I know I’m saying that every month, but where did January go? Even though it feels like months have elapsed since new years eve, I’m just not ready for February yet. January had its down, and the last weeks have been pretty busy and stressful, but I’m pretty happy with 2018 so far.
Of course, my bullet journal helped me a lot to deal with the many changes that the new year brought in my life. As I promised in my 2018 bullet journal post, I’m giving you a tour of my January spreads, with a full review of what worked and what I still need to improve in my organisation system.
My monthly log for January is just like the rest of my minimal bullet journal: simple and functional. It features 2 main sections, following the bullet journal system recommendations. The left page is dedicated to my monthly goals and tasks lists, and the right one is for my monthly calendar. The calendar is divided into two columns, one for personal and one for professional appointments and events.
Even though the layout is super simple and looks effective, I have to admit that it doesn’t work for me. I rarely refer to my monthly goals and tasks lists, and ending the month with a lot of uncompleted tasks and goals has now become an habit… A habit I clearly want to get rid of.
I still have a few days to tackle some of the items on my list, but I already
know that most of the tasks will be unachieved at the end of the month.
I’m currently working on a new monthly layout to improve the way I manage monthly goals and tasks. I think that what I really miss is a concrete action plan for each of my monthly goals. As hard as I try to turn my intentions into actions, I always get caught in day to day life and end up forgetting about my initial goals.
My January budget tracker spread is pretty empty… but that’s only because I created it very late in the month. I just started to work as a freelancer since the beginning of the year and I already know that this change is going to be a challenge for budgeting.
After months without a budget spread (you can see my previous set-up here), I felt the need to have a closer look on what I spend and where my money goes.
Simple budget trcking in my bullet journal.
The first part of the spread is dedicated to a month review for my incomes and expenses. It’s of course still empty as I’ll only be able to fill it at the very end of the month. The next 2 tables are for income and expenses tracking. The columns are for (from left to right): date, what, is it a professional income/expense, and the amount of the transaction.
It’s very simple but has already been approved in 2017. As I really don’t have a lot of expenses (I’m also an aspiring minimalist in the other areas of my life), and don’t have a lot of ties, these two tables and the monthly review should be enough! The only thing that is missing on this spread is a no spend tracker so that I can visualize how I did at the end of the month. So my February budget spread will probably feature this tracker.
Weekly + daily
I’m using this weekly+daily combo since last November and it has proven its efficiency once again in January. I skipped a few days anyway, but that’s also the reason why I use a bullet journal over a regular planner: I can decide that the day ahead doesn’t need a plan.
All my January weekly spreads look the same. The layout is simple yet super effective.
- In the top left corner, just under the header (which is actually a small sticker – available as free printable over here) lies a mini calendar to help me visualize where the week stands in the month
- The top right corner, beside the mini calendar, is for my events and appointments section. I fill it at the beginning of the week, by referring to my monthly log, and I ad events and appointments as needed during the week.
- Under the mini calendar, I have a Instagram editorial calendar for the week. It’s a list of post ideas I create on Sundays, and it usually changes as the week goes on.
- Last but certainly not least, comes my weekly task list. It’s actually the main part of my weekly log. It’s nothing fancy but works really well for me!
My daily logs are just as simple as my weekly spreads. The only new thing is that I now have 2 categories for my daily task lists since I started to use the time blocking technique to better manage my time and work: on the right side f my daily log, the tasks that require less than 10 minutes to complete, and on the left, all the other tasks.
Since this organisation system based on a weekly + daily combo has worked so well so far, I’ll probably stick to it in February. I may proceed to minor adjustments during my 10 days vacations though.
As my new 2018 bullet journal hosts both my personal and professional lives, most of my collections are work related and confidential. But I still picked up a few collections to show you how diverse they are and how they support my overall organisation system.
Before I take some real vacations in February, I spent a 2 days break abroad in January. Actually, i’m probably on the train as this post is released.
And every trip calls for a packing list right?
I always try to travel as light as possible, but there’s still some things that have to be in my suitcase when I leave. Even though I’m quite used to travel for both personal and work purposes, I tend to forget important things behind and often end up lacking my toothbrush or cellphone charger… As simple as it is, this packing list was a true life savior!
Nothing’s more useful than a solid packing list to make sure everything’s in your luggage before leaving!
For the very first time of my life, and even though I’ve always been a paper lover, I sent greeting cards! I can’t say how much I enjoyed create, write and send every single of these greeting cards.
To make sure I wasn’t forgetting to send one to anyone, I (of course) created a collection in my journal to keep track of my progress. It’s a simple table with, from left to right: the name of the recipient, 3 tiny columns to track progress (address ok, card written, card sent), and a column for notes, as I added small gifts in some of the envelopes I’ve sent across the globe.
As I said, January has been quite stressful, and I expect that the very last few days of the month will be busy too!
Sometimes, and as hard as I try to keep organized, I feel overwhelmed by all the projects going on and all the tasks I need to take care of… Just before I left for my 2 days break, my anxiety kicked me out of bed, and I just couldn’t see how I would keep everything under control.
I just opened my bullet journal and basically jotted down all the tasks I needed to do and sorted them in 4 categories: things I needed to do asap, things to do today, things I can do while travelling and tasks I can postponed to next week That being done, I just started to tackle the tasks one at a time. Lesson learned: keep calm and believe in your ability to work under pressure.
January has been busy in both my life and my bullet journal. I filled more than 30 pages in my journal, which is a lot compared to the average. I’m pretty happy with how my system works so far, and how this new notebook is turning out. I wasn’t sure that I could handle to have my personal and work plans in the same notebook but as it’s pretty much the same thing these days, it’s just perfect.
Of course, I seriously need to figure out how to improve my monthly log and have few ideas to solve the problem. I guess I now should to take some time to log all my January spreads in my index and get ready for February!