February Reflections and March Set Up

February flew by for me – it’s been a mix of ramping up in my teaching load and prepping for launching challenges at the beginning of the month, AND getting momentum on getting a shop started.  All to say, I’m shocked it’s already days before March. This post will be pretty quick, down and dirty – because I’m ill and want to take a nap!

Every month I like to take stock of where I’m at – what worked? What do I need to tweak?  I used one of the pages in my weekend spread to look back on what I wanted to keep or change, and sketching out possibilities for March pages.

At the end of the month, take stock of what worked and what I want to change for the next - this is what helps refine your system to best work for you // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
At the end of the month, I take stock of what worked and what I want to change for the next – this is what helps refine your system to best work for you // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

What worked?

  • My weeklies! They are still core to my system
  • Though I don’t schedule in my Bullet Journal, it helps to see events within my day to appropriately prioritize tasks
  • The weekly habit stamp – though limited to 5 right now, I think that’s what works about it.  I never kept up with my monthly tracker so I like that I’m looking at this one week to week
  • Using Class Pass as a fun way to get my work-outs in each week! I have loved the process of signing up for a variety of fun classes to actually exercise beyond swiping my gym tag time to time.
  • Keeping shared spending tracking on the Mint App – I did NOT miss tracking that!
  • Having the flexible sections within my week
  • The Challenges section

What to tweak?

  • I was using Dee’s run sheet this week – though I used it, it will likely be used for tasks in the next few months, but probably not used religiously
  • My monthly task overview – I wasn’t quite happy with this yet… but may have found a possible solution!
  • More “me time” – working smarter, not harder
What I'm keeping and shaking up in March in my bullet journal // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
What I’m keeping and shaking up in March in my bullet journal // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

Which brings me to… March!

I do not set up my next monthly far ahead of time.  This is the weekend before March, so I spent an hour setting it up.  For new folks, I have long ditched the grid calendar – I just didn’t want to draw the boxes AND I never used it since, you know, Google. *note: this post will feature a couple affiliate links, which simply means if you end up buying something, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As you can see these are products I use and love – thanks for your support!*

I did a quick video flip-through of February and my March pages.  See below!  You should know that I use a traveler’s notebook system, which means that I am flipping through my *planning insert – my collections, blog planning, and journaling live in other notebooks!  They all live inside my Foxy Notebook cover (formerly known as “wide” and now a classic No. 7)

Monthly Challenges

One of the most useful pages in my bullet journal is the Challenges Spread - this month will be #planwithmechallenge, #rockyourhandwriting, #brushletterpracticechallenge, and a whole lot of other lettering practice. // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
At the end of the month, I take stock of what worked and what I want to change for the next – this is what helps refine your system to best work for you // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

I reference these pages OFTEN – this month I’m looking at the #planwithmechallenge, #rockyourhandwritingchallenge, #brushletterpracticechallenge, and probably a few other lettering challenges.

Drawn with: Tombow Dual Brush bullet tip, Staedtler Fine Liner

Monthly Overview

I have such high hopes for this….

A derivative of Kara's monthly, this accounts for tracking a few things as a spin off the traditional bullet journal monthly - Expenses, Work project tasks, home project tasks, my blog, and overall errands and purchases. // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
A derivative of Kara’s monthly, this accounts for tracking a few things as a spin off the traditional bullet journal monthly – Expenses, Work project tasks, home project tasks, my blog, and overall errands and purchases. // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

The original Bullet Journal monthly log simply has all the dates/days on the left-hand side for you to fill in events or things going on in the month.  Kara did a derivative that included a focus on monthly goals and tasks, and I’m taking my twist on it to make it work for me.

  • Expense column – I use Mint, but this will help me see expenses over time.  I’ll quickly jot down what I spent/where.
  • Work column – with so many projects it’s nice to see what’s going on across the month.  Heavy grading periods, or if I have milestones I need to reach on different projects to maintain momentum, that would go here.
  • Personal/home column – again, going beyond the events themselves but the important steps to take prior to the events, like “get xyz a gift” or “set this up” by a certain date
  • PPP (blog and biz) column – this endeavor has been taking off quite a bit, so I’m using this column to track when I’m drafting posts, posting challenges, and so on
  • Focus – top 5 things for the month – ideally these would align with my overall goals for the year
  • Tasks – tasks and errands that I need to complete sometime this month

I am very hopeful for this layout! Hoping this will help manage overall tasks and momentum.

