I have to admit, I’m not always the greatest at inventing headlines. This blog post is pretty self-explanatory: I just wanted to show off the bullet journal pages I’m currently creating and using, what I love and what works for me!
So firstly: Back to Basics in 2019. My “back to basics” pretty much just means I have gone back to using just a notebook and a pen, although I am staying in the same notebook as before. This is a Nuuna L, in the style Milky Way. I started this book with the month of July 2018, as I had 4 pages left in my old one when June was over. Since I’m continuing in the same book, there weren’t a lot of spreads I needed to recreate when 2019 started, as I make fewer monthly pages and more long-term lists and trackers, as I like to see things over time. I did post about my January pages over on my Instagram account (fearless20_12, go follow me!), but this is the first time I’m blogging about bullet journaling in a while. If you want to read my previous bujo entries, there will be links at the bottom of this entry, or you can go to the category “bujo” and read them there.
The future log I’m using is the same as from my first bujo, which you can see if you scroll down a little on this entry here, the 4th and 5th picture in that entry show what I consider my perfect future log as it suits my needs perfectly and have done since I started in 2017.
I want to start with February, as that’s where we’re currently at in the year. I don’t make elaborate cover pages or anything like that, just some headlines that make it clear to me when flicking through my journal that this is a new month. I like faux calligraphy, and I sketch in pencil first, then go over with pen. For February I just made a title across the page and a calendar showing the layout of the month.
I don’t like my monthly overview to be in calendar form, I prefer a list like you can see on the right-hand side here. Sometimes I’ll draw lines across the page to see which days belong together in a week, I did that for January as I didn’t have a calendar next to it, but I didn’t feel the need for it for this February Overview.
Flip the page, and I like to have a place to write down notes and to-dos for the month. This kind of works as my goals page as well, so if I have something specific I want to accomplish for this month this is where I will write it down
Next to it, I like to have my habit tracker, or focus areas, as I like to call them. They’re not as much things I want to make a habit out of doing every day, but more like things I want to make sure I focus on doing. These are both important things, such as working on my housing and job situation, and what one might consider less important things, such as playing games (board, card, PC, console) and reading. I have them in this order as it kind of reminds me of the food pyramid, where the most important and heavy things are at the bottom, and the lighter things that are less vital are at the top. And because of that, the goal is to have more circles around the dates at the bottom calendars, and fewer the higher up we get, while still also focusing on doing those. That’s not to say that that’s always how it’ll turn out, but it’s a nice idea. The top things might not be essential for life, but they’re things that are essential to me on a mental and emotional level, they’re important for my well-being!
And then I jump straight into weeklies! In January, I really liked the column style with vertical writing space, so I’m continuing this for February. This means each thing I write down takes up more lines, but I’m okay with that as I haven’t always got a lot of things going on at the moment and therefore it fills out the days a bit more. I’m also trying to remember to write down smaller things, even in retrospect, so that I document my days a bit more. This can be things like I found a new TV show I want to watch, or I watched a movie, or I did my nails or tested a new makeup product.
The goal, for me, is to underline and show off to myself that I have a life and that I do things, even when at the end of the day I feel like today has been the kind of day where I haven’t really done anything at all. I started doing this almost two years ago, when I got an extension for my MA thesis, because I was so stressed and struggled a lot with anxiety, and day after day I felt like I was doing nothing, so I started to write down everything I did in bullet points, and it really helped me to see that even though I hadn’t been productive working on my thesis, I had done other things and they are important too – laundry is important so that I have clean clothes to wear, a walk is important for my mental and physical health, and so on.
Usually I have Saturday and Sunday in the same column, but seeing as there were only 3 days at the end of this week, they got a full column each.
And the blank page… It fit there. I was thinking I want to use it to write down some notes and thoughts over this weekend, as I’m beta testing the game Anno 1800, which was supposed to come out at the end of this month but has been delayed until April now. I have a separate sheet of notes of bugs I’ve encountered in the game, but I’m thinking it’ll be nice to write down notes about actually playing the game, strategy, things I come across that are useful and that I want to remember for when the full game comes out, and it’ll be nice to have it in my bujo as I’m more likely not to lose the notes here!
And that’s it for February! The rest of the month will just be pages of columns as the ones I made above. But now I want to talk a little bit about the collections I’m currently using.
Firstly, my most recent one (and yes we’re kinda moving backwards in time, so we’ll end with the first collection in my book). When January started, I wanted to start getting back into blogging more regularly; I’d done some posts last autumn, but it wasn’t consistent. I set myself a goal of posting once per week, which I kept. I want to continue that for February, and hopefully eventually increase to maybe two posts a week, or one post consistently and extra posts when I feel extra inspired to write.
I also discovered I have a lot of drafts, some that are nearly complete blog posts, others that are just a headline and some bullet point notes. Most of them are good, and I want to keep working on them and eventually post them to my blog for you all to read. So I wanted to make a spread to keep track of the status of these entries, and this is what I came up with. I dedicated two pages, and I have some columns on each page. The first one is for the idea for the blog post, or the working title. Next is D for Draft, S for Scheduled, and L for live. This way, I can easily look at all my posts at once and see if I want to work on any of them for the upcoming week or so! I’ve already nearly filled up the left page just from my drafts…
Next up is my social calendar – this is a spread I needed to remake for 2019, as my test run only ran from July through December of 2018. This is less of a calendar and more of a tracker, I mostly fill in things in retrospect, unless I know something is set in stone, but I really liked how my first one turned out, and I wanted to continue this into 2019. What I’ve done here is give colour codes to people or a group of people, and made a list of abbreviations: call, snapchat, video chat, message, and stream. Then draw a dot, write the initial of the person if multiple people have the same colour, and then write the abbreviation next to it so see what kind of social I was with that person on that day.
