Planner Progress

Today's post is about planners; I thought you might like an update (for those of you who are actually curious about this--the rest can close this post and move on).

I'm back to the bullet journal again. I lasted about a day and a half in the Passion Planner. Really, I do love the way that Passion Planner is set up and the way it feels in my hands and's just not right for what I need right now. It felt too cramped for everything I was trying to get into it. Most of what I really loved about it, though, was the process of it. The Passion Planner includes weekly and monthly reflection questions that I might poach into my bullet journaling system--or, perhaps more accurately, "be inspired by." 

In any case, here's where things stand with my current bullet journal. I'm still testing spreads out and trying different techniques (I refuse to call them "hacks" even though everyone else does, since how can you "hack" something that's basically an individualized, free-flowing, "open-source technology" anyway? Sheesh). 

I like having a monthly, weekly, and a daily spread. A lot of bujoers (look at me, using the lingo and everything) do only weeklies, or only dailies, and monthlies are hit and miss depending on the bujoer. I like all three, though I use them for slightly different things. My monthly is just a one-glance overview with dates, calendar events, travel, etc. When I move into a larger bujo I'll also include monthly goals in the spread (those currently live on a separate page in my cramped current book). I do also do a monthly mindmap/goal brainstorming page that gets translated into the weeklies/dailies accordingly. My weekly includes scheduled events again, but it's also primarily for meal and workout planning. I've messed around with trying to include weekly "MITs" (Most Important Tasks) but honestly, for tasks, I mostly go to my dailies. I've also tried keeping a "look ahead" kind of spot for things that occur to me during the current week that I need to remember for the following week but, again, my current book is so tight on space that's been a tricky one.

Here's the weekly spread I've been using with a few tweaks here and there the last few weeks. (It's intentionally pixellated to maintain at least some semblance of privacy!)

Note--I didn't make it to that cardio kickboxing class on Monday as that was the day I was in bed with a stomach flu. The meal planning was also ignored. I got to the Greek Chicken (From SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow cookbook) on Wednesday night instead--very good, even with a still-somewhat-unhappy-digestive system.

In any case--the weekly gets translated into the series of dailies, a two-page spread for each day.

As you can see, my bullet journal is a combo of schedule, tasks, and journaling. I keep moments of gratitude, things I'm proud of myself for doing health-wise and my "why" for doing those things (and I credit these two daily entries for a large part of why I've been so much more successful in my health goals this time around, but that's a different post), and then some random notes as needed. 

That's worked pretty well for me, although for a lot of days the tasks and schedule parts are fairly blank because I still keep all my work-related and school-related things digital. My bujo is strictly for personal goals and home-related tasks. Additionally, rewriting my meal plan every day did help me keep it in my head, but I don't always take the time to do it. (I track what I've actually eaten in the WW app.)

So this week I'm experimenting with a different type of spread I'd seen on Pinterest and found intriguing: It's called the Dutch Door. There's a few variations on this but I liked the horizontal one best. In this, you cut away the tops of some of the pages to create one larger spread with a series of smaller spreads underneath. It takes a little planning, and it depends on your notebook how easy those in-between pages are to cut out, but I managed to make it work pretty well. 

My weekly spread is now along the top, with a "dashboard" of sorts on the first left page where I keep everything related to the whole week. Then each day has one of the smaller pages in the middle. I liked someone's idea of folding a strip of washi tape across the top of the smaller pages to help delineate the separation better--plus it keeps those smaller pages a little stiffer and easier to turn without grabbing the whole week at once. It's nice to be able to see the week all the time without having to re-write schedule and meal stuff every day. I have high hopes for this spread.

You'll also see I'm playing around with color/decoration again. I don't know. I struggle with visual clutter, but I think once I start writing in the boxes it will be helpful to keep the headings visually separate from my writing. We'll see. 

I'm not sure how many more weeks I'll get in this notebook--I suspect only one full week. I'm looking forward to moving into the new notebook because it has significantly more real estate, plannerly-speaking. And you can see I've already installed my nifty pen holder!