June 2017 Monthly Bullet Journal Spreads

Unlike April and May, my June layouts are full-force spreads that I’ve created! I’m only a few days into using them, but I’ve been enjoying them so far.

I also thought I’d include what my desk looks like when I’m brainstorming/pre-planning a monthly layout.

A desk with a mess of notebooks, pens, markers, sticky notes, and sketchbooks.

The monthly layouts always take a lot of energy out of me. I’ve spent hours figuring out how I want my spreads to look. There’s so much more that goes into them than just using the same ones as the previous month. Sometimes, I can’t do that—like April, when I moved and needed to focus my priorities on other things—and other times, it doesn’t fit what I want to achieve.

My monthly layouts set the tone for how I want to approach the next four or five weeks. I think, “Where do I want to focus my time? My energy? What commitments have I made? Where are my deadlines? How will my goals and projects be affected by my activities this month?” and so on, and so forth.

I’m also always trying new things. My bullet journal is a place for me to play. Every spread is a puzzle that I have to make and then solve, looking for the problems and answers mostly within myself (and the confines of my dot grid space, of course).

I’ve tried calendar layouts like this before, and have found I either neglect them, or I overuse them and get frustrated when my plans don’t line up nicely.

A notebook page in landscape orientation showing a 30-day box calendar for June, with a small table on the left side to input work, goals, and rewards. A quote in the top corner reads, "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."

I’m being more lax this month with habit tracking. I’m not sure why, but it felt right, you know? There’s a lot of flux in my environment right now—both my living situation and my family are undergoing positive changes—and I wanted to “go with the flow” more this month, compared to May’s focus on spontaneity. Going with the flow just comes off a bit more mindful, y’know?

A notebook in landscape orientation showing a small calendar, divided into sections on each day on half the page, with a list of goals and associated to-do lists on the other half.

I’m very happy with my mood tracker for this month. I went all Pride 2017 with it, evoking the rainbow. I’ve also changed up how I track my moods: instead of picking a mood for the entire day, I have 3 spaces for each day: morning, afternoon, and evening. That way, I can see how I progress through the day, rather than try to remember a feeling for the entire day. We change so much on micro and macro levels, throughout the day and from day-to-day. This month of tracking my moods through the day will be helpful when I see my doctor at some point over the summer to check my blood sugar levels, too.

I’d post my weekly spreads right now, but they’re still very simple to-do lists! I’m enjoying them and I make them as I go along through the days. They’ve got the time codex bar like I was using in September; very simple and not colour-coded.

If you wanna see more of my bullet journal posts, I’m probably going to get back to posting them on my Instagram. Sharing photos there is much faster than blogging about them, after all! (Also lots of food pictures and the occasionally selfie spam, of course.)

May 2017 Monthly Bullet Journal Spreads

May 7 2017 Update: I’ve embedded the Youtube video of my timelapse doodle of the geode! Scroll down to the bottom to see it.

My bullet journal spreads in April (well, my singular spread) was almost like a break for me. I needed a bit of a reset from my bullet journal and from planning. I think it’s really important to take breaks from your bullet journal, particularly if you take a creative or artistic approach like I do. This month, I’m excited to get back into the bujo! I’m still unsure if I’ll do weekly or daily spreads, but for now, here are my monthly layouts.

This month, since it’ll be my first one where I’m living post-grad in my hometown, I have more time on my hands to work on my personal projects as well as my clients’ projects. My personal projects include doing more art, on top of the writing. I’ve always felt a little guilty for having to choose between the two, but in the words of Tulio and Miguel…

Both? Both is good.

So I created my spreads this month to both inspire my artistic inclinations, as well as remember two important philosophies for art:

  1. Practise your art, both what you know and what you’re learning.
  2. Ignore perfectionism.

I’m glad I could get my perseverance quote in this month, too. I didn’t include one for April’s spread—it didn’t feel right—and this month’s is perfect. I’ll be doing the Couch To 5K interval training for walking and jogging. I may post a blog about my motives for starting, and possibly check in weekly with how it’s going. (But then again, I might not.) I also have my preferred calendar, and as you can see, I haven’t filled in anything yet. I like to post my blank spreads, after all.

A 2-page notebook spread with a list on the left page and a calendar table on the right page.

I loved doodling the crystals and geodes. Doing so required some studying and reference photos, which is important in illustrative work. I recorded my doodle of the second geode (the one I didn’t mess up, haha), as well as the crystal cluster at the bottom. I’m thinking of editing the clips and posting them to YouTube or somewhere, so let me know if you’re interested in seeing those!

I used pictures from Pinterest as reference and study! Here is a split geode, and here is a doodled illustration of crystals. I’m excited to see the finished, coloured products of the crystals!

