It's been a while since I shared what I've been up to in my Bullet Journal. Before I share what I'm doing in May, I wanted to go over April as a way to catch you up on my experiments.
Let's see, first things first. I noticed a new trend of adding a 'welcome' page of sorts before the start of the month. I thought that was a fun and neat idea, so I gave it a go with some random flourishes. I am massively rusty with my abstract art. Even though I Bullet Journal most days, taking some time to draw has gone by the wayside. In February and March I shared that I was toying with adding sketches into my dailies as a way to include more of my artistic side to my Bullet Journal. I like adding elements of that part of me here and there. The Bullet Journal is primarily a tool to help me get things done, though, so I don't spend much time embellishing it. That said, since it is a notebook, I love that I can add anything to it and keep it all organized by the wonderful superpowers inherent in the Bullet Journal system :)
Anywho. Next up was the Monthly Log for April. I used the left side as a way to plan ahead a bit. Usually I add in some notable snippets of things that occurred, which I did a few in April. The tasks page was full of experimentation and it was just massively messy, I highly prefer a clean list instead. I wanted to keep in mind self-care elements so I added them to the bottom of the tasks page hoping that it would help me refer to them considering the idea is to look at the monthly log on a daily basis. I only ended up looking at it while I was writing it out and glanced at it a handful of times throughout the month. It was a neat idea, but not something that I referenced often so that idea was a good exercise but not something I'll do again. Maybe as its own collection at a later point; self-care is always an important thing to keep in mind. The good thing about writing things down is that it helps you remember to do them, and I do think I was better about taking care of myself, especially mentally! I got into audiobooks halfway through the month and I really enjoy those :)
Thoughts & Ideas for May & Favorites Log
After that I thought I would keep an ideas and thoughts collection of things I wanted to try out for the following month. I kept forgetting I had this collection so there are 2 more collections within April that have more ideas of what I was toying with for May. Ah well, you live you learn.
Instead of the ever-popular 'Memories' Log idea from Kacheri of Passion Themed Life, I came up with the idea of a 'Favorites' Log to write down things that I enjoyed such as quotes, occurrences, and other such matters throughout the month. Kind of like a mash-up of the memories and commonplace type of deal on one page. I enjoyed it :)
For the Gratitude Log I wanted it to be a little more organic and instead of adding bullets for x amount of things to be grateful for each day, the idea was to add to it whenever I remembered to with a big number corresponding to the day and as many things as I wanted to jot down that I was grateful for. I like how it turned out. In previous months I'd miss some days and would agonize to remember what I was grateful for on previous days. It's funny because the nature of the Bullet Journal is to create it as you go and it can get tricky with pages like this that you'd like to visit on a daily basis. I'm usually pretty good about it for the beginning of the month and taper off towards the end, which is natural. This way it is more free-form, yet still all in one place to read all the good things that I am grateful for :) I had actually set aside two spreads but only ended up using just the one spread.
After that is a Time Log concept I came up with that I fell in love with. I can't even begin to express how much joy it brought me filling it every day. It was ridiculously useful too! At the end of the month I created some accompanying graphs later on in the Bullet Journal to analyze sleep and work patterns. It was such a happy and peaceful spread. I enjoyed coloring it in. I'll share an example of it in May's article.
The 'ideal' column was a neat idea and something I tend to experiment with timelogs with an ideal/planned versus actual day, but I found I have a really erratic work schedule so that portion will be removed and I will only keep track of the ideal portion for sleep. I really enjoyed filling this in, I looked forward to seeing my patterns and charting them up in a graph :) I'll have to share how to do that sometime.
I tried a few things in the Daily Logs:
1. Adding a yellow color block next to tasks to keep consistent with the color-code on the time log to indicate that it was a work task.
2. I tried numbering the tasks to give them priority
3. Columns. If you've known me long, one thing I've always had a huge affinity for are columns. I thought of the idea of combining a form of rapid-logging tasks and categorizing them to make it easy to quickly write down a list of tasks and have a way to organize them. I liked this method and it generally worked pretty well. I also left an extra space from the margin to add in signifiers as needed. It was AWESOME to get to focus on a column of tasks at a time yet have that fantastic element of rapid-logging. :) It really helped my productivity getting to have a laser focus with these handy columns. With the food column I was also able to get myself to eat more regularly by having some yumyums to look forward to.
4. Simple lists. Some days I'd just go ahead and make a fresh list with the usual header.
1. I tried a Weekly Log in the same vein with columns according to category to see what type of task it was. Migrating unfinished tasks from the previous week helped me to refresh what was important with a renewed focus for the day ahead. It also served as a catch-all to write down tasks that I wasn't sure I could get to on the Daily Log.
