Hi there everyone!
Today I want to walk you through how I used my Bullet Journal in January and share insights I learned about what worked, what didn't work, what I tweaked, and how February is going so far. I've never done a flip-through of my Bullet Journal before, though I've shared TONS of peeks of it over on Instagram...I thought it'd be fun to let you peruse my Bullet Journal to see what it's all about. I tend to add a lot of tasks, smileys, notes about my day, and it is my workhorse - I love it, as you already know :)
I blurred some portions of these because I don't want to share everything, but I shared enough that you will understand how I use mine and how mine typically works.
There are a few reasons I'm sharing a flip-through:
- I love the act of reflecting on what is working, what is not, and ways I can improve. Sharing it with others in case they can glean anything from it is part of the fun with these types of articles.
- I tend to experiment a lot, but it doesn't mean that all of these experiments end up working. Some do, some don't, and some I like to try out new iterations of to come up with the best version. For example, the Gratitude Log took me over 8 months to develop. I tried it in my Daily Logs, in a weekly format, and it wasn't until I thought of keeping it all in one place in a monthly format that I finally got pretty consistent with it and is what I, and many others, now love (super stoked about this, by the way!) :)
- Set ups only reveal a tiny fraction. These are basically skeletal ideas that have yet to be gnawed on and experimented with. The true test of how these pages work is once they're lived in. Based on this, I'm honoring the idea that it's important to share not just the initial excitement of a set up, but also to come back to report how those pages have worked - or not.
- To share the realness behind it. I think it's fun to see lived-in Bullet Journals and thought you might enjoy seeing mine.
- To share that regardless of the embellishments I add in the form of interesting headers and layouts, it is first and foremost a system to help me stay on top of things. The style I use helps me stay engaged with the system and I love experimenting - the Bullet Journal's flexibility is a huge part of the reason why it works so for me. I am free to explore and create and also dive in with my focus hat on.
- To give a better example of how the collections work, how they all fit together and how they can be added anywhere you need them at anytime.
The way each person's Bullet Journal looks will differ, simply because Ryder introduced the Bullet Journal with a wonderful minimal style, doesn't mean that everyone's looks like that - you wouldn't expect everyone to wear the same clothes he does, right? So no need to try to cram yourself, or expect others, to have a specific style - it's all about being productive and composing your Bullet Journal however you need to in order to achieve the level of productivity you need.
Everyone's style of productivity looks different.
With all of this said, let's dive in!
Before I begin, it's worth mentioning that a lot of what you'll see will be blog-related because it takes up a lot of my time, but there's also a bunch of other parts of my life that I like to document in these pages. :)
On that note, this is by far the longest article I've ever written, with 70+ photos, 12,000+ words, soo go grab a yummy drink, snuggle up somewhere comfortable, and dive right on in! :)
I'm using the wonderful official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 that Ryder sent me as a gift, which I absolutely love! It's such a beauty and a complete honor, definitely one of the happiest moments of my life! :) Thank you again, Ryder!
You'll notice tabs, some of you have asked me to explain what they mean. So, from the top:
- Morn: for Morning, which actually points to my month tasks. Honestly, this tab was actually for my morning routine (which I share in this article), but I thought it also fit the fact that I like to check my Month Tasks in the morning, so I added it there.
- Apple: which stands for my 'Foodex' idea, which I also talk about in this article.
- Envelope: located at my Pen Pal Log so I can update it when I receive happymail :)
- <: Future Tasks, when I was reading over the instructions in the back of the Official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 notebook for the Thorough Guide to the Bullet Journal article, Ryder mentioned having a blank Future Log page to toss in any tasks you might want to do later on, which he kind of explained in his recent Show & Tell. After reading and analyzing that, I thought it was perfect so I added it to mine, which I wish I had also added toward the beginning, possibly as one of the Future Log spreads...next time, for sure! Great idea, Ryder :)
- Article Index: self-explanatory.
- Article: what I'm currently working on, although sometimes I'll be working on a couple at once so I'll have the tab on one and the gray ribbon in the other.
- Sun: tasks for my Etsy shop, yes it's sun-themed, of course! ;)
- Lightbulb: to write down ideas, though I sometimes I add them to my Daily Logs as well...sometimes I'm not the best at implementing my own ideas haha...
- And for the Ribbons
- Black ribbon: this sits at my month, whether I use the month overview or Monthly Log
- Gray ribbon: collection I'm currently working on.
- White ribbon: sits at today's Daily Log.
Let's open her up and check out the Index so far...
This is the first spread of the Index. I had planned on having the first spread for my Bullet Journal (Bujo for short) shenanigans and the second spread for my blog and Etsy, but decided to place it as part of the pages instead. Seeing how Ryder is using his Index in his, now I know that it was right to think of the initial idea, so I will do that in my next Bullet Journal. I'm pretty 99.9% sure I'll be grabbing another one of these beauties once they're back in stock later this month :)
I added a simple color-coding system to my Index since I didn't end up having dedicated indexes within the actual index section, so I underlined
blog-related entries in yellow and etsy-related entries in orange. Which is actually backwards since I usually have them switched colors in my Google calendar...I'll update this in my next Bullet Journal. Hm, or maybe I won't because it will be a moot point since I'll be using the second spread for my blog and biz. :)
I also have a special key in my index, which you can see at the bottom right, this is to help me see at a glance which collections are still relevant to me or not, which ones were duds, which ones I migrated or condensed, and all that good stuff. This will also make it easier to review once I'm done with this Bullet Journal and ready to migrate over to the next one.
Here's the second Index spread so far. I decided to grab an idea from Kara and make February bigger and bolder so I could see what kinds of collections and such I come up with after I set it up. I indented the collections so I can check them off. It's a higher-level way of seeing where I am and what is important. I'm hoping to condense the collections I index so that I only log actionable ones, from the special index key I shared a moment ago on the last spread.
The Future Log after a month of use in the new year. I like to fill in the Event Bullet to indicate that it occurred, I acknowledged it, or it happened. Not really much to say here. I love this Future log, it is quick and easy to add events on the according month.
