Shortest. Trial. Ever. (Plus a November Bullet Journal Printable!)

Shortest. Trial. Ever. (Plus a November Bullet Journal Printable!)


If you follow my bullet journal instagram you know that I was trying something new this week: Week-In-View planning pages. And while I loved making the spread and I love looking at it, I have missed having my brand new daily pages every day so I had to wake up this morning and do a Wednesday page, just to shake off the monotonous funk I’ve been having over not having a brand new page to look at every day.


I think I still might do the week-in-view pages, because honestly I really like having it and I like setting goals for the week instead of for the day. I’ll just do it ALONG WITH the daily pages. And while I know that’s a lot of repetitive listing (which was why I was trying the week-in-view thing to begin with, too much transferring from one page to another when tasks didn’t get done) it seems that – emotionally – I just need to have a new page to look at every day. So…2 days! Shortest trial ever.

From now on? I’ll do both. That’s the great thing about the Leuchtturm1917 journal – it comes with TWO bookmarks!



You can still download my horizontal monthly pages for 2015 and 2016 from my sidebar, but I’ve been playing around with vertical pages. Some say when they print this and trim it for a standard moleskin there’s extra space along the border, but I’m not seeing that when I print it. If anyone wants to download it and check it out – I’d appreciate it. I want to perfect the template so I can do all of 2016.

And that’s your bullet journal update for this week! I know you love it when I talk planning.

Ask me about my bullet journal…


After people watch the bullet journal video or read my master bullet journal post, the most common question I get asked is: “How do I plan for the future?”

I used to keep a page marked “future dates” and just write upcoming events down and cross them off when I created that monthly page. But now! I saw where someone had stuck one of those cheap wall-sized year calendar in the back of their bullet journal so I stole the idea but used my printables (seen on my sidebar) and clipped them to the back instead! I don’t always actually use that page when I create the monthly page because it’s often sloppy but it’s at least a guide and a way to quickly add something coming up a few months from now. Since I usually have two “live” months going (the current one and the upcoming which I usually start before we get to the 15th of the current month) I’ll keep 10 months pinned to the back of the journal.

Do you have any other questions? I’m totally loving this new planning and bullet journal community I’ve found on instagram – so I’m having even more fun with my bullet journal than before. If you have any questions or concerns about the system that I could answer in a way to bring you do the dark side, I’d love to.

My History With The Erin Condren Planner

photo48Many moons ago…I think the first year I was the President of the theatre board at E’s high school…I bought an Erin Condren life planner. If you don’t know what that is, then just know it’s a customized (in some ways) day planner and it’s expensive and it’s gotten REALLY popular amongst the Pumpkin Spice Latte drinking crowd. (Which I am heartily a part of, I know.) The cool kids in the planner community (which kinda merges with the bullet journal community in many aspects and both communities ARE DORKY, I KNOW…BUT THOSE ARE MY PEEPS) now refer to it as an EC Planner. If you scroll through the planner tags on instagram, you’ll see that in a lot of profiles to explain what type of planner they use. It was a little bit of an ordeal just to get it, which I wrote about here, but I loved it when it came in. But – as you’ll recall – I was a planner addict. I would buy a new planner, totally adore it for a month or two…fade away..and then buy another one to start over with. However, I swore I wouldn’t do that with the EC because it cost SO MUCH MONEY.

And I didn’t. Quite.

I used it aggressively for at least the majority of the theatre season. It got me through planning a few shows but I always needed something else to carry with it. Like a note pad or a binder of notes. And then, when the theatre year was over? It went the way of the other planners. And I never even considered going back.


And I get it…I do…because I was a planner addict. But it just didn’t work for me. Because I learned that above being a planner addict? I was a LIST MAKING ADDICT. That’s why the bullet journal system of planning appealed to me so much, because it wasn’t about having a stereotypical grid-for-month, page-for-day, type of spread. It’s about a blank book that you just use one page at a time however you need. I have “book release dates” pages and “wish list” pages and “gift ideas” pages and none of that could have existed in my EC Planner. Except if I was smart with the blank pages at the end, which I never was.

I also can paste stuff into my bullet journal in the form of a type of on-the-spot scrapbooking. Like spectator maps from Ironman or theatre tickets from a night out with a friend. I put the kid’s art work in there or documents I might need to repeatedly consult for school. All things not easy to do with the EC Planner…or any planner for that matter. Using a pre-formatted planner means I lose flexibility to tape a coloring page into my journal on a day where I just need to color.

