Remember back when we discussed which we prefer on our Monthly View – a Monday start or a Sunday start? Well I decided I prefer a Monday start and have made some new printables to carry us out the rest of the year. My other printables are on this page if you prefer a Sunday start, but for those of you who agree with me – here are your monthly printables! I’m pretty sure these will work both a large Moleskine and on a Leuchtturm 1917 A5, which is what I use. Remember, these are free downloads so if there’s a problem be kind as you point it out to me. I’m a sensitive flower and get my feelings hurt easily.
School started this week in my world. Soccer starts next week. On top of a full-time job and volunteer obligations, I found that my life got away from me last Autumn and we barely had time to breathe. To avoid that chaos and then anxiety it gives me, I’m trying something new this year. I’m scheduling actual down time. I’m blocking out entire evenings IN ADVANCE so that if something comes up, I have a reminder in my calendar about how important it is to just have some nights…simply at home. We’re trying to sell our house so sometimes those nights might be catching up on house work. Or maybe I’ll just veg out with the kids and watch our favorite superhero television. I’ll definitely cook a real meal on those nights since we do quick things like quesadillas or cereal on the other nights. It doesn’t matter what I do, what matters is that I am AT HOME and that I’m free to use that time how I best see fit.
Ideally I’d have two nights a week where I can block out “HOME” on the calendar, but I want to at least mandate one night a week. We don’t have soccer practice schedules yet, so I don’t know if that will be a possibility, but I really hope I can make it a priority. I think the “Something Every Night” scheduling causes me more problems than most – or else no one else talks about it. But those weeks where I work all day and then do soccer/meetings every night really take a toll on my mental health and with two kids who have their own mental health needs, it’s important I make sure to put my oxygen mask on first, so to speak.
Do you have to schedule downtime to remind yourself how important it is? Or are you one of those superheroes that can Go! Go! Go! every night and not suffer ill side effects?
Last year I successfully completed running my first 100K with the help of my bullet journal. I have a bit of a chaotic life, so strict training plans have never suited me. So, I printed up a basic plan I found online and just tried to keep my weekly miles above the recommended goal. Beyond that? I would plan long runs first on Saturdays and Sundays based on the running schedules of my friends, and then I just filled in day to day whatever I could to try to meet my weekly goal. This is what my (ultimately successful) log looked like last year.
I am not doing a 100K this year (my husband is trying is first 100-miler in November and that would be too much) but I am trying for the same combo of races in November as I did last year: A 50K trail race on Saturday, followed by a road Marathon on Sunday. I’ve already signed up for the 50K but the marathon is the Flying Monkey and it’s lottery only. I’ll find out if I’m in no later than August 15th. I’m trying to be optimistic though, and decided to build my run log and training plan around getting in.
Since I successfully did the back-to-backs last year, I just basically used my run log from last year as my “weekly total goal” for this year. I don’t take racing very seriously. I’m a “completer” not a “competer” – meaning my goal is only ever to cross the finish line before the cutoff. That means I don’t have to stress out about types of runs (speed days or hill days or whatever days) and I don’t have to stress out about speed or time. For me? It’s just about getting the miles in however I can.
I’m coming off several complications in my running life so my base is not as strong as last year. (Most recently I had a bike wreck in Colorado which kept me off my feet for a couple of weeks.) But I’ve been trying to at least do 15-20 miles a week all summer, and am hoping a 30-mile week this week won’t be too much of a jump. Here’s to hoping this method of using my bullet journal to train will make me as successful this year as it did last year!
Mondays. It’s so cool and trendy to hate Mondays, but you know what? I like them. I like them A LOT. First of all, weekends are exhausting in our world so Mondays tend to bring calm again. But also? That’s the “start” of my week when I’m planning so everything is fresh and full of potential.
Naturally, I also love the first of every month. Whether your accepting a nutrition challenge or fitness improvement or trying to meditate more or work less…we all tend to look at the first of the month as a natural “Start Day” for anything.
