My Bullet Journal Set Up for April

Is it just me or did March just FLY BY? I am stunned at how I’m already here, thinking about how I want to approach another month in my bullet journal.

You’ll hear me say that the key to bullet journaling is to reflect consistently on your evolving needs, and how your planner can change to meet them.  That means every month I consider how to make the next month even better.  Based on my set up for March, I have learned a few things.

What Worked

  • Adding another row to my weekly – I used to do this last year and have circled back to it! Having things be on a monthly spread requires so much more energy from me to go back to fill out – aka I NEVER did my gratitude log in February and March. So, I’m adding it back into my weekly.
  • Changing colors every week – OK, to be fair I do this EVERY week, but I don’t want to forget that it works by signaling my brain that time has passed
  • 5 day weeklies and a separate weekend spread. The 5 day arc complements the way my brain sees time and the extra space on weekends is perfect.
  • These work and home notebooks – having these separate notebooks are a game changer and helps me feel more centered at work and on the go.
  • Finding the system that helped me get ahead on my blog and social media – finally.  I’ll share more about how I’m using these things to manage this side hustle in another blog post!
  • Letting go of the guilt of not using an Index. Not there, don’t care.

What I’m Tweaking

  • I am once again on the Quest for Monthly Planner Peace.  I set it up and had such high hopes… and then didn’t use it. I’ll try again!
  • As my shop tasks get more intense, adjusting sections in my weekly
  • Blog planning
  • My mentality around focusing

So without further ado, check out the flip through of my March to see how things actually turned out, and introducing my April!

Things that I reference and feature in this video: Some of these may be affiliate links which means if you happen to purchase something, I’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you

My April Bullet Journal Set Up

To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

I’m starting a bigger insert than I have used in the past few months for my weekly planning, so I wanted to ground myself in my goals. These are the 16 for 2016 I set last December and I want to keep them accessible throughout the next few months.  Each time I set up a monthly or weekly I will use these big goals to help create the smaller steps to help reach them.

My ever-changing monthly set up - a mix of things I've used in the past // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

Yet another experiment in my monthly! I’m thinking this list format I used last month isn’t how my brain wants to organize information, so I’m just going to have to use it this way for basic notes and not active planning.  So, I’m going to keep it simple by having a place to corral my ongoing monthly tasks, errands, and main goals.  I set my April intentions by using the goal breakdown I highlighted in January, which broke my 2016 goals down into smaller milestones. By incorporating them into my monthly I’m hoping to continue making traction on them.

Underneath I’ve left space for my monthly tasks, things I need to buy, and the tasks I’m doing relating to others – connection is one of my top 3 values and want to incorporate that into the structures of my life.  This can be the bells and whistles of a birthday, phone calls, pen pals (jumped down that rabbit hole!!), and more – as long as it furthers my connection.

Keeping my Instagram challenge pages handy every month by listing them // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

Obviously I’ll fill these in soon… once we post them! But this is one of my most referenced spreads as Instagram challenges have been embedded into my life. I use these to help plan out my social media plan for the week/month and give me nuggets of inspiration – sometimes I don’t have energy to choose a quote, so this helps spark my imagination.  This month I’m doing the #PlanWithMeChallenge (hosted by me, Kara, and Kim), #RockYourHandwriting Challenge (hosted by me, Dee, Kara, Kim), the #BrushLetterPracticeChallenge with @RandomOlive, and a PLETHORA of other lettering challenges including #LetterArchive, #togetherweletter by @lissletters, #InspiredbyInDetail and whatever else I feel called to do.

Using a 5-day weekly helps keep me on track! The extra rows give me room to do things like gratitude and expense tracking // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

My tried and true 5-day weekly layout – a lifesaver. A weekly means much less time migrating and ability to build on tasks across the week for what FEELS like cohesion to me.  This month I’m adding more rows – one for expenses. This definitely means I’ll be needing to take a page out of Kim’s book and write MUCH smaller to fit everything in but I think it will work for me.

The weekend spread caps my whole spread by giving me space to work on my days and blog tasks // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
To start my new bullet journal insert I copied my goals for 2016 at the forefront to align my weekly and monthly actions and keep making strides toward them // http://www.prettyprintsandpaper.com

This 2-day spread for the weekend gives me so much more room for planning, instead of shortchanging the weekends (whyyyyy!).  This other page will become whatever I want it to be – as I am in heavy launch-mode for the shop, I will be probably use this for my Blog/Shop task list and plan for the upcoming week to keep everything straight!

My bujo aside, the main thing I want to work on is working smarter, not harder.  So there are a few strategies that I want to employ:

  • Leaving 15-30 minutes between meetings to process and synthesize new information
  • Blocking off several hours at a time for working on projects
  • Trying to work on similar type of tasks on the same days – so I don’t exhaust myself by switching so often
  • Close all those tabs!!! One at a time! < — this is a never ending quest.

What are you trying this month?

Yours,

Jessica

 


13 thoughts on “My Bullet Journal Set Up for April

  1. I love the 16 in 2016, I will give that one a try! It is never too late!

    I also feel you on the under utilized monthly spread. I often have to play catch up with anything I was trying to track there.

    All in all, great set up. Looking forward yo your reveiw of how it worked out.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I am so glad I am not the only one who does not utilize the index. Love the People section- I have one, too. I love sending a card “just because”. My people section helps me keep track of who is my “person of the week” I will focus on. 🙂

    Like

      1. Bite the bullet (haha see what I did there?) and just do one! You’ll know after a week or two what will work 🙂 I’ve changed my layouts radically before, and it’s always improved it somehow.

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