5-day Weekly

A 5-day weekly allows me to see the days in connection, which helps me manage my energy and tasks across the week. Using this fun washi tape as the divider // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
The 5-day weekly is core to my system // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
  • This page takes me about 15 minutes to set up (you can see the time lapse here) – I set my week up every Sunday evening.  This practice helps me create an overview of what’s going on for the week – at work, in the evenings, in the weather, and more.  It helps me enter the week with intention (or at least awareness of what the H is going on)
  • The heart of my system – I automatically plan tasks within weeks, and they build together to create a cohesive week
  • Weekly habit tracker – it’s from @atelierdreams on Etsy and it’s a quick way for me to check in with habits – I’ll be posting soon about habit tracking and what I’m using it to reflect on
  • Interchangeable sections – need to segment out some different pieces? I have these categories on the side. 3000 – the class I teach; waiting on – keeping tabs on things floating around in the universe; HH – the student I manage; and PPP – my blog/shop.

Weekend + Review

After my 5-day week comes my weekends - much more room for doing all the things! The opposite side is used for reflection on the week - what went well? Did I show up the way I wanted to? What's working in my bullet journal? // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
Following my 5-day week is this weekend spread. The opposite side is for reflecting – how did this week go? What went well in my life? What do I need to change? What’s working with the layout? // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

I originally did the 5-day week layout because I needed more room for weekends! That’s where my chores live, is the weekend.  I hate that usually, the weekends are shortchanged on space, or share a box – what’s that about??? So, I dedicate half pages to each weekend day.

The opposite side is for a review of my week – what went well? What do I want to change? How did I show up? What lessons did I learn? Taking this time is what makes me and my system better.

This weekly took me about 5 or 6 months to figure out – with this weekly reviewing and figuring out what worked or didn’t, so don’t feel too overwhelmed or disappointed if you haven’t gotten there yet!  It takes time and as long as you put in the effort of reviewing, you WILL get to a system that works for you. 🙂

What are you doing for March?

Yours,

Jessica


18 thoughts on “February Reflections and March Set Up

  1. I’m yet to try a weekly spread, I generally just do a monthly overview and then dailies. My weeks are fairly regular so I haven’t needed a weekly yet, though I’m sort of itching to try one.

    Like

  2. Thanks for the video and the inspiration. Starting my very first journal today. The perfectionist in my is going to use a composition notebook to get started. Not optimal; however, I can’t find a journal I like before the challenge starts on Tuesday.

    Like

  3. Thank you! I love your not wanting to shortchange the weekend. I’m not particularly OCD about anything, but I have a hard time leaving pages blank…like the one opposite your Sat/Sun page. Arrggh. That potentially could be a weekly blank page. Tell us your thoughts about that! I need permission, I guess, to leave pages empty! 🙂

    Like

    1. Janene, I totally hear you on leaving things blank. Think of it this way – leave some white space around something can emphasize it, honor it, frame it. If you look at art, using white space can really make something beautiful, peaceful. Sometimes we need white space in our lives 🙂

      Like

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey here. It’s super helpful to hear that it took you 5-6 months to find the “perfect” weekly set up for you. Let’s me know that there is hope! Also- flexibility is definitely a plus of the bullet journal!

    Like

  5. This inspired me to reformat my monthly, love your pages. I hope it works and so far LOVE the look and organization of it … I think in the long run it will be more efficient as I felt I was wasting pages and blowing thru my 200 pages BuJo! Need it to last thru end of school if possible – anyway, thanks for this post, really inspired me!

    Like

  6. I always love the way your weekly layouts look, and I’ve been toying with my own. I haven’t quite found one that works for me, but I can’t let it go! I figure since I visualize my schedule on a weekly basis, my bullet journal should reflect that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tricks with us!

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s