So! Imagine my thrill when THE FIRST OF AUGUST also fell on a MONDAY! The POTENTIAL that brings to me! My monthly spread starts the same day as my weekly spread and everything is pretty and new and fresh and THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER!
I have all of these plans for August. My kids start school this month (younger ones this week, college kid next) so I have all of these great plans to manage time and homework and lunch making. I have races that will start coming up in the Fall I have to start really training for. I have nutrition challenges (I’m taking the month off of beer! And I love my craft beer!) I’m giving myself and I’m really wanting to try to get into Yoga. This week is the first of a month FULL of potential!
Will I succeed at all of my challenges and goals? NEVER! Hell, if I succeed at ONE of them I’ll consider it a win! But I still love trying to make myself a better person every day so if you give me a Month that starts on a Monday? I’m going to make a whole month out of it!
Awesome August is what we’ll be calling it! No beer! Time management! Learn Yoga! Finish reading the books on my bedside table! Live! Love! Laugh!
Are you giving yourself any challenges this week? This month? Do you have any special spreads that are helping you do that? I’m going to show off my run tracker tomorrow!
I’ve been using the bullet journal system for almost 3 years now and I’m putting an average of about 3 months into each volume. I like starting a new volume at the first of the month, so there are some volumes with blank pages at the end and one with a LOT of blank pages because I really wanted to start a new volume on January 1st of the new year.
In a perfect world? I get within 10 pages of finishing one volume before starting another, but that rarely (never?) happens. I do spend too much time thinking about it, though. I’m constantly trying to decide which is worse: Start a new volume with too many extra pages at the end of the last one, or NOT HAVING ENOUGH PAGES TO FINISH A MONTH OUT. I have no idea why I’m compulsive about that, but the idea of being on – let’s say – August 20th and being on the LAST PAGE of my volume makes me TERRIFIED.
So, I always err on the side of caution and go with “too many blank pages in the previous volume” as the scenario I can handle the most.
But! This volume and this month is going to be weird and maybe hitting that perfect sweet spot. I have about 90 pages left in the volume (there are approx 250 pages in a Leuchtturm1917) and we have a month and a half left to go. Previously I averaged 3 months a volume and that’s about 120 pages a month, so logic would say: NO WAY! Not Enough Room! START A NEW VOLUME!
HOWEVER, This is the volume where I switched from doing daily pages to 2-page weekly spreads, so I’m not using as many pages per month. So! I really think 90 pages is enough to get me through August. 4 months in a volume would be about 80 pages a month and I think I can do that and not run out. And at this point, I feel like that’s a better option than putting this volume on the shelf with 60+ blank pages at the end.
SO! As I gear up to start my August spread (I usually start in the middle of the previous month) I take a gamble and bank on this new 2-page weekly spread method giving me plenty of room to finish out August in this volume. Which would actually be perfect because August is my Bullet Journal Birthday month! September would be the start of YEAR FOUR of the bullet journal. [Sidenote: How I deal with planning future dates/months can be seen here.]
Let’s do it.
What about you? How many months do you fit in a volume? Do you have the compulsive need to start a new volume on the first day of the month like I do or can you be casual and just start when you finish the previous volume?
I tried scrapbooking for about 5 minutes about 15 years ago. I loved the paper and the stamps and the beauty of it all – but I had ZERO patience and even less of an attention span which was needed for scrapbooking. Work so hard to document on birthday party? Nope. I couldn’t do it. I really wanted to document things, but I didn’t have the patience to do it beautifully. I wanted the gorgeous spreads my friends made, but I wanted to do them in 4 seconds. I bought all of the supplies and never made one scrapbook page for one scrapbook. EVER. I did start a blog in late 2003, so that helped fulfill my need to document, but it gave me no way to preserve artifacts like ticket stubs or invitations like the idea of scrapbooking did. Enter my bullet journal! And my #PlanDocumentCreate motto. Now I have a place to tape concert tickets and programs from plays!
