I have been wanting to start a bullet journal for some time now but I haven’t actually had the time to go out and get one. Dillon surprised me with this one in January just before we went on holiday. I decided to start it when we came back from our holiday at the beginning of February.
This is my first ever bullet journal and for some time I have been ooohhing and aaaahhhing over what I see on YouTube and Pinterest. My first spread was probably the hardest thing ever, it was so difficult to sort through all the cool ideas you see on the Internet and pick the ones that I really wanted for my first spread. Lets see the bullet journal spread that I have done for March 2020 (my second month).
For February, I put the month’s cover image and calendar on the same spread. Little did I know that I needed way more space for my monthly overview. Over the page was my daily habit tracker and my weekly meal prep. My spread for February wasn’t very well thought out and my double spreads didn’t really link up most of the time. I then have my shopping list and sleep log over the next page. I wasn’t really good at keeping up with my sleep log towards the end of the month. Over the page I have my reminders and to do list. I live for lists and that’s why this has a double spread all to itself. I then have my ideas for March’s spread and a beauty tracker that I randomly added half way through the month because I was very optimistic about daily habit tracking.
Let’s get into my spread for March.
Because I found it so difficult to decide on what to do and what colours to use for February, I stayed very generic in the designs and picked 7 colours to mark off in the journal. I quickly learnt that this was a mistake. 7 colours used in a specific sequence is hard to keep up with. I was constantly jumping between colours and it got really frustrating, so for this month's spread I am going with 5 main colours but not all of these colours are going to be used for my daily tracking. Limiting the number of colours I mark off trackers with will reduce the time I spend on my journal on a daily basis.
February’s month overview was over a single page as I did not think I needed more space than what would fit on a single page. I ended up adding more information to the calendar view than I expected and for that reason I set up my March Overview over 2 pages to allow myself to add additional information in the blocks.
My overview is a great way to help me see what my month looks like to schedule in activities or social events, plan my weekly and monthly routine tasks as well as my meal prep. I use my iPhone calendar religiously for daily tasks and appointments, but if I know something is coming up and I need to plan my meals or cleaning routine around this it is great to see the overview in the journal without having to open up the calendar on my phone.
This month is already a busy one for me so I have already added all the events, appointments, and travelling that I will be doing.
Moving on to my habit tracker. I was over-ambitious with the things that I wanted to track in February. I literally just wanted to track my whole life, but the novelty of habit tracking quickly wore off after a week of doing it, and I realised that I couldn’t realistically track everything.
Having too much to track last month really didn’t allow me to focus on the habits that are truly important to me. So for this month, I have only decided to track the things that are important to me and that I actually want to see results in.
The layout I used in February didn’t work for me, it became very untidy and I struggled to follow the dots to match up a habit with the correct day. I blacked out whole lines when I stopped tracking that specific habit and it really just ended up not looking great.
For March, each habit is getting its own block with all 31 days. This way, I will be able to look at a block and see that results for a specific habit. I am new to Bullet Journaling so I think that I will be experimenting with a lot of layouts until I find the right one for me. This layout might not even work for me but all I can do is try it out.
My sleep is something I have always wanted to track and the bullet journal allows me to do that so easily. I enjoyed the layout from February and I will be keeping the overall design and only making a few tweeks here and there. Like changing the hours that the log starts on as well as the way that I display the times.
In February, I gave myself a lot of space to jot down a few reminders and to do’s but I ended up with more unused space than I wanted. So for this month, I have decided to rethink the layout of the to do list so that I can use the space on both pages more efficiently. In February, I was helping to plan an event and I had a separate to do list for this event. Now that this is over I will be removing this from my March spread.
I had a massive column for my blog, but I found that I didn’t really use the entire space as I already have a very functional and efficient digital organising system. I mainly used this just to remind myself to work on a few of the blogs that were coming up so I definitely don’t need all that space for March.
Honestly, this is what I am starting to love about the bullet journal, you can customise everything for your lifestyle, the events that you have coming up and pretty much anything else.
On the right hand page is my shopping lists and mind dump. I break my shopping lists into 2 types: groceries and other. Groceries are not only food, but also items that I need to buy immediately or in weekly shops. These could be anything from toilet paper, to cat food, but it doesn’t include the groceries needed for my weekly meals.
I run an ongoing shopping list on my phone for our meal prepping groceries and when it comes time to go shopping over the weekends, I check my list here in my journal and transfer any of the items that I have added to my shopping list during the week. This way I avoid using the book in store and rather just have a combined list on my phone to check off.
My “other” list is for anything that we need within the month that is not necessarily important or something that I would like to buy that doesn’t have a due date. This just helps me separate important items from unimportant items for budgeting purposes.
In my February spread, I really didn’t use the full page for my shopping lists, so I am making them smaller and adding my mind dump to the bottom of the page so that I can utilise the space.
For some reason, this design was really difficult for me to come up with. I like to keep my weekly meal prep for the month in one place, so for February I kept it all 4 weeks on a single page but by the time I was prepping for the last week the page looked so busy that I couldn’t really focus on what was going with my meals.
For March I have tried a new layout, spread over 2 pages so that it can be spaced out in such a way that makes it easy for me to read which meal is being prepared for which day of the week.
One thing I learnt from my February spread is to prepare the whole month’s spread before starting to track. For my meal prepping spread specifically, I was only dividing the larger block into Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on the week that I needed it which resulted in me spending more time in the journal than necessary. So for this month, I am preparing all 4 tables for the month so that when I am ready to plan, I can just fill it in rather than spend time drawing out a table first.