do a bit more personal reflection and maybe do more goal planning or at least use it to write down more ideas and brainstorming. I’m sure this will come with time though I will be skimming IG for some inspiration.

Using this as a bullet journal has really got me thinking about moving into an A6 Hobonichi for 2020.

I don’t necessarily need A5 sized pages and the A6 just has the monthly and daily pages, which is all I really need in my ‘desk planner’. If I do ever need to carry it anywhere, it’s also a much better size.

Do you bullet journal in your Hobonichi?