A New Kind of Planning

Hello my lovely readers.  Sorry for my absence.  We are still working on figuring out a routine around here, and it’s been rough.  I am sleeping in 2.5-3 hour chunks through the night still, and Miss E doesn’t seem to like napping most days.  Luckily she is napping right now, so I am able to blog about something I am super excited about!

As a serial resolutionist, I am always looking for a perfect planner.  I like to keep track of my goals, to-do lists, and everyday life.  I had never really found planner peace, no matter what I tried.  I would end up having multiple notebooks for different reasons: gratitude journal, to-do lists, planner, meal plan calendar, etc.  But all that is changing!

Introducing: The Bullet Journal

The Bullet Journal (I will refer to it as Bujo) is not a new concept.  It was originally created by Ryder Caroll.  I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty, but you can check out his explanation video here.  Basically it is a system to keep up with everything you can imagine.  It is a running to-do list and planner with the flexibility to be anything you need it to be.  There are some basics to setting it up, and I thought I would give you a glimpse into my bujo!

One thing you will read a lot about is that any notebook and pen will do.  I found a cheap notebook at Target and thought I would give it a try.  Unfortunately cheap was the right word.  The pages started falling out in no time.  So, I went ahead and ordered a book that is recommended by many people who bullet journal: a Leuchtturm 1917.  I had an Amazon gift card from Christmas, so I went ahead and splurged on it.  This book is recommended because the pages are already numbered, it lays flat, and the paper quality is very good.  You can get a ruled one, dotted, or grid paper.  I went with grid paper, and I love it!!  For my pens, I use Staedtler fine tip pens and my Sharpie fine tip pens.

Without further ado, here is what it looks like:

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The first page is a Table of Contents.  It is referred to as an “index” by the creator, but in reality it is a contents.  You can see that I have started filling out my contents.  I don’t know how much I will actually use it, but I will stick to it.

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Next we have the legend.  This is where I have a list of my icons and what they mean.

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Here is my first spread: Our savings goals.  I haven’t filled any of them in yet, but I have them drawn out and ready to go.  I was inspired to do this page by Boho Berry, who has an amazing bujo… You should check out her site if you want to see a beautiful example of a bujo.

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My next spread is a wish list.  I have a few things floating around in my head that I want to add to this page, but I took the pictures before I filled out many of my pages.  I like this spread because I know there are things I want, but I never seem to remember them when someone asks for gift ideas.  This way I can have a quick reference.  I went ahead and kept the page next to it blank in case I ran out of space on the first page.  I plan to keep this journal until I run out of space, so I figure it will be around for a while, and I may need space.

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This next spread takes up 4 pages.  It is my future planner.  I have space for each month, and even a large square for 2017.  This is where I would write down future appointments that I would then migrate to my monthly, weekly, and daily pages as they came up.

The next spread is my monthly spread.  This is how the original creator set up his month, so I thought I would give it a try.  I know a lot of people prefer to draw out a monthly calendar and do that, but I thought I would try this out.  On the second page are my goals for the month.

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This next page is one of my favorites and one of the reasons I was so drawn to bullet journaling: the goal tracker.  I have always wanted to track my goals and habits, but never could figure out the best way to do it.  I have found this method and can’t wait to use it!  Each day that I complete a step towards my goal, I color in the corresponding day.  This makes me so excited to actually accomplish a goal because I want to color in my box.

Then I have a running log.  I like to keep track of my distance and pace.  Hopefully I can get back to it and fill this baby out.

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Next is my weekly spread.  The original creator did not have a weekly spread, but I don’t think I could manage without it.  This is where I plan out my week and also have a few other mini trackers for my week.

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My final picture is where I start my dailies.  Each evening, I plan to make out my daily spread for the next day.  I have a tracker for my water and my meds that I take in the morning and evening.  I will write down my to-do list, appointments, events, notes, etc. for the next day.  Then during that day, I can add to my list or make new notes or do whatever I want!  That’s the beauty of bullet journaling: it can be whatever you want it to be.

