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These Bullet Journal collection ideas are going to make you a superstar this year.
Except, you know, the halal kind of superstar.
Eh, you know what I mean.
Welcome to the second part of my guide to Bullet Journaling for Muslim women. In this section, we’re going to dive deep into “collections” for your Bullet Journal and how you can use them to maximize your productivity, solidify your goals and spiritually ascend.
If you missed the first part, where I introduced the concept of Bullet Journaling and walked you through the basics of how to set one up, you should read that first here. (You really should, otherwise you’re going to be lost and confused.)
What are Bullet Journal Collections?
For the uninitiated, a “collection” in the BuJo world is basically like a dedicated section for related tasks or information. You might have a collection for books you want to read this year, or a collection for notes and tasks related to a particular project.
Collections can go any where in your BuJo. I like to set up a few collections pertaining to the whole year (like my goals page or my books read page) in the front of my journal and then ones that are more specific for the year (like my Ramadan collection or Qurbani collection) closer to the months that I’ll actually be using them.
Every time you start a collection, make sure you make a note of the title of the collection and its page number on your index so that you can easily find it again. This allows you to start a new collection whenever the need strikes you and won’t require you to allot a specific section in your journal for your collections.
“Threading” Your Collections
If you fill up a collection page and need more space, continue your collection on any next available page (yes, even if it’s 20 pages later!). Make sure you add the new page number to the entry on your index, so you know that this collection continues on another page. I also like to write a little note at the bottom of the first page (continued on p.) and at the top of the second page (continued from p.) to make it easier for me to reference back and forth between the collections. This concept is called “Threading.”
Bullet Journal Collection Ideas: Muslim Women Edition
A lot of the Bullet Journal collection ideas I see floating around out there are for University students or young people who DON’T have a home to run or other people to take care of. I also feel that, as Muslims, we have specific needs and goals that need to be addressed.
I want to share with you some of the collections that have worked well for me, as well as ones I plan on implementing this year. I hope that they can help you in some capacity: as a Muslim, as a parent, as a runner of the home or as an aspiring creative.
Okay, so here’s where I massively UNDERused my Bullet Journal and how I plan on changing that this year.
So, last year, all I did was plan which habits I wanted to establish and made a short list of projects I wanted to complete. Aaaaand that’s it. It’s not that I didn’t set goals (and meet them, Alhamdulillah) throughout the year, it’s just that I wasn’t making it a practice to write them down and be conscious of them.
Here’s what I’m doing this year—the idea is to set goals for each area of your life. So, for example, spiritually, I might set specific goals on how I want to improve my prayer or Surahs I want to memorize. For my home, I might pick a particular room and aim to declutter and organize it.
For those of you who blog or are active on social media, here’s a smart way to set goals for the coming year: don’t just set milestones for yourself as your goal, look at metrics that YOU can control and set that as a goal too. For example, you might have a goal to reach 10k followers on Instagram or 100,000 page views on your website per month.
That’s a good goal to have, but YOU can’t control that. So, in addition to having those goals, think about what YOU need to do to achieve that milestone and make that your goal. So you might want to add “plan 30 IG posts” and “write and schedule 20 blog posts.”
Personally, I like the idea of setting goals that are achievable, but a bit of a stretch. It has to be possible enough to happen, but difficult enough that, when you realize you’ve achieved it, it’s a “wow” moment.
Quran Memorization Collection
Break down what you’re trying to memorize into Surahs, sets of iyaat, or pages, whatever works for you. As you complete each set, tick it off or highlight it. If you have a child that is doing hifdh (or just memorizing the last surahs) you can make a separate page for them.
If you’re a homeschooling parent, or someone that is involved with their child’s education, you need this Bullet Journal collection!
In 2020, I used this space to note down any concepts that I felt that “Kit” (my seven-year-old) needed more in-depth practice with. I also made note of resources or learning materials that worked very well so that I could find more like them. If Kit showed a particular interest in a topic we briefly covered or had a lot of questions about a subject, I made note of it so that I could find more material to satisfy his curiosity.
This year, I want to add a section to record milestones that Kit has achieved. Your kids will surprise you, and sometimes, you get lucky and it’s actually a very GOOD surprise. Make note of that! Because parenting (and homeschooling in particular) can be REALLY tough. Having a little trophy section in your notebook will help keep you motivated on those days you want to rip your hair out.
Books Read Bullet Journal Collection
Rather than make a list of books I wanted to read this year (because that “to read” list could honestly be a book in and of itself), I loved tracking the books I actually DID read. To make it pretty, I printed out little pictures of the book covers and glued them onto the page. The result was so fun to look at (and assemble) that I found ways to work more reading into my schedule.
I don’t know about you guys, but I often suffer from Restaurant Amnesia. Like, I’ll go to a restaurant and eat something and then the next time I go there, I might remember what I ordered, but can’t remember if I liked it or not. Or I’ll remember that I loved what I ate, but can’t remember what it was called. If you, too, suffer from Restaurant Amnesia, there is a solution.