Here we start to get into the meat of things with the Month Log
for January. I am pretty embarrassed about my sleep habits, so I blurred all of that out. Sometimes I make columns to track my sleep, I'm pretty sure I've shared this before, probably in November's set up article, but I wanted to go back to basics sans customization of the Month Log to honor Ryder's original system and because it's always a good idea to go back to basics from time to time.
Back when I first tried out the Bullet Journal in 2013 the Month Log mystified me and I didn't understand it, but now I do and can appreciate the way that it's laid out. Because I think some of you might be where I was at, it's meant to be a way to write down some of your events if you'd like and also to record anything that happened that you might want to remember from that day...so that's what you see here. I keep all of my events and appointments in Google Calendar so I don't write down everything in my Month Log, only what I'd like to remember months or years down the road when I come back to refer to it. I hope that makes sense.
Ryder also uses Google Calendar, so really it's about using the tool that works for the job at hand.
For tasks...well, let's just say I'm not the best at grabbing tasks from the task side, but I did get some done which I'm happy about. I also like to use it to write out some things I want to remember and keep track of such as some relevant budgeting and who I sent snailmail to, that sort of thing. This way the Month Log is a snapshot of everything in one place.
I typically use YNAB to budget so I don't write my entire budget out, but I do like to write down a few down so I remember to log it in once I get paid.
I treat my Bullet Journal as what it is: a notebook with a very clever organizational structure. I'm a messy thinker that craves nothing more than to have things located in sectioned off places that make the best sense. I'm always working on increasing my efficiency in my Bullet Journal, so that's what you'll see a lot of. As Ryder mentioned, I needed a system that was fast enough for me that it would never get in the way.
I can understand the romantic view that may arise in the desire to 'streamline' and make everything look picture-perfect, but life isn't perfect, and quite rarely photogenic. My Bullet Journal may look lovely at face-value, but when you get into the knitty-gritty of it you'll see that I use it toss in my thoughts, slather about ideas, scritch, etch, and explore the best way to go about things. I give an effort with the headings, but that's pretty much it. Oh yeah, and I use a ruler to create layouts at the beginning of the month and sometimes with new experiments. I've decided on certain elements that I enjoy and that make my Bullet Journal uniquely my own, so I'm pretty happy with it. For example, I learned that my handwriting is most legible in all caps, so that's what I do it and you may find that true for you as well. Anyways, my point is that it needs to be for you, the way that you enjoy doing things and the way that makes sense for you.
Oh, and you'll probably notice a checkmark, X, /, \, or > by the page numbers, they mean:
- Checkmark to indicate that the page is all completed/migrated/done/or no longer needed.
- The X means the idea did not work
- \ / both mean that it sort of worked.
- The > means the information was migrated over to another spread or my blog and biz bujo (which also tends to have a few personal spreads for year-long use).
After this is my Gratitude Log, ah yes, my wonderful Gratitude Log. This took me over 8 months and many years before that working on the best way to be consistent about tracking what I'm grateful for. I tried tracking in my Daily Log (would forget - though I like how Ryder makes brackets for his gratitude at the beginning of his), in a weekly format (didn't enjoy the format or recreating it every week due to lack of time or interest), and finally the monthly format which I adore because I only have to set it up once a month and can update it anytime throughout the day and can see everything all in one place on those more difficult days.
Your mileage may vary and you may find you prefer it in the daily or weekly format, you may even decide to call it something else. It's up to you. Why do I keep track of what I'm grateful for? Well, let's just say that I'm pretty sensitive and can feel down at times because my emotions tend to ebb and flow so the best way I've found to get myself to get out of my flurry of thoughts and to the present moment, so that I can appreciate my actually very awesome life, is by being grateful. I love it, it's helped me combat the feelings of anxiety of sadness that may creep up. I still feel sad from time to time, but it's not as bad as it used to be now that I keep my mind healthy with true thoughts like that which I'm grateful for.
I liked Kara's recent modification to the Gratitude Log idea by only writing down 2 things a day to keep it all in one spread, but I definitely felt a shift in not writing down an extra thing, so I'm back to 3. I felt kind of off all of the last week or two of January so I kind of fell off of logging towards the end when it would have done me the most good. I think part of the reason 3 works best for me, and why I've sometimes logged up to 5 things a day, is because it forces me to think longer for the third one and keeps me in the present longer so I feel a lot happier. It's something I can sit with and think about for a little while.
I really like how others have taken the idea to log what they're grateful for and how they've made it their own. For example, some only log 1 thing, some only 2, I find 3 best works best for me. I love how others take the idea and make it their own. My hope is that it will improve your quality of life as it has done for me, no matter how you choose to carry out the Gratitude Log :) I update it nightly, throughout the day if there was a really awesome moment, and/or the next morning, I'm not perfect about it, as you can see above, but I'm a lot happier when I log what I'm grateful for.
Next up is the Waiting On and Shipment Tracker. These two are standbys in my Bullet Journal. I create them once each notebook, and this is what they look like currently. I only create them once because I usually don't fill them all the way up.
The Waiting On collection is to keep track of responses I'm, well, Waiting On.
The Shipment Tracker is to keep track of online orders. I am pretty proud of the Shipment Tracker because it's one of two ideas I've presented to my boyfriend that he applied to his Bullet Journal, however now that he filled up his spread of it, he decided to add an extra column for the tracking number - which is awesome! It's all about adapting ideas to fit your needs.
I've seen others take the ideas and use them exactly as is, or tweak them to however they like. I know that Kara kind of combined both of these ideas into one also called Waiting On, but it tracks her shipments instead of responses. That's part of the beauty and fun of the Bullet Journal community, we share and adapt each other's ideas and credit each other to show our appreciation and share with others who might like to see the original version :)
Next up is my January Memories as Dee, Kara, and Kacheri created. I guess January wasn't too eventful for me or I forgot to log some things. I think I kind of fell out of using my Bullet Journal quite as much the last couple of weeks, like I mentioned before, I was feeling kind of off. I can think of a few more notable things that happened that I could add, though! :)
On the right-hand page I filled out the Reflections to list out any and all thoughts at the end of the month to help me gauge how to go about February.