A 2-page notebook spread with a sleeping chart on the left page and illustrations of geodes and crystals on the right page.

But drawing the geodes really reminded me that planning can’t take precedence over organic function and creation. There was no way I could’ve planned the geodes. I started with an outline and had to go from there. I want to take that philosophy and apply it more to my life.

My bullet journal has been very planned out during in February and March, so I’m trying to go with the flow a little more this month. I’m not sure if I’ll use weekly or daily spreads, but we’ll see how it goes!

Timelapse Video:

BuJo Comparison: April 2016 and April 2017

April 2016 was the second full month of using my bullet journal. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been doing this BuJo thing for a year, but my differences in spreads definitely show how I’ve improved, to put it simply.

The beginning of 2016 was a time of rocky change for me. I needed to prioritise the smallest tasks for my self-care and well-being. Hence, my spreads for my bullet journal reflected that, and I used a ton of daily layouts. I’ll be honest, I hate the majority of my March – August 2016 bullet journal. The notebook was lined while I gravitating toward dot grids layouts, and they’re all messy.

April 2016

A notebook open to a page with a daily to-do list and a list of tasks and deadlines.

An open notebook with a food list on the left page and two daily to-do lists on the right page.

  • Working in a lined notebook from Staples.
  • Using only one side of the pages because the ghosting of the ink from the previous side was too intense to write over top.
  • Less decoration.
  • Initial discovery of lettering techniques and washi tape.
  • Prioritising small tasks, reminders, schoolwork, and self-care.
April 2017

An open notebook that has "Focus on your gains, not your losses" on the left page, and a month plan on the right page with a calendar and list of to-do items.

  • Working in a dot grid notebook from Productive Luddite.
  • Using both sides of the pages however I like, because ink ghosting is barely present!
  • More decoration.
  • Comfortably using lettering techniques and washi tape.
  • Prioritising goals and projects.

A lot has changed, but that’s also because my April 2017 spread is very different to my previous spreads. You can look through my bullet journal category or my Instagram to find more of my commonly used spreads, and even those are different. The structure and dot grid are the biggest changes I can see.

But we can all notice that my BuJo started out really rough and messy. It’s gotten rough and messy again. My February and March layouts were incredibly beautiful (I think) and structured. I guess this is what people call balance?

Since I only have the monthly look for April, I have a smaller notepad I’ve been using this past week for my self-care items. It really, really helps me to unwind. Every time I need a bullet journal break, I go to this “daily scoop” notepad that I made. Would anyone be interested in my posting that? It’s a Word doc and can print 2 of the undated sheets on an 8.5 x 11 inch page, and I absolutely love it.

April 2017 Monthly Bullet Journal Spread

Literally too lazy to fix the orientation of this photo.

Here’s my spread for the upcoming month.

It’s a simple to-do list. I’ve got room for more, in case I need more. I found myself neglecting a lot of spreads in my bullet journal, as well as spreading myself thin between too many projects every single day. So, I’ve gone for a simple month-long look at goals, projects, and tasks.

Beside the calendar is my small to-do list for different tasks and goals. I have my list for the blog posts, since I need to get them scheduled so I can use my time for packing and moving. I’ll likely add more as the month goes on!

March Weekly BuJo Spreads

I changed up my spreads a little bit this past month, especially for this upcoming, final week of March! In February, I found a bit of a layout that I liked. But March hit and I just lost a bunch of my motivation… I wonder if it’s correlated with finishing my novel draft? My activities have been scattered across multiple projects without a real focus on them. It’s hard for me to prioritise.

March 6 – 12

This layout was essentially how I went through February! It’s less boxy, and the filled in spread is very messy.

March 13 – 19

That habit tracker was a disaster, not gonna lie.

March 20 – 26

I really, really like this spread and might use it again in April. I have the days of the week across the top, followed by my sleep tracker and all my additional modules. Unfortunately, I stopped using it on Tuesday and realised I wanted to return to something simple.

March 27 – April 2

Here is this week! I have my to-do lists and I’ll be colour coding them by the day of the week. I’m aiming for a running to-do list for the entire week, basically, to avoid feeling guilty for not getting things done the day that I plan them, and in order to not continually re-write the lists.

I feel like I need to get April layouts done now despite the fact that there are 4 more days left in March. I’m excited to post my monthly layout next week, though! I’m trying something new in it as well. a kind of return to simplicity, since I’m moving next month.

March 2017 Bullet Journal Spreads

I’m really pleased with how my spreads for this month turned out! I only do one week at a time, in case I want to change things for the next week, so this post has photos from my monthly spread and my first week of March.