When it’s all filled out, it looks like this. It’s a bit messy, but I really like it! I don’t fill out everything, for example there are a couple of people I snapchat or message every single day, but then there are others that I almost never talk to, and when we do talk I do write it down and what kind of interaction we had.
I want to say, this idea wasn’t completely my own – I did take inspiration from a post I found online somewhere; unfortunately, I only have a screenshot of the person’s picture and not their name or username or even what platform it was from, so I cannot give them credit…
I know some people make goodbye and hello pages in between every month. I am not one of those people. I usually just jump straight into the next month with my calendar and overview, simply because I can’t be bothered to do it. However, I felt the need to separate 2018 and 2019 a bit, and just made a very simple transition that looks like this. This actually took me a really long time to draw out, the goodbye/hello spread, the new social calendar, and the word “January” for last month’s monthly page was the length of the entire “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” film! I hate drawing the number 2, it’s so hard to get even!
Sometime last year, a few days into September I think it was, I decided I wanted to get better at posting on my Instagram and WordPress again, and I made this post tracker. It’s kind of like a year in pixels, where I just fill in the square on the days that I’ve posted. The Instagram one is looking a lot better than the WordPress one so far, but hopefully that’ll change over the course of the next few months! And I just have a little sticky note tab at the top so that I can easily find this page. I always make and keep up an Index but I hardly ever go back to it, I mostly just flick through the book until I find what I’m looking for…
You know those movies or franchises you always say you’re gonna watch because “everyone” knows these films, but then you never get around to it? I decided I want to get around to it. So I made this list, I set aside 2 spreads for it, so 4 pages, and wrote down everything I could think of, including all of Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And some stand-alones and trilogies, too… Some of these I’ve seen before, most I have not, but hopefully, now that I have them all written down, the urge to fill out the square and complete the spread is there and I will want to continue and actually watch all of these films…
Okay so. Hair washing. I feel like this has become more socially acceptable than it was when I was a teenager, where you were “gross” if you didn’t wash your hair every day and also your hair got greasy if you didn’t wash it every day because you were washing it every day. I managed to push it back up to every other day in the last half of my teen years, which was still within acceptable I think, but never beyond that. Dry shampoo wasn’t as widely available to me, and everyone said you could only use it if you had blonde hair otherwise your hair would look white or grey (which btw it doesn’t if you use it correctly, in my experience with multiple shades of brown from light golden to dark almost black. And you can get coloured dry shampoo too now).
For me, I was 19 when I was finally able to push my hair washing days further, and the only reason I could do it is because I went to Africa and got my hair braided. I had the braids in for about 3 weeks (they kept sliding out of my hair…), and during that time I was not able to wash my natural hair at all. Or I tried, but it didn’t go very well. When I took them out and washed my hair, I found that I didn’t need to wash it as often, as my scalp wasn’t producing as much oil. In the beginning, I only washed my hair about once a week, but now I mostly go 3-4 days between. I find I have to wash it more frequently in the winter than I do in the summer, and summer 2017 I got to a point where I suddenly realised I had no idea when I washed my hair last. At one point I think it was about 8 days. I had a lot going on in my life emotionally especially, with the extension of my thesis and my grandfather being ill and passing away that August, and also being home alone taking care of the house and being at work all summer… So that’s when I started this tracker.
In my first bujo, I had different colours for BedHead, Lush, purple products, deep conditioning and others that I can’t remember; for this one I kept it a little more simple, but the setup is the same. I colour in what product, what date, and whether it’s morning or night (for early afternoons I put it kind of in the middle). And as you can see, I haven’t washed my hair two days in a row since early July, and the only reason for it then is because I had a school reunion on the 7th and people were drinking and I felt gross the next morning and I’m pretty sure someone spilled beer in my hair, so I washed it again. For the most part, I’m happy if I can put 3 or 4 non-wash days between the days when I do wash it though! Oh and the reason I’ve chosen to do this is that my hair is very thin and fine, it damages easily, and extensive washing is one of the things that damages my hair – I’ve also completely stopped using hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons, except for rare occasions a few times a year at most. Plus I’m lazy and not having to wash my hair every day is so nice! And I save money on products as well, that’s another bonus.
THE LAST ONE! The first page I have in my bullet journal after my future log, which you can kind of see through the paper, is a measurement page! I don’t count the number of dots, I count the number of “squares” if I were to connect the line between the dots. I reference this page every time I make a new spread, to know where to put my lines, approximately, so it’s very useful to me. So across each page I have 40 spaces or squares, and I’ve also measured 1/2 of that, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5. I very rarely need anything more than this. And it’s the same down the page as well – 56 spaces or squares, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5 for good measure (this 1/5 going each way is the one I use the least). Sometimes I’ve needed even more measurements, like when I drew a weekly calendar sideways on one page, but this happens so rarely that I didn’t bother drawing it out on this page. And the little heart shaped paperclip is just to mark where my future log ends and my collections begin, as I had quite a few at the beginning of the book before the first month, some of which I use and have shown you, and some that didn’t work out.
When it comes to making new collections in my bullet journal, I usually just flip the page and use the next available one, or I’ll make it at the end of a month before the next month. As I only use weeklies or a daily/weekly hybrid, whatever you want to call it, where I have the week drawn out at once over two pages, I know exactly how much space I will need for the future, as opposed to if I were to do dailies where I give as much space as necessary to each day and each day is different and I wouldn’t be sure how much space I’d need until the end of the week.
Do you bullet journal? What’s your favourite or most useful spread that you have in your book? Let’s talk in the comments down below!