Oh and that blurred part is a project I helped my boyfriend out with, in case you were wondering.
Next up is a kind of vision board of my personal goals for the year. I finally set up an awesome workout routine and giving C25K another go this year! Last year I was 4 runs from completing it...I can't really remember why I didn't finish, just something that happens, ya know? I just finished up week 5 day 2, hooray! Halfway there :) I wanted to sign up for a 5K, there's a couple happening on March 5th, the day I should be ending (maybe a little later since I missed a run), but I wasn't too interested in either. I think I will run at the nearby mountain for the last day or around my usual trail, we'll see. I definitely want to make running a regular part of my life, I ran all the time when I was younger and it's something I enjoy and am stoked to be getting back into :)
Let's see 3 are objects: computer, beach cruiser, and wardrobe haha. I'll explain, my computer died last year, it was pretty old. Ah well, such is life. I'm saving up for a new one, I'm hoping to move over to the Apple world with an iMac or build one myself, something similar to this (and wait until minute 2:46, hahaha, yes!). Beach cruiser, seems kind of like a sin to live in San Diego right next to the beach and not have one of these...New wardrobe, well, I don't like shopping because I don't really enjoy it and clothing stores make me itchy, but I haven't bought any clothes in years and I got rid of pretty much all of my clothes last year with some intense criteria with the KonMari technique, soooo! I definitely need clothes so I'm not wearing the same 3 tops and 4 pairs of jeans all the time haha.
Daily skin care, well I have some residual acne scars from stressful days in college. It's funny how I went all through high school with only an occasional blemish, but once I went to college my face decided that it needed to release the toxins of my stress in the form of many break-outs, but I've been taking care of my face and skin better lately and my face has pretty much almost entirely healed up, thankfully! You might see me on YouTube or Periscope soon, who knows! (; I know some of you have asked me or requested me to get on those social medias, so I might oblige, you never know what I'll do next! Wild card!
Next is the Articles Index and the Etsy Index. I wish I had put these within the actual index on the second spread, and I will do so in my next Bullet Journal. These are to keep track of where in my Bullet Journal my article outlines and shop projects are. You might be wondering why I don't keep these in my Blog & Business Bullet Journal, and the reason is that my everyday Bullet Journal (this one) is for all things current action items and projects, whereas the Blog & Biz Bujo holds longer-term projects and notes. Besides that, I like to see a chronological order of my life's adventures, so these fit nicely in here.
Maybe next year I'll pare down on the amount of stuff I place into my Blog & Biz Bujo and add these topics in there. For now, I'm enjoying having them in here. Another positive thing is that each time I migrate over to a fresh Bullet Journal, I'm forced to constantly review what I want to migrate or not which is great to catch up on any articles and projects I may not have gotten to yet.
Wishlist and Errands, so far. I didn't like the column for 'location' in the errands collection. I thought I would add a list to my pocket notebook that I take with me for errands, but I haven't used it at all. I've had simple errands, from what you can see. Anywho, the Wishlist is one of those collections I'll only make once this year and this is the Bullet Journal I'll flip to so I can find it throughout the year.
Next is the Pen Pals collection. I only have 3 pen pals that I regularly correspond with, so I only have their details written down. For everyone else (including these 3) that send me a letter, I'll log them in the following spread.
I thought I would use the 'notes' section for things they're into or something, but I'm pretty good at remembering things. Maybe I will after I write this article, who knows. This is an experiment I'm trying out and I'll refer back to this spread over the year I'm sure :)
This is the Pen Pal Log.
Here's where I log in when I received and/or sent happymail. I was mixed with this spread from the get-go. As you can see, I added a post it note for the next iteration to have little arrows instead of 'received and responded' columns because for a lot of these letters, they arrived in December and I didn't write down when I received them, so I had a lot of empty space.
We'll see how it goes with the next iteration. In the past I would write down that I received or sent happymail in my Month Log with a little envelope signifier, in fact I still tend to do that, but I also like to have a place where I can see them all at a glance.
The Weight Log and Fitness Tracker. Hm, I realized that though a good idea, I wanted to track more than my weight so I ended up creating a 'Weight and Measurement Tracker' in my Blog & Biz Bujo at the back, since that one will last me the year and I want to see my progress over the year. Yes, sometimes I add non-blog or business-related collections in there.
Here's a peek of what the Weight and Measurement Tracker looks like:
Working on adding some spreads to help me reach my goals for the year in my yearlong bujo. This is a health progress tracker to see progress in my fitness 😊 #BulletJournal
A photo posted by Kim (@tinyrayofsunshine) on Jan 7, 2016 at 1:36pm PST
I forgot to update the Fitness Tracker, so that is out. Like I said before, sometimes things seem like a good idea, but then you don't implement them and find out they weren't the right format, or something. I prefer trackers for fitness if I'm being honest, I shared a photo in this article of what I'm using now.
These two, eh, I overcomplicated the TV Shows page and didn't like it too much. My preferred method of keeping track of shows is a calendar form, so, I'll probably scrap the idea and just keep it in my Future and Month Logs instead. About the only time I really referenced this collection was when I was working on it. At least I know what shows I'm into, but since I found this amazing website to keep track of TV Show air-times and figured out a way to sync to Google Cal, it seems unnecessary.
The Movies collection, on the other hand, is a collection I enjoy very much. It's nice to have a current list of what I'm immediately interested in watching, so I'm still happy with this idea :) It will be referenced over the year as well.
Next is the Books and Fun Things collections.
Oh I can finally check off that I finished The Illustrated Man! I dragged that one out for a while because I really enjoyed the stories and I wanted to savor them for as long as I could. Ray Bradbury's imagery ignites a creative flame in me and makes my mind melt into a sea of happiness.
Fun Things, I thought I would reference this page when I had some downtime and wanted to do something 'fun,' but I think what I wrote down are ideas that sound nice but probably would have been better as a general list without having anything to check off, and instead made into a general 'trigger list' type of deal. :)
And now after all of that hubbub, we start to see some Daily Log action!