And the best of all? I get a new one when it’s full.

I think part of my planner problem was that I liked the feeling of a “fresh start” that a brand new planner gave me, but practically, you really can only do that once a year. But with the bullet journal? You get a new start when you fill up the old one! I switched to a Leuchtturm1917 from a Moleskin last volume and it has more than twice as many pages so it’s taken me 4 months to fill this one up and I’m itching for the new one which I’ll start in November.

When I stopped regularly using my EC planner, I could have flipped through it and seen things scheduled on certain days and maybe a few notes of experience here and there, but truthfully? There wouldn’t have been any point in keeping it. But my bullet journals sit on a shelf because in their pages are quotes I adore, printed posts I loved from Facebook, my kid’s artwork, my training logs…all peppered between daily To Do pages and monthly calendars.

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So, while an EC Planner might work for someone who is not addicted to writing things down, or saving bits of memories, it didn’t work for me. I didn’t know why for the 15’ish years I spent as a planner addict. I just kept feeling like I hadn’t found the right planner system yet. After EC I kinda gave up since it was so expensive.

I do feel kinda guilty sometimes. It would be like walking into a Starbucks and saying, “I actually prefer drip coffee from Folgers.” (Which I kinda do.) A lot of people in my circle of bullet journal and planning buddies (WHAT? WE GET IDEAS AND INSPIRATION FROM EACH OTHER. LEAVE US ALONE.) love their EC Planners and I hate to be all, “EH! Didn’t love mine.” But it wasn’t the planner itself, it was the SYSTEM. The planner itself was lovely, albeit a little geared towards some sort of female archetype with the “hair appointment” stickers and what not.

This entry is probably only going to appeal to 1 person out there…thank you for obliging me. Every since I started my bullet journal instagram account, and following other similar, I’ve realized how addicted people are to their EC Planners AND I HAD TO CLEAR THE AIR ABOUT IT.

31 Days of Bullet Journal Joy

Another bonus entry for my bullet journal peeps! An instagram photo challenge for October.

For October! 31 Days of Bullet Journal Joy. #bulletjournal

A photo posted by Zoot (@bulletjournaljoy) on

1) monthly outlook What does your monthly page look like?

2) page you consult most Which page do you flip back to the most often?

3) fave writing implement Pen? Pencil? Fountain pen?

4) do you doodle? If so, let me see!

5) show me your index What does your index page look like?

6) how do you plan ahead? If you have an upcoming event without a monthly page yet…what do you do with it?

7) healthy habits Do you use your bullet journal to log food? Exercise? Meal plans?

8) when do you plan? Do you plan your next day at night before bed? Or in the morning over coffee?

9) bookworm Do you have a Books To Read list? Or Books I’ve Read? Or Book release dates of note?

10) gift giving Do you keep lists for gift ideas?

11) big project page Show me a big project you’re working on.

12) OOPS. What do you do when you mess something up? White out? Washi tape?

13) your professional life Do you bullet journal for work?

14) your personal life Do you bullet journal personal events?

15) show me your stash I want to see where you keep your supplies!

16) do you tab? What do you use tabs for? What kind do you like?

17) favorite journal Moleskine? Leuchtturm1917?

18) dots, grid, lines or blank?! What type of paper do you like?

19) stickers: yay or nay? Do you decorate your pages?

20) the mundane Grocery lists? Chore lists?

21) travel plans Do you plan trips with your bullet journal?

22) shelf of glory! Show me where the bullet journals go when they’re full!

23) want to washi? How do you use washi tape?

24) colors Do you use one color of ink per page? Do you like color at all?

25) keepsake pages Do you save things on your pages from events – like programs or movie tickets?

26) dear diary Do you write in your bullet journal about your day?

27) protecting the goods Do you have a cover of some sort?

28) to do Just your basic To Do list

29) wish lists Show me your wish list

30) hand lettering Do you hand letter anything?

31) how full is full? Show me a FULL bullet journal.

Trying Something New…

Hey guys – if you’re not one of my Bullet Journal crazies – just skip this entry…it’s just a bonus! HOWEVER, if you are, I’m trying something new. I always have done printable monthly pages for Moleskines and Leuchtturm1917’s (2015, 2016) but I do them horizontally as that’s how I use them. I thought I’d play around with a sheet that you could stick vertically. (Because someone once referred to that as the “right” way, even though in my world horizontally is the “right” way.) Simultaneously, I was playing around with printable bullet journal sized coloring sheets. So today! I’m posting bothing ideas on one page to see if anyone wants to print it and try it out. Or see if anyone thinks this might be useful. Click the picture for the PDF download.