I went on vacation last week to Denver, CO to visit my brother. We spent 5 days at a rental house in Breckenridge with his family and there was adventure and celebration and I had all of these artifacts I wanted to preserve somehow.
So I took about 30 seconds and taped them into my bullet journal. The race bib from the 10K we did the morning of the Fourth of July. The tickets and wristbands from the fun park we went to with the roller coaster and alpine slide. All of the artifacts preserved simply and quickly. Not as pretty as an actual scrapbook, but functional. And requires absolutely zero patience.
And then – the most hilarious thing of all happened. WE FOUND OUT WE MADE THE PAPER!
I don’t think I have been in the paper since small athletic accomplishments from high school in the early 90s! How hilarious that it happens when I’m out of town visiting my family! My brother and his wife entered us into the parade, rented a trailer, and they decorated it with the kids the day before Independence Day. It turned out GREAT! The beauty of the float combined with the location of the horses behind us in the parade meant that our picture ended up in the local paper. OF COURSE I HAD TO PRESERVE THAT! And what better way than in my bullet journal?
The vacation was a blast and now I have some special artifacts to remember it by, preserved on a shelf with all of my other memories from the last three years.
Do you preserve artifacts from events in your bullet journal?
Obviously with the #PlanDocumentCreate motto I love those three main things about bullet journaling: I can plan, I can draw, I can preserver. Movie tickets, vacation plans, zendoodles…these things represent the most common pages in my bullet journal.
However, the other thing I love about the Bullet Journal system is the ability to combine all of the random lists I keep in my life into one notebook. I used to flag shows and movies on my “watch list” on Amazon and I’d put books on my To Read shelf at Goodreads. I’d email myself links with “Article To Read” in the subject heading. I’d mark recipes as “favorites” on my favorite plant-based websites. I’d subscribe to RSS feeds in my chosen feed reader.
And did I ever consult any of these? Rarely to Never. Mostly Never.
But now! Now I have a bullet journal where I can keep lists with me at all times. And they are lists I usually copy and re-copy to each volume so they’ll move along with me through time. Movies to watch, Books to read, Daily blogs, Articles to read (usually preserved by website and article title. But honestly? I still email myself the links.) and Recipes to try.
What are the random lists you keep in your Bullet Journal? Do they move with you from volume to volume?
Since I only have the current week and current month in my bullet journal active at one time, future planning became a challenge. I compensated for this by printing up a month’s worth of monthly pages and keeping them clipped to the back of my notebook. I call these the “scratch” pages because – as you can see – the events are barely legible and no where near ready for practical use.
When I start feeling like I’m adding more stuff to the upcoming month than the current month, I create that month’s page in my bullet journal. Usually that’s about 10 days away from the end of the current month, which is where I found myself yesterday when it was time to get ready for July. First, I had to decide if I wanted a portrait or landscape style page.
And then – I had to decide – DO I WANT TO SKIP THE NEXT 12 MONTHS ALL TOGETHER?
Do you see why? Because when I took this photo I didn’t notice a problem. I even put it on instagram. And then I started to fill it out and I noticed I had a race on a weird day and that’s unusual so I went to check my scratch page and…hmm…it’s on a Saturday there. What is going on?
OH. I SEE. I PRINTED UP 2017 INSTEAD.
I immediately rushed and deleted the photo from instagram (SO EMBARASSED!) and tried again. This was the photo that ended up on instagram and STAYED.
But. As I was working on my monthly spread I reconsidered something. Why do I start my monthly calendar page with a Sunday when I do my Weekly Spreads starting on a Monday? So. I made my THIRD attempt at a Monthly Page and quickly put together a Monday-Start variation of the July Monthly Page.
I’m not sure why this has never occurred to me before. I know for sure that – for my weekly spreads – I prefer a Monday start. To me, Monday is the start of my week. It never crossed my mind that my monthly printables looked different. I’m not sure if it matters since most monthly calendars do use Sunday as the start of the week.
Either way – something about it bugged me so I’m trying something new. I’ll let this month be the test. If I find I like it better, I’ll offer both varieties on my printable page. What are your thoughts?
