I was going to do a ‘one month into my bullet journal’ post but then procrastination happened, so now you get to see January and February all wrapped up, and my set-up for March.
In my previous post about bullet journaling, I showed you how I kept a sort-of bullet journal in a yearly Moleskine planner. For 2018, I decided I liked the system enough to invest in a Leuchtturm 1917 journal. It’s an expensive journal especially if it only lasts you 6 months, but it’s proven to work much better for me than a cheap, low-quality journal.
My personal bullet journaling system has changed a lot as I moved into the new journal. Previously, I only had weekly to-dos, and did daily journaling. Now I make a to-do list almost every day, and journal only when something significant happens. The daily to-do list is essential to manage my executive functioning issues.
Your standard bullet journal is usually equipped with an index, a key (signifying what each symbol means), and a future log (overview of events in the upcoming months).
The future log was the first page I made in my new journal, so it’s a bit messy and there are a few mistakes, but I’m still happy with how it turned out! Events highlighted blue are birthdays, purple are special events and holidays, and pink are appointments.
One thing I regret is not making the future log for July to December as well. I thought I might only use this journal for the first six months of the year, so I didn’t see the point in adding spreads I wouldn’t use. Not very smart of me because obviously you would plan some events months before it’s happening. Lesson learned… I’m making a second future log soon.
As you may notice throughout this blog post… my color-coding is not very consistent. In some spreads, blue is for social events, in others it’s for birthdays. Sometimes purple is for my blog, and sometimes green is. It bothers me a little bit, but I have the color-codes listed on each spread, so I still know what it means. On my to-do list for next month is to finally figure out a consistent color-coding system…
For my monthly logs, I decided to start out with the most simple lay-out I could think of, and if I ever wanted to add anything, I could always do that in the next month.
On the left, I wrote down the days of the week + the date, and next to that I wrote down whatever I had planned for that day. Things highlighted in pink are appointments (usually regarding my health), blue are social events. In February I added purple for birthdays and yellow for work (since I had some jobs to do that month).
For my monthly tracker, I decided to just draw one box per section (habits, health, and mood) and fill them in with colored dots. This saves a lot of time since I don’t have to draw an entire grid, and it looks cleaner. It’s important for me to be able to see at a glance what habits I need to work on, and I’m not quite sure if the dots are clear enough for me, but I’m liking it so far so I think I’m going to keep this up.
I tried to track my moods but as you can see, I didn’t do a very good job. It’s difficult for me sometimes to actually be able to tell how I’m feeling, so I think that for the month of April, I will track my mood with just three colors: green (good), red (bad), and orange (okay).
My current mood tracking key is:
- grey = neutral
- yellow = happy/content
- blue = sad/depressed
- green = productive/energized
- purple = anxious/stressed
- red = irritated
For the months of January and February, I’ve mostly stuck with the classic bullet journal ‘running list’ for dailies. I don’t reserve any space for each day, I just write the list in the morning and use as much as space as I need for that particular day. At the end of the day, I like to journal a little bit if I had anything going on.
I try to make sure I don’t use too much space, so a full week can still fit onto two pages. This usually isn’t a problem, unless I stick a ticket stub or something in there and lose a lot of space.
At the moment, I’m experimenting with ways to include weekly goals in my ‘weekly spreads’. Things like charging my Fitbit and washing my hair need to happen every week, and sometimes I forget if they’re not written in a daily to-do list. The same goes for tasks that need to get done that week, but not necessarily on a particular day.
I have a few pages with information for future reference, like a list of steps to take when editing a video, and tracking how long certain products last until they need replacing. I also have a section for hex-codes, fonts, and file sizes for my blog.
I try to keep these notes as clean as possible, but sometimes you forget certain steps, and it becomes a bit of a mess… But as long as it’s still readable, it’s okay.
Collections are pages in your bullet journal designated for certain topics, like a list of songs you like, or a meal plan.
I have made a simple TV show tracker where I can cross off episodes I’ve watched. I track my shows on Trakt.tv and movies on Letterboxd, but I still like having my own spread of stuff I’m currently watching. It helps me to get a clear view of what I still need to catch up on, and it’s very satisfying to cross off another episode — almost like I’m being productive by watching TV.
I usually do it one season at a time, so you won’t find a page filled with just the seasons & episode numbers of Gilmore Girls season 1 to 7 in my journal. When I come close to finishing a season, I write down the episodes for the next season and so on. This is to keep my page of currently watching shows actually current.
This spread is a list of food I can tolerate (read my blog post about my eating disorder ARFID here), divided into categories. I’m still looking for a way to track when I’ve tried new foods and what the experience was like, but for now, this is a definitive list of safe foods.
It’s color-coded with little dots after each item, to specify things that make me feel sick, things I can eat but have difficulty with, and recently added items.
This is obviously not a recent photo but I’ve made a blog plan! One of my new year’s resolutions is to post to my blog at least once every week, and this spread is a way to get an overview of when I post what, and to prevent a similar post two weeks in a row.
This is my… media spread? On the left are lists of movies, TV shows, and books I want to watch and read in the upcoming year. The green checkmarks on the left are to signify whether I already have the item or whether it’s available on Netflix.
On the right page I’ve made a list of the movies I’ve watched so far in 2018, with colored dots signifying whether I watched it at home or at the cinema.
What does your bullet journal look like? Did you get any inspiration from mine? Let me know!