2016 Printable Bullet Journal Calendar Pages Are HERE! Free!


THEY ARE HERE! Part of why I launched a new instagram account this week is I was almost done with my monthly download pages. I’ve had a few people email me recently asking when they’ll be ready and HERE THEY ARE! Free for your taking! They fill a Moleskin 5in x 8.25in page almost completely, depending on how close to the boundary you trim the pages. Some people use things like glue dots to adhere them, but I just folded tape around the edge of the page. They have a little bit more room on my Leuchtturm1917 because it’s 5.75in x 8.25in. Here is a picture of one of the pages in my Leuchtturm1917.


I like to decorate mine by adhering it with washi tape. As you see in this photo I also put in on the left page and write out my days on the right side. I do this because I like to write down my miles on the monthly page and it gives me a reference when scheduling the handwritten page. But most people choose one or the other. BUT I LIKE BOTH, OKAY. DAMMIT.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually printed these yet because my printer has died. I hope to find time at work to print a set just to make sure they look right but I used the same template I use every year so I don’t see any reason why they won’t. But again – THESE ARE FREE – so if there’s a problem I’ll try to fix it but remember – you get what you pay for! Don’t be mean! (I’ve only had ONE person be mean in the 2 years I’ve been doing this.)

Compressed file with all monthly pages for 2016 – Click Here

Individual Monthly Pages Below:

January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016

Taking My Love Of Bullet Journals To An Entirely Unhealthy Level

At this point in my life I’m trying to keep up with work, the kid’s school, soccer, Donnie’s training, MY training, and several small trips/events over the next few months. You know what this means, don’t you? My bullet journal is more important to me than my supply of food or water to sustain myself. Why cares if I starve to death if I forget to bring snacks to a kid’s game. AMIRIGHT?


Since it has become such an important part of my survival lately, I’ve really been spending a lot of time with it and I just LOVE MY BULLET JOURNAL SO MUCH. This is today’s page and I actually broke out my real camera to photograph it because it just brings me that much joy.


Also – I don’t normally keep a stack of old bullet journals artistically in the background but I was taking photos of those too.


So. Do you know what all of that means? I took a plunge on the dangerous side of DORK. I set up an instagram account just for bullet journaling photos.

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I’m officially gone overboard.

BUT Y’ALL. This account makes me so happy. It think it will be my artistic outlet, if you can believe bullet journals can be artistic, because I just look at the photos and the bullet journals and they bring me such joy I just had to have a place where I could dork out about that to a stupid level. WHY NOT INSTAGRAM?

So, follow me there if you’d like. I’m going to do a bunch of photos over the next few days just to build it up some but then I’m going to do one a day and maybe make themes and product reviews so that I don’t have to fill up this space with such nonsense.

(Although you know I’ll still be talking about the nonsense over here too. IT WILL BE MY WHOLE LIFE.)

Keep Calm and Doodle In Your Bullet Journal.

Bullet Journal News

(If you missed it, I popped in on Sunday to just throw in my support for being “politically correct” because it seems that term has gotten a bad wrap rap lately and I think it’s because people are using it incorrectly.)


Let’s talk some Bullet Journal news! First – I switched to the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook because 219 people have suggested them and they make one that has dotted pages, but a hard cover, something Moleskin doesn’t offer.



I didn’t switch as early as I should have because the journal – as you can see above – is a bit wider than the Moleskin. This meant I had to give up my Rickshaw folio that I loved so much. BUT! I still had my old Fossil Kindle cover that I was using before the Rickshaw folio and it works. BARELY. I can’t use the pen holder in the middle, but it closes and that’s all that matters. I’m a little worried that this volume being a different size from the others might make me a little crazy when seeing it on my shelf, but Dad’s notebooks switched over the years and I kinda like that about my collection of his, so I’m trying to be less-OCD about it.



The first thing that is awesome about the Leuchtturm (besides the face that it comes in a hard cover with dotted pages) is that it already has an index page and page numbers so you don’t have to do those yourself. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this, but now that I’ve been using it awhile? I LOVE IT.


My second concern was the page weight. Since I like to doodle in my notebooks (although not as much now that I don’t sit in a carpool line every day) I needed to know the ink from my favorite pens wouldn’t bleed through and as you can see from the photo above, they don’t. They still make the back of that page unusable, but that’s okay since I don’t like using the backs of pages for more than taping papers anyway.


