Hi everyone and a very happy new year!
I can’t say that I’m sad to put 2016 behind me and I’m hoping that we all have a much better 2017. I’ve not been up to much as the cold weather has been triggering my fibromyalgia – especially my hands – and I’ve been “enjoying” a string of bad days from my mystery sleep condition. One thing I did find out since we last spoke, was that the results of my sleep studies (which I described more fully here) came back showing nothing, which resulted in my consultant wearing a facial expression that you would never want to see adorning a specialist. Whilst they figure out what they’re going to do with me, it’s a case of hurry up and wait and hope that they eventually come up with an explanation for my inability to stay awake. Moving on, though, as my bullet journal was nearly full, I moved into a new one to see in the new year.
This little beauty is a Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dotted, which is something that I have been lusting after for a while. From what I see on Instagram, this notebook is a popular choice among the bullet journal community and I can see why. It’s beautifully made, with gorgeous creamy paper, numbered pages and an index. The dotted paper is great for being able to write and draw neatly, making ruling lines pleasurably easy. I also bought a Leuchtturm Pen Loop to match the notebook and a new fountain pen which you can see tucked into the pen loop. The fountain pen is a Platinum Preppy with a Fine Nib that I picked up for a very good price from Cult Pens.
What really sold me on the Leuchtturm was seeing a video by Kara over at Boho Berry which showed how well they take fountain pen ink. My previous bullet journal was a Script notebook that bled like it was a living thing and I’ve had similar problems with my former favourite notebook maker, Moleskine. So far, the Leuchtturm has proven to be a brilliant choice for my notebook needs.
Moving inside, this is a new spread that I’m trialling in this bullet journal, the Calendex. This is another thing that I have picked up from Boho Berry and time will determine its usefulness. There’s not much in here at the moment, but it will fill up as I go along – let’s face it, you don’t have an abundance of calendar appointments when you’re signed off ill!
Next up is 17 in 2017, which is a simple list of goals that I would like to achieve in the coming year. I’ve tried to make these SMART goals, but a couple of them defied that classification. Next to my goals is a complicated colouring page, that will probably take the lifespan of the bullet journal for me to complete. The idea behind this is that when I fancy some colouring, I will also take a look at my goals to keep them fresh in my mind.
After my goals, I have a few pages dedicated to collections that I brought over from my old bullet journal, such as books to read and fountain pens that I would like to buy. There are also a couple of new collections, such as a list of craft projects and a quotes page. I won’t bore you with all of them, so this is a sample.
Now we’re moving into January. I started in my normal way with a greeting page (that I really need to get around to decorating) and a memories page. There is only one memory on here at the moment – I spent New Year’s Day rebuilding my computer because my Windows 10 install broke again. I lost quite a lot of stuff from my hard drive, in spite of the paranoid level of backups that I keep, so I’m still trying to put my computer back together from that one!
This is my normal monthly spread, with a simple calendar on one side and some tasks on the others. The tasks refer back to my overall goals list, so if I want to read 12 books this year, I will add a task to read one book to this month. There’s not a lot here at the moment, but I’m sure that the deluge of medical appointments will begin again soon!
This is my gratitude spread for January. It feels so much less cramped than the one in my old bullet journal!
This is my combined mood mandala and mood tracker. The mandala is both an idea and printable that I took from Boho Berry (although the original idea came from a lady named Fiona (@bujo.mama on Instagram)). I liked the idea but decided that I wanted to expand on it by adding a mood tracker. This is a big long list of moods and I colour squares in to indicate which ones I feel in a given day. The dominant mood for the day is then transferred onto the mandala. I’m hoping that this spread will be a useful tool for my mental health professionals in managing my bipolar disorder and anxiety problems.
Here we have my printout of the Plan With Me Challenge that I’m trying to keep up with on Instagram and my general tracker, which includes blog posts, social media and other trackable things.
This is a new spread that I’m experimenting with to track the blogs I’m involved with. Each blog has a list of posts and when those posts should be published, as well as detailing any maintenance that needs to be done. I’ve left a space so I can sit down at the end of the month and work out what went well and what didn’t go so well for each of them.
This is my tried and tested weekly layout. On the left are the days of the week along with anything that I need to do and on the right is a task list and a quote for the week. There used to be a tracker here but I consolidated all of those trackers onto the monthly spread. The tasks for the week are derived from the monthly tasks, as well as anything that I know I need to do, but I’m not sure which day to do it on yet.
Finally, this is an example of a couple of my daily spreads. Not all of them are as long as these, but it gives you an idea of what I record. I’m also trying out a time track to figure out where all of my time goes, although this week that’s been simple – fixing my computer!
So that sums up my new bullet journal setup. I hope that this has been useful, or at least interesting, to see how I use my bullet journal. My bullet journal is simultaneously my external brain and my lifesaver – if it’s in the bullet journal, it won’t be forgotten. I’ve found that keeping one also goes a long way to reducing my anxiety, something that I think I’ll put together a post on sometime. At the end of the month, I’ll go over what I’ve covered here and talk about how useful it was, as well as sharing my new setup for February. Next week, I’ll be discussing a finished object which was knitted as a Christmas present so I couldn’t talk about it until recently! The only other thing is that I’m moving my posting day to Monday because I was getting mega stressed in trying to meet the Sunday deadline. So, until next Monday, bye for now!