Setting Up a New Bullet Journal in 2019

How to Start a Bullet Journal in 2019

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

Bullet Journals are a great tool for anyone who (like myself) have busy lives, being easily adaptable for tracking daily and future activities, goal-setting and organising your lifestyle with the use of bullet points instead of repeated lists and complicated organisers. Created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from New York, they have become an internet phenomenon over the last few years and I have developed a personal obsession – it has helped me to developed my own blogging and business strategies and activities, helped me to streamline my working day, become more organised in my personal life, and I can’t get through my week without it. 

For more information about the Bullet Journal system, here’s the official website.

While they were initially designed to be purely simple and functional, I have seen the development and creativity of different layouts (or ‘spreads,’ as they are known) become increasingly more exciting and detailed, with trackers and overviews now being adapted for every possible activity. However, the beauty and effectiveness of using a Bullet Journal means that spreads can be as easy or as complicated as the creator decides and they can be customised to suit every individual need.  To date, there isn’t a diary, notebook or journal available on the market that is suitable for the sort of trackers I use, so it’s easier to create my own. I also find the process enormously therapeutic and fun! Continue reading

Back To Reality After a Wonderful Weekend

imageIt was difficult getting motivated this morning. I sat at my desk this morning, turned on my laptop and almost instantly a reminder popped up: data analysis due tomorrow. Eurgh. I like my job and I work at a good school, but after having such a brilliant weekend I was suddenly brought back down to reality with a big bump.

It was my birthday last Friday, and I’ve had a wonderful weekend of celebrations. My lovely colleagues treated me to Crispy Cremes, chocolate and cinema vouchers and they found it hilarious to all sign a One Direction card when they know how much I dislike them, which made me and my students roar with laughter when I opened it. On Friday night The Bloke and a large group of friends from all different areas of my life joined me for drinks at my local pub. It can be sometimes quite awkward when introducing groups of friends to each other, but everyone instantly connected and there was lots of laughter, some dancing and the odd spillage. I had a warm and fuzzy moment where I sat back and watched everyone as they were talking – I’m lucky to know lots of wonderful people…

Suffice to say, my hangover was of epic proportions on Saturday morning. I had woken up early as The Bloke left for the day to visit his family and couldn’t get back to sleep, so instead of wallowing in my own alcohol – laden filth I decided to make the short journey into Birmingham City Centre and attempt to make a decent start on my Christmas shopping.


Tip: When attempting to shop in the second biggest city in the country, do so with a raging hangover. I was feeling so awful that I was in no mood for politeness and taking things easy. My headphones were in, my heavy metal music was on, my elbows were out and I was like a woman possessed. I knew exactly what I wanted and where to obtain it from, and I was in and out within two hours. I returned home with everything on my list, and had even managed to buy myself an ‘it’s my birthday and I’m brilliant so I’m going to treat myself’ present in the form of a shiny new iPhone 6, which replaced my old faithful iPhone 4 that went to the electronic heaven in the sky last week.

The Bloke returned home later that day to find me in my jammies and lying on the couch under a quilt. The hangover had subsided a little by that point, and so we spent the evening watching ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and eating pizza.


Sunday was the day I had been looking forward to all week: The Good Food Show at the NEC. It has become a yearly tradition for The Bloke and I as it always falls on the weekend after my birthday and I love it. We’ve established a routine – The Bloke stands back and pretends that he doesn’t know me as I run around and grab all the free samples that I possibly can, we buy lots of cheese, chutney and products by Crimbles, we watch a show and then go home before it gets too busy to move. This year was no exception – we arrived just as it opened and almost immediately I had a potato on a stick in one hand, some cocktail sticks that had been skewered with different flavours of cheese in another and was attempting to munch my way through different olives laced with beautiful oils, herbs and garlic without dribbling them down the front of myself. Classy.