I’m still doing my monthly pages the same way, even those the printouts are just a tad smaller on the page than in my moleskin. This actually makes putting them in a little easier as I have more room for taping and I don’t have to be quite as precise as there’s more wiggle room.


This job that I’ve had since Spring warrants it’s own workflow that I manage outside of the bullet journal. That means I don’t use as many pages per day as I’m not constantly jotting down notes/project guides from work. Typically I start a Monday like you see above and just use that page for the whole week. Until it looks like this:


That picture above is so telling about my life. I always start a Monday clean and organized by then all hell breaks losing and I’m just cramming shopping lists in the corner of pages.

I want to talk more about how I’ve been continuiing to use my bullet journal as a scrapbook of memories/kid’s drawings/etc but I think that will warrant an entire entry on it’s own. Instead, I’ll wrap this entry up showing you a comparison of the my favorite pen (Pentel EnerGel 0.7 Metal Tip) with my new 2nd pace pen (Unibal Signo 307). I actually really like the smoothness of the Signo better as it writes, but it smears a little more (as you can see) and so far it only comes in Black and Blue. If you scroll back up though you’ll see it does less damage to the OTHER side of the page, so if they start making this one in more colors I may have to move it to the top spot!


BulletJournal-010 BulletJournal-011 BulletJournal-012

What about you? Any bullet journal news in your life?

The Worry Of A Child.

Last night I had to do a little bit of freelance stuff before I went to bed. Something I hoped would take 10 minutes but I couldn’t find the problem which meant I wasn’t going to get to go to bed when I wanted. I was tired as it was the end of a long day and I was very overwhelmed with my To Do list and Nikki was whining and pouting about the fact that I wasn’t going to come to bed and lay down with her.

Listen, Nikki. I’m stressed. I can’t figure this one problem out and I’m tired and you making me feel guilty is not really helping.

Then she started sobbing and I got even more frustrated.

That’s not helping either! Now I feel shitty for making you cry! Why can’t you just say, “Good luck, Mom. Hope you can come lay down with me soon.” Why do you have to freak out and be so dramatic?

So she stifled her cries, wished me luck, and I went back to work. I never solved the problem but was so tired I had to go to bed anyway. I went to go give her a goodnight hug and kiss these notes were on the pillow next to her.


Sorry I made you feel bad word. I don’t want to go to sleep knowing I made you feel bad – so when you come in here please wake me up and give me a hug.

Nikki is showing worse anxiety at age 9 than I have at 39 and I currently suffer from worse anxiety than I’ve ever had in my life. Her problems do seem to help me address mine though because – especially lately – I’ve been trying to work with her and that means I have to work with mine.

We talk a lot about how I’d like her to tell me what she needs instead of just melting down. If she’s having a bad day and needs some extra love, let me know. Don’t just freak out over something that is really not the problem. We’ve been talking a lot about what it means to be sensitive. She cries a lot “for no reason”. We talk a lot about how that also has a good side and I believe it’s what makes her kind and loving and the kind of kid who hides notes for me on Mother’s Day.

Where I used to worry about Wesley becoming a sociopathic serial killer, I now worry about my daughter being so unable to cope with anxiety or emotions that she’ll be medicated her whole life. I’m certain medication is in her future because if her stress/anxiety gets worse with puberty, she’ll need something to help her cope. But I want her to learn skills before then to help manage the somewhat normal levels of anxiety and extreme emotions.

Sometimes she can get lost in drawing or writing, she’s a very creative spirit. I’ve been trying to encourage that activity if she gets overwhelmed. I think I need to be better about pushing that because I think last night would have been a perfect time for her to use those habits to work out her worry.

And I need to quit being a dick to her.

I need to remind myself, even when I’m frustrated and stressed, that she is just now learning how to navigate this world as someone with sometimes toxic levels of empathy and emotional sensitivity that she can’t seem to manage. I need to take a pause before I respond to her like I did last night, and while I might have valid points, those points are – well…pointless…if she can’t process them because she’s sobbing uncontrollably.

She makes me want to be a better person so I can teach her how to deal with all of those overwhelming emotions. Whenever I’m having a particularly rough time lately, I find myself thinking, What would you tell Nikki?

I did wake her up and give her a million hugs last night. I hope it helped. I’ll try to be ready with boundless love for her again this morning.