I tend to treat my Daily Logs pretty differently all of the time, that's part of the beauty with the Bullet Journal, you can constantly tweak the way that you use the system. Some use the Daily Log as a running task list, some use it as a focused list for the day. For the first day of the year, I used it as a way to 'brain dump/rapid-log/mentally regurgitate' any and all tasks I wanted to get done. Most were simple enough, but I am pretty scatter-brained so I like to write down as many things as possible so that the pressure of having them in my mind won't weigh me down and make me internally implode so in this Daily Log I wrote down tasks and notes and ended up completing a good amount of them. :)
At the top right and left-hand corners you'll see numbers. These numbers indicate the number of page for the Daily Logs. This is something new I tried out in January to keep track of where the Daily Logs were and at the bottom next to the usual page numbers I added Collection Threading as well to find the next and previous Daily Logs.
Next, is an Article collection for January's Bullet Journal Set Up and for the Bullet Journal for Bloggers articles. Whenever I want to flesh out an article further, I create a collection and toss in tasks and notes and it's all messy and beautiful and a wonderful part of my workflow. They help me think and focus and it's awesome.
Next we have a spread for a couple of Daily Logs. For a long time, I was kind of unhappy with my Daily Logs because I thought that on the next blank page is where you created a new collection, so I would have collections and Daily Logs next to each other or all mixed up and it made me unhappy. Somewhere along the way, I'm pretty sure it was thanks to Kara, that I realized that Daily Logs are placed on their own spread and then collections on a fresh spread. Ah, eureka! Much better.
Anyways, back to focusing on this spread. I tend to use up as much or as little room as I need each day. I don't use my Bullet Journal every day, but I do use it most days. Sometimes I work off previous days' task lists. I used to migrate daily and it drove me nuts because of ridiculously long task lists that would occur, but then a wonderful Bullet Journalist mentioned that migrating daily is not part of the original system, and in fact that Ryder mentions that migration is a monthly process.
Some Bullet Journalists migrate daily, some migrate every time that they flip to a new spread, some migrate every week, some migrate monthly. I migrate whenever I want to, to be honest, because I'm a fluid creature. I follow systems to a point, but I'm fickle and change my mind a lot because that's the way I am and that's why the Bullet Journal works so well for me; it allows me to work however I need to and naturally do.
So here, you see a regular task list on the left-hand Daily Log, and the addition of the timeline idea I shared a long, long time ago on the right-hand Daily Log. Sometimes I use this timeline and sometimes I don't. Most of the time, I don't. I like the idea of time tracking, or making a plan for the day by scheduling out tasks or a series of things, but I haven't found something I'm entirely happy with that's simple and low management. So, I go back to this simple timeline I created, it's simple, no-fuss, and straight to the point. I'm mixed on using it sometimes because I don't know how long my Daily Log will be and I don't want to have wasted space just in case, but sometimes it helps :)
Next is a Reading Log and a Writing Log.
I got the idea to keep a Reading Log so I could log what I read in the mornings as part of the Miracle Morning idea I was testing out for a little while. I didn't keep up with the Miracle Morning too well, so I didn't keep up with the Reading Log too well. I'd forget it was another tracker I made to keep track of things. I realized shortly into the new year that perhaps I set up too many trackers, which was the case. I'm sure you knew that already, though ;) As the tick by the page number indicates, it sort of worked, but I would forget to log what I read, so I stopped using it altogether as it wasn't a good indicator of what I actually read.
The Writing Log was idea I got from a couple of Bullet Journalists, but adjusted to measure what I was interested in measuring. I ended up not really using it, again forgetting to update it. I also didn't really like the way I set it up. I added it to this Bullet Journal instead of my blog & biz bujo just in case it turned out to be a flop, which it did. So, I stopped using it. I use Jiffy to track my time with writing and then I update the time tracker in my Blog & Biz Bullet Journal at the end of the month, so I've got a pretty good way to see my time in two forms already.
Next is a notes collection from an awesome article I read from Eric Barker of Barking up the Wrong Tree - I love his blog, and you should add it to your list of regular blogs that you read, too! He is amazing and he has fantastic articles!
I like adding in notes collections sometimes because I really enjoyed what I learned, to help cement it into my mind, and to practice my handwriting.
Next is a Food Log I was toying with. I was trying out a new idea I thought of to keep track of the date and time that I ate and any relevant notes. As with some of the other collections, I forgot to update it and what time, so it wasn't helpful. The reason I wanted to track in the first place is because I can pretty much go the whole day without eating and get a massive food headache, so I was trying to be more mindful of when I ate, but the experiment was a flop.
The Food Log is one thing I'm still experimenting with. For a long time now I've tried a lot of different iterations, which you'll see more of in this article, but I have yet to come up with one I'm very happy with, although in the following photos I shared an idea I'm pretty dang proud of and I think might be the solution I've been seeking!
Here we are at another Daily Log. I really enjoyed writing a quote in the morning, course it took some time to look up one I liked, so I stopped adding them in after a while, but for now you can enjoy a few of them :)
Here you can see that I wrote some notes from the book I read in Blinkist on the right-hand page of my Daily Log. Sometimes I add in notes in my Daily Logs because it's my Bullet Journal and I can do whatever I want in it! It's part of my day and something that I didn't care to house in its own collection. That's a big tip I want to instill, add whatever you want to into your Daily Logs, if you have some notes, toss them in! If you want to refer to the notes later on and they consist of a longer form, then possibly create a collection or try out the Calendex. Simply put, make it easy for your brain.
Okay, for the next spread, I have to mention that I did add a habit tracker, but I just didn't keep up with it and it's embarrassing to show because you might think of me as a gross monster for not having checked off more things. Writing that down sounded ridiculous, but even if I did do them, I didn't check them off because too many trackers, so you might think of me as something that doesn't reflect who I really am just because of the what tracker might indicate. Yes, I overthink everything. I'm happy with who I am for the most part, yet I don't want to give you the wrong impression with the habit tracker. So, I'll just skip over January's tracker, but you will get to see February's in a moment here!