2. The following week I tried it with another series of columns for the days as a way to indicate when the task was due OR to mark when it was completed. Another fun idea. This way I could keep track of when I worked on the tasks (think projects, extremely handy for that) or habits. I would flip to this at the start of each day and write some of the tasks down on my dailies and get going or sometimes I'd work from within this collection itself to save some time rewriting.
This is an idea I saw from @Homsweethom as a way to combine lettering practice with weekly reflection. I thought it was pretty fun.
Meal planning is something I experiment with all of the time. It's something that's important and I find quite the feat and am always toying with new ways to manage it. I've gotten a routine down for the most part that I'll share in a later article. For now, here's a simple version of it. I've always been a big believer that plans are most satisfying when you can see tangible progress towards those goals. Writing things down to see progress is wonderful and one of the main reasons I am drawn to the Bullet Journal. The left side is for meal ideas broken down into columns for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks. This makes it easy to rapid-log meal ideas and see which type of food it is. Once you've had the meal, check it off. I also added a column to the far right to indicate the meal needed groceries bought to complete it.
(You can tell that the concept behind these handy dandy columns was a recurring winner in my Bullet Journal in April :) LOVE columns!)
The right side acted as a way to see progress. It was a bit tricky because I was also giving Lose it! another shot so I was double-logging and double-logging is one of those issues that can be a pitfall for Bullet Journalists. Syncing digital and analog is such a hassle so I always recommend (especially when it comes to the monthly log) that you think about whether or not it needs to be written down. Lose it! has a better way of keeping track of calories with its database and adding up the calorie count (to make sure I eat enough because I tend to forget to eat) so it made sense to use Lose it! instead. I like Lose it! because of the little food icons, so adorable! In case you're curious, I attempted the idea again the following week and didn't update either the log or Lose it! hehe...it's true what they say, too many options and it's too much that neither is picked. The key here is to use one or the other but not both for food logging.
This is a word that had been on my mind for much of April. Running this website, keeping up with comments, emails, and more online can feel like this blogging business is similar to a marathon. I do love sharing ideas and I've come to learn from doing this for over a year and a half that being a content creator is a massive marathon. It's all about keeping a pace that makes sense for you and to take care of yourself and keep going. You've still got a lot to share! :)
Miracle Morning notes
Decided to finally take the plunge and buy the Kindle and Audiobook version of The Miracle Morning to check out what it's all about. It's pretty interesting how he managed to group together all of the inspiring things I've read throughout the years into a simple system of sorts. I wrote down some notes and drew some leaves while listening.
Throughout my life I've made various plans and goals in different areas of my life, much like his 'Wheel of Life' or 'Level 10 Life' idea, so I decided to give that a go. Like I had thought, I've already been working on all of those areas of my life, but I hadn't actually rated them. I'll be honest, initially all of the scores were kind of low and then I reassessed and I realized life is actually pretty awesome for me so I updated everything to reflect how I actually feel about things with a more positive frame of mind. Things aren't perfect, but they are superbly awesome :) It was a neat exercise to have them all in one place.
That's pretty much it for April. I do have tons of collections full of project plans and notes of different concepts and all sorts of fun stuff like that, but wanted to keep this post short to give you a taste of what I experimented with in April - hope you enjoyed! :)
Hey, if you're new to the Bullet Journal (or even if you're not), don't let the pages I just shared intimidate you. It's all an experiment. I've been using the Bullet Journal system for well over a year and a half and it really works the way I need it to. I am someone who craves a lot of variety and what better way to get that than by trying something new every day? A notebook is a genius and perfect way to get that need fulfilled. In turn, I get to share a lot of variety in my pages. I stay true to the very basic elements such as the concept of Indexing, Rapid-logging with adding topics and using Bullets and Signifiers, using Collections, and Migrating, but the looks of it can vary. It's about doing what works for you. Part of the fun is experimenting. The way I always suggest newbies to approach the Bullet Journal is as an experiment. Since it's all an experiment it's a fun and approachable thing. Let the blank pages be your playground. Stay true to the basic concepts and however it looks is a byproduct of 'youness' :) Go create some awesomeness!
Some of the following are Amazon affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep the website running, I appreciate your support!
- Official Bullet Journal notebook
- Orange-yellow ink done with Noodler's Apache Sunset in an Orange Pilot Metropolitan with a stub nib from a Pilot Plumix (Yes, you can swap the nibs!)
- Blue ink - Staedtler
- Yellow ink - Papermate Flair (my favorite yellow felt pen!)
- Gray ink - Faber-Castell Stone Grey
- Pens used: Pilot Metropolitan fine, Pilot Vanishing Point fine, Mini TWSBI fine.