Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

Welcome back to another week of bullet journal basics! Hopefully you’ve found something useful or inspirational in this series of posts. I’d love to know what you’ve taken away from them. Are you already a bullet journal believer? A recent convert? Not currently a bullet journaler, but thinking about starting? Leave me a comment or email me and let me know how you’re feeling about bujo these days.

Today, our series continues with a discussion of daily planning in your bullet journal.

Why Daily Planning?

A daily planning spread is a great place to record all those to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self that won’t fit into the boxes of a monthly or weekly spread. All those random tidbits that usually find themselves on scraps of paper or sticky notes go here, where they are safe and secure, and best of all, can be referred back to when needed.

What’s a Daily Spread Look Like?

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.A daily spread can be as simple or as decorative as you care to make it. You can fit as many days onto the page as you like, or simply use a whole page for each of the week. It completely depends on how you will use your dailies and how detailed or busy your lists tend to be.

How I Use the Daily Spread

I tend to only record short to-do lists on my daily spreads. Notes and things I want to remember go into a separate journal in my traveler’s notebook (a topic we will explore here on the blog very soon!).  As such, I am able to fit three or four days onto a single page.

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

Keep in mind, though, that because I am at work for a full ten hours a day, my task lists are not very long, because I simply don’t have the time in the day to complete more than a few items.

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

I also like to use my dailies as a place to practice handwriting and try out different ideas for headers. Search Pinterest for tons of ideas and inspiration for bullet journal headers!

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.As you can see, daily spreads can be pretty much whatever you need them to be. They make a great addition to the monthly and weekly spreads we’ve already looked at, or you can use nothing but dailies to plan your entire year. It’s the flexibility of the bullet journal system that makes it so useful.

So what do you think? Do you use daily spreads? Show us what you’ve got over in the Facebook group. Or drop me a line and let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to talk bullet journal with you! And be sure to drop by next week, as we wrap up this bujo series with collections spreads. Fun, fun!

 

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

Hello again! I hope you’re enjoying this little mini-series of posts about bullet journaling. It seems to be a popular topic these days. Just this week, one of my small biz idols, April Bowles, blogged about her use of the bullet journal to organize and plan her life. Her post is super in-depth, and a great resource for new and old bujo’ers alike. You should check it out: Blacksburg Belle Bullet Journaling 101

Today, I’d like to continue our discussion with a look at weekly planning.

Why Weekly Planning?

A weekly spread can be super useful in planning all kinds of things, from meals to outfits, to everything in between. Appointments, events, errands, and cleaning tasks all go here, and you can refer to your weekly spread each morning before you begin your day and each evening as you cap it off.

What’s A Weekly Planner Spread Look Like?

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

There are lots of ways to layout a weekly spread in your bullet journal. You can create an eight-box grid (seven boxes for each day of the week, plus one for quotes, notes, or reminders. You can do seven or eight columns and treat each as a daily to-do or shopping list. The possibilities are endless, and you can find several examples in my Etsy shop Kreative Paperie.

How I Use The Weekly Spread

I’ve found that my favorite weekly layout includes a small section for the dates and major appointments,

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

plus boxes for each day of the week for listing tasks and menus,

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

plus a to-do/to-buy list with a space for reminders for the upcoming week and a spot for a quote.

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

It may seem busy, but after a l0t of trial and error, I’ve found that this layout works best for me. I like to add a little strip of washi across the top so I have something fun to look at, and when I have the time, I often whip out the colored pencils and color in the headers to match. The weekly spread is one I use more than any other, so I like to jazz it up a little.

Do you have a favorite weekly spread for your planner or bullet journal? Let’s see it! Come on over to the Facebook group and show us what you’ve got!

See you next week – same Bat time, same Bat channel!

 

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

Hello again, and welcome back! This is our second week to discuss what bullet journaling consists of, and this week’s topic is monthly planning. My goal this month is to share with you some of the basics of bullet journaling and explain things in such a way that, if you’ve never used a bullet journal – or bujo, for short – you’ll at least know what one is and whether it’s a good fit for you. Also, if you’re already a bujo believer, maybe I can offer you some fresh ideas and inspiration, or at least someone to geek out about bullet journaling with. So let’s take a look at monthly planning.

