The week before the new month, I'll set up the next in my bullet journal - A peek into how I set up December // www.prettyprintsandpaper.com
One of the things I try to live by is to never “wish my time away” – you know, when you say to yourself, “if I just make it through this month…” “I wish it was the end of the semester…” or “Is it the weekend yet?” Just a couple of those and suddenly you wonder where the last year went. One of the hardest things for me to do is to stay in the present and soak in what’s going on around me. Part of that is this Instagram problem I’ve developed (thanks, #bulletjournaljunkies), but that’s another story. Let’s talk about my December setup.
One area where that completely fails is around the 27th of every month and suddenly the month doesn’t matter because it means I CAN SET UP NEXT MONTH! YES! — and suddenly I’ve been in December for all of Thanksgiving weekend. Oops.
At the end of the month I look through the past month and assess what I want to keep, start, or stop doing to create a system that will work for what I need this month. From that review, I’ve learned a few things before setting up my December month.
Scheduling events and other future planning lives in my Google Calendar. Through 28934 different planner systems, this has stayed constant because it syncs everywhere. We use it at work and I share calendars with my partner, so it’s extremely integrated in my life. It also solves the question of forward planning in the Bullet Journal.
Weekly layouts are my jam. I need context around my tasks so the arc of a week is extremely helpful.
I don’t need to track a whole lot. I’ve tried, and it just doesn’t take. This month I’m trying an Android App called Pledge that I can set to track weekly or daily habits. Right now I’ve got 2 glasses of water a day, flossing weekly (LOL), and practicing noticing leadership in my daily life. I WISH I was on iPhone so I could use the app Productive – it’s beautiful.
So let’s set this up.
I don’t use a monthly calendar, so instead I have a variety of other things I reference. Here you see one of my monthly Instagram challenges (#planwithmechallenge) and my December tasks. I had categories last month and I’m going to try it split this way instead with tasks, errands, and “watch for”. Watch for is really a catch-all for “deals” and “running low on.”
I love being able to add my love for lettering to my love for lists.
My mother in law saw these washi tapes and just had to give them to me – and now that it’s appropriate to be putting up Christmasy things… here they are.
Here’s another set of challenges I’m participating in – lettering challenges. I’m waiting for the #LetterItDecember and #December Letters Prompts to come out! @RandomOlive is hosting her first lettering challenge so I’ll dabble in that (brushletterpracticechallenge). I don’t normally do #betterletteringcourse but this month is all about reflection… and *I* am all about reflection… so here we are.
My tracker page has just a FEW habits I want to track – things like No Spend or No Soda. Having 12 was overwhelming.
For chores, I have a separate tracker I printed and am trying out with my husband. It is posted on our fridge so we can both keep track of things like…. who cleaned out the kitty litter last
Last month I tried a categorized spending tracker for the month, but I quickly ran out of room, so I reorganized it a bit with hopes this will work better.
This is the bread and butter of my system – the weekly layout. I loved having the 5 days to a page last month, so I will keep on with that this month. The top part is for day-specific tasks.
I also note events/appointments in there just so I know what happened if I didn’t get a lot of tasks done. December is hell for grading papers so I’ll likely be tracking that on the bottom of my layout as well.
What are the things you’re bringing into December? Anything else I should try? Happy December!
Jessica is.a Minnesotan handlettering artist, leadership educator, and bullet journal blogger. She is passionate about working with people to uncover their personal power and potential through connection, creative planning, and calligraphy. You can find her at a local ice cream shop, teaching, on Instagram (@prettyprintsandpaper)
I love seeing how others set up for a new month! Your lettering is awesome. 🙂
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