We went to see the Hairy Bikers show (who, if you haven’t seen or heard of them before, are essentially two northern and heavily bearded chefs that ride motorbikes and create brilliant cookery programmes for British television), and I was delighted that The Bloke had managed to get tickets right on the front row. They didn’t disappoint, and even brought Louis, a contestant from the recent Great British Bake Off, to help them on stage. The food they created smelled beautiful, they entertained with their usual warmth and cheeky jokes, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In my infinite wisdom I decided to finish off the last of my shopping after we left. It was early in the afternoon by the time I arrived, and it was utter chaos. I managed two stores and came home. Never. Again. I’ve decided to avoid town at all costs from now on unless I can get in early. However, my shopping is now nearly completed, most of my cards are written and all I need to do is put up the tree, torture the cats with their little Santa hats that I force them to wear every year and I’m all set. My weekly Twitter party, #SundayBlogShare was being guest hosted by Gene’O @sourcererblog and he did a wonderful job, and I checked it sporadically to see lots of new participants and hundreds of posts being shared. Brilliant. Thanks Gene’O, you’re a star.

This is why getting out of bed this morning was so tough. I needed another day or two to recover.


I also wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who wished me a happy birthday across my social media sites. It was indeed a happy birthday, filled with lots of lovely people and experiences, and I have been thoroughly spoilt with cards and unbelievably thoughtful gifts.

So, back to reality. Anyone got a time machine they would like to lend me so I can go and do it again?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page

The End of a Lovely Week

I’m sitting on a train that is destined for Manchester as I’m spending the weekend with my mum. I haven’t seen her since my sister’s wedding at the beginning of the month and I’m looking forward to a few days of vegetating on her couch in my PJ’s and a duvet.

For once, I appeared to be reasonably organised, until Daisy (my diabetic cat) decided to have a hypo this morning… Cue the blood curve testing kit and a jar of honey – not what is needed at 7.30am with an unexplainable hangover. Luckily, her levels have gone back up and The Bloke is on standby over the next few hours to check on her.


I’ve got myself settled into my seat with everything that is necessary for a successful train journey – my phone, headphones, a playlist of 80’s rock anthems, charger, bottle of water and a cheese and onion pasty the size of my face (not exactly the healthiest breakfast I’ve ever eaten, but sometimes it has to be done). I’ve managed to drop half on it on my clothes as I seem to have the coordination skills of a two year old at this time in a morning, which is unfortunate as I am sitting across from a man that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hugo Boss advert. Gorgeous. He’s so pretty I could actually cry. I’m having to turn away before he realises that I’m gawking at him. I’m not the only one to notice him either – there’s a whole group of women (and a man) who have given him the eye as they boarded the train.


It’s almost the end of the holidays and I’ve had a great time. It was The Bloke’s birthday, for which I bought him the Lego Ghostbusters car (I loved his face when he opened it), met my friend for drinks, I went for several lovely meals, did a bit of shopping and met a group of bloggers – my social life has been more active this week than it has in months. I’m conscious of the fact that I still have some schoolwork that needs completing, but it shouldn’t take me more than a few hours.

My online adventures have also been great – my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party was a huge success and I’m looking forward to this week’s party, and I’ve had lots more views on individual posts because of it. If you’re around on Sunday, you’re more than welcome to participate – I’ll send out further details tomorrow…

Here’s to sleep… And lots of it!

What about you guys? How has your week been?

You can also find me on Twitter an Tumblr @suzie81blog


Seven Good Things For The Day

Those of you who follow my blog regularly will have noticed that my recent posts have been a little more on the negative side. I’m not ashamed in admitting that things have been tough – The Bloke and I have not been as great with each other as we usually are, the building work still continues, The Bloke’s place of work is going through major changes which has left us questioning potential issues that we haven’t had to consider before, Daisy (the cat) is still a regular (and expensive) visitor to the vets while we are trying to adjust her insulin levels and to top it all off I’ve had an awful bout of flu that has knocked me out for almost a week.

Yesterday I received a comment from somebody who has always been extremely supportive of the blog, in which he listed all the different ways in which I was very lucky. While I reserve the right to use my blog to discuss my feelings, both positive and negative (indeed this was the reason for starting the blog in the first place), he made me think about things in a slightly different way. Yes, things have been tough and will continue to be for some time, but I’ll deal with things as I usually do and eventually things will be fine. Continue reading

A Lady Wot Lunches…

Ah, Monday. I love Mondays. It is fast becoming my favourite day of the week. I have Mondays off now and I genuinely look forward to them – gone are the Sunday night blues and even though the cat woke me up at 5.45am this morning I didn’t mind as I know that I have the whole day ahead of me to do as I please. Bliss.

