One Book July: An Introduction

“July, July, July! never seemed so strange”

“July, July” by the Decemberists

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Happy July! July feels like the first real month of summer. There are more BBQs, street fairs, and so much sun. And, there is One Book July. If you are looking for a fun challenge this summer, One Book July is right up there. For this planner lovin’ woman, I think July is the perfect time to bond with just one planner, or Bullet Journal in my case. What I like about this challenge is, there are very few rules. You don’t have to stick with just one book. You can focus on one big project, get better at using your Bullet Journal, or trying out a new system that may work better for you. You can find out more on their Facebook page. If you have been struggling, juggling, or wanting to start a Bullet Journal, I highly encourage you to participate.

This time around, the women running One Book July have added a book to inspire you to get back to basics-- The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should. As someone who considers myself a Bujo expert, I learned so much from reading Carroll’s more expansive explanation on what the method is. Carroll encourages you to go back to the basics: no extraneous designs, keys and symbols that don’t work, and jamming your to-do lists with stuff you don’t necessarily need to get done right this minute

So, for me, this year’s One Book July challenge means me trying to use just my Bullet Journal as it once was--a catchall for all my thoughts, tasks, and projects. I have a work planner, but I have decided to limit the use of that. One, because it is bulky and heavy; two, because I want to see how much I really need it; and, three because I think I’m not so good at balance. I do think I have steered away from the basics; often redoing my weeklies because I am so concerned with making it “pretty”. By knowing I have a limited amount of pages, I need to be more careful and intentional with how I use those precious pages. I can’t just glue every “bad” page together; or, constantly redo my weekly and daily spreads. No, I need to stick with it all. 

I initially wanted to limit a lot of things. I love adding markers, stickers, and hand drawn doodles. My go-to markers has been the Mildliners for a long time. I enjoy color coding and adding pops of color. How can I part from them? Then there are the stickers: The Coffee Monsterz Co and Sweet Kawaii Designs. I had thought, well that’s not part of the basics, but it kinda is for me. So, after attempting it for a couple of days, I decided against it. The One Book July challenge isn’t about limiting yourself, taking away elements that are part of you, or cause you unwanted stress. This is supposed to be fun!

So, I am going to make it fun. I will do what I like to do, while experimenting. I want to experiment with layout designs, such as creative dutch doors and rolling weeklies, as well as adding more of me in my pages rather than second guessing who I am. I know who I am. But, I get side tracked by what I want to be, who I want people to think I am, and if I am talented. One Book July is my chance to not just use one book, but use it in a way that reinvigorates me to want to Bullet Journal, express myself, and accomplish a big lofty goal of mine: open a digital shop

C’mon, challenge yourself this summer. Join One Book July and do all the things. Be whoever you want to be. Is there a project you’ve been longing to start or finish? Have you lost your planning ways? Tag along as the month continues. Now, go on, get started already!

Let me know in the comments if you are participating. I would love to follow along with you. 

Remember, it’s all about planning one night at a time.

~ Hannah ~