For 2017 and all of my monthly views, I’ve been including a different quote/saying. My word for this year is “persevere” and I’ve found some great quotes.

January’s quote: “The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” – David Sarnoff

February’s quote: “Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.” – Lao Tzu (a personal favourite—I would have used this one again if I didn’t have more!)

And this month, the quote is “Persevere and preserve yourself for better circumstances” from Virgil, apparently.

Although I don’t like yellow, I really love the bee washi tape and yellow is really the only colour to go with it. I’ll have a post up this month for my favourite bullet journal supplies, by the way, so you can see the different washi tape and tools I use to make my spreads.

I also couldn’t pass up an opportunity to put in some hexagon icons for my monthly tasks and goals.

These spreads were photographed before I filled them in, so they definitely don’t look as neat anymore. I plan to post the filled in spreads over on my Instagram, and there are more pictures of spreads there—including the one for this week!

My monthly layouts focus on the habit tracker and a quick calendar view of the month. Adding in goals and tasks to the monthly view helps me when I make my weekly views. I can look at my goals for the month and see what I can do during the week to achieve them.

I also have a habit tracker on my weekly layouts for the more important habits I want to develop. Having them shown to me in the week means I’m more accountable, since I’m often too lazy to flip to my monthly view and see what habits I should do.

For the first week of March, I wanted to include a more relaxed meal plan. It doesn’t have the meals planned out for specific days, but I’ve since put in the different meals I can have or cook. In previous meal plans, I found myself switching breakfasts or snacks from one day to another. Now I can look at the meals I’ve written out and pick one!

This week, I also experimented with merging my “next week” and “notes” boxes into one generic space, under the weekly header. I found it much more helpful to consolidate everything together. When the boxes were separate, they took up more space than I could fill in. It made sense to squish ‘em together.

A sleep tracker has become a staple in my weekly layouts. I introduced it back in the fall of 2016, and it’s been fantastic in figuring out the amount of time in my day and how much energy I have.

I plan on keeping the grey and yellow theme throughout the month, though I might change up the grey and go for yellow as the accent colour!

Bullet Journal Weekly and Daily Logs: October 2016

For the month of October, I’ve stuck with a “Dutch door” type of weekly and daily layout. I have absolutely loved these spreads. In my review for September’s bujo spreads, I had noticed I needed my goals needed to be seen more often for me to keep up with them. I started the Dutch door system for that, with a quick weekly view at the top and pages for the daily logs.

Five columns with a list of dates, goals, tasks, and a calendar for October and a table for habits.

This type of layout needs a lot of planning, and a little bit of prior knowledge for how you use your layouts. I know that I can fit 2 or 3 days onto one sheet for my daily logs, but it can vary. So for my Dutch door layouts, I added in an energy tracker table for each day.

I’ve been interested in seeing what points of the day I feel more energised or sluggish, and how my energy is affected after and between meals. In a way, it’s self-care: I’m seeing if there are any patterns in my eating, sleeping, and energy/fatigue. My uncle was diagnosed last year with Type 1 diabetes, my family has lots of cardiovascular diseases, my half-sister has celiac disease, and many of my immediate family have mental health problems. I figure, in my 20s, I should keep an eye on my body and how it reacts to anything and everything. This type of tracking benefits the most from long-term tracking. I’m happy to report I’ve been doing it for the past month and have a baseline to work with!

A planner with multiple, cut, half-pages being turned and a row of columns across the top of the page.

I’ve done a bit of different structures for a time codex. I omitted it, or used it horizontally, or placed it vertically. I’m still not sure which is the best. I am very, very fond of the vertical layout (which I’ve been using for October 24 – 30) since I make my lists horizontally and can line up the task near the hour I want to do it. But I also like having it horizontally to line up with the table for my energy tracking.

A planner with multiple, cut, half-pages being turned and a row of columns across the top of the page.

I haven’t shown my weekly spread for this week (October 24 – 30), but it uses the vertical time codex, and it definitely works the best for me.

I haven’t been using categories for my lists—at least, not explicitly. I’ve been batching items together and leaving spaces between small lists, and I’ve liked that so far. It feels more spontaneous than putting headers with lists below.

For November, I’ll definitely be using the Dutch door layout again. Having the weekly view for the entire week, from day-to-day, has been such a huge help. I need more detail than what can be seen on a weekly spread on 2 pages. Daily logs are definitely still the backbone of my bullet journal, but the weekly layout—even being that small strip—keeps me aware of what’s coming up. And the habit tracker? The best.

Bullet Journal Spreads: September 2016

We’re reaching the end of the month, so I figured I’d showcase how my new bullet journal setup has fared throughout September. This is all in the new notebook I started (review of the “Productive Luddite” book here!) using a Uniball Signo 207 black pen.