Why Monthly Planning?

Having a spot in your bullet journal where you can record more detailed information about your monthly events can be quite handy. Your Calendex, or future log, is a great way to get a high-level overview of your whole quarter or half-year, but the monthly spread allows you to zoom in and record everyday appointments and activities that might not merit an entry in your Calendex.

What’s a Monthly Spread Look Like?

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

A typical monthly spread in a bullet journal looks very similar to monthly pages in ready-made planners. In a dot grid or squared notebook, the bullet journaler typically counts out the number of spaces she wants the calendar to take up, either on one page or a two-page spread, then draws the calendar to fit within that space.

How I Use A Monthly Spread

I like having a monthly spread, but I don’t use it heavily. I mostly log in the events I know I need to allot time for, then refer back to the monthly spread as I work out my weekly spreads (we’ll discuss those next week). As appointments, events, and other things come my way, I place them on the monthly spread, and then when it’s time to plan the week in which that activity occurs, I place it there as well.

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

In my Moleskine cahier notebook, the monthly calendar boxes all measure 5 squares wide x 6 squares high, and I always draw five rows, because I don’t like to have two days share the same box (like the 19th and the 26th in the same square). Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

I like to leave room on the right-hand side to write major activities in list form. I might use the boxes inside the calendar to record small things I want to remember or tasks I know I need to keep track of before I’m ready to plan the week in which they should occur (example: Clean baseboards March 24 – I’m not ready to plan the week of March 24, so I’ll put the reminder on the monthly spread until I am).

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

These are the more fun spreads for me, too. I like to dress them up with a little bit of washi and, if I’m feeling adventurous, maybe even some stickers.

Some planners and bullet journalers rely more heavily on their monthly spreads than I do. The monthly layout is a great way to track habits, plan menus, and a host of other uses.  I’d love to know how you use yours! Come on over to the Facebook page, and let’s chat about it!

And if you want monthly spreads already done for you, visit my Etsy shop Kreative Paperie, where you’ll find printables in several different sizes.

 

Hello again, and happy March! In like a lion, out like a lamb, they say. So in that spirit, we are going to tackle the topic of the month like beasts!

Why, what is the topic of this month, you say? I’m so happy you asked! This month it’s all about the bullet journal, or “bujo,” as the cool kids call it.

By the end of March, hopefully you’ll have a clear idea of what a bullet journal is and what it can do for you. You’ll also have some ideas about which layouts you might like to begin with or incorporate into your existing bullet journal. Sound good? Great! Let’s get started with one of my favorites – future planning using the “Calendex.”

What’s a Calendex?

The Calendex was conceived of by a web designer named Eddy Hope as a way to replace monthly calendars. His original design uses a page-recording method to track tasks as they are logged into your bullet journal on subsequent weekly and daily pages. Many bullet journalers, myself included, have adapted it to better fit their own needs. (Read this post by Cara at Boho Berry for her take on it)

Why Future Planning?

Using a Calendex, you can get a birdseye overview of your schedule up to six months at a time. Whenever you receive an invitation or need to book an appointment, just flip to your Calendex and you can see at-a-glance whether you are available. Imagine never double-booking yourself again, or knowing exactly when the best time will be to take that weekend getaway you’ve been dreaming of. Future planning is a great tool to help you meet your goals.

How I Use It (Mini-tutorial)

In my bullet journal, I record actual appointments and events directly onto my Calendex instead of writing page numbers. I like knowing what I’m looking at for each date on the books, rather than just knowing when I have events.

Following is my step-by-step process for setting up a 6-month Calendex:

  1. Number the dates vertically. Since this is a 6-month overview, I’ll go ahead and list all possible dates, 1 – 31.

2. Draw divider lines between months. In my Moleskine cahier grid notebook, each month can be 8 squares wide

3. Repeat these steps on the facing page.

4. Across the top, label the months you’re planning.

5. Begin dividing each month into weeks. It’s up to you whether to separate your months into Sunday-Saturday weeks or Monday – Sunday weeks. My dividers are between Saturdays and Sundays, so I know the first day of each week is on a Sunday date.

