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Bullet Journal Love

So the bullet journal is not a new thing. It's been around. In fact, I started using it last year, but it didn't stick around.

I started my bullet journal in March of last year, after I was feeling overwhelmed with all the sources of information I had stored in various places. I was drowning a little, because I would constantly forget things even though I knew that I'd put the information somewhere. Unfortunately, after May I stopped using my journal. I don't know why, but the journal sat dormant for the next 7 months.

Enter January and I was feeling overwhelmed again. I needed to write things down, I needed to get my thoughts collected into one space. The journal got pulled out again.

This time around though, I did my research on various layouts and logs. Part of the problem I had with the bullet journal system last year was that I didn't like the layouts I was utilizing. They weren't working, and the journal only solved some of my issues. So when I sat down this year to make it work, I really thought about what I liked, what I didn't like, what worked, and what hadn't. From there I did a lot of research via the web on different layouts, what other people were doing, etc. I spent hours doing this. I got a little lost in it, but it was so eye-opening, that I was able to adapt a weekly layout to what I needed.

Yep, I've already got my layouts for April done, because I'm that anal, and well that's just me.
As you can see, my journal didn't come together in a chronological order, but simply because it wasn't didn't mean that I wasn't planning on those pages. I found layouts for monthly spreads that I liked and then adapted those to my needs. The monthly spread is one that's changed every month, as I've discovered that I don't need separate colors and boxes for holiday and special days. They're all red letter days now, and by combining those two fields, I was able to create a box for sewing projects that I want to complete that month.

So now that I had the monthly and weekly spreads handled, I need a future log or a year overview. I didn't want anything complicated, so when I found a simple, straightforward one, I quickly added it to the front of the journal. I don't utilize this collection as often, and maybe I would if the journal were organized better, but that's a goal for the next journal.

One thing that I don't have is a key or a table of contents. Maybe my next journal will have one, but I prefer tabs on my pages. Monthly spreads have a tab on the side of the page, other pages of interest, or collections, have a tab at the top. Maybe I'll get myself a washi tape assortment pack and color code those tabs, but for now, I'm perfectly happy with my system. I did add another bookmark to my journal. It permananetly sits on my savings goal page, because it's that important to me. The other bookmark is my quick access to the week we're currently in.

I also added budgeting pages to my monthly collections, the hubs and I have decided to try and wrangle in some of our budgets, namely groceries. I'll tell you what - three kids can eat, and the cost of groceries isn't getting any cheaper. After examining our expenditures in January, we decided in February to try and reign in some of the spending. We didn't do badly, but it was difficult to see exactly where everything was going, because we'd pay for things with different accounts. So we streamlined our system. We have a household credit card, that gets paid off every month, and everything from groceries, to dance tuition, and the violin rental goes on it. The only things that come out of our checking account are bills. Period. The hubs and I take our fun money out and keep that separate from the rest of the budget. So far it's working pretty well, and I'm happy with being able to see how our household card is faring with a quick glance to the spending log. It's really helped to see how often we run out for small errands, which always leads to extra spending. We're trying to minimize that. We're trying to get to a place where the two main accounts are our "no spend" accounts.

I added pages for my running this week, because after a conversation with my sister about the lack of determined motivation, I realized that I needed to see and be able to be held accountable in a new way. I've gotten really good at ignoring my training calendars, and making excuses, and I need to stop. Two years ago, I was dedicated, with a capital D, but since then I can't seem to find the same level of dedication. So after the aforementioned conversation with my sister, I did some searches on running trackers, and found three that I really like. One tracks the races I'd like to do for the year, the next is miles run throughout the year, and the last is a training plan spread.

I'm hoping that the visualization of this collection will help me find a bit of that same determined motivation, because apparently running my first half was a huge deal to my psyche, but running a half in under 2:30 is not that big a deal.

I also found a fun collection for things I make this year. I saw this on pinterest and thought it'd be a super fun way to recall how I spent the year sewing, crocheting, or knitting. 

As you can see, some of my markers bleed. Oh well.

So there's my little book, that helps keeps me sane. I pull out my journal several times throughout the day, but my favorite time to pull it out is in the morning at breakfast, when I review the previous day and look ahead to what I'm supposed to get done that day.

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