Bullet Journal Check In: August - A Look Back at Full Pages

It's been a minute since we checked in with my Bullet Journal. I still use it every day and it still helps me feel balanced and productive. My BuJo is not that pretty. I have a minimalist style but my journal is very functional so I don't often take the time to make it look perfect. 

One thing I love about migrating and starting a new month is to look back at completed pages, and trackers! When I did my August monthly spread, I looked back at some full calendar pages, and the first pages of each month.  This journal started this May so I have a few month to look back on. 

 Fabriano grid notebooks are my favorite notebooks to use for bullet journalling so far. The covers of my journals always et super ugly and dirty! I put my coffee cup and my breakfast on them a lot of days. 

Fabriano grid notebooks are my favorite notebooks to use for bullet journalling so far. The covers of my journals always et super ugly and dirty! I put my coffee cup and my breakfast on them a lot of days. 

 The first few pages of my journals are always my index, it was nice that this page was all full by August. I always find stickers and usually stick them in my BuJo. 

The first few pages of my journals are always my index, it was nice that this page was all full by August. I always find stickers and usually stick them in my BuJo. 

 The first page of each month is a monthly calendar overview and my task lists. Here I'll show two months so you can see how I migrate over, or repeat tasks month to month.  

The first page of each month is a monthly calendar overview and my task lists. Here I'll show two months so you can see how I migrate over, or repeat tasks month to month.  

 Both these months were pretty busy and I love looking back and seeing how full they look!

Both these months were pretty busy and I love looking back and seeing how full they look!

One of the joys of bullet journalling is full pages, crossing things off and migrating things to the next month. My journal is never that pretty, I use different pens and it can be messy, I put my coffee cup on it and it gets stains. But I still love the way it looks and find full pages super satisfying! 

If you have full Bullet Journal pages that you love, share them!

Bullet Journal Check In: A new BUJO

It's that wonderful time that comes around every so often! I have filled my bullet journal and its time to set up a new one!!

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My favorite notebook to use is Fabriano notebook with grid paper. I've used a few of these, my last BuJo was a purple one and for my new journal I got one in blue. Bc I buy a new (bio friendly) notebook, I make sure to only use pens I already have. We have a seemingly endless supply of pens and markers. So the pen I'm using right now is just some sort of black in pen that has rattled around the house and the name brand has worn off. 

I am on the hunt for a more zero waste/low impact solution to just buying a new notebook Perhaps I should start seeking them out at thrift shops or yard sales? Does anyone have any low impact solutions to notebook needs?

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My last journal lasted from November until April. I'm excited to see how many months I get out of my new bullet journal!

Youtube Video | Bullet Journal Flip Thru

Soooooo, I'm super new to YouTube. But I figure if I'm watching and enjoying YouTube, I should try it out, too. While I'm figuring it out, you can find me at Ana Mo Shoshin. I'd be super grateful for any tips, ideas, or comments!

Here is my second video in all it's bouncy glory. I had intended to put this at the end of yesterdays blog, but I could not get it to work for the life of me! Today, I figured it out!! Each time I upload, I learn things, see things that I want to change and ways to improve. Who else out there is starting their YouTube journey?

For those new to creating on YouTube, I highly recommend checking out all of channelnotes videos! She has a great way of being informative and inspiring and almost all her videos are less than 10 minutes!

Bullet Journal Check in: March Set Up

I've been Bullet Journalling for about 24 months now, but every month I'm excited to make a new set up! For March, I used a few of the new spreads I had been testing out in February. Testing spreads is a great way to see if they are useful, but there is something very satisfying about setting up a new month with all the spreads!

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The march overview and monthly task pages are simple. Each month these remain pretty much the same since starting my Bullet Journal. 

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Usually the next pages contains my logs, but I have omitted those this month and made a large sleep tracker to try instead. Here I will track nightly sleep and napping! I carried over my blog log set up bc this works well for me. This is where I log when and what I actually blog, when I post on insta, and my regular series. I leave a notes section at the bottom, but this month I have filled it up with all the drafts I have waiting on the blog, so I can finish some of them, and cross them off!!

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Next are two new spreads: A content calendar, which I tried out last month, and a weekly/biweekly cleaning tracker. We will see how well these work for me in March. 

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My habit tracker remains mostly the same for March, but I have added my daily routine items into it for this month. Previously I had been writing this in as a weekly overview but it was starting to feel chaotic and I was not filling it out regularly. These pages also contain a general shopping list and a lunch tracker for when and what my husband takes for lunch. 

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I'm working on how I want my expense tracker to be going forward. This one has categories but still isn't quite right. This is also the first month that I am trying out a budget tracker. I'm not sure if budgeting is something I will really pursue, but for March, I thought I'd try it!