6. Black out any dates that do not occur in that month. February only has 28 days, so I have shaded in the 29, 30, and 31.

7. Proceed until all your months are complete.

8. Add in important events

A lot of people prefer to color code types of events. My mind views this as visual clutter, so I’m a write-it-in-pencil kind of gal. But you can add letter stickers to jazz up the title of your page and put washi in the unneeded date spaces. Whatever makes you happy, do it. You’ll be looking at this page for up to six months, so make it something you love.

Other Ideas for the Calendex

I use a similar approach for planning my blog and social media posts. Instead of breaking the page down by months, I break one month down into categories: Blog, E-mail, Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy. I divide the weeks vertically, with each week ending on Saturday. This makes it easy for me to see exactly what I’ve planned to post and on which dates/days of the week.

This would work well for setting up a housekeeping schedule as well. Each vertical category could be a room or zone in your house. It could be used as a budget planning tool, a meal planner, and a whole host of other types of weekly, monthly, or quarterly planners. The beauty of the Calendex is its flexibility.

So what do you think? Will you try future planning in your bullet journal or planner? Let’s talk about it! Come on over to the Facebook group and share what you’re up to.

Want a Calendex that’s already done for you? Visit my Etsy shop, Kreative Paperie, for printable versions for many sizes/types of planners.

Till next time, happy crafting!

 

Your journaling can come from the heart, whatever purpose it serves - whether memory keeping or recording your emotions. Here's how. http://mykreativepursuits.com/journaling-your-heart

Capture the Heart With Your Journaling

Here we are, ending up February, our month of love. Hard to believe two months of the new year have already passed by. So far, we’ve made – and hopefully kept – some scrappy resolutions, leveled up our lives, miraclized our mornings (totally a word – I know ’cause I just made it up!), envisioned our goals, loved on our family, friends, and coworkers, and taken a brief but painful hiatus for filing tax returns. Productive, we have been!

I’d like to keep the momentum going with our last “heartfelt” topic for February – capturing the heart of the story through journaling.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

If you’re like me, your scrapbook pages tend to suffer from the “Just the Facts” syndrome. You know what I mean – the whole “Who, What When, Where, Why, How” template. Example:

The Harris family went on vacation the summer of 2015 in Tennessee. We took a road trip and had a wonderful time enjoying the mountains we love so much.

Okay, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this bit of journaling, but when I go back to read it in ten years, I won’t have a sense of how it felt to be on vacation with my family. What we saw, ate, touched, smelled. Someday, I’ll want to relive those moments, and even though a picture paints a thousand words, I can add to them quite well with just a few well-chosen sentences or an entire beginning-middle-end story.

Storytime

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our journaling could capture those specific moments in time that we want to hold onto forever? The truth is, it can! You don’t have to be a professional storyteller to use some of their tried and true techniques for communicating the heart of the story. Here are a few:

  • Close your eyes and play the memory like a movie in your mind. Then write down your impressions – what stands out? How did the sunshine feel on your face? Was it a cold winter day? Could you smell the smoke of a wood fire on the air? What were you feeling at the moment? Were you anticipating flying down the hill on your skis for the first time of the season?
  • Choose a strong opening. Borrow from books you love (I like to study children’s books for openings – they tend to be pared down and efficient).
    • Strong action – “My sunglasses sank to the bottom of the stingray pool. I looked at the attendant with despair.”
    • Important dialogue – “I’m starving! We need to grab some breakfast!” said Ethan. “I know just the place. My ‘sources’ say there’s a funnel cake stand right around the corner!” I replied.
    • Setting – “It was a cold November morning. The room was dimly lit, and I quietly pulled my chair alongside Mama’s hospital bed. Everyone else was sleeping, and I wanted to protect our time together.”
  • Move along the middle. Be sure you keep the action going. While you want to include enough details to jog your memory years from now, you don’t want to get too bogged down in them (Ever listen to a four-year-old relate a story? Avoid that)
  • End on a reflective note. Tie your story up so that the last sentence reminds you how the story began. “We had explored the entire Ripley’s Aquarium, and taken hundreds of photos, but somehow, my embarrassing moment would be the one we would remember always. Thankfully, it was not photographed.”

