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Bye Bye Bullet Journal, I Found Something Better!
I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you what I found that is even better than the bullet journal!
The bullet journal has taken over by storm. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them!
I ended up getting this journal, this washi tape bundle, and these pens. But this bundle right here comes with that and much more so looking back I should have just got this bundle instead.
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
What is a Bullet Journal?
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots (bullet points) to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
I just had two issues, I would always forget it and I’m not artistic. I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around. (However, if you do love to carry that thing around and you are looking for more ideas on how to use your bullet journal, Suzi has an amazing post that you can check out!)
Then when I would sit down to work on it all I would hate my handwriting and any of my “doodles”. Luckily I found something that works perfectly for me.
Bullet Journal or Digital Planner
Since the traditional bullet journal wasn’t working the way I thought, I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make my planning more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I like fun bright colors and although I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule, I didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
So I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so ago and that has been great! I was just missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
After I got it, I started researching all of the ways to use my Apple Pencil with my iPad. That is when I came across digital planners. I fell in love with them! It was everything I was missing in a physical bullet journal!
So I created a digital bullet journal that you can download for free to try out for yourself! Don’t worry you don’t have to be an Apple user to use this. Learn more about digital bullet journals and planners here.
Or here is why I love the Notes App on my iPhone and how it can be used to replace your bullet journal!
Notes App Features
- It’s FREE
- You can add tabs and organize thoughts
- There are options to bold, underline and customize the text
- You can have clickable links in it
- It automatically saves new changes on any device
- You can scan documents, take photo or video
- Add sketch, photo, checklist, or charts
- Portable and conveniently located on your phone
- Lock your note
- Share and save your note to folders
- Pin important notes to the top of your list
- Duplicate and search notes
- Add people to your notes so you can both make changes.
How to use your free Notes App on Your iPhone or iPad as a (Digital) Bullet Journal
There are a bunch of fun ways to customize your notes in the Notes app that make it feel like you have a real digital bullet journal.
- Insert lines or grids to the background of note.
- There is a toolbar full of customizable options to write on your note page.
- The toolbar is easily adjustable so you can move it around the page.
- If you want to have a certain font you can type out your note in that font.
- There is a lasso option to move an object around on your note freely.
- Insert a checklist that you can actually click and checkmark off items. It also gives you a priority option to move the checked items to the bottom on the list.
- Insert and create charts.
- Insert images that you can edit and mark up as well.
Insert Lines or Grids to the Background of Note
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like how the bullet journal gives you guidance with the bullet pages, you now have lines and grides as guides to help you design your page.
To access the lines and grids in the notes app, click the share button at the top right of the note. In that menu select Lines and Grids.
There is a toolbar full of customizable options to write on your note pad
Before, if I would remember my bullet journal, I would want to bring all of my pens and supplies so I could have all the colors I wanted to use for each page. This way you only need one pencil and one device.
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using.
The Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
Insert images that you can edit and mark up
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a notes app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away!
Organize into categories
I really do use this app a lot. I have my notes organized into major categories of life and then there are folders under each of those to organize further down.
Then lastly within each folder is individual notes. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write out my notes instead of typing them out.
With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories or sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
Conveniently located on all Apple devices
You don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone!
You can make all these changes from your iPhone too. It just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note from either device. And you can pick right up where you left off since it is all automatically saved to the iCloud (as long as you have that setting set up on your devices).
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item.
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Not just because of this example but so many other reasons! But if you are like me and you want to be able to have all the fun colors and designs but are not good at using a bullet journal then I hope you learned something fun and new with this post! I know I was so excited when I realized it!
Thanks for reading!
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyway so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger iCloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech-savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all Apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connect it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in two different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
Then, of course, I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatible with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But it doesn’t work like that, to erase you just double-tap your finger on the pencil and double-tap again to go back to writing. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge level the pencil is at as well.
I don’t know if that affects the double-tap feature to erase or I don’t know how the gripper effects it charging magnetically and staying safe on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
There you have it. Let me know if you have an iPad and use it for digital planning!