Rustic Editorial North Carolina Wedding Photographer

mollie tobias

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Rustic Editorial North Carolina Wedding Photographer



August 9, 2016

Wedding Planning Hack: How to use bullet journaling to simplify wedding planning

This week’s post features a wedding planning hack to help you stay organized while planning your wedding.

I have a confession.

I have a weakness for all things organization.

Planners. Tiny notebooks. To-do lists.  Systems. Fancy pens.

Yes, please.  All of the above.

When I discovered Bullet Journaling I was in love.  After the initial flurry of planning activity it occured to me that Bullet journaling is the perfect wedding planning hack!

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First things first, what is bullet journaling?

Bullet Journaling is an analog – read pen and paper – system for organizing your life.

THE BASICS

A Bullet Journal is a notebook that contains anything and everything that you want to keep track of.  It is a combination of to-do list and journal.  There is a lot of variation in what can be included, but the basics are an index, future logs, monthly logs, daily logs, and collections.

Each page in the journal is numbered, allowing you to add them to the index for easy access later.  Future logs are lists of things that are happening in – you guessed it – the future.  Monthly and daily logs are the bread and butter of bullet journaling.  They are your to-do lists and help you plan your weeks and months.  The other most important pages are the collection pages.  Collection pages are incredibly flexible and can be anything that you want them to be.

You can read more about the particulars of bullet journaling on their website or in this article.

There is also a whole new world of info and inspiration on Pinterest (Kiss your evening good bye).

Why use an analog system?

I have tried A LOT of organizational systems over the years and none of them ever really seem to stick for me.  I like the idea of using productivity apps.  It’s handy how they can automatically schedule recurring tasks and send me reminders.

Can you feel the “but” coming on?

But, there is something about writing things down that helps me process things better.  I always seem to come back to jotting to do lists on random pieces of paper.

Because of bullet journaling’s flexibility I can include or leave out whatever best serves my needs.

I only put in pages when I need them, so there is no guilt staring at weeks worth of empty days in my planner.  If I have a slow week and I don’t need to write anything down, I don’t.

What makes this a wedding planning hack?

There are literally a million things that you have to keep track of when you are planning a wedding.  You need a central location to keep everything organized – lists, to-dos, inspiration, ideas…

Bullet Journaling’s flexibility let’s you include everything that’s important to you – and nothing that’s not.

Let’s take a look at my bullet journal to give you some ideas.

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INDEX

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HEADER IDEAS (collection)

You can make your bullet journal as plain or as fancy as you like.  I like mine a little fancy 🙂

I started my journal with a few pages to sketch headers that I like to refer back to.

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YEARLY CASH FLOW PROJECTION (future log)

This spread is an example of a future log.  This is an easy layout for a year.  Just divide each page into three and then cut it in half.

This spread is my yearly cashflow projection.  A layout like this would be great to keep track of payment due dates for all of your vendors or due dates by month.

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WEEKLY / DAILY RECURRING TASKS (future log)

I like to give each weekday a “theme”.  I suck at multi-tasking.  Batching tasks helps me be more productive so I try to do as many of the same types of tasks on the same day as possible.  You can do this with wedding tasks as well.  Monday – research, Tuesday – visit social media profiles, Wednesday – send emails, etc.

Having a routine can really help keep your sanity intact.  Healthy habits keep you on track so I like to have a few that I do everyday.

wedding-planning-hack-bullet-journaling-bills

BILL LOG (future log)

This is where I keep track of what bills I have to pay and what day they are due.

The month prior to the wedding is when many of your bills will be due.  Use a spread like this to keep on top of them.

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SAVINGS TRACKER (collection)

You don’t have to make yours look like a piggy bank (You can use plain old bar graphs if you like) but a savings tracker can help you keep track of how much you need to save for multiple things and let you quickly and visually how you are progressing.

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HABIT TRACKER (collection) / MONTHLY LOG

They say it takes at least 21 days to build a habit.  And let’s be real, making new habits is hard!

I like being able to cross off the day and see my progress. I have been trying to do yoga or mobility at least three times a week.  Using the tracker helps me plan when I am going to practice and gives me a little virtual high five when I get to color in a square.

The monthly overview is a list of all of your appointments and commitments for the upcoming month.

I have been trying out this round dial format (mostly because I think it is visually appealing) but you can also just number down the page and write your appointments next to the date number.

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WEEKLY LOG / WHAT WE DID PAGE (collection)

The page on the left is my weekly planner.  I like to color code each day of the week so that I can use shorthand on my other pages; Monday-purple, Tuesday, blue, etc.  Each day also has it’s “theme” written in the box on top followed by my major tasks for the day.  I try to keep this to 3-5 tasks.

The page on the right is more the “journaling” aspect of the bullet journal.  This page is where I can keep track of things I did this month and any happy or significant memories that I want to remember.  Wedding planning is a whirl wind.  You want to have a place to remember the fun things and the good memories.

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WEEKLY LOG

This is the layout that I use the most.  I brain dump anything and everything that needs to get done onto this list each week.  Then, I use my color coding to note next to each task the day of the week that I plan to accomplish the task.

Once it gets done, I check it off the list.

At the end of each week, if there are tasks left unfinished, they either get crossed off for good if they are no longer necessary or transferred to the next week.

Collections for Wedding Planning

Now that you have a basic idea of how bullet journaling works, you can get creative!

Here is a list of ideas for different collection pages.

  • guest list / RSVPs
  • seating chart
  • savings tracker
  • budget
  • payment due dates
  • inspiration pages
  • vendor contact info
  • timelines
  • gift/thank you tracker
  • Pro/Con lists for venues
  • notes
  • packing lists
  • vows
  • sketches / photos
  • dj “must play” and “do not play” lists
  • delegated tasks and status
  • weight loss / workout tracker
  • possible engagement session locations
  • list of important dates / deadlines
  • sizes for bridesmaids  / groomsmen gifts
  • sleep tracker
  • gratitude logs

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