Next, we have a couple more Daily Logs. I love Daily Logs! They are my favorite part about the whole Bullet Journal system. It is where I create a plan of attack for the day and keep myself focused. :)
After this I have a few article and idea collections, which are still in the works, so here's another Daily Log spread:
Here's a good example of using the amount of space that I need in my Daily Logs to demonstrate that the Bullet Journal Rapid-Logging spirit is alive and well with me :) Some days (like you see above with Thursday) I don't write down any tasks, and instead I only make a note of a few things. Other days I write some tasks and they span out over to the following page. Sometimes I write tasks next to each other - it's however I need them to work on any given day.
Next, I created a collection with some affirmations that I was toying with in attempts to create a mission statement. I have a couple of mission statements that I've held onto for most of my life (which you'll see in a moment), but I want to create a stronger and more focused phrase to go back to each day to keep me focused. Anyways, I would read these affirmations as part of the Miracle Morning routine.
After that I was reading my favorite subreddit on Reddit, /r/askreddit when I came across a post (thread?) where someone asked, "What is something someone said that changed your way of thinking forever?" and I loved reading what the Redditors shared, so I wrote down my favorite ones in a collection, all while practicing my cursive. Here's the thread if you want to check it out for yourself. Thank you to all of you inspiring Redditors!
Next is a continuation of a previous day's Daily Log and then my first attempt at migrating on a weekly basis by migrating all of the undone tasks from the previous week's Daily Logs to Sunday. I did a pretty good job at getting a lot of them done!
At some point I got the idea to create a Business Hours collection to house the business hours of some places I frequent, I like it so far :) I don't reference it too often, but it's nice to know that it's there if I need it without having to look it up online all over again, except for on holidays.
Here we have the first weekly review of the year! These are questions that Josh Medeski asks himself as part of his weekly review and I like them so I use them in my weekly review as well. This week I wanted to review some extra information at the end...that I did not end up filling out haha. Sometimes things seem important at the time, but then you don't end up doing anything with them, or forgetting, so it makes you wonder if they were really important at all or if you are tracking in so many different places that another doesn't seem all that necessary. If you can't tell, I fall into the latter camp of tracking too many things that it sometimes seems tricky to see which are most important.
Next is a spread with a few small project collections.
I was looking for a better way to organize my photos and I combined elements from a couple different website to come up with a good folder scheme and I think I've got it down for the most part:
- -1 folder as base: 'Photos'
- -- Create a folder per category: 'Tiny Ray of Sunshine'
- --- Add a folder per year: '2016'
- ---- Add a folder per event (in this case articles): '2016-02-12-January Review & February So Far in my Bullet Journal 2016'
- ----- Name the photos accordingly (I usually write them out like this): 'TinyRayofSunshine.'short form of title'' such as 'TinyRayofSunshine.JanFeb2016' and I usually go an extra step and add the numbers afterwards to keep track of the order to make it easier to organize when adding them into my articles and to Flickr.
Since I have a lot of photos and designs I work with, and I use my desktop quite a bit, I needed a way to have some folders on hand so I created a desktop image to house the folders in a Kanban-type way.
Well, this acted as a little outline of my ideal morning routine and what I wanted to add to a future morning routine tracker (which you'll see in a few photos for February).
And I have some more space for other small projects like this. This is part of the fun of the Bullet Journal: you can use it as the notebook it is in an organized way with collections and indexing.
Here we have some more Daily Logs.
I first saw the horizontal timeline a long time ago from a member of the Bullet Journal Google+ community, and then more recently from Kara. I wanted to give it a go when I saw how well it was working for her. My verdict? This might sound ironic to you, but it is a little more set up than I care for. Like I mentioned before, I haven't really found a time management format I really like in the Bullet Journal yet. I like the timeline I came up with because of how little time it takes to set up, but even that I don't use often because of the reason I shared before on not knowing how much room I'd need. The good thing about this horizontal timeline is that it only takes up 1 row, so there's no need to worry about wasting space as you might with the vertical timeline. I get how the horizontal timeline works and I'll probably revisit it in the future because I do like the way it looks and it might help me stay focused by seeing when I planned to be doing what. :)
I think if I combined elements of both it might help to minimize the setting up time. For example, only writing down the numbers and condensing down what I tracked it could work for me. So instead of setting up 6 things, it would only be 1 or 2, hm...if I can simplify this down further I could see it working...yes, I'll give it another try and see how it goes. I find that the simpler I make things, the more likely I'll stick to them, which is also my number one tip for the Bullet Journal!
Here are a couple of collections.
Instagram Photos to Post: sometimes I think of what I'd like to post or repost from someone else that I thought was a really neat idea, so I created a spread because I like making people happy and shedding the light on them as well and making sure others know of how awesome they are! :) I think I've made a few people 'insta-famous' haha, which is cool, I'm happy others are getting the attention they deserve, we all have great ideas to share!
I wrote, I read that Ryder mentions keeping a blank Future Log page for any tasks you think are good ideas, but would like to get to later on. He also explains this a bit in his recent Show & Tell video.
I'll add this collection to the beginning of my next Bullet Journal as well as a collection of tasks I may want to do later on in the future or when I have some time in present, but it's not too pressing with a time constraint.
More Daily Logs.
Next is an Awesome Ideas from Others collection.
I see all sorts of neat ideas every day in this awesome Bullet Journal community, and I get excited to try some of these out. But I usually need the ideas to simmer in my mind before I implement or tweak them to fit me, but I want to keep them in mind so I stash them away in this collection so I can try them out sometime!
- The Cleaning and Food collection idea is by Ursala, one of my favorite Bullet Journalists out there.
- The Horizontal Timelog on a weekly basis (which I did try out for a week, you'll see it in this article), saw this from a member of the Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook Group.
- The Clothing Items and Sales collection was another idea from a member of the Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook Group. It was pretty clever and will come in handy once I figure what kinds of clothes I want to buy that will 'spark joy' :)
- The Running Forest collection a really awesome illustrated list by Kyle, another creative Bullet Journalist!
Next, we is where I first tried out the idea of migrating all of the undone task from the previous week's Daily Logs into a weekend instead of on Sunday. I thought I was pretty clever with the name haha.
