This week I’m drinking the Duromina, a fruity Ethiopian coffee from the lovely Steampunk Coffee Roasters, recently delivered to us by a very cold, snow-covered postman.
It’s been a while since I shared anything about my bullet journal. For the little time I used it last year, I was still trying to get a better idea of exactly what I wanted to use it for. To kick off 2018 I got a new journal: the lovely Daydreaming Designs one featured in my last bu-jo post. In January, disaster struck, when towards the end of the month a bin wagon caused great distress to my dog, who leapt off my knee knocking both my journal and my freshly brewed coffee into a puddle on the floor. Now, some people could live with a crinkled, coffee stained and scented bullet journal. I am not one of those people. Readers, I got a new journal. A Leuchtturm 1917 journal in Emerald, and I started again. I took it as a chance to make a fresh start and revamp some things too.
My first big change was to put my yearly spreads at the back. Don’t freak out, bear with me. It makes sense
First up I have my birthday tracker. This didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted but I’m happy enough with it and it does its job.
Then I added my book challenges for this year: Around the World, Beat the Backlist, Netgalley Bronze, Magic Square and Book Riot Read Harder. You can read more about them here if you want to see what each means. I am particularly pleased with the layout of the first one.
Finally, I added this review tracker, and this is the reason I did the year spreads at the back: I have no idea how many books I will read in a year. In 2017 I read 120. This year I’ve already read 26 and am part way through my 27th and 28th so I’m ahead of that reading pace already. I don’t want to just guess, so doing this at the back means I can expand this over as many pages as I need, or until my book runs out. It also gives me the flexibility to add in other challenges as the year goes on (I’ve left one dedicated blank space, but I’d be equally happy to interrupt my review tracker to add more). In this tracker I’m recording the month read, how many stars I gave the book, whether I’m on a blog tour and then a check box for when reviews are posted to my blog, Amazon, Goodreads and (if needed) Netgalley. It’s also acting like a planned TBR as I write in the books I NEED to read so I have an idea what to pick up.
Given that January was almost over when I started the new journal I did stripped back and really artless spreads to put the information in my journal, purely because it felt odd to have a new year journal missing a month. I did take the chance to work on a new title page, and to try out some different lettering styles to see what I could do to be more creative.
In February, I stuck to some of my basics: a to-do list, a new trial format of a blog planner, my self care and chores spreads, and a notes page. I’ve learned to leave some space at the end of each month now. I like to plan in advance, so as I write this post at the start of March, I have already begun my April spreads. I know that a lot of people will say that’s not how bu-jo is meant to be done, or that I should use future logs, but they just don’t work for me. I’m also not leaving huge blank spaces in my book, because at the end of the month, I’m going back and adding in little doodles and quotes to the blank pages to fill them with something interesting.
This month I’ve decided to branch out a little. To start off the month, I’ve added a “month at a glance” page, the idea for which I completely half-inched from Steph at A Little But A Lot. I’m not even sorry. This is a brilliant addition to my monthly journalling and I’ve already added quite a few new dates since I took the photo for this page.
Next up are my self-care and chores spreads. These are fairly self explanatory spreads, so I thought I’d share a little about why I track these things. I suffer from some MH issues. I was diagnosed with PTSD after my son’s birth and I have issues with both depression and anxiety tied into this. Often, when I’m symptomatic, things like getting enough sleep, exercise, taking my meds, drinking enough water and making sure I generally take care of myself are the first to go awol, and the first signs I’m struggling. Tracking these things is something I was encouraged to do as part of my therapy and so far, this tracker has really helped me. I’ve also added a symptom tracker this month to track my symptoms as my health generally isn’t that great just now and I’d like to see what patterns are emerging and what changes I can make, but I’m not sharing a photo of that spread because my symptoms are pretty gross.
With chores, I often find myself cleaning the same things over and over again whilst neglecting the lesser frequented areas of my house. So, in a vague attempt to get on top of the hurricane of mess caused by having a small boy and a dog, I created a tracker. I did an appalling job of keeping on top of things in February so here’s hoping I have better luck in March.
This blog planner is so much better than my previous list version. I’ve set it up like a calendar so that I can pencil things in on the dates I want my posts to go live, and make sure I don’t miss my favourite #SixforSunday meme or any blog tours I’m signed up to. Once the post is scheduled I colour in that square. If it’s drafted and just waiting for a photo or a link, then I half colour the square, so I can see at a glance what still needs finalising.
My staple to do list. I love this format for tracking what I need to do, so I don’t see it changing any time soon, but I do like to play with the lettering and the background of the to-do squares. I’m quite pleased with how this minimalist dotty spread has turned out. I will probably find myself colouring the squares as I complete the tasks, but I’ll see how that goes.
Last up for this month is my weekly spread where I’m going to give myself a little space to write about each day. I haven’t really thought it through beyond that. I don’t want it to become a place where I record things like appointments, because I don’t need that but I do want a place where I can reflect a little on each day. I’ve left space at the side for notes, because I envision filling this in at the end of the day and the notes would be somewhere to jot things down that I need to remember so they don’t play on my mind when I’m trying to sleep. On the last weekly page I’ve also left a space to record books I’ve acquired and books I’ve read this month. I previously had a separate spread for this, but it was starting to get a bit repetitive recording them in my journal and on Goodreads, so I’m going to try this stripped back version this month and see which I prefer.
And that’s my March Bu-jo! I don’t plan to post about my journal every month as I think that could get a bit repetitive, but I thought I could do a post next month about how this month’s new spreads worked out for me. What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on my Twitter.