Life is busy and over the years (literally since middle school or so) I have always just lived by writing things down. I started by making notes on my hand, reminders of homework or a friends phone number, then gradually started opting for scratch pieces of paper and then dedicating whole notebooks for my list making needs. In more recent years I’ve started trying to do more than make lists and start planning things out in my life. Enter: planners. Since the start of me using planners I’ve never found one I love. I have found one or two things I love about several different planners but couldn’t figure out how to get the perfect planner that met all of my needs. This past Christmas my brother gave me a notebook. The pages were filled with little dots instead of lines and I had no clue why or what I was supposed to do with this book until my brother had asked if I got the bullet journal he got me. I immediately googled what a bullet journal was and thus I had finally found a planner that met all of my needs.
If you have no idea what a bullet journal is, a simple explanation is a book with pages filled with dots (or it can be lined, or the pages can be completely blank) that you use to stay organized. Staying organized has a completely different meaning to everyone. For me it’s my planner. In the first pages I have an overview of the entire year, each month is mapped out and I’ve gone through adding symbols that stand for different things – which I have defined in a key at the first of my journal. After that I have pages full of lists- books I want to read, movies I want to see, habits I want to focus on. Then the pages I do with every new month: my monthly spread. Part of what I have so enjoyed about my BuJo is the ways I’m able to be creative and the fact that each month I can try new set ups to figure out what I like the absolute best. It’s a fun way to flex my creative muscles while actively trying to organize my life.
And now, I’m going to walk you through my spread for the month of May. I was heavily influenced in my theme by Amanda Rach Lee on youtube, if you would like a tutorial of how to draw the florals I did check our her video here!
First things first, the title page. This essentially just separates the new month from the old month. It also introduces the theme that I plan to use on the pages that follow.
The first thing I do is get all my tools, my journal, the markers I’m currently liking most and my computer for inspiration as I go and for music because while I enjoy doing these spreads the monthly always takes the most time for me. I start by using a pencil first and sketching things out so I know they are where I want them before I put it all down with pen and potentially ruin the page. After I have it sketched out to where I like it I got to town with my pens and markers creating the title page.
Here is the finished title page! I felt like the page next to it was looking plain, and I recently read this quote and really loved it. Although you can see where I messed up on the border for the quote I still really like how this turned out!
Here’s the part where straight lines and precision are needed. Which I’m not great at, but I’m getting better! If you look closely you can see that I ditched the pencil early instead of fully mapping out my calendar and somehow ended with an extra week for the month… I was frustrated but figured out a way to fix it.. peep the finished product below —>
As you can see I continued the theme and added another quote. Mainly to not have the purple floral take over toooo much of the page. Also, I just like quotes so I added a quote! Next are some of my favorite pages to do. Mainly because I love goal setting and tracking things. Every month I select a few habits I want to work on and write them down, I put them on a page as shown and then I put a tracker to see my progress on each of my weekly spreads. I also am working really hard this year to track my spending and see where all my money goes in the hopes of saving more money. I’m not sure it’s working how I would like but I’m not giving up!
After I have all of the ‘monthly’ stuff set up, then I do a weekly spread. This spread is meant to track daily activities or tasks I need to do in that given week and also has a tracker to help me keep myself accountable for the habits I am trying to work on.
Staying organized and planning things out is important in my life because I’ve found I am very willing to be lazy and do nothing if I allow it. Having a planner I actually like using has helped in so many ways with my productivity. Hope you enjoyed reading this post! If not, let me know! This blog is still a work in progress with the things I want to share and I am always open to new ideas on posts for the future!