Hey, All!  Good Day and Welcome Back!  I hope you had a wonderful week.  If you are new here, welcome!

Before February’s newness completely wears off, I would like to reflect on how the bullet journal helped me in January.  Today’s topic will cover how it helped me remain focused and organized.  Let’s go!

1. The Calendar Layout View

In December, I used the basic method as described by “The Bullet Journal Method” written by Ryder Carrol.  The date numbers were listed from the top of the page to the bottom along with the first letter to the corresponding calendar day. Each day had a line on which to write.  That was helpful, because there was plenty of space to write down appointments and such if there several things happening on one day. 

In January, I changed it to a calendar layout view.  I really liked this method, because I could see how the weeks stacked up on one another.  We had two funerals to attend in January, and I had to adjust when I tackled my weekly tasks.  Seeing how the weeks stacked on one another was key to that experience.  At the end of the month, I had completed all but two tasks on the list. 

2. The Monthly Task List

In January, I wrote down all of December’s incomplete tasks at the top of the list and put brackets around them.  This signified to me that they were “leftover” from the month before, and I should really plan how and when I would get them done.  The rest of January’s tasks went underneath the bracketed list. 

Breaking the tasks out like this helped me immerse the “leftovers” in with the regular weekend tasks.  Within the first week of January, I had two of the four top items completed.  The last two items were completed well before the end of the month.  With careful and deliberate planning and execution, I completed all but two tasks on my list in January (vs. four tasks in December). Go Me!

3. The Specific Collections

One of the “leftovers” was titled “Clearing Out & Organizing Drawers”.  This task was a leftover for a reason.  It felt huge and daunting.  I just really did not want to do it, but I had to get it done.  Recognizing that I had been procrastinating on this chore for about two months, I decided to put an end to that once and for all.

I created a collection and titled it “Clearing Out & Organizing Drawers”.  Yes, the title was nothing fancy…just what it was.  I followed the bullet journal method and created a mission statement.  The mission statement changed my mindset from “I gotta get this done” to “I want to get this done” and gave the goal it’s purpose.  Do you see the difference there?  From need to want?  When we want to do something, it’s easier to complete, don’t you think?  My mission statement helped me change my mindset and my attitude. 

Once the mission statement was completed, I broke the task down into several smaller steps.  Each step by itself was so small, it would seem silly to not get it done.  I broke down one step even further to give it more context.  Just reading this page told me I was getting this task done! And I did – on January 19, 2019.  Go Me!

4. The Gratitude Log

The Gratitude log was a nice addition to my journal.  On those mornings when I felt tired and did not want to get out of bed early, I used it to think of something positive…and it was all gratitude.  For me, starting out my day with such positive thoughts set the tone for the whole day.

5. The Financial Log

The financial log was a helpful addition to my journal as it provided the visual aid for cash-flow.  It’s not just about getting bills paid, but it’s about understanding what’s left afterwards. 

It’s difficult to plan for the unexpected. This log helped me quickly plan how to take care of the financial responsibilities associated with traveling to a funeral out of town. I will continue to use this log throughout the year.

6. The Books to Read Collection

When I learn about a book that I would like to read, I need a place to capture the title. I want to read so many books. If I do not write them down somewhere, I will forget. I created a collection! I left plenty of room in my journal, so that I can keep it open-ended. Now I have that one place to write down the titles.

7. The Book Read – Daily Section

The “Book Read:” place in my daily set-up really put an obvious focus on reading each day.  Reading is so important to learning new things, so I read most days. During evening reflection, I write the title in that spot.

Because I had a specific spot in my journal to keep that information, I didn’t want to leave it blank. I found I read more, even if it was to prevent a blank spot in my journal. I read four books in January!

So there we have it!  I feel like I won January! I managed to complete all but two tasks on my monthly list (including a task I had been especially avoiding), my days were filled with positive thoughts, I felt financially prepared for the unexpected, and I read four books in January. 

Through January, I learned that the journal will help you in any area that you need.  You just need to set it up in a way to help you focus on those areas of your life.

My Question of the Day: If you keep a bullet journal, name one way it helped you win January.  (Please feel free to respond in the comment section)

If you like this entry, please give it a like.  If you are interested in topics such as bullet journaling, goal setting, productivity and efficiencies, please follow my blog so you don’t miss the next entry.  I post an entry each Sunday. 

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8 thoughts on “Bullet Journal: Seven Ways It Helped Me in January”

  1. Love the gratitude section! My goal for this month is to keep a gratitude journal, as well as get into bullet journaling. This was helpful.

  2. Enjoy the journey. If you have any questions about bullet journaling, please feel free to ask. If you would like to see any specific posts about bullet journaling, let me know as well! Thank you for stopping by today. Thank you for your follow!

  3. The monthly task list is so pivotal to my planning system. January wasn’t the best month, but I’m trying to improve my productivity starting this month. I have to try keeping a gratitude list again soon. It’s been a while since I took the time to write down what I’m grateful for.

    1. I agree! I review mine several times per week. Because I work full-time outside the house as well as work on this project, most of my big monthly tasks get done on weekends. When I have a lot going on, I use the calendar blocking system in addition. It helps let me know what I can reasonably get done in a day.

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