Enter the “Restaurant Collection.” Here, you record where you went (or where you ordered in from), what you ordered, and what your thoughts were. If your spouse or child ordered something, enter the info on that as well. (You can see a sample of my restaurant collection entries in the “Threading” section above.)
VOILA. Restaurant Amnesia is CURED. Now, you have, at a glance, a list of suggestions for what to order on days you can’t decide what you want, AND you can be a more helpful friend (“Oh, you’re going to x? Order y, it’s DELICIOUS!”).
See? This BuJo is already making you a better contributor to society.
I pray that you and your family are always in the best of health (Ameen), but if, for an reason, you have a specific issue that requires going to see a doctor multiple times, then I highly suggest that you dedicate a collection for those appointments. I note down the date of the appointment and any questions I have, problems or concerns to discuss, or things I need to do (e.g. reports I need to show them) at that appointment.
As the doctor answers my questions, I make note of them on the page and mark off what has been addressed. If the doctor advises any medicine or action, I write it in the collection so that I have an additional record of what I need to buy or do. When the next appointment is scheduled, I write it on the page and transfer it to my future log as soon as possible.
This will give you an automatic record of your appointments that you can easily refer back to when needed.
If you have young children, you might want to make a vaccination chart here so that you can make sure you’re scheduling those appointments on time.
Blog/Vlog Post Ideas
If you’re a blogger, you know how important it is to CONSTANTLY come up with new content. You also probably have a lot of different social media channels, and you need to come up with unique content for those channels as well.
To keep track, I recommend that you make a separate collection for each channel. For example, you might have a separate collection for “Blog Post Ideas,” a separate one for “Instagram Post / Story / IGTV Ideas” and “YouTube ideas.”
This is a great way to keep track of all of those brilliant ideas and make sure they actually make it out into the world.
I’d show you mine, but then I’d have to kill you.
Master Packing List
You might not do a lot of traveling, but even if the only traveling you do is overnight visits with family on Eid days, you’ll appreciate having this collection.
Make a list of EVERYTHING you need to pack for an overnight stay. Don’t leave anything out, even if it seems obvious like your phone or your toothbrush (Is it weird that I put the phone before the toothbrush? My generation clearly needs to sort out its priorities…). Take note of any special medications you might want to have on you in case of emergency as well.
It might help to make this list the first time while you’re packing for a trip so that you have a record of what you took with you. If there’s something you realize you needed but didn’t bring, make sure you add that to the list so that you don’t forget it next time.
Make a separate list for your spouse and one for your children so that you can make sure that they’ve got everything they need too. Write down any snacks or activities you might need to bring with you to make sure you can stay sane during the trip.
When it’s time to come home, you can consult your list again to make sure you haven’t left anything behind, and that you’re prepared for the journey home.
Look at you, all organized and stuff.
Ramadan Bullet Journal Collection
You can create a collection to keep track of your fasts, or your Quran reading or as a taraweh counter.
If you plan Iftar gatherings, or distribute food to neighbors or as charity, you can keep track of that here. Need to figure out a menu for Eid? Here’s where you can plan the menu, figure out the shopping list and make sure everything is purchased on time.
Can I get a takbir?
Zakaat Bullet Journal Collection
Oh my ALLAH, I can’t tell you how useful it is to have all of my zakaat calculations done in one place.
In one section, I write down the weight of any gold I own (you can create an itemized list to make it easier for you in the future if you plan on selling any pieces later). In another section, I make note of how much of my money is taxable this year.
When it’s time to make my calculations to pay zakaat, I note down the gold rate and make all of my calculations for gold and taxable savings on the page. When I’ve calculated the final amount, I use this space to track when and where I’ve donated and any receipt numbers etc. associated with the donation.
And now, next year, Inshallah, I have an easy reference to refer back to when I need to make new calculations.
If you do Qurbani at home on Eid ul Adha, you end up with a ton of meat—some of it’s from your animal, some of it is given to you by friends or family. By the time you’re done cutting, cleaning and organizing it all, you can barely remember your own name, let alone the names of who you plan to distribute the meat to.
This year, make a Qurbani list in your Bullet Journal ahead of time so that you know which families or charities you plan to gift meat to. If your Qurbani is handled overseas, maybe you want to keep this as a place to track Eid gifts.
Or you could just make a list of meaty dishes to cook on Eid-Ul-Adha.
Whatever floats your goat. I mean, boat.
Even More Bullet Journal Collection Inspiration
You can learn more about collections (and Bullet Journaling) by reading “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal concept. You’ll find inspiration from stories of how others are using their Bullet Journal and even more ideas on how to do even more with collections.
And that, my friends, is the end of my Bullet Journaling tips for maximum productivity. Now shine on, my halal superstars. Go forth and plan your year with confidence!
I pray that you have a safe and productive year, Ameen.