I don’t have a spread of the weekly spread from September 25th to October 2nd since I haven’t finished it yet. I can tell you, though, I’m trying something different: I’m doing a “dutch door” spread, with my weekly whatnots above (in the top window) and my daily logs in the pages below. I’ll definitely be posting a picture, but it’ll be on my Instagram.

Okay. I’m done dropping links. Let’s get started with the spreads!

Monthly

Text reading "September" surrounded by abstract swirls.

I love having an opening title page to the month. This is something I started doing at the end of my previous notebook, but this time around, I wanted to spruce it up. Some might call this a “zentangle” but it doesn’t conform to that trend (which… has been copyrighted. A’ight). I’ve been adding to this abstract doodle throughout the month and I’m still unsure if I want to add colour or not!

September calendar and a chart for tracking habits.

This is my calendar view and my habit tracker. I’ll admit: that calendar view was basically useless. I’ve tried this, a list view, and a larger calendar. But I just can’t seem to find something that works. I’m not sure how to improve on this, so I don’t know if I’ll include a monthly view in October at all.

Weekly

Most of my weekly “spreads” are just one-page outlines of deadlines that week, goals I want to accomplish, and a few have a small calendar view.

A display of the week (September 5th to 11th) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

A display of the week (September 12th to 18th ) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

A display of the week (September 19th to 25th) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

Daily

I like to use as much space as possible on pages, so my daily logs are about 2 days to a page. These are all pretty similar, and I’m thinking of different ways to improve on the spreads. I think the “dutch door” view I’m trying for this week will be the biggest change and will help me figure out how best to do things.

I think for my future daily logs, I want to categories better. I’ve struggled managing my time since school started, because I suck at realising how much time it takes for me to read through mandatory papers and stories and poems. I’m thinking for this week, I’ll use categories. I’m still not sure what categories, however, but I’ll figure out something.

I also miss my schedule/time codex, so I think I’ll bring that back in some form. It was weird trying to use it at the beginning of the semester, but I think it’ll be the most helpful now with classes in full swing.

 

A to-do list from September 5th to 8th

A to-do list from September 12th to 16th

A to-do list from September 19th to 22nd

A to-do list from September 23rd to 25th

This has been a great review of my spreads and what works for me, just through what hasn’t been working for me.

  1. Goals need to be visible daily for me to feel motivated.
  2. Daily logs are improved with categories.
  3. The time codex deserves a comeback.

I’m excited for the new month next week. It’s also my birthday month, and it should be colder, and I’m looking forward to the season.

New Bullet Journal Setup

In preparation for my new bullet journal, I assessed my old one and what worked and what didn’t. From that, I made a list of what I wanted to include in the new bullet journal.

So, here’s the list of what I included! I won’t go into detail about each one, since they’re all worthy of their own blog post; but most of them are pretty self-explanatory.

  • Year-at-a-glance
  • TBR (To-Be-Read)
  • Book Stats
  • Business Hours
  • Goals
  • Bills
  • Class schedules

Of course, I have monthly, weekly, and daily spreads going on. But these are the collections I included in my new bullet journal. A few more that I’d like to include are:

  • Japanese kana charts (for hiragana and katakana), since I’m casually learning the language.
  • An “ideal day” routine and schedule that I can aspire to on a daily basis.

Anyway, onto the pictures.

Bullet Journal: Page layout featuring small calendars for each month from September 2016 to September 2017.

Bullet Journal: Two pages for book reading, including a list of books to read, and book statistics.

Bullet Journal: Layout to track book genre, demographic, and rating; author's gender; and page count.

Bullet Journal: Partial view of a spread that lists local business locations and hours.

Bullet Journal: Layout listing various goals related to creative writing.

Bullet Journal: Layout listing various goals related to physical and mental health.

Bullet Journal: Layout listing various goals related to creating art.

Bullet Journal: Layout listing prices and payments for bills.

Bullet Journal: A chart showing class schedules.

I’m so glad I started a new bullet journal. I have the collections all near the front of the book, with a bit of extra space before I started my September spreads. I much prefer having them separate. In my old BuJo, I had some collections interspersed with my daily spreads and it broke my flow so much. I ended up neglecting those collections and trackers because they weren’t in a very accessible spot. Sure, I could have marked them off or put them in the index. But even now, if you can see it, I have an orange sticky note in my bullet journal, to mark where September begins—and I don’t use it. My first instinct is to flip through the book, and there’s no sense in fighting that.

Anyway, perhaps you found some inspiration here! Bonus points to you if you can tell which spread I messed up on.

Pinterest-ready image. Bullet Journal: Setup for my new notebook