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The bullet journal method is just one of the tools I use to remain focused on my goals and remain efficient and productive each day. When December was just about over and January was on the horizon, I made some changes to my bullet journal layout to see if and how they would help me do those things. Today I want to talk about the ways I changed it up this month.
1. Monthly Calendar and Tasks
In December, I created my monthly spread with the bullet journal method layout as shown in “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carrol. Starting at the top of the left page, I numbered down the side of the page from one to 31. I added the accompanying first letter to the day of the week for each date represented. The right page was my task page where I listed out the major monthly tasks that needed to get done.
This month I created my January spread with a calendar view. I allowed each day of the month its own box, and I inserted the events, appointments, and important notes into the box where they belonged. I really like this view as it is easier for me to visualize the calendar weeks.
The only difference between this monthly view and the calendar typically used in the United States is that I used Monday to start every week vs. Sunday. Monday is the start of my work week, so this feels natural to keep the weekend days at the end of the week. This is consistent with how I keep my daily pages.
The task list remains on the right page. When creating my list, I first wrote down the remaining tasks from December and put brackets around them to signify that they are left-overs from the month before. Next, I listed out January’s major tasks.
2. Gratitude Log
I notice that a lot of people use a gratitude log collection in their bullet journals. I love the idea, but I was a little skeptical at first about keeping one of my own. I was concerned I would not keep it up every day. I was concerned that I would feel badly if I didn’t keep it up and that it would be a waste of paper.
When I was reading “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll, I really embraced the idea once again and included it in my bullet journal. I gave it a page of its own right behind my monthly spread. Every morning after I plan out my day, I jot down three things I am grateful for into my log. I did miss some days, but I discovered that I can pick up where I left off and I’m not wasting paper. I also discovered that I am much more successful with a gratitude log with it in my journal.
3. Financial Log
As January rolled around, I already knew that I would add a financial log. I did a little research to see how others set their logs up, and it inspired me to keep mine simple. There are a lot of journalists out there who enjoy using elaborate spreads. I just need something to keep track of income vs. responsibilities. Originally, I thought I might add it to my monthly calendar spread, but I also didn’t want visual clutter on that page. I gave it a page of its own.
I set the page up into three columns. The left-hand column is numbered from one to 31 down the page. The middle column us titled “Income”, and the right-hand column is titled “Expenses”. I marked the dates that I will receive income and I marked the dates that payments are due. This page allows me to see the flow and make sure all my responsibilities are addressed first.
4. Weekly Calendar and Note Box
Before outlining my day on Monday morning, I create a min-calendar and highlight the current week. I add a note box next to the mini-calendar. Visually this is a nice signifier that we are in a new week. The note box is a nice catch-all space to just jot down quick thoughts. I’ve kept notes of topics to research and things to put on the grocery list.
I’m not sure how attached I am to the note box. I have not used it every week. The notes could have easily been added to my daily pages instead. I don’t know that I will continue to use the box in February, but I am committed to using it through January.
5. Daily Book Read
One of my goals in 2019 is to read more books. I enjoy reading, and I did not read enough last year. I also want to read a variety of books. To highlight that goal, I added a “Book Read:” section at the top of my daily section. Each night, I write the title of the book I read that day. If I finish a book, I note that also. To date, I’ve already read three books, and I have two others in progress.
There we have it! Those are the five ways I changed up my BuJo for January. I hope that this helps you as you think of how you work through your own bullet journal.
It’s good to change things up and try new ideas even if you have been bullet journaling for many years and you think you have found what works for you best. As Christopher Robin told Winnie the Pooh, “It’s good to try new things. Otherwise, how would you know that you like your old things?”
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