Plan With Me: August 2017
Bullet Journaling is my current obsession. I started experimenting with it in June, and I genuinely feel like my life is so much more organized. I'm also way more on top of my goals than I was before. If you're not familiar with Bullet Journaling and its principles, I highly suggest you check out the original website: http://bulletjournal.com. There you'll see how the system works, and how you can customize it to suit your individual needs.
One of my favourite things about Bullet Journaling is that it is a way for me to express my creativity and combine my artistic side with my love of organization and goal-setting. As someone who works in a creative field, it's nice to have a form of artistic expression that is purely for myself and not restricted by clients, deadlines, or market potential.
Ever since I started Bullet Journaling I've been obsessed with checking out other people's layouts. I have watched more #PlanWithMe videos and read more #PlanWithMe blog posts than I'd like to admit! Now that I've been doing it myself for a couple months and have learned a lot, I thought I'd share my own monthly layout for August. I hope this gives you some inspiration for a journal of your own!
I always start the month with a Brain Dump page for any miscellaneous notes and lists I need to jot down throughout the month. This way I avoid a pile of little post-its all over my house and my notes are all in once place. I didn't do a cover page for the month because I don't really have the time, so my Brain Dump page doubles as my August cover page.
Something I started doing only with Bullet Journaling was writing a mini-diary every day. I've always wanted to keep a diary and keep track of memories, but I struggle with the time commitment. Writing just a few lines a day works so well for me because it takes almost no time, and still gets me to reflect on daily moments of happiness and gratitude.
I use the traditional Bullet Journal system for my monthly calendar which is this vertical layout. At first, I wasn't sure I would like it since it's so different from a traditional monthly calendar, but I love how much space it gives me. I don't have to squeeze all my deadlines and appointments into a tiny little calendar square so this feels much more tidy and organized.
Next I do a separate content calendar for my blog posts. At first I struggled to squeeze my editorial calendar in with the rest of my work deadlines and personal events, but it was too messy and cluttered. By separating my blog stuff into a separate calendar, it also allows me to plan a few months ahead and generate content ideas beyond the current month.
Then I have one of my favourite pages which is my habit and chore trackers. Keeping track of things like exercising, eating healthy, and my social media activity has made such a difference in helping me stay on top of my goals. Keeping track of the last time I changed the bed-linens or cleaned the bathroom is also a helpful reminder for me so I don't let those important chores slide. By writing these things down and keeping track of them, I'm holding myself much more accountable and it's working!
The last page in my monthly layout is a finances page. Here I document joint household expenses and bills that need to be monitored and reconciled at the end of every month. Since I'm self-employed, I also keep track of my income which varies every month. This helps me feel confident that I'm keeping myself afloat and highlights any potential financial slumps. Since freelancing can be financially scary, I like to keep on top of things. Finally, I keep track of my business expenses that I can deduct from my taxes. It's important for me to keep a good record of these deductions in case I ever get audited. Plus it helps me understand the cost of operating my own "business" as a freelance writer.
The last section I'll show you is my first weekly spread. Some people don't do weeklies but I like to be able to plan a week at a time and get an overview of my events, deadlines, and appointments. Every weekly spread I do also has a To-Do list for general things I need to get done that week and well as anything upcoming next week that I need to keep track of. Every Sunday evening I enjoy having some quiet time to myself where I sit out on my balcony, draw my layout, and plan my upcoming week. It's a ritual that I've come to really enjoy for both its creative and organizational rewards.
If you're thinking about Bullet Journaling, I highly recommend you give it a try! Feel free to use my layouts as inspiration and if you do, tag me on social media so I can see your recreations. Happy August!