Bullet Journal July Setup
Bullet Journal July Setup
At some point I am planning on writing up a bullet journal overview sort of entry, maybe when I fill up my softcover notebook and start my first hardcover one and I’m doing a bunch of my general/non-time-specific spreads over again anyway. However, since it is (a) the beginning of July and (b) today’s prompt for the July #PlanWithMe challenge hosted by @boho.berry, @prettyprintsandpaper, and @tinyrayofsunshine deals with monthly setup, I thought that would be a good topic for a blog post. Although #PlanWithMe is an Instagram challenge, so technically I’ll also have to post something there. Whatever. I do what I want, Thor!
Now, July is only the second month I will have been doing the bullet journal thing, so it’s not like these are ~ingrained habits~, more (a) things that worked for me last month plus (b) things I decided I wanted to change and/or try this month. So with that said, here we go!
Technically the first three days of July happened at the end of the last week of June, but I didn’t treat them differently as far as that weekly spread went. So although they’re on this monthly spread, they were on a weekly spread with four days from June. *shrug* (This is why I am glad my weekly spreads have calendars in them as well!)
Anyway, the first spread I set up is my July monthly spread itself (left, click for full size image). The version of the monthly spread I’m currently using is one I found via Pinterest, and I think it’s a modified version of what Kara from Boho Berry used to use before she started using the Calendex (which I am still confused by, to be honest). I like that it gives me space for all day events as well as different space for morning and afternoon/evening events, plus school-related ones. It is summer right now, so there’s fewer school-related things happening, but once the fall semester starts I’ll have more of those. (In fact, I’m still considering having a separate bujo entirely for grad school, considering that I have both my own classes and teaching to take care of.)
At this point I should confess that I’m not 100% sure I’m doing all the bullet journaling stuff entirely correctly, but I am doing it the way it makes sense to me, so you know, I think that means I’m doing it right in the end.
This layout also has space on the right for tasks/goals (I currently have it labeled goals, though I may change that label at some point since some of what I’m listing there is inevitably more just “stuff I have to do this month” rather than “stuff I would like to get done this month”), as well as a small at-a-glance size calendar for the following month, which is helpful for future planning or for things that spill over into the next month, such as a trip I’m taking that is half the last week in July and half the first four days of August.
My next spread is the fairly straightforward Gratitude Log (see right, click for full-size image). I know lots of people have a spread like this because I saw lots of versions of it on Pinterest. It’s actually kind of hard for me to come up with something to write in this every day – my June log ended up with entries like Bob Ross being on Netflix (although, aren’t we all grateful for that?), S’mores Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and “sudafed and naps” (I had a cold). I know lots of people who do spreads like this use at least two pages and write down two or more things each day, but since I’m not very good at this exercise yet (I blame depression – I use all my positive vibe type energy just maintaining equilibrium, lol) I figure it’s better to just limit myself to one. In June I told myself I wasn’t going to have any duplicates either, but that definitely left me sitting there stumped several days. Part of the problem is also that in the summer I go through many periods where my days are fairly repetitive and don’t involve a lot of, you know, leaving my house or dealing with people – which is, like, great, because I am a wannabe hermit, but also not great if I am trying to not make a list of, say, the material possessions I am grateful one by one, or the Netflix shows I’m glad I can marathon one by one, lol. So in July I think I will be a little less strict, though obviously I’m not going to write “I’m thankful for my dog” every day for a week just because I haven’t left the house. That being said, I will probably allow myself more than one Wimbledon-related entry, for example, if the need arises. (Like, today’s entry is totally Sam Querrey beating Novak Djokovic, but if Andy Murray makes a deep run, he’ll totally need multiple entries of his own, let’s be real.)
(For those reading this who don’t already know me, although I am not blessed with any athletic ability whatsoever, I’m a damn good fan. I love watching tennis maybe more than any other sport, and I love watching Wimbledon the most of any of the tournaments. Last year I actually got to go to Wimbledon on the second Monday of the tournament and it was one of the greatest days of my life, lol. Andy Murray, Scottish player and world #2, is my all-time favorite player.)
My next spread is my habit/task/etc. tracker (left, click for full-size image). I sort of vaguely grouped the things I’m tracking together. The top group is health-related. I take medication daily and although I do generally remember there are some situations that do make me vulnerable to forgetting – trips, my sleep schedule getting messed up for some reason, etc. – so it seemed prudent to feature it in my tracker. I get chronic migraines as well as non-migraine headaches, so I’m tracking both those things, as well as whether or not I bothered to take medication for the migraine (sometimes I don’t if I’ve had them several days in a row and taken medication several days in a row). In lieu of a more complex mood tracker – though I may come up with one – I have lines for bad anxiety and depression days, as well as days where fatigue/hypersomnia were particular problems.
My next group is more chore-related. I don’t currently have a specific schedule for any of them (including washing my hair – I have moderately curly hair and it does much better if I don’t wash it every day, but I’m also not doing the no-poo thing either so… on the list it goes!), but I will cop to not doing most of them nearly as often as I should. If I can improve the frequency some by having them on the tracker, I might try putting together a more concrete schedule after a while, too. That might be too much structure, though.
The final group is (mostly) school-related, save the last item which is internet-related. Basically it’s Important Tasks I Need to Do to Be Productive, lol. I have a couple seminar papers that I need to revise for the purpose of trying to get them published in peer-reviewed journals. Even when school isn’t in session, I really ought to be reading academic things. I am presenting a paper at a conference (in the UK!) at the end of July, so conference prep is on there. And the two courses I’m teaching next semester will both require varying degrees of new preparation, so course prep is on there.
The last two pages (right; click for full-size image) I consider part of my monthly setup for July are a one-page spread for blog post ideas that includes a column for the topic or idea, a category column, a column where I can indicate if there is a draft in the works or not, and a column where I can record the date when I finally posted the entry. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do separate spreads like this for each month or if I’m just going to use this one until I fill it and then make a new one, to be honest, which is why I’m including it in this post but also why the title of the spread doesn’t have a date indicator in it, lol. I’m probably going to just fill the page and then start a new one. I need to get more page markers than just the one ribbon bookmark in the softcover journal (it’s a Leuchtturm 1917, but the softcover ones have fewer pages and only one bookmark) or even the two in the hardcover. I think I’m going to either make myself some little paperclip flags with specific labels or envelope corner page markers.
I printed out the July prompts for the #PlanWithMe challenge and attached that to the facing page using some double-sided tape I got at a stationary store. I think I like the double-sided tape better than using a glue stick, though it is obviously more expensive. I might, moving forward, stick with using a glue stick for bigger things like complete pages and save the double-sided tape for smaller things. (For example, I always have scraps of the dotted pages from the notebook lying around because I use a dutch door style for my weekly/daily pages, and I use them to cover up mistakes in my headers and boxes and stuff. The double-sided tape is SUPER HANDY for this, because the pieces I cut off of the scraps to cover mistakes are generally pretty small.
So, that is my setup for the month of July. I’m sure it will get more complicated once school starts up again and I have classes and teaching to keep track of. At this point I feel like I know I can use the bujo system to help keep everything straight, I just haven’t wrapped my brain around how/how much. So, we shall see how that goes. I might try to find a cheap dotted or grid journal in the bargain bin somewhere so I can just play around with stuff. That or just print off a bunch of sheets of dotted paper, because I did snag a dotted paper printable from somewhere. If you have any suggestions for general use monthly spreads or specifically school-related (especially grad school!) spreads, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what other bujo people are doing 😀