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The bujo can be intimidating.  I did a lot of looking on Pinterest and Instagram before I started.  There are some people out there who make their bujos works of art.  Then there are some minimalists who stick to the original creator’s plan and just make simple bulleted lists.  I like to think I am in the middle somewhere.  If I get to the end of the week or month and realize something isn’t working for me, I can simply change it for the next week or month.  If I think of another list I want to create, (which I already have… gift ideas) then I just find the next open page, start my list, and make sure to write it in my index.

I think this is going to be an amazing thing, and I can’t wait to really delve into it and use it!  Now that I have completed this blog post, I get to color in a box on my goal tracker!  Yay!

Resolution Recap

20140128_184241Our new, more-organized-than-before-but-not-quite-perfect pantry.  (I didn’t take a before photo, so just imagine the pantry less organized.)

So, I ended up splurging a bit today.  *Slap on the hand*  I had been doing so well this month, but I just couldn’t help myself.  I had to run to Target this afternoon to pick up a display board for our science fair project at school.  While I was there, I got a few other things.  Hubs wanted me to pick up some snacks for him, so I got those.  I also got some new pencils (I am forever looking for pencils around this house).  And I got some storage bins for $1 each for our pantry.  I could have used a few more, but they didn’t have any more gray ones.  The trip to Target ended up costing us $15.61.  Not terrible for a splurge, but not great.  We also spent $18.73 at the grocery store yesterday for medicine, OJ, and some tissues for Hubs.  He is now sick (and Miss C is still sick), and I woke up with a sore throat today.  Yuck!  Hopefully we will all be better soon!

Now on to the resolution recap for the week:

Finances

Well, you just got a bit of an update. 🙂  Aside from the splurge today, we are still doing awesome!  I will be able to put about $35 into savings on Friday.  That brings our total up to $485 into savings.  Our long(er) term goal is to get our regular savings account up to $2,000.  Once that is done, I will work on getting our Christmas account up to $1,000.  When we hit that, then we will work on getting our regular savings account up to $5,000.  Lots of big numbers being thrown around, but we seem to be doing really well so far!  I think once we get to $5,000, we will really focus on getting rid of debt!

We have also hit our goal of 10 No Spend Days!  We should have another one the next three days, so we will have exceeded our goal!  Woo-hoo!

Tracking spending has been going ok.  I have slacked off a bit this past week, so I need to pick it up again!

Marriage

We had our date night last Friday night!  It was really nice to get out with just Hubs and have a nice dinner.  It is also so nice that we have free child care (Thanks, Mom!).  It would be so much harder to have date nights if we had to pay for and arrange child care.

Family

This goal was accomplished last week as well.  We visited my sister and her boys!  A great time was had by everyone!

Health

Still no pop!  Every Saturday at lunch time I really want one!  We have a thing of pop in the fridge too, but I have to ignore it.  I haven’t decided if I should keep up the no pop thing, or allow myself one a week.  It would be better for me to just not drink it, but I do miss it!

Last Friday I walked back to school with one of my co-workers to get our cars. (Long story.)  My co-worker is so in shape compared to me!  She is amazing!  I was sucking air by the time we got back to the cars.  We walked so fast!  Even though it was not a long walk or very far, it was against the frigid wind and it was super fast paced!  I am counting it as a work out.  That puts me at 3 days out of 5.  I am running out of days to work out this month!

Career

Planning ahead at school is going pretty well!  I have already started looking ahead at the next couple weeks and what I would like to do!  My planning is going to be very minimal soon, due to my student teacher.  This should make it super easy to keep up with what I do have to plan.

Photography website is still the same.  I really need to update it!  It may not get done this month, but will NEED to get done next month.  Maybe I can update it tomorrow night.

Home

I have been slacking off a bit on this one.  I will usually pick up the living room, but seriously the kitchen is the bane of my existence.  The kitchen got really bad this weekend while I was home with the sick baby, but I did get it picked up and cleaned up on Sunday.  It isn’t terrible, but it definitely needs cleaned tonight before bed.  But that’s the problem… bed just sounds so much more lovely than cleaning the kitchen.

So there ya have it!  I feel like this month I have been kicking butt!  I have never made it this far into a year and been doing so well with my resolutions.  I need to take a look at February and see what I want to change or update.  Some may be the same, but others will be tweaked.

Do you have any goals for February?