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In March, I'm trying something new, but bunching all my daily spreads together. Usually I make them as they come, between other spreads or lists or idea pages. This month, I'm trying to only add small ideas among my daily spreads, like the bottom right box, which has some blog ideas.  Since I no long have a log page, I have added a sewing section to each day to track how much time I spend on sewing. I also have one for time spent at the beach. 

Overall, I'm happy with this monthly layout, but I 6 days in, I'm already spotting things I miss or may need to add. I enjoy that my Bullet Journal is always a work in progress!

Please share a link to your March set up in the comments!

Bullet Journal Check In: Trial and Error

I love my bullet journal and find it a very effective tool, as well as being a calming and pleasurable routine. I often try new spreads, new ideas, and new ways to track things in my life. Sometimes they work, sometimes not at all. 

During the end of Jan and the beginning of Feb, I have tried several new things for me. Some are working, some are failing, and some will get modified to try again. 

Capsule Tracker:

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I've tried a few different methods to see how I'm utilizing my capsule wardrobe. I can't recall where I saw someone tracking what they wore, the prominent colors, and what items of clothing is the favorite. I Really like this to quickly see what i love wearing and what I wear all the time. I think one thing that will help this tracker, and my bullet journal overall, is to take more care with how I write my lists.

Expenses Tracker:

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I usually only put the total of my daily expenses in the log section of each month. I thought really laying out every little item I spend on would be interesting. I also have been tracking if the purchases make me feel a certain way. MuchelleB suggests this as another good way to see what you're and why you're spending what you are. If purchases are not making you feel happy why are you making them? 

Cleaning Tracker:

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This is another expanded tracker that I plant to do very differently next month. Previously, I had a tracker for some cleaning tasks in my weekly over view. But I found that some weeks I would forget to fill it in and some weeks I wouldn't even write it out all the way. I'm planning on dividing tasks into daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly tasks. I know many bullet journal users do this but I've never tried it! 

Content Tracker:

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I saw this content tracker on FemmeHead and I thought it would be a nice thing to try, especially bc I hope to extend my content. As you can see from all the scratched area, it needs some work.  

Chris Lunch/Shopping List:

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Lastly, I have started to track what my husband brings for lunch at work and how often he brings it. I'm liking this, but I don't know if it's actually useful yet. For most of my time bullet journaling, I  had been putting a shopping list randomly where ever in my daily pages or anywhere it fit. I've started putting the shopping list all in one place for the last few months and I find this super helpful. 

What new trackers and pages are you trying in your Journal this month? Does anyone have any ideas how my trackers could be more effective? 

Bullet Journal Check In: Bullet Journal + Capsule Wardrobe

Using my Bullet Journal and creating my capsule wardrobe go hand in hand! I like to use my bullet journal to jot down notes about upcoming capsules, ideas for capsule blog posts, to list things that I want in my capsule, etc... I also make a list when doing the photos for each capsule blog post of what actually is in my capsule. 

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I have started keeping a outfit tracker. This is something I have done off and on in my journals. For this capsule, bc it's a bit larger than my last two, I wanted to track what I was wearing most, and what I was loving to wear. 

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How do you use your BuJo and your capsule wardrobe together?

Bullet Journal Check In: Checking in with the Blog Log

In August, I wrote briefly about the blog log I have been keeping in my Bullet Journal. I predicted August would be slow on blogs, and I was right!

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The next few months were far better for getting blogs posted. My blog log changed a bit over that time as well. I like to keep a record of each blog in two ways, one by the day and date each blog is posted which is in the left column with a calendar. The other is a check list of type of blog category each post falls under. For instance, if it is a zero waste post, a new block post, a WIP, post, etc...This also has the date attached. 

 I use the space in between these columns to track how many, and when I post instagram pics on both my personal and my quilt based instas. It's easy to use these layouts to see how little I have been posting on the madcatquilts instagram. 

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In August I was still trying to track a Mad Cat Quilts Friday favorites weekly instagram post, but since I haven't been using that insta I stopped recording that in my layout. I do hope to get back to posting more there, and bring back Friday favorites one day. I was also trying to track how many and when I answer comments on the blog in this Bullet Journal layout. I see not answering comments is one of my biggest downfalls as a blogger, and I do hope to change this eventually. Since I didn't use that feature either, I also dropped it from my layout. Now I use the space for notes and ideas. I find this practice very useful.  

Who else uses BuJo to keep track of blog related things?

