TL;DR – In terms of my bullet journal, November was a bit of a gong show. I used it as a trial month for A LOT of things with the hopes of refining it for December. It worked, mostly.
In the month of November, I gave myself free reign and told myself to Just Do It™*. I tried a few different things to get a feel for what I really wanted. While I don’t think it’s perfect just yet, it’s getting there.
Migrating all tasks when starting a new page.
This is actually something that Ryder Caroll, the creator of the bullet journal recommends but I didn’t implement it right away. It is very helpful, especially if you are forgetful, because it forces you to evaluate your tasks on a regular basis. It also saves from flipping back and forth too often and wading through a sea of Xs, Os, <s and >s to find that one dot.
Changing the to do(ne) list at the beginning of the month.
I did this because I was tired of flipping back to it over the course of the month (I really hate turning pages, can you tell?) Instead, I created a “travelling” to do list on a large, ruled post it note that went from page to page with me.
This also helped me fix a problem I mentioned in my first bullet journal post – the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to plan further into the future. The top half of my to do list was for general items with no dates or deadlines and the second half was used to plan date specific tasks and events.
Starting habit trackers.
I currently use four habit trackers. My hydration tracker can be found next to the date in my daily log. At the beginning, I used a Pilot Frixion Highlighter in Soft Green to colour in squares for every 500mL of water I drank. After changing its location a few times, I decided that it was too cluttered and switched to using a single dot. I like the result a lot more. My other three habit trackers are at the back of my journal – I’ll discuss this in another post.
Gluing post-it notes to the journal.
Because I always need excuses to buy things I don’t need.
What Didn’t Work
My ability to count, apparently.
I forgot that the number 11 existed and tragically messed up the dates in the middle of the month. It haunted me for a couple of days (“It’s so ugly!”) and I fretted over how to fix it for a little while (“White out? Too white. Washi tape? This is a minimalist journal COME ON. Starting the journal all over again?? The only solution, obviously.”) In the end, I decided to just cross it out – the result of a very insistent high school teacher, years (only 3, tbh) working at a bank and employment at an ISO certified company. Honestly, it still looks awful to me but November is done – time to move on! #lifelessons
Highlighting the date.
I didn’t do this until the end of the month when I decided that my pens were too similar to differentiate at a glance. Using my N95 Tombow Dual Pen, I went back and highlighted all the dates. I actually purchased the N75 for this purpose, but as you can tell by the way that I used it ONCE, I thought it was too dark. I liked it at the time but looking back now (and consulting my husband), I find it looks a bit messy and cluttered. Back to the drawing board!
Writing the dates in advance.
At one point, for about four days, I wrote the dates in advance in hopes of being able to plan in the future more easily. It kiiiiind of worked because my life is fairly uneventful so leaving 4 lines was usually enough but it was just a little to stressful for me. Clutter and messiness makes physically uncomfortable, so the possibility of having to squeeze in tasks where they don’t fit bothered me (see November 19, above. Ugh.) I thought of preparing the weeks in advance but then realized that it would be exactly the same as using a planner, which never worked for me. This problem was solved with my traveling to do list.
I’m going to keep refining my journal. I’d like to work on three things: updating the date headers, being more proactive in planning, and actually using my habit tracker to improve my habits.
In the meantime, here’s a video of me preparing my bullet journal for December. The video is sped up 6x, so it took me a total of about 12 minutes – but that includes catching up on a few days worth of daily logs and caring too much about how my journal looks. Also, remember that you only have to set up your monthly log once a month. So if you want to start a bullet journal but are concerned with the amount time it might take, realize that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. It does not have to each up a huge amount of your time.
If you have any tips on keeping a bullet journal, please share them! Also any feedback on the blog/entries/photos/videos/my personality is welcome and greatly appreciated! Also, if you want to want to talk about the Gilmore Girls Revival, we can do that.
Thanks for reading!
*This post is not sponsored by Nike. #sponsorme
***Please note that all amazon link are affiliate links.***
Rustico Premium Refills for the Expedition Leather Notebook (Included with notebook above)
Pilot G2 Gel Pen – 0.38mm – Black
Pilot FriXion Light Soft Color Erasable Highlighter – Soft Green (JetPens)