It has taken me a little while to get used to it – I’ve always been lucky enough to have a full-time job since graduating in 2005 and it was a huge step to realise that I wasn’t coping well earlier this year and request to go .8, but work have been amazingly supportive and even gave me Mondays off without me requesting it specifically. I was initially worried about money, but i’ve lost a lot less than I expected so as long as I am careful I’ll be fine, even with the unexpexcted vets bills for Daisy. There’s the added bonus that one of my closest friends, MRH is also off on Mondays so I can occasionally be a ‘lady wot lunches.’ Continue reading

A Busy Few Days!!!

ImageWow. The last few days have been manic.

Within 48 hours of handing in our notice to our current landlord, a lettings board went up outside our house and we had five people booked in for viewings. Unfortunately, this also meant that the individual jobs that needed doing suddenly had to be completed in the space of a few hours in the evening as we were both at work during the day, but The Bloke and I worked hard and got it all done. We also had to take the cats to my friend’s house as we didn’t want them to get under everybody’s feet as they were walking around. This morning the house was let immediately (I was really pleased for my landlord because that means he doesn’t lose out on any money) and on top of everything else I’ve been able to sell a few bits of furniture that we didn’t want to take with us to one of the interested tenants…

The first week back at work has been better than I thought. I’ve met some of my classes, the new additions to my tutor group are adorable and I’ve only got a few hours of work to do over the weekend which isn’t as bad as I expected. This Monday is also my first official day of being part-time, which I’m expecting to feel both wonderful and strange. I think the next few weeks will consist mainly of packing and organising, but at least I won’t have to be doing it all whilst having to work full-time. Brilliant.

Upon reflection I think we have been extremely lucky with how well everything has gone so far. We’ve had so many positive messages and offers of help from friends and family and after feeling low for such a long period of time I finally feel that things are going our way. We’re very blessed.

Hope you guys are all doing well – I’ve still got paperwork to fill out this afternoon but I thoroughly intend on catching up with you all and replying to your lovely comments over the next few days…

Happy Blogging!!

A Day In The Life

I was feeling sluggish and bloated this morning and I woke up with horrible cramps and backache (not my favourite part of being a woman every month). However, it’s a gloriously sunny day and after doing a bit of housework I decided to try and cheer myself up by going into town. By town I mean Birmingham City Centre, and being the second biggest city in the UK it’s an enormous place to walk around.

I moved here in 2001, a few days after 9/11 so in a few weeks I’ll have lived here for twelve years. I still vividly remember the first day I arrived at my Halls Of Residence with all my worldly possessions being able to fit in the back of my parents car. Since then I’ve built a life for myself here and I’ve never regretted it…

Anyway, I digress. I finally got a much needed haircut, after I received my annual telling off from my hairdresser. I always go to the same Toni and Guy salon – it costs a little more but the staff are friendly and the cut is always exactly what I want. It makes me smile how horrified they are at the state of my split-ends… I’m sure there are more important things to be concerned about in life.

Afterwards I had a nice stroll around in an attempt to relieve the cramps. It was payday yesterday so I took the opportunity to get a few cards and presents for my friends upcoming birthdays. It’s the BM’s birthday in a week and the fact that he’s the world’s biggest Dr Who fan makes it really easy to get him something that I know he’ll love from the comic book store. I discovered the new Lone Ranger Lego too, so I got The Bloke a set (I love the fact that I’m surrounded by geeks – it certainly makes life more interesting!). I treated myself to some perfume too – my favourite, Stella McCartney, was half price so I got two bottles.

When I got home I took advantage of the energy I seemed to still have and I sorted out the little jobs that needed finishing – paid various bills, booked a few appointments to see some houses (quite excited about one in particular) put the clean washing away, ordered Daisy’s cat food (she needs special hypoallergenic stuff because she has a bad stomach – she wasn’t looked after very well in the first few weeks of her life and has suffered stomach problems ever since), put flea treatment on all three cats, changed the litter trays, vacuumed the bedroom, put the recycling and rubbish out, washed and changed the bedsheets, did a little bit of planning for next week (boo) and then cooked dinner.

I finished the day by having a pint of cranberry juice at the pub with the BM. I haven’t seen him in a while so we had a bit of a catch-up. I’m actually a little bit worried about him – he’s recently split with his girlfriend and even though he’s attempting to put a brave face on it, he’s a lot more upset about it than he’s letting on. Still, it’s his birthday next week and I’m really hoping that his present will cheer him up. I walked home with a beautiful sunset behind me.

Quite a productive day all round!