Bullet Journal Check In: Future Log

Back in January, when I been using my Bullet Journal for about 10 months, I stated that my Future Log was a mess. I think now, 9 months and 2 journals after that, I like the way my Future Log is set up. Since I'm starting a new notebook, I thought now would be a good time to share. 

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My Future Log is entered on the pages directly following my Index and are the first pages that are numbered. I add a small calendar for each month, title the month, and then list any and all events and their dates that fall under that month. I start by reviewing my on line calendar for national/international holidays or important dates.

When I first started out, I might've added silly dates like international cat day, or other made up "holidays" or days of recognition. But I found this cluttered my space and really did not help me in any way. 

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Next, I add things from the wonderful calendar that my Mother in Law sent us that has family birthdays, anniversaries, events, etc... I also add my side of the family's notable dates from memory. I add dates from my or my husbands work, such as when they are closed for holidays or when we have off, and from my mother's school calendar. I went to that school and still have close ties, so try to know when they have events or days off. 

I only go 6 months into the future with my Future Log (3 pages). I do this even if I think the notebook will not last that long. If I do get a new notebook before my current Future Log, I use the previous one to transfer over dates. If there are dates that I want to remember far in advance, past the 6 months, I write them under the last month as notes. 

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I refer to my Future Log often, and love to check off the dates as they occur. I use it when setting up each Monthly Spread, and throughout the year to add things that pop up like concerts, festivals and events that aren't in that month.    

How do you use your Future Log? Do you prefer to have a whole year written down?

Bullet Journal Check in: Tracking My Sewing

For September, I'm trying to think of a more structured way to track my sewing in my Bullet Journal. Now that the slow season at my job is upon us, I have to really get to work and sew, sew, sew!

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Up until now I have had sewing as just one line on my habit tracker. I track approximately 30 -34 activities on this tracker per month. Mostly they stay the same but occasionally I add a seasonal activity or a habit I'm trying to pick up. Sometimes I drop a habit that I don't feel needs tracking or that I move to a different feature of my journal. My habit tracker is just a yes/no, did it/didn't do it affair. If it's checked I did it. 

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For instance, according to my BuJo, I sewed only 5 days in August. That could have been 12 hours each day or it could have been 1 stitch. For reference, in July I sewed 6 days, in June 9, in May 7, so far in Sept only 4. April was divided between two books, but from the 10th to the 30th I sewed 13 of those days.   

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I feel sewing needs more attention now that I have some time to complete more complex goals. I'm not sure what layout I can use, or how to organize and record my sewing practices, but I plan to look around at other people's tracking systems for inspiration. Any Bullet Journalists out there have any suggestions? Any sewists use trackers to see what they have done?

Bullet Journal Check In: August Blog Log

I've been trying out a new blog log over the last few months in my bullet journal. I'm not sure if Summer was the best time to try new systems, as I'm notoriously inconsistent at blogging during the Summer. Or maybe that's the perfect time to be tracking my blogging habits?

I usually try to take all of August off from blogging, but this year, it's felt like I've had the whole Summer off! I'm still deciding whether I should try to blog more rather than less in August. Either way, this new blog log layout helps me track my online posts. 

Are other Bullet Journalists using a blog post tracking method?

Catching up with Bullet Journaling

Back in April, I wrote about starting my Bullet Journal a few weeks before, and now, 10 months later, I'm still keeping up with it. At the end of November, I finished the first note book I used (one I already had in my stash) and started a new book for December and the new year!

I've learned a lot about how to make BuJo work for me. And I've found that I really like to use this method of organization. I have streamlined many aspects that I started with but also added more items that help me track and organize more effectively. 
My journal is what BuJo-ers call a minimalist journal, bc it doesn't have fancy calligraphy or embellishments, it's not decorated with designs, drawings, or wash tape. This journal, for me, is purely utilitarian. 
That being said, I do enjoy using a nice notebook and pen. I'm currently using a Fabriano spiral bound notebook with graph paper and a Uni-ball black pen. 

I use only four Symbols on a regular basis now, as opposed to when I first started. I use a Dot to denote any task or action I can complete, including an event. I use an X for any task/action completed, and an Arrow for any task/action that gets moved forward or back. I use a Dash for notes or lists. Occasionally I still use a little Eyeball for research. 