Not Every Story Has a Happy Ending

Sometimes your journaling is not for memory keeping purposes. Sometimes it is for processing feelings, reflecting on the past, and looking ahead to brighter days. That’s when a bullet journal can come in handy. You can create any kind of layout you want to record your thoughts and feelings, and no one ever has to see them. These can be some of the most heartfelt stories.

bullet journaling

My words, captured at this moment in my life.

journaling card in a bullet journal

Information about why the song is meaningful to me.

Journaling in a bullet journal with tip-ins

The whole spread.

Put Your Heart Into It

However you choose to journal – in a scrapbook to preserve memories or in a bullet journal to record your thoughts, feelings, and seasons in life, there are many ways to make it meaningful. I’d love to see how you put your heart into your journaling. Hop on over to the MKP Facebook group, and let’s chat!

In several of the Facebook groups I follow, there has been talk all month long about creating vision boards. Many members created digital ones, or Pinterest boards dedicated to their goals, and some creative types even went so far as to have coffee mugs created using their vision board graphics, as a daily reminder of all they’d like to achieve. One of my coworkers even caught the vision board fever, and I’m afraid it was contagious. I found myself getting more and more excited about creating just such a project. But I didn’t want to just topple down the rabbit hole blindly. In true Lisa fashion, I needed to research first. Here’s what I turned up.

Why Vision Boards?

I snooped around the old interwebs a bit and found that, as with many things, there are conflicting ideas about using vision boards to help with setting and achieving goals. Huffington Post featured an entire article listing all the reasons vision boards work. On the other hand, Psychology Today debunked the practice of using vision boards as detrimental to some people’s psyches, saying, very wisely, I believe, that visualizing yourself WORKING toward your goal has a much greater impact on success than simply visualizing the accomplishment of that goal. My belief? Somewhere in the middle. I think it is valuable and important to visualize what success looks like for ourselves. At the same time, I do not deny that it takes hard work to achieve that success. Bottom line, putting it all together on a vision board can’t hurt.

The Process

With that clarity of mind, I set about deciding just what should go onto my vision board and what format it would take. Fortunately, I spent a considerable amount of time early in January to hone in on goals for each area of my life (you can read about it here: Level Up Your Life). Now many people suggest you search magazines and newspapers for images and words to fit your personal vision board. I don’t subscribe to print media, and frankly, I wanted to create my board quickly, so I took to the interwebs again, searching keywords that fit my goals.

Vision board image search

Keyword search for “friends and family”

Whenever I found something that spoke to me, I did a quick copy and paste into PowerPoint to create my collection.

Vision board images in PowerPoint

I even found a beautiful photo of my home church!

Vision Board in a Bullet Journal

Finally, I returned to my trusty bullet journal to create my actual vision board. First of all, it’s got all my goal-setting stuff in it already – my Level 10 Life tracking and my Miracle Morning spreads and trackers. So it seemed fitting to put the vision board together in it too. Also, I work in my bullet journal every day, and the whole point of using a vision board is to keep your goals fresh in your mind on a daily basis. So, score another one for the bujo.

I knew all the images I chose wouldn’t fit onto a normal 2-page spread, so I cut two pages out of the back of my Moleskine and created a gatefold by “tipping them in” (bullet journal terminology for attaching extras cards, pages, etc. with washi tape).

With a double-wide surface, I had plenty of room to cut, paste, write, and doodle.

I chose to leave some space for adding in other images, words, and doodles. Goals change over time, and I like having the flexibility with this layout to change along with them.

Finally, I used the outside of the gatefold to practice a little hand lettering for a title. Yeah, my lettering skillz have a long way to go. Maybe I should include THAT on my vision board, huh?

