Bullet Journaling for a Better Life Abroad
I absolutely love bullet journaling. I first stumbled upon it when I was browsing YouTube, and quickly realized it was the perfect system for me because it is the intersection of creativity and productivity.
As the bullet journal founder Ryder Carroll says, its purpose is “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”
So much happens when you're an expat, and I wanted to not only use it for daily tasks and planning but also to express creativity, set goals, remember the time I spent in different places, and see how I evolved in my life abroad.
Coincidently (or not), I discovered bullet journaling at the same time I hired my first coach, and I found it to be an incredible compliment to the coaching work we did together.
-----> Want to coach with me? Book a free discovery session HERE to learn all about it! <------
Here are some of my favorite things about bullet journaling as an expat:
1. It fits in with your life
With the bullet journal system, you design the whole thing yourself in a blank journal. So if you get busy, are traveling a lot, and don't have time to use it for a few weeks it's no big deal - you just turn the page and start wherever you left off.
I've had journals that only lasted 6 months because I was using them every day, and journals that lasted almost 2 years because I just got busy or was more online. I have months where I am more creative and fill the pages with color, calligraphy, and collages, and months when I simplify and only use pen and paper. The bullet journal fits with the natural ebbs and flows of life.
2. It is a record of where you were
Shortly after I got my first coaching certification, I wrote about my career aspirations in my bullet journal: "I will...help people through coaching, put value into the world, and do work that is authentic to who I am and all I have experienced." It makes me beyond proud to look back and acknowledge I am now living the life I dreamed about!
I also love to look back at what I was doing in daily life and what I was prioritizing then vs now. I see my successes and my struggles, what I celebrated and what I survived. It makes me feel strong to see how far I have come.
3. Some of my favorite spreads/collections
In addition to the basic planning in my bullet journal, I love creating pages about things that are important or interesting to me. Here are some of my favorite collections I have done in the past:
- Self-Care Ideas and Activities
- Level 10 Life and Level 10 Goals (you can learn more about that here)
- Morning and Evening Routines
- Travel Plans and Travel Memories
- Things I Love
- Favorite Mantras and Affirmations
- Books I Read/Movies I Watched
- Favorite Recipes
- My Ideal Work Day
- Habit, Exercise, Mood, and Sleep Trackers
- Moon Phases, Astrology, and Tarot
- Favorite Quotes
- Playlist of the Month
- Memories from the Month
- Monthly Collage on a Theme
If you are looking for a way to organize your life, record goals and plans, increase productivity, and express your creativity, definitely give it a try. There are tons of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts dedicated solely to bullet journaling, so I would start there. Happy journaling!
Hi, I'm Jen! I am a US expat and have lived abroad for six years, first in Shanghai and now in beautiful Thailand.
I always strive to learn, grow, and be the best version of myself, and I'm so grateful I get to spend my days working with amazing expat women like you:
Women who are smart and want to reach their goals, but need help overcoming stress, overwhelm, and other obstacles so they can create their best lives abroad.