I've streamlined my Index to be easier to read. I use paperclips to keep important pages bookmarked while I'm using the journal, but plan to highlight important notes in the index once the journal is complete. That way, I can look at the index of an old book and immediately see important list/notes/etc... in this current notebook, I've become much better at filling out my index as I go.
My current Future Log is pretty messy. I want to make this work better for me going forward. I want to gather and keep all birthdays here.  I have only 6 months ahead in my current journal and am waiting to see if this works for me.
I have divided my Monthly Calendar into two main sections, one for daily activities, events, bdays, etc..., and one for my work schedule which includes multiple jobs, meetings, work related activities, etc... I also have a Monthly Calendar that is a money tracker and blog tracker. This I fill in daily, once I know what I have spent or blogged. Tracking my expenses and extra earnings on each Daily Log, and then listing it on this Monthly Calendar has replaced the old method I used for tracking expenses and earnings. 
I still use the Monthly Task list the way that I did in the beginning. I'm working to keep this area less cluttered and more easy to understand, as well. I will often use the bottom of this page to store a recipe or definition I think I might look back to. 
I've streamlined my Monthly Habit Tracker so that it is easier to read and has two sections: one to reflect the first half on the month and one to track the second half. Dividing the month makes it easier for me to see what actually got done, and keep my tracker neat. 
For January, I'm trying out a Monthly Cleaning Tracker. I have made lists of each item in each room I want to clean regularly. I have a section for each week of the month, and a space to check off what gets done which week. So far, this isn't working the best, so I might change the layout to be more like my Monthly Tracker in February. 
My Daily Logs have changes quite a bit since I started my Bullet Journal. I used to make one Daily Log per page and start them many days in advance. I have trained myself to work one day at a time, often with two or three days per page, and only start the next day midway thru the current one. This helps me not put off tasks by moving them too far in the future, concentrate on the current day's tasks, not make lists that are impossibly long, and achieve more of my daily goals. I also record my meals, feelings on the day, expenses and extra earnings on each Daily Log. These changes have been a huge help in making my BuJo more effective. 
I still make many Lists and Notes and bookmark the pages with paperclips so I can easily look over them when needed. 

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I recently started a work BuJo for my out of home jobs. I'm not sure how this will work out and I'm sure there will be a lot of trial and error, but mostly I'm hoping I can use it to keep all my work notes and tasks organized. 

Overall, I find that keeping a Bullet Journal has helped me stay focused and organized in my day to day life and I really enjoy it!! It has kept me from depression many times by allowing me to achieve tasks, feel productive, and see results! I highly recommend this method if you're at all a list maker. 
Does anyone else keep a Bullet Journal? Share your thoughts and ideas here!

Something New: Bullet Journaling

I'm a list maker. I make a list everyday. I like to cross things off, to add things in, sometimes to add things in just to then cross them off.

But lists get lost, they get full, new lists need to be made. I'm also a note taker. But where to keep these notes? How to find them?

Even with my notes and lists, I'm not so great at self motivating for well, myself. Give me a job, at work, I'm all over it. But me telling myself I need to do some laundry, or complete a project, or any number of tasks I'm doing for myself, just isn't the same.  
When I realized that I would be working less, and being home more, I knew I needed a real system. 

That's when I discovered Bullet Journaling. I first found it through a link on Rowdy Kittens, and thought it was intriguing.

Bullet Journalling is an analog way to keep your to-dos, appointments, lists, events, personal notes, calendars, habit tracking, reminders, etc.... in one place and away from the internet/phone. It really appealed to me bc it's physical, simple, and easy. 
The idea behind BuJo is simple, keep every thing you need in one place, a single notebook. But the possibilities and variations are endless.

You can find everything you need for the basic set up in the Bullet Journal video. I really love that you don't need any special supplies, you only need a note book and a pen (of course, there is a special BuJo notebook you can buy if you want to). 
Bullet Journal suggests you set up 4 basic things in the journal: An index (where you keep track of everything in the journal), a six month over view or Future Log (where you keep track of large events, holidays, birthdays, etc...), a monthly calendar with checklist (which you make at the beginning of every month and where you keep an overview of that moths events and tasks), and a daily log (which you make day of or a day or two in advance and contains tasks, notes, etc... that pertain to each day). There is a set of symbols to use for each item on any list: a dot for task (to be crossed out when finished), a circle for events, and a dash for notes. It suggests covering these with a forward arrow to move to the next day or month, and a backward arrow to go far in advance (onto the six month overview). 
In addition to the basics, you can take notes (classes, meetings, etc...), make lists (movies to watch, books to read, shopping, and so on), track your habits (water intake, exercise, whatever!), set goals, track social media, log expenses, make charts, graphs, note the weather, draw, practice your calligraphy, and pretty up your journal however you want, to name a few. 
Many people fancy up their journals, making them sketchbook, inspiration book, note book, calendar, appointment book, scrap book, and diary all in one. They use washi tape, markers, fancy headers, stickers, mantras, and anything thing else one can think of. There are tons of site and videos to watch for inspiration and ideas. Some creators have reached near guru status.  