Next up is an attempt to create my own morning routine instead of following the Miracle Morning. Over the years I've given a lot of different attempts at creating a morning routine. I like theMiracle Morning, but I want to create something that's my own, you know? (Although I'll probably end up giving it another go at some point). Anyways, I liked the first couple of days, as I tend to with a lot of my experiments, but then I fell off tracking it. There was too much checking off involved and remembering to check it in the mornings. I had initially created the simple page on the left to remind me of my morning routine, but then I wanted a way to track, and then I fell off tracking, so...did not work. Probably user error, oh well.
Okay, so this is the Foodex! I might make this into its own article, but right now I'll talk about it. With my seemingly unending search for an easy food management system, I was inspired by Eddy Hope's Calendex and I came up with the idea to create a Foodex.
The way it works by having a list of the dinners I typically enjoy on the right-hand page (and some I'd like to try on a sticky note) with a 2 letter code that I can log to the left-hand side once to create a record of what I ate.
The sticky note keeps things flexible by letting me write down some meals I want to try out, and if they're awesome then I'll add them to the list :) I like the idea so far and I've been doing a good job of keeping up with it. I thought of it halfway through January and didn't keep track of meals that first half, sadly, so that portion will be empty, but how exciting right?!
I try to come up with simple ideas that need to have a low amount of effort on a regular basis besides the initial set up, of course. If you want to try making your own, they are 2 columns apart in Leuchtturm1917 notebooks :)
This is working so far because my ideal meal planning method is having a list of meals I enjoy and want to try out, grocery shopping for those, and picking one from the list and cooking that. I've never been good at planning meals ahead of time because I typically don't feel like eating what I had planned to. With this method, the meals are generally healthy and I no longer have to fuss about making a new list every week, month, or however!
It's fantastic and I love it! It will be a great record and I can easily spot when I've been eating food from out too many times, and any other data all at a glance!
After the exciting Foodex, I gave another shot at Ryder's Food Log idea with a tweak of my own by adding in an extra column to indicate what I actually ate. It worked for a few days, then I forgot to track meals, and because it was a weekly type of set up, I didn't set up another week of it.
I prefer setting things up at the beginning and then using them throughout the month, I get busy, so the lower barrier of effort exuded, the better. Plus, all the wasted space on the right-hand page was bothersome since I don't take my Bullet Journal into the grocery store. For grocery shopping (and shopping in general), I use an app called Cinnamon to sync grocery list with my boyfriend. It keeps track of prices for those times we want to keep an eye on our budget and has this amazing feature called, "bundles" which you can use to create lists of items you regularly buy, weekly staples for example, or ingredients for special dinners such as Thanksgiving, and add those easily to your grocery list (we have one each per store) so that's what I primarily use as a grocery list because we always forget paper lists. The migrated bullets here mean that I migrated these food items to Cinnamon.
Here we have a couple of Daily Logs. I was trying out a couple of time management ideas. I thought it would be clever to draw out a clock, since that's what I'm used to seeing on my wrist, and kind of how I think, but it didn't work out. The timeline, I modified a bit and tried to mash-up color-coding with it, but didn't really like that either because of the wasted space that resulted to the left.
Next is one of the Article collection spreads for the Thorough Guide to the Bullet Journal I shared last month. I love creating outlines for my articles, they really help me stay on top of what I want to cover. They're usually simpler, but I wanted to cover all the bases for this one.
After mulling it over for a while, I decided to try out a Weekly Log concept like Ryder had mentioned that some Bullet Journalists add to their Bullet Journals (in the back of the official Bullet Journal). I knew that it would likely look like a simple list, but being the tiny calendar lover that I am, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to add one in so I could see where the week fell on the month. I then realized underneath it would be perfect to write down upcoming events that I wanted to keep track of. This little section was awesome to write down upcoming events.
The idea behind the Weekly Log is to migrate the undone tasks from the previous week's Daily Logs, but I also used it as a 'brain-dump' (oh, how I wish there were a more universal way to describe this phenomenon) tasks in order to keep the Daily Logs more orderly and less overwhelmed.
Oh and if you were wondering about 'Clean up Paprika,'...Paprika is an awesome recipe app I use to try out recipes that I find around the web :) I had a lot of recipes that I hadn't tried out so I wanted to declutter it up a bit.
After that I wanted to try out the Horizontal Timelog I had seen a few Bullet Journalists try out. I keep track of my time in Jiffy, but I also wanted to see how it would look with this method in my Bullet Journal. It shows how erratic my writing time is, for one. I did not keep it up for another week, having it sideways is a little confusing to me I must admit. The dashed lines meant supposed cut-off times...but as you can see I pulled some late nights. I like the idea a lot, but I don't think it's for me in this weekly format.
Here are more Daily Logs and examples of how short they can be. Making the Weekly Log allowed me to shorten my Dailies and work off the Weekly Log itself. After these, I wanted a fresh start on Monday, so that's what there's an open space. I toyed around with some crazy headers with flourishes.
Here's my Exercise tracker, some of you may have seen how I keep track of C25K in my Blog & Biz bujo (I know, a little confusing that I keep a few personal collections in there as well, but it's what works for me), but I wanted a way to keep track of both C25K and Strength Training. I am using the apps recommended within these apps for the 'weight-loss' program, so I alternate days between running and strength training and I'm enjoying it so far, I feel a lot stronger that's for sure!
I use the C25K app from Fitness 22 and the Push-ups, Sit-ups, and Squats apps for Strength Training. The push-ups one has a really awesome beginner mode against a desk, so I'm starting to see some awesome arm definition after all of these weeks! I'm really excited about it :) Checking off these boxes is pretty motivating too! Oh and these apps give you little badges, so that's fun as well.
I liked having a tiny line next to the tracker as a mini review of how the week went.
The next Weekly Log I wanted to create a little habit tracker to see if that would work better for me, because I kept forgetting to check off the month tracker...nope still forgot to check it off.
For this Weekly Log I decided to divide out tasks a bit with the left side for personal tasks and the left side would be all things Tiny Ray of Sunshine and Etsy.
More Daily Logs, because at the end of the day these are my favorite and most important part of my Bullet Journal.
And now we are wrapping up Sunday with ideas for February and the last Daily Log of the month.
