One of the best parts about having a bullet journal is the ability to use trackers and collections to organize your information.
There is honestly nothing better than having a collection of your child’s cute sayings you can hold onto for the rest of your life. And it is fantastic to be able to fill in those numbers as you accomplish your weight loss goals.
Finding ideas for If you look on Pinterest there are dozens of articles to blogs about what kinds of trackers you should try. For example, Heidi at Happiness Homemade has this post has this epic bullet journal tracker post with over 20 amazing ideas for bullet journal trackers! And Erin at The Petite Planner has a blog post with a MASSIVE amount of bullet journal collection ideas! And to think, there are so many other posts just like theirs out there! There are a lot of trackers and collections galore for you to dabble with inside your bullet journal.
But… there is something missing. What’s even more curious about it is that most articles don’t even bother to bring up this elephant in the room in regard to trackers and collections. Not entirely sure if it’s related to lack of knowledge in this subject or general forgetfulness. But there’s something else that bullet journals need to consider when utilizing your trackers and collections.
Ultimately, that is organizing and optimizing your bullet journal trackers and collections.
New to bullet journals and want to know more about what they are? Find out more here!
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Organizing Bullet Journal Trackers and Collections
Personally, I wish more people would how important it is to organize your trackers and collections so you can find them more easily.
In my first bullet journal, I’d frequently stick my trackers and collections wherever as I went. Sometimes I put them between weekly layouts. Other times, I put them in the middle of my monthly setup pages. And let me be clear, there is truly no wrong place to put them. That is a personal choice.
Yet, with my method, it became abundantly clear VERY quickly that it was truly a pain in the butt to remember them.
For example, one of my first trackers in my first bullet journal was about Christmas presents. It was fantastic! I had a place to write down gift ideas for my friends and family, with costs of presents, and a box to tick when purchased.
Idealistically, I think I only filled it out for about a month.
Why did I fail?
Because this tracker was built at the start of October. It became far too challenging to remember to go back a month (or two) and fill it out as time passed.
I really don’t want you to suffer the same fate of wasting many half-filled trackers and collections because they were placed poorly. Today, a kind follower on Instagram reminded me of this frustration through their personal journey: It’s clear that many bullet journalers should consider learning how to organize their collections and trackers.
How to Optimize Trackers and Collections
When looking at your trackers and collections, it’s important that they have a home. A consistent home, too, so you can easily find them and rely on them easily. You don’t want to spend your precious time on something that you won’t utilize for the sole reason of having difficulty remembering to access it. (Now, if you’re not using it because you lost interest or don’t like it, then I’d recommend just cutting your losses. Nothing wrong with this, either, but remember to keep it simple and be realistic! Don’t push yourself to do something you just aren’t going to use.).
So in regard to optimizing your bullet journal trackers and collections, there are a few things you need to think about prior to organizing them.
The first thing to consider is what type of category does your tracker or collection belong to. For the sake of keeping this simple, there are really only two categories to consider to make this point:
- Collection/tracker directly related with your yearly/monthly/weekly use.
- A general collection/tracker that has no timeline OR is only usable for a set amount of time and unrelated to yearly/monthly/weekly tracking.
Once you determine what category your trackers and collections fall under, then you are capable of starting to optimize and organize.
Organizing The Different Categories
So now you know what categories that your trackers and collections are in.
How do you organize these categories?
For your first category, you are going to build these trackers and collections in your yearly/monthly/weekly trackers. The location will be more fluid than the other category as you will find these scattered within your entire bullet journal. For the latter category, these trackers and collections have a different home. You won’t place them within your calendar like the category above, instead of an entirely separate section.
If you are unfamiliar with my explanations or are new to bullet journals, I’ll go a little more in detail.
Trackers and Collections that are Time-Related
This categories location is going to vary based on how long the tracker will last.
If your bullet journal has a yearly (or bi-annual) section (generally this section has a future log, a yearly goals page, etc…), you will place trackers and collections with a yearly time frame here.
I typically recommend that these spreads go near the front. Why here? Because you don’t want to find this page 2 months into your bullet journal. It’s doable, but it’s mighty inconvenient.
For monthly spreads, if you want to track behaviors or habits for an entire month, it’s best to place them within your monthly layout. The same concept applies with collections. If you are collecting information for a month (books you’ve read, for example), it’s best to place them here.
Page example: Monthly Sleep Log
The reason why it’s best to put them within your monthly layout is that they are all contained in one place. You know exactly where they are and how to find them. And once the month is over, unless you are using them to observe data, you aren’t going to utilize them anymore. It also keeps your weekly sections less cluttered.
Some people choose to track or collect data weekly. General these trackers and collections are brief and don’t require more than half a page to use. However, you should always place this information in a similar location for each weekly spread. This way you always know where to find and expect them. Like above, if you go back to look at this data in the future, you’ll be able to find everything easily.
Undated or Special Use Trackers and Collections
Now that we’ve organized the first category, we’re going to tackle the undated, or special use trackers and collections.
Ok, first off, you’re probably wondering what everything else is. Let’s clarify this, first.
A general collection/tracker that has no timeline: Typically these pages are more likely collections than trackers. It may house information you want to access later. Or they may contain general information you want to write down whenever the need arises.
Page Example: Favorite Things About Fall
A collection/tracker with a random, ill-defined time frame: These trackers may be utilized less for less than a year/half a year, but more than a month. AND you also desire to keep this information in one easy to find location. The Christmas gift chart I mentioned earlier would fall under this category since it was meant for use for approximately 2-3 months.
Example Page: Instagram Follower Tracker.
So how do I organize all of these bullet journal spreads?
Special Trick for Organizing Undated or Special Use Trackers and Collections
I’ve found the best method to organize these trackers and collections is to start them from the back, and work your way forward.
I like this particular trick because you always know where you’ll find these types of trackers and collections. It doesn’t eat up into your yearly, monthly, and weekly set up. Additionally, since most people seem to always have a number of extra pages at the end of their bullet journals, this is a great way to use up that space.
If you want to get really creative, you could even create a table of contents for your collections and trackers. The last page or two of your bullet journal is a terrific place to create this. As you create your trackers and collections, you can write down their label and page number in this separate table of contents.
If you choose to utilize this method, you should determine how many pages on average your monthly layouts (including the weekly spreads) utilize. When you start getting close to having the calendar section and collection/tracker section meet, count your pages to ensure you have the space you need for an additional month. If you don’t have enough pages, then use the remaining pages for your calendar review and final collections/trackers. This is a great time to consider migrating to a new bullet journal.
How Do You Organize Your Trackers and Collections?
There you have it! I hope that these two incredible suggestions help you better organize your trackers and collections.
Do you have a special way you prefer to organize and optimize your trackers and collections? I’d love to hear about the techniques you use!
If you’ve tried the setup mentioned in this post, let us know how it’s worked for you in the comments!
If this helped you organize your bullet journal,
Please share on Pinterest!