I’m not a gal who sets up her bullet journal weeks ahead of time – I know some enjoy setting up their layouts for months but as you have seen, I change my layouts every single week so I need some flexibility. The weekend before a new month, I spend 30 minutes setting up a new monthly page and the next weekly.
To do that, I spend a lot more time thinking through how my system is working. You can’t get to “planner peace” without this crucial step. That’s the blessing and curse of the bullet journal – the system works exactly for you, which means a lot of work on your part to figure out what you need and how to set up the structure.
Looking back on May, there were a lot of wins!
MAY: What worked in my bullet journal?
Foxy Notebook system. You notice I don’t use just ONE notebook, but rather 4 slimmer May Designs notebooks in a wide leather Foxy Notebook cover (no. 7). This system has been a great way to keep my collections out of my planning pages and create order but all in one place.
Monthly grid. I actually gave up on using this last year altogether and it’s amazing that I went back to it – it goes to show that layouts serve needs at the right moment with the right modification. I didn’t use the monthly grid for events, but for Instagram challenges, of all things! I referred to this page a lot to keep track of prompts each day.
Rapid log. Turns out my past monthly logs were just getting too structured – which makes sense. Now, I left a lot of room for quick thoughts under a few categories. That made it easier to keep up with and use.
Brain Dump Insert. My traveler’s notebook setup allowed for a new insert that was just for all my “shitty first drafts” of thoughts – my brain works REALLY quickly, mapping from one set of thoughts to new ones, so it was helpful to have paper available to scribble things down.
MAY: What didn’t work?
Several weekly experiments. I tried these two variations of a weekly, just for fun:
Inspired by Todd at Bullet Journal Pros, I tried this time-ladder weekly layout. I liked the idea of it but I got confused where my tasks were, and it took me a few seconds too long to screen through the different areas.
This weekly has been featured by Kim on her weekly layouts post, with my 5-day modification. This worked better, though I lost my gratitude and expense logs, which is a huge bummer! I also noticed my weekend layouts lost these things, so I knew i needed to tweak just a little bit more.
Every so often I try these other weekly layouts to keep myself open for possibilities or to reaffirm my weekly layout choice. And that’s what it did, with one modification which I’ll show you in a little bit!
With all that said, here’s what I did for June.
JUNE: My Bullet Journal Setup
Brain Dump Insert. The last few months I found myself always scrambling for a piece of paper to scribble down half-baked thoughts. This has been INTENSELY helpful as I just capture my thoughts and then I can organize them in better ways into my bullet journal, or act on ideas that come to me.
Monthly Grid. For the first time, I’ve repeated some kind of monthly layout! Sometimes I’ve printed out the grids and sometimes I’ll draw them out. I’m using it keep track of my Instagram challenges this month, including the #PlanWithMeChallenge, #RockYourHandwriting, #brushletterpracticechallenge, and #badasswomenchallenge. I’ll also use this to plan out some blog posts in pencil as we go along.
You’ll notice I’m using 2 Tombow Dual Brush pens to get this blended purple effect – obviously not necessary but since I’m a handlettering artist I often letter in my journal too. It doesn’t take long and it adds aesthetic to my journal which helps me continually use it – and add my own personality to the pages. You do NOT have to do this. This is just my personal style.
Rapid Log. Instead of doing a monthly task structure, I’m using this rapid log for random thoughts for the month. Having this open space to jot down random thoughts helps a lot more than the structures I have put into place in the past. The open space on the right is saved for goals once I get my bullet journal stamp kit from The Foxy Fix! I’ll update the post once I get the stamps!
My weekly. This weekly… back at it again. With June coming I want to re-assess which goals I have and what weekly habits I want to track. I used to have “no spend” but what I really found was that I’d shift which days I bought things! So I was spending the same amount of money… just on different days. Which is probably not the point. So I’ll rethink that. I’ve also added the dotted line here to identify the most important tasks of the day.
Weekend dailies. I needed to change my my weekend layouts from before, where I could still have a lot of space but re-incorporate the gratitude log and expense tracking that has worked so well in my weekly layouts. So here I restructured the days to be vertical and added the sections to the bottom. I think this will be really helpful in maintaining my momentum!
The blank page of course can be whatever I want it to be – perhaps even just blank space. Sometimes we just need blank space.
So there you have my June set up – if you’ve watched the evolution of my bullet journal all the way from the beginning you’ll see I continually experiment and tweak based on what I need right now. That’s the best part. How are you setting up your June? Let me know in the comments!