Most people seem to use either a Moleskien or the Leuchtturm 1917 journal but I just rummaged around until I found a blank book with graph paper that I already had. I use a black pen (either a uni-ball, or paper-mate). I don't make any attempt to make it pretty, I really use my Bullet Journal in a utilitarian way.

Here's what I have in my Journal so far:
The Index - My index is a mess! I wasn't really sure how I wanted to set this up so the first page is ugly. That's OK! One of the great things about BuJo is when you "mess up" you can just move on, keep going, and not worry about it. I changed the way I made my index from the first to second page, and I will most likely change the whole thing when I start a new journal
The Future Log - Since I started this journal in April, I made mine until the end of the year. I keep birthdays, holidays, and major events here. It's nice to reference back to when I'm like "when is Calvin's christening?" or "what month are we seeing the Violent Femmes?"
Monthly Calendars - I started this book in mid April and used that month as a test for how I would set up my monthly calendars. So far, I'm making them just the way BuJo suggests; I list the dates of the month, what days the dates fall on, and fill them in with events, appointments, and birthdays. I reference back to this when I need to see only one month, not my entire Future Log. 
Monthly Tasks - Next to each month, I put a list of larger tasks that I want or need to accomplish that month. These are mostly items that do not have a specific date to get done. I refer back to this list to see what I've finished without realizing it (cleaning the microwave) or to add to a daily list if I think I can. 
Daily Log - I use one page for each day of the week (except Sat/Sun, they share a page) to list the tasks I need to or want to get done each day. These can be as mundane as doing the dishes or laundry, cleaning the cat boxes, etc... I use this space for my work schedule, events for the day, and keeping track of getting work at home done. I use the bottom of each page for making notes about that day. I like to keep track of when I took a nap, when interesting things happen, or anything I think I might want to reference back to like "won at cards with Al and Sienna" or "opened all the windows today" etc... My Daily Log is by far my most used and most helpful pages. When the day is over, I make sure to move things forward and cross things off.
Habit Tracker - This is where I keep track of things that I want to get done or things that I do on a very regular basis, or that I want to keep track of how often I actually do them. I list things like exercise, quilting, drawing, juicing, watering the plants, and other things for each day of the week there. When I have completed it, I fill in the little box for the appropriate day and item. I have been doing a weekly habit tracker this month, but for May I'm moving to a monthly one. A nice thing about BuJo is that it's very easy to try new methods of keeping track. You can find what works for you. I think a monthly tracker will give me a better overview of which of these tasks I get done and when I do. If I see I'm not doing something on the regular, I can add it to my Daily Logs. 
Expenses/Earnings - I keep a weekly record of everything that I spend and everything that I earn. I divide one page in three parts, at the top I put my expenses and the date they were purchased, and in the middle I put my earnings for the week (from work, web sales, etc...). At the bottom of this page, I make any note I want to look back on. I'm working on a monthly overview for this as well, to see what I made, spent, and saved, what went to bills, eating out, etc... I haven't worked out how to best log this yet. Any ideas?
Lists and Notes - I keep a few running lists (my yard wish list, things I need my husband to help me with, long term goals...) and a few reoccurring lists (groceries, food that needs to be eaten, dinners for the week...). I keep some notes on budgeting (expenses and time), future projects, and other things.  I add to these whenever necessary. 

These are the symbols I use:
Dot ( • ) - I use the dot for an and all tasks.
Circle - I use this for events such as "work (10am - 3pm)", "drinks with Mike", "rummage sale". 
Dash - I use this for notes in my daily logs, expenses, lists, etc...
X - I X out all finished tasks and events. If I do a task twice, I add an additional X next to it (say washing the dishes twice in one day).
Forward Arrow - I use this when I'm "migrating" a task, when I move a task from one day to the next, or one month to the next if it's a monthly task. I use a double forward arrow when I'm moving something far in the future (more than a day or two). 
Box - I use boxes for habits. I also use them on daily tasks when the task was halfway completed. I fill in boxes as I go. 
Eyeball - I use the eyeball for a research task. Bc I might not need to get this done in a specific time frame, or bc it's easier than writing " • research how to make a bullet point with the keyboard". 

I've only been Bullet Journalling for about three weeks now, but I'm pretty sold. I'm excited to have a small, simple space for all my planning, and to add to it in the future. I can see it being becoming an essential tool in my lifestyle journey. And I can see improving on how I use it to an almost infinite degree. I like it as a day to day tool, but I also like seeing my progress, process and evolution in work and home life I can't wait to see that on a larger scale as weeks and months go by. 

Who out there uses a bullet journal? Share your experiences and links to pics in the comments!