Before I started using the bullet journal system three years ago, I would carry around as many as 4 notebooks/calendars with me at one given time. A small pocket calendar for my purse. A large planner for my work bag. A large journal/sketchbook. A small notebook. But the wonderful thing about the bullet journal is I can do everything I need to do in ONE notebook that fits in my purse. GONE are the days of second mortgages on houses to pay for 14 planners or calendars a year (because no ONE planner or calendar ever fit the bill completely) and 72 notebooks. Nope! One notebook! All the time!
This is very hard to admit. But I have decided the bullet journal doesn’t work perfectly for everything.
It started because I wanted to start logging my food as my running/training has changed and I need to readjust my calorie intake so I don’t gain 50lbs because I’m still eating like an ultra runner. Well, two pages into the food log in my bullet journal and I was thinking: Why am I wasting pages on this? To Do lists at least give me a later snapshot of my life. But my food/calorie log? This is a terrible waste of space.
So, I bought a 3-pack of small notebooks. And I started writing down my food/calories one of them. Now it didn’t feel like a silly waste of pages in my bullet journal where one whole week of planning took up one 2-page spread but 7 days of food logging took up 3 times that. Instead? I just log in this guy which can be disposed of without any guilt.
But I also realized it works for the long grocery lists too. I keep a section on my weekly spread “TO BUY” to note when we run out of things or when weird stuff pops up I need throughout a week, but when I sit down and put my meals in my daily spread I need to write down the associated foods needed and I don’t really want to waste a full page on my bullet journal for that either. And since I have this tiny notebook already floating around my purse, I’ve started doing grocery lists in that.
This makes it easier for my daughter to help me too, because she likes to be in charge of marking off the list as we go throughout the store. It’s harder for her to do that carrying around my bullet journal.
But I feel like I have to justify myself TO MY BULLET JOURNAL.
Dear Bu Jo, You are still the top in my world, but you’re so important I don’t want to waste pages in you with things that are not necessary for the whole #PlanDocumentCreate motto. Please forgive me.
Right before school let out for the summer, I decided I needed to map out our summer in terms of camps and daycares so I could A) budget childcare cost appropriately since my husband and I both work full time so childcare becomes more expensive during summer and B) make sure I chose camps for the kids that didn’t overlap with each other since dropoff would be tricky on those days. I made this spread and shared it to instagram. I thought I would basically use this spread until the summer was mapped out, and then never again.
Little did I know it has now become the page I turn to the MOST. Because the different kids being in different places on different days has caused more chaos than I realized. Even if there are no special day-camps on the schedule for the week (There are lots of fun full-day camps around town in everything from robotics to engineering to bugs and wildlife.) it’s crazy. My kids both attend the same daycare but one of them only goes 3 days because she kinda hates it, and she just comes to work with me the other two days. But if there is a day-camp going on (this week my son is going to a camp about bugs/critters) then they’re at two different places which makes the time I go to work and leave from work different than a normal week.
SO! I’m constantly looking at this page to remember who goes where on what day. It has been a wonderful tool for the management of the summer and we’re only on week 2. Sometimes you create a spread for a page or an idea or a tracker that you never use again. (Remember that time I tried a habit tracker? That lasted about 3 days.) Other times you create a spread that becomes THE THING THAT SAVES YOUR LIFE AND KEEPS YOU AFLOAT. This is one of those things.
I’m crossing out the weeks as we go and I’m already learning a lesson for next summer. Try to avoid so many back-to-back special camp weeks. Last week was exhausting and this week is not any easier. On a special camp week I have to get the kids to/from two different places AND I can’t go into work as early as I usually do so I have to work later which means every day feels cramped. AND NEXT WEEK ISN’T ANY EASIER. But those are the types of lessons we learn the hard way, right?
What spread/list/tracker have you made that has been surprisingly useful? This one I thought would only be used for the PLANNING part of the summer, I didn’t think I’d need it once summer started. Now I know! It will be a requirement every summer from here on out!