Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bullet Journaling - Catholic Style

Editor's note: This is another great contribution from Holly Vaughan. You can follow her on Twitter here!

Bullet journaling has been a thing for quite some time now.  If you’re not familiar with it, you can get a quick idea at  In essence it is a planner, journal, notebook, sketchbook - whatever you want it to be - all in one, and the whole thing is organized by the index in the front.  

I have been reliant on planners as far back as I can remember.  As technology has advanced I have tried multiple times to switch over to a digital calendar, but I just end up missing the tried and true pen and paper. Maybe my hipster-ish love of tradition is present in more things than just Catholicism. ;)  I remember things better when I physically write them out, and I just love the tangibility of an actual book as opposed to the app on my phone.  However….

I’m a confessed planner hopper.  I find the ‘perfect’ one, and by the end of the year I’m convinced it just won’t work for me again.  Shortly after my conversion to Catholicism I discovered Catholic planners, and was actually able to stick with them because they incorporated my faith into my day, which I loved.  Still, there were some nuances with each one that I had to work around to use them in the most efficient way possible.

When I found the bullet journal system, I wrote it off immediately.  I refused to even buy undated planners because I couldn’t stand filling in the dates.  No way could I use a blank notebook as a planner.  But then I started to see that they didn’t have to be as elaborate as the ones on Pinterest, and that you could use them to incorporate anything that was important to you.  I gave it a try and was hooked - I could pull the parts of the Catholic planners that I liked into the system, add what I wished they had, and discard the parts I didn’t use.  I also could incorporate my faith life into all aspects of the journal, and therefore into all aspects of my day.  Below are some the ways that I use the bullet journal to help me live out my faith.  

Each month has the monthly dedications of the church listed at the top.

This is my weekly spread that I make each week.  You can see that the Saint of the Day is written in red at the top of each day, along with the times of the Daily Masses and/or Rosary services that are available that week.
I also keep myself accountable for the prayers I say using the habit tracker.  This is the tracker partially filled out.  

Each day has a section for the readings of the day, lectio divina, notes on the daily devotional, and on the daily reading from the Rule of Saint Benedict that all Oblates read every day.
I also have a page that has my prayer routine - parts of which are in post it notes in the little boxes so they can be changed out when needed.  When I’m done with Graceful Living Devotions, which you see above, I will change out the post it with the devotions I do next.  

There are several other elements that I use such as a confession log, a list of books currently reading/to read, a list of saints and their patronages, etc.  

Seeing prayer and Mass interspersed throughout my day helps me put things in the proper perspective when I would otherwise often forget to be intentional about the things that matter the most.  This is just one more way that I can remind myself throughout the day where my focus should be.

Do you use a bullet journal? A Catholic Planner?  How do you incorporate your faith throughout your day?

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