Overall I'd say that January was too much excitement over the new year and adding too many trackers, which I tend to do. Last year I tried keeping up with 20+ daily habits and it turned out similarly to this, where I forgot to track, didn't enjoy tracking, feeling bad about tracking. I don't know, I guess the less I track, the better. Also, what I track needs to have some qualitative data as well, which explains why the Gratitude Log works so well for me and why the Foodex and Exercise trackers are also working well so far.
So now we're going to dive into February, hooray! I changed up the color scheme, order, and some layouts for February to make it a fun transition over to the next month.
I added all of the challenges first, there are so many good ones this February and I wanted to make sure I wrote down the ones I was interested in, beginning with the main ones:
- #BulletJournalChallenge (I host), I like to make the #BulletJournalChallenge a surprise for everyone, so I add it into my Bullet Journal after it gets posted over at the official Bullet Journal blog
- #PlanWithMeChallenge (I co-host with Jessica and Kara), and the new
- #RockYourHandwriting Challenge (I co-host with Dee, Kara, and Jessica).
Here some more fun ones I thought would be good practice.
- The #IllustratedLists challenge is an idea Dee and I thought would be a fun way to combine sketching and listing, in similar spirit to some fun visual lists some Bullet Journalists have been coming up with. We were thinking about collaborating on something for a few months now and after many brainstorming sessions we thought this would be something fun and unique to bring about.
- #PTLDoodles is hosted by Kacheri of Passion Themed Life which is focused on making a doodle a day. I decided to try out miniature doodles in this list form for the challenge this month.
- #BrushLetterPracticeChallenge is hosted by Random Olive from the blog of the same name. I got a new Pentel Sign Brush Pen so I thought it'd be fun to try out this floral-themed challenge this month.
- The #HandLetteredABCs...honestly, I'm not really sure how this one works, I wanted to try improving my calligraphy with this challenge as challenges are a great way to build community, get encouragement and engage with others who interested in similar things, but I don't really understand how the challenge works, it doesn't seem like a daily challenge. It's hosted by Sharisse from Pieces Calligraphy and a few others.
Next I attempted another morning routine tracker collection with some sketches in hopes that maybe it would encourage me to check it more, but it didn't, I still don't check this. I guess it's not that important to me to check these, even though in theory it seems like a good idea. I'm not good at keeping up with these sorts of things sometimes.
Next is February's tracker and Mission Statement. This one is not quite as embarrassing as January's, so I'll share this one. I think I check it once every 3 days or so, and update what I remember.
I think I'm starting to get the hang of what I want to keep track of, but I will continue to tweak it in future iterations I'm sure. For example, I added in a few that I thought were pretty clever like the "eat that frog" and "tasks completed" but then I didn't end up remembering to do those/update them. Sometimes you think an idea is good but then you don't implement it and put it to practice. I think that's kind of my nature though, I have a lot of ideas but they usually don't stick so I tend to only share the few that did work...but I thought it'd be a good idea to share with you my thought processes on these.
These are the two phrases that have stuck with me for as long as I can remember for my mission statement. I want to add a little more and reword them a bit to Embrace (my word of the year) more of my life as of late, but I suppose I still need more time to simmer with the thoughts. One of these days I'll sit down and think of something, I'm sure.
Next up is my Month Overview with a mini cal and space for notes underneath because I like having a little visual way to see some of the things I'm interested in having stand out.
This mini calendar is the only time I color-code in my Bullet Journal, you usually won't see it anywhere else. If I do color-code, it's usually kept to be collection-specific like this. The right-hand page is to log down any notable things that happened, similar to the original month log, except I don't write any events that are going to happen, it's solely a log to snapshot snippets of the month :) It's awesome to look back on and see the fun and exciting things that occurred.
I really like this overview and the original Month Log, but me being me, I like to switch things up. That's another reason I love the Bullet Journal, I have the flexibility to do whatever I like in it and want to experiment with.
Next is, of course, the Gratitude Log. I love this thing and I'm pretty sure that I always will because of the way that it makes me feel. As I mentioned before, I switched back to logging 3 things and I'm feeling happier again, 3 is the minimum number of things I need to log to have a sunny disposition. :) It's all about making things work for you.
Logging 3 things a day in my Gratitude Log means that it spans out across 3 pages, so I wanted to make use of that space by adding more awesome reflective things.
I renamed the 'Memories' idea to Awesome Moments, because that resonates a little better for me. This month has been off to a great start so far! :)
Next up is my Dinner Log as another experiment with food n' stuff.
I wanted to come up with a way to refer to the food I regularly enjoy so as to make meal planning/figuring out what to eat a lot easier, so that's what the page on the right is for while the page on the left is a record of what was eaten (similar idea to the Foodex, except this way it's for a month only). I've never been good planning meals ahead because I usually don't feel like eating the foods I planned ahead for, but I do think that it's important to keep track of what you eat so that you can reflect on your choices. Doing this helps you to reflect and see what kinds of food you're eating and how they affect your energy levels.
For what it's worth, the way I generally enjoy meal planning is by writing down a list of meals I enjoy, buying ingredients for those, and then looking over the list each night and picking one to make. This way I already have a list of healthy meals and the ingredients and I can whichever I feel like making that night.
Keeping track of what I ate helps me to see how often I ate food from out. I also have food sensitivities, so just in case I eat something new and I have a bad reaction, the log makes it easier for me pin-point the culprit and, well, not eat it again haha.
This works well with the Foodex because with this Dinner Log I can write out the words in full and have fun experimenting with a new layout on a month basis whereas the Foodex acts as a year-long archive.
Okay, let's quickly take a break so I can tell you why I ordered the initial collections at the beginning of the month this way. I wanted to get better at being consistent with keeping up with the challenges so I put them first. I also want to spend my mornings doing something creative instead of getting lost checking the internet. Then afterwards, I'd ideally like to get to doing my morning routine, but I'm not very good at checking it off/doing it. I keep trying, so there's progress, I never claimed to be perfect.
