|Coolest journal EVER!|
Oops, I missed a day yesterday. Turns out I had a long overdue 2 1/2 hour phone call with one of my oldest friends (and when I say that I mean friend I've know the longest - literally since we were both infants). We haven't talked since last May. It's not intentionally of course, we just both have our own busy complicated complex lives and it's always hard to just sit down and make that extra time to reach out. Definitely was worth missing things like blog writing and podcasting of course.
So "Write it Wednesday" I was originally thinking would be about journaling. However what can I say? I love my journal. End of story. I'm not doing anything particularly new or different than anyone else right now, so there's not much to bring to the table. So we shall see, it may just turn into a life story or event or what not. It's also typically the day I intend to podcast so I potentially will already have a post on Wednesday. So we shall see where it takes us.
But today I will talk about the Bullet Journal method and what I like the most! I'll be honest, I hate calling it a journal. It's mostly just a planner, although there are some spreads that I track habits, goals, exercise, weight and happy moments, but at the end of the day those are just little extras. The main purpose is to be a calendar and daily list to keep me on track.
Want to know what my favorite part is?
The daily list. I thrive off lists. To the point that I usually have too many lists and end up getting nothing done. There is nothing more exciting than crossing something completed off a list (I don't get out much). Even better, if I don't get it done, I just move it down to the next day, or next month or wherever I want it to go! It's so intuitive and fluid. Yes I do spend a bit of time with the set up. I spent all of Monday morning setting up May....but now I'm set for the month of May - except for my daily lists.
So what is in my journal? Let's take a peak. The best part is - this can change month by month. If I find one way isn't working as well, I can try something different next month. Or right away for that matter. I'm not stuck in a cookie cutter format of a pre-planned planner. Say Monday is a super busy day that requires a full page? Done. Last week I fit Friday - Sunday on one page. Oh, and if something comes up in between the week - I make a page or spread for that and continue my daily list on the next available page. It doesn't have to be in order as long as you keep your index up to date and leave yourself little markers or hints to help navigate. So far I haven't had any issues finding what I'm looking for.
So I start with the standards: Index, future log, and key. Then I just dive right in. My planned set up from here on out is as follows:
Monthly spread - A full spread set up into 4 sections - morning, afternoon, evening and then a "Goals" list that takes up about half of the right side.
|May Monthly Spread|
See that little stripe of blue across the bottom? That's a piece of washi tape to mark the page. That way I can always know where the monthly spread starts. This is my calendar overview with events, birthdays, holidays, etc. The goals list on the side is just a place to jot things down that need to be done ideally by the end of the month. I have a lot of these left for April....so sometimes it just doesn't happen. I'll move some of them to May and the others perhaps spread out across a couple months as to not overwhelm myself.
Next up is:
"Favorite Moments" or whatever I want to call it for the month. Here is an example of April's page. It was only half a month and well not that many notable things happened, but it's a fun page to have around!
|Fun things from April|
Following that is the "Daily Tasks" page and the "Monthly Meal Plan". I drew out the grid on this one and realized perhaps I can make a grid on the computer and just print it out. So I did that for the tasks and the meal plan. I can implement both in June.
Daily Task Chart - A way to track things you would like to accomplish on a daily basis. Things like exercising, blogging, tracking my period, cleaning the litter box...etc. Simple things that I tend to forget about or tend to forget the last time I did. This has been pretty useful.
|Drawing grids is not really my thing...|
Meal Plan - I do so much better with grocery shopping and cooking when I have a plan. When I go to the store without a list I always screw up. One thing I do not put in my journal is a grocery list...not something that I particularly need to keep around and I don't need to be pulling out a bulky journal to cross things off as I walk through the grocery store. Here it is printed out and taped in. Much quicker and easier!!
|Much nicer with it pre-printed|
Then I start my daily list! Every evening the night before or first thing in the morning I outline my day. I include the weather as well as my weight (since I'm trying to exercise and lose weight). I also add any extras to the side like if I'm feeling bad, or things that I may need to add to the grocery list.
It's a simple, yet effective way to keep things together! Whenever something pops in my head, I write it down instead of forgetting about it like I typically would do.
|Daily "To-Do" List|
So these are the monthly staple pages that go into my journal. After that it's whatever comes up! I have a page dedicated to the quotes I'm gathering for our deck replacement this summer (fun times). I have a "Craft Projects" spread of all the things I'm hoping to get done. The options are limitless for this. Whatever you want in there, you put in there. It's YOUR personal planner. And even better, you can put these lists wherever you want - notice it just follows a page of daily lists. Those lists then continue a few pages later. As long as you keep them marked in the Index, they are always easy to find! Oh and if you look at the above photo, you will see I marked the page number where the dailies continue in parentheses next to the current page number. That really helps you flip around on the fly!
One thing I will mention that I need to change is my colored markers. I just picked up a pack of fine line sharpies and boy do they bleed. So you will see in the photos you can see all the headers and marks from the page before. It doesn't bother me that much, but when I get around to it I will be picking up some better colored pens to decorate and keep it fun. This is purely optional of course, but who doesn't like a little coloring and doodling! I'll keep you posted if I find something better I like.
So there you have it. A quick tour through my planner. And there are so many resources and options on how to set up spreads. I highly recommend this system to anyone who needs organizational help! It's so fluid and so intuitive it's impossible to screw up. Yes it is still a challenge to stick with it sometimes, but at this point of my life with two busy children filled with tons of school events, extracurricular activities and so many "daily" things to get done, this was just what I needed to get it together. Here's hoping for a happy organized summer!
~Andrea The CATT Lady