My poor, sensitive, anxious soul. That’s what it is – once soul in two bodies. I’m hoping as we each make efforts to heal ourselves, we’ll help the other person as well.

Parenting is tough, yo.

30 Days To Awesome.

It started when I saw this photo from the alt summit instagram account showing a sheet with a year’s worth of circles to cross out to mark your progress on some challenge/task. It was made by Elise Joy, evidently, and if you’d like that copy of that tracker you can find it here. But, the problem is, a year is REALLY intimidating.

Also? A year is REALLY boring.

I mean, there are a lot of things I hope to commit to long enough that I’ve done them for a year. But trying to track it would get depressing for the part of me that likes a quicker return on my investment of effort.

Also? I don’t like the idea of missing days on the calendar and therefore seeing circles with no mark. I’d just quit the second I missed a day.

Also? I’d like to challenge myself to do a lot of different things. I’d need 100 of those sheets. Which seems excessive.

Also? Of course I’d need to track it in my bullet journal. And those sheets wouldn’t fit in my bullet journal.

Also? Today’s word of the day is: ALSO.

In other words, I loved the idea, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted for myself. So I did what any dork does when she sees something that’s close to what she needs to but exactly, I made it myself.

The Tracker


After much thought (5 minutes) I decided I’d be tracking 30 Days because that’s about a month but is not EXACTLY a month so I can start/finish it any time and not feel restricted to the calendar. Also? It’s just 30 days. Not 30 calendar days, so if I miss a day? I don’t mark it. It doesn’t have to be in a ROW. I might make a note if I miss a day, I left room for notes around the days, but really? I’d rather not acknowledge the missed day. That’s what always screws me up. The second I miss a day of ANYTHING I stop. I quit. I give up.

And I have SO MANY IDEAS. There are so many small challenges I’ve wanted to participate in recently. Some are physical like “30 Days of Abs” and some are just spiritual like “30 Days of Gratitude”. It’s stuff I’ve stumbled across periodically for ages and just never tried any of it. Some are ideas I’ve just had myself. Either way, I knew I’d want to do more than one, but I didn’t want to go crazy and do fifty at a time. Well, I wantedyou can download a copy here.)

The Body

I chose to try 30 days of eating conscientiously. Or deliberately. Days where I think about what I’m eating and really try to decide if it’s something my body or my soul wants. Maybe my heart is sad and really wants a donut, I’ve decided I shouldn’t shame myself for that. Just eat ONE DONUT and move on with my life. Not hide in my car in the parking lot and eat a box of six. (Yeah. Donuts aren’t vegan. That’s why I call myself a Lazy Herbivore. I still haven’t found something that comforts me quite like a donut.) But if I’m just bored or tired then maybe I should think about something that’s better for my body, something that will give me strength and energy. I just would like to really be conscious of what I’m eating and why. Not FOREVER because that shit is for the birds. But if I could really spend 30 days thinking of how I’m feeding my body, I think I’d become a bit more in tune with my food needs.

(I’ve already decided the NEXT 30 days is NO DIET COKE. I’m back on the juice again, y’all. Sorry.)

The Soul

On St. Patrick’s Day I went to Publix and this lady was getting into her car and she had the cutest green jacket on and I noticed it, thought it was cute, and was going to keep walking. But for some reason I thought That’s a nice thought, you should share it. So I told her I liked her jacket and she gave me a big smile and said, “Thanks!”

I think nice things about people ALL THE DAMN TIME. But do I ever tell them? Nope. Sometimes because it feels awkward. Other times because I’m too busy. Most of the times because I just blow the thoughts off and don’t even consider sharing them – even though they might make that person really happy. So! My soul challenge is for 30 days I’m going to give sincere compliments every day. On St. Patrick’s day I paid attention to it and I there were at least 4 times where I had nice thoughts about someone that I’m certain they would have liked to hear. She’s such a present Mom, he’s such a great Dad, that dress is GORGEOUS. Why not try to share those positive thoughts with the people who they’re about? Thirty Days! No problem.


I’m not going to change the world or lose 50lbs and become a prize-winning triathlete, but I’m going to spend 30 days doing something good. Something that I know my body or my soul needs. Something to make me feel better physically and emotionally. Have you ever tried to give someone a sincere compliment and feel sad at the same time? It’s really hard. I’ve tried.

(I have not tried. That would be weird.)

But most importantly? This is something new I can do with my bullet journal. And let’s be honest, if there’s a way to involve my bullet journal? Especially in a cute way? I’m a million times more likely to stick to it.