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?
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.
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).
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).
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.