Then, the month tracker is to keep track of some things, but this is really tricky, sometimes I feel like I'm not tracking the right things, or trying to track too many unnecessary things, so I cross them out. Sometimes I think things are a good idea, but I forget to implement my ideas. This is probably because I have a lot of ideas I try out at once, and then have trouble keeping up with all of them. I don't think this is a character flaw though, sometimes things that seemed important turn out not to be as important as you thought they were.
Then, I have the Mission Statement to help prepare me for the day, which is still a work in progress. After that I'm ready to dive into the month overview.
At night I go through these first initial pages all over again to check off the challenges that I did, the trackers, events in the mini calendar, update the log, write down what I'm grateful for, and possibly sketch something into my 'Awesome Moments,' update what I ate in the dinner log and lastly glance at the month tasks to prepare the next day's Daily Log. Sounds like a lot, but it goes quickly and it's a pretty pleasant nighttime routine.
Alright, so now after the trackers and logs is where the task component of my Bullet Journal is. This month I'm trying out having separate task lists for the various facets of my life. On the first page I have personal tasks written down. I added a mini calendar to keep track of a specific habit, although I think I already have it in my habit tracker...I wrote it down here as well to keep an extra eye on it. It's not going so well, my sleep is still all over the place. Sleep is one of those things that's always been a challenge for me my entire life. I'm more of a night owl, but I would love to be an early bird to get more sunlight. Sometimes I'm both, for example, I was up late last night working away on this article, and then I woke up early this morning only a few hours later. It's something I am always working on improving.
The right-hand page is tasks and articles for Tiny Ray of Sunshine. I like the format of it, the triangle bullet is something new I'm trying out that stands for 'article' and I fill it in once I've published the article. To the left of the triangle I'll write down the date that I published the article and check off one of the dot task bullets across the top. One of the best things I have found to help me post more often on my blog is to have a number goal, this metric helps me stay motivated - I love checking them off! I do count guest articles as part of that number as well. I haven't added in all of the articles yet, I have a whiteboard blog editorial calendar that is flexible that I love and have been using for months and that's where all of my impending articles are...this list acts as an intentional list for the upcoming articles.
Underneath that are some goals that I want to get done this month.
After this spread I have an entire spread dedicated to tasks, projects, and notes for my Etsy shop which I will not be sharing with you, but want to let you know that it's there.
And after that is another spread full of Blog post ideas and Ideas/thoughts for the following month.
Here is the ideas/thoughts for next month page, it's a good way to write down or sketch any ideas for the following month.
After all of that initial set up is where my Daily Logs for February begin.
One of the things that I wanted to do this month was be a little more creative in my Bullet Journal. In my previous Bullet Journals there were sketches all over the place, so I thought it'd be fun to bring more of that into this one. At the same time I thought it'd be a good idea to incorporate the various challenges to reflect my life and what I was interested in improving at the time.
I saw someone else tried doodling in their food in their Daily Log, so I tried that out for a day. I really like how handlettered quotes look and I want to improve the spacing of mine and whatnot. I didn't do any preliminary sketching with a pencil, I just dove in with my fountain pen and I think it turned out okay, if anything it was fun to do. :)
This is the next page with more challenges. I really liked making a mash-up of a sketch and list with The Illustrated Man. I wrote out the stories as a list first and then I drew out the book to match the length of the list and emulated the spine of the edition I have. I really liked this, I'll probably do it for future books I read if I enjoy them enough to warrant something like in my Bullet Journal.
As you can tell, the challenges and the amount of practice I wanted to do kind of ended up taking over my Bullet Journal and I wasn't too sure about it continuing it.
Here's some more practice and a collection for an upcoming article I want to publish :)
So here's another Weekly Log, which didn't work. I kind of felt like it wouldn't this time. I tried having 3 mini lists, the first would be personal on the left-hand page and the two lists on the right-hand page would be for Tiny Ray of Sunshine and Etsy, respectively. Because of the way that I set up the dedicated month lists for these, it was redundant having them in a weekly format as well for me.
In this Daily Log I wanted to try to make my header more simple, even though I prefer the script. I tried to keep the challenges to a smaller space and then I wrote out a frantic, and waaay too long, task list on the right. It didn't fare too well, as you can see.
Next is another Daily Log with more challenges.
Yet more practicing with lettering and whatnot. I really like the Copperplate capital D, so I was trying out an inspired version with my new Pentel Sign Brush Pen.
I tried out a new idea for a time management solution on the right-hand page, but didn't keep up with it too well.
Next I started working on this article with an Article collection!
It's not uncommon for me to use sticky notes to write down messy notes for related things and stick them onto my pages. Sticky notes are an awesome and quick way to write down a thought you want to keep in mind and move around as needed. I filled up this page more and added its own little key to keep track of things.
In a past life I was a huge printable lover and creator, but I found that I usually needed a different outline and the antithesis of a preformatted guide for my articles - I needed freedom to think and write out my article notes and tasks however they needed to grow and flourish and nothing lets me think better than the blank page. The Bullet Journal is hugely my jam, I love it so!
That said you know I do like to make layouts for some things...article outlines are not one of them :)
And here I bring you to the end of this article with the latest Daily Logs!
I like how I incorporated the #IllustratedLists into Tuesday, and will probably be how I add sketches in the future. :)
- Official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 dot grid medium notebook
- Blue ink for headers: Waterman Inspired Blue
- Orange ink for headers: Diamine Blaze Orange
- Gray ink used to write: Faber-Castell Stone Grey
- Pen used for blue headers: Cross Bailey medium nib
- Pen used for orange headers: Pilot Plumix Blue 1.0mm stub nib
- Pens used with grey ink for everyday writing and sketching: Mini TWSBI 580 fine nib and White Tiger Pilot Metropolitan fine nib
- Brush pen: Pentel Sign Brush Pen
- Colorful brush pens: Tombow brush pens
- Calligraphy pen holder: Tachikawa straight pen holder with white grip
- Calligraphy ink: Sumi Ink
- Calligraphy nib: Nikko G
- Tabs: Clear File Post it
- To write on the tabs: Ultra Fine Retractable Sharpie Marker
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my Bullet Journal! If you enjoyed any of these photos, I'd appreciate it if you pinned them to Pinterest and shared this article with whoever you think would enjoy it! :)
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