We all wish we were slightly more together with our lives. Between classes, extra-curriculars, and making sure our social lives are still in existence, it can be hard to manage everything; I know the feeling. I used to keep everything in a planner, but I could never find that one planner that had everything I needed. Sure there were calendars, weekly layouts and pages to write notes, but what about somewhere to organize your expenses? A place to record your habits? I think you know where I may be going with this.
This year, I made the switch from using a traditional planner to creating my own Bullet Journal. The trend is growing, my friends. Bullet journaling seems to be the newest craze on the web. Even HGTV has started creating videos demonstrating how to put your life together in a small dotted book. After practicing all of January, my second month’s layouts felt much more put together, so I thought I’d share with people who may be thinking of starting a Bullet Journal but have absolutely no clue where to begin (believe me, I’ve been there!).
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Journal: Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Dotted Notebook
Pens: Black Pigma Micron 0.03 Pen, White Gelly Roll Gel Pen, Stabilo Pens
Markers: Crayola Supertips
FIRST SPREAD: MONTHLY COVER
In my opinion, this page is the most fun. This page usually sets the theme for the month (if you choose to theme your months) which means you can be as creative as you want. Don’t think your creative? I think I spent a good hour watching “February Bullet Journal 2018” videos on YouTube (I recommend watching AmandaRachLee’s videos) and scrolling through endless Pinterest posts. You’ll definitely find some inspiration there!
SECOND SPREAD: MONTHLY CALENDAR
Following any productive planner layout, a monthly calendar/overview is a must. There are many ways you can design this page, but here’s how I decided to go about it. I also included a box on the side for future dates so that when I start planning for March I already have my dates together.
THIRD SPREAD: ORGANIZATIONS
Last year I realized that I was always getting my dates and notes for different extra-curriculars messed up. Hence, this layout. I put the calendar on top to highlight days that I have events or meetings for that organization, and all of my notes taken at meetings get filled in here. DEFINITELY a keeper for future months!
FOURTH SPREAD: WEEKLY SPREAD AND WORKOUT LOG
The first page of this spread is an overall layout of my typical week. I realized last month that it would be wayyyy easier to schedule dates if I knew which times I was unavailable every day. Opposite of this page is my workout log. As is everyone’s new year’s resolution, I’ve been hitting the gym more and trying to tone up everything. I wanted to track how often I worked out, so decided to put this spread in.
FIFTH SPREAD: TRACKERS
If you know anything about bullet journaling, then you know that trackers are an essential part of the process. Similar to my workout log, I wanted to track how often I do certain habits. Last month I tried out using a sleep tracker and liked it but I wanted to see what overall effect it had on me, hence the mood tracker on the opposite page. TBH I never cared much for mood trackers, but as kind of a social experiment on myself I want to compare my hours of sleep to my mood to see how they relate. Lastly, I started doing three-minute meditations in the mornings, so I wanted to include a tracker to keep note of the days I meditate to see how this might affect my mood as well.
SIXTH SPREAD: EXPENSES AND NOTES
Like I said before, I’m a beginner at this, so sometimes I write “budget” when I mean “expenses” and hate myself a lil bit. But I do think tracking my expenses is a great way to stay on top of my money. It’s so easy to swipe a card and then forget about it until you look at your bank account 5 days later and wonder where your last pay check went. By writing every charge down, I can see exactly where my money is going and when (and all the negative numbers make me feel guilty and tempt me to not spend as much…). The last page was just kind of extra for any random notes or thoughts I might have. I didn’t use this page last month, but you never know what February could bring.
SEVENTH SPREAD: WEEKLY SPREAD
Last but not least, we get to the week. For this first week of February I kept it pretty standard and just divided the page evenly per day. Last month some of my layouts included timelines for the day where I could record which hours of the day I was busy. I’m still trying to find the best layout between organizing events and homework in the same day, but for right now I’m basically recording events on the right, homework on the left, and hoping I have enough space.
I will admit, Bullet Journaling is tedious and time-consuming, but if you’re looking for something to do while binging Netflix that is actually productive, this could be the thing for you! Good luck with it, amigas!