 

 

 

C’est finis

When all is said and done, I’m glad I took the time to make a vision board. I will be incorporating it into my Miracle Morning practice, reviewing it for one minute every morning. Do I think it has a magical capacity to bring wonderfulness into my life? Of course not. Only God can do that. Do I believe it will motivate me to work hard to achieve each of these goals I’ve set for myself? Here’s hoping.

What about you? Have you created a vision board? Think you might try one on for size? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or come join the conversation in the MKP Facebook group.

Perhaps you’ve read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. If so, you already know a lot about the morning routine I’m about to describe. I’ll confess that I haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard enough about it from people online who I see crusing it every day, that I decided to investigate a bit further. I visited Hal’s website and downloaded the free resources, and I began using the routine with great results. If you could use a new framework for your day, setting your mind, body, and spirit in the right direction, read on…

The Miracle Morning

In a nutshell, the Miracle Morning routine is a simple, 6 minute, 6 step process that addresses everything from your mind to your body. It sets you up to have a productive day, knowing that you’ve already accomplished several things from visualizations to exercise before you ever brush your teeth in the morning. The steps are as follows:

  1. One minute of silence, meditation, etc.
  2. One minute of affirmations.
  3. One minute of visualization.
  4. One minute of writing.
  5. One minute of reading.
  6. One minute of exercise.

Sounds easy, but as advertised, it can be miraculous. I’ll show you how I do it.

My Miracle Morning Routine

So I follow the above routine pretty much as is, with a few minor tweaks of my own. As a Christian, I’ve always wanted to develop a daily quiet time with God, so I’m using the routine to build some of that into my life. Here’s what it looks like for me:

  1. One minute of prayer. Usually for guidance in a particular area. I also spend some mornings simply listening for His still small voice to speak into my life.
  2. One minute of affirmations. Sometimes I read scriptures stating God’s promises for believers, and sometimes I do my own version, telling myself “I am…(smart, honest, productive, etc.),” “I can…(be successful, build a business, etc.),” or “I have…(abilities, talents, love, etc.).” This has been powerful for me.
  3. One minute of visualization. For now, my visualizations are all mental. I’m planning to put together a vision board to help with this and to help with my mindset for the whole year. Right now, I visualize myself having a productive day at work, or having a successful Etsy shop, or having positive interactions with people in my life. This has also been a powerful piece of the puzzle for me.
  4. One minute of writing. I just pick up my pencil (my writing implement of choice in my bullet journal), set my timer for one minute, and write out all the things I’m grateful for. I’m seeing a pattern in my writings – most of them have to do with the people in my life who have shown me love and compassion during my difficult season. My heart is full thinking of them.
  5. One minute of reading. I use my Women’s Devotional Bible, turn at random to a devotion labeled with that day of the week, then read it and think about how it applies to my life. It’s been amazing how spot-on these readings have been for me.
  6. One minute of exercise. Usually I do some back stretches to help with the pain I’ve been experiencing lately. I do a few shoulder rolls, and then the timer dings and it’s time to begin the day.

I’m really settling into this routine and seeing benefits from it throughout the day. A situation will come up, and I’ll think “I’ve already visualized this. I can handle it.” Or I’ll participate in a conversation, and an idea from a devotion I’ve read will come to mind, and I’m able to speak into the person’s life. I’ve known for a long time that a morning routine would help me to have less stressful days, and now I’m actually experiencing that very result.

Bullet Journaling the Miracle Morning

I decided from Day One that I would use my bullet journal to document this new habit. I set up a very simple two-page spread for the week, and I add to it each day. I think this will be useful to look back on and see which areas of my life are improving, where I’m still lagging, and where I can see growth and change in my walk with God.

If you’d like to try it, I’ve created a free printable you can use to begin tracking your Miracle Morning routine. It’s sized to fit the Moleskine Cahier notebook, but you can size it up or down before you print to suit your needs. Download it here.

Example of habit tracker in use

 

So how about you? What morning routine do you use to set yourself up for a productive day? If you don’t have one, are you thinking of starting one? Come share in the Facebook group or comment below.