5 monthly log ideas for your bullet journal

5 monthly log ideas for your bullet journal

Last year I started bullet journaling, and it’s by far the best planning tool I’ve used in a long time.

Whenever I stumble across anything I love, I spread the word about how great it is to anyone who will listen.

In order to spread the love I have for bullet journaling, I’ve started a series on providing inspiration on how you can set up your future, monthly, weekly and daily logs.

The first post in this series was for setting up your future log, this one’s all about setting up your monthly log, which as the name suggests, helps you to organise your month.

Just like the future log, there are many different ways that bullet journal users have set their monthly logs up. Here are five that I’ve found, which I’m hoping will provide inspiration for your own bullet journal.

1. Official bullet journal monthly log

1. Official bullet journal monthly log

Image source

How does it work?
This is the layout the creator of the bullet journal Ryder Carroll suggests for your monthly log.

The left hand side of the page lists each day of the month. Here you can write events, appointments, or even to dos against their relevant date. You can go into greater detail about them if needed on their relevant weekly/daily log (which you’ll create later).

The right hand side of the page is where you list tasks that you’d like to accomplish that month. It acts as a running to do list. If you have a date that they need to be done on you can add them to the left hand side of the page. Or, you can migrate them to the next month if you’re unable to complete them.

Pros

  • You can see at a glance what you have going on in an entire month
  • Easy to draw up
  • Events / appointments are listed chronologically

 Cons

  • You can’t break the days down by time
  • May not appeal to you if you’re used to a calendar grid layout
  • There’s no space for goal setting, or general notes

2. Official bullet journal monthly log plus goals

2 Official bullet journal monthly log plus goals

Image source

How does it work?
This is the layout I use for my bullet journal (this image isn’t from my bullet journal though).

This layout combines the official bullet journal monthly log, with space for goal setting.

The left hand side is where the official bullet journal monthly log layout happens. This page works exactly the same way as described above.

Where this layout differs is on the use of the right hand page. Instead of just listing tasks for the month, this layout allows you to set out goals that you have for the month, which can be broken down by category. You can tailor the categories to what areas of your life you have set goals for. Or if you’d prefer, you could even list to dos that you need to do that month by category.

Pros

  • Customisable to your needs, as you choose categories of your life you want to focus on for that month
  • You can detail non-goal related items on the right hand side of the page if you’d like. For example, you may have to dos to complete by category, or general notes, even inspirational quotes you’d like to refer to later on
  • You can see at a glance what you have going on in an entire month

 Cons

  • You may feel compelled to fill up the entire space on the right hand side, which means you may not achieve all you set out to do
  • You can’t break the days down by time
  • May not appeal to you if you’re used to a calendar grid layout

3. Calendar grid monthly log with goals

3. Calendar grid monthly log with goals

Image source

How does it work?
In this layout, the majority of space is taken up by a grid style calendar, where a box is dedicated to each day of the month.

To the right of the calendar there is space to list your goals for the month, in the same way as the previous layout. However, on this layout, there’s also space for a habit tracker.

A habit tracker lists habits you’d like to achieve for the particular month down the page, then across it has every day of the month, so at the end of the day you can tick off whether the habit was achieved or not. Examples of habits you may like to keep track off on a daily basis include exercise, water or vitamin intake, social media posting, etc.

 Pros

  • Uses a calendar grid layout that many of us know how to use
  • Ability to list and schedule goals and habits that you’d like to achieve for the month
  • You can see at a glance what you have going on in an entire month

 Cons

  • Three different elements means this layout will take a bit of time to draw up
  • There isn’t a lot of space to detail events in the calendar grid section
  • There isn’t a lot of space to list a variety of habits you’d like to track. If you have more habits then space, you will need to draw up a larger habit tracker elsewhere

4. Time tracker monthly log

4. Time tracker monthly log

Image source

How does it work?
This layout uses the same vertical day and number layout as the official bullet journal monthly log, however that’s where the similarities end. To the right of the dates a page and a third of the next page are divided by three, where each division allows you to list the events / to dos for the month by the time of day they happen / need to happen.

At the end of the right hand side there’s space to list goals, and even draw up a mini calendar if required.

Pros

  • Less cluttered as entries are broken down by time, so they’re less likely to take up more than one line
  • You can easily see when your busy periods are
  • There’s a lot of room to go into detail if needed 

Cons

  • There’s not a lot of space to the right of the page to list down goals, notes, or to dos
  • The mini calendar only shows what day a date falls on, which you can see on the left hand page. This may be wasted space
  • If you want to use the mini calendar on this layout, you may need to colour code dates to remind you of entries (which has been done on the above image), which takes time

5. Calendar wheel monthly log

5. Calendar wheel monthly log

Image source

How does it work?
A wheel is drawn, with each box on the wheel representing each day of the month.

Once drawn up you enter any events, appointments, birthdays, to dos, or anything else you need to do for that month on the wheel by linking them by a line under their relevant date.

Pros

  • It’s aesthetically pleasing
  • If you’re artistic there’s plenty of space to get creative
  • It only takes up one page

Cons

  • There isn’t much space to list more than one thing per day
  • Takes some time to draw up
  • You’ll need a compass to draw the circle

Conclusion
Just like the future log, there are many different ways to design your monthly log. Your choice will depend upon how efficiently it meets your needs.

Like always, the best advice I have is to try what’s best for you, and if it doesn’t work try something else until you find a design you’re comfortable with, and that suits your needs.

Other posts in this series
For more inspiration on how to layout your logs so they suit your needs perfectly, please visit these posts:

5 future log ideas for your bullet journal

Have you stumbled across a monthly log that suits your needs perfectly? If so I’d love to hear about it.

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My 2018 goals and one little word

My 2018 goals and one little word

I love setting goals, however, I feel like I talk about them more than actually achieving them.

So this year I’m making a concerted effort to actually achieve the goals I’ve set for 2018.

I’m so serious about this that I purchased a copy of Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs. It’s a workbook you work through every quarter, month, week and day to break your goals up into smaller tasks, so you stay motivated to achieve them.

As well as setting goals, in the past I’ve also used one little word to set the intention for my year. This year I decided to do both, so this post is a two in one. It outlines my 2018 goals, and discusses how the one little word I’ve chosen for this year will be used to achieve them. (I told you I was serious about this!)

The goals below are a general statement on what I want to achieve this year. I’ve gone into greater detail on them, and made action plans for each in my bullet journal. I’m thinking of writing another post detailing what these action plans are. If you’d like this type of post please let me know.

My 2018 goals

Financial
Stick to a £40 budget per week, which includes online spending, and extra grocery items.

Mind
Stop focusing on the negatives, appreciate all that I have, and be someone others want to be around.

Blog
Set blog goals and yearly editorial calendar, and post in advance.

Body
Everything in moderation.

Family
Book monthly UK overnighters, and bi monthly overseas trips, to create long lasting memories and strong bonds.

Friends
Build a circle of friends with likeminded attitudes and similar interests.

After setting these goals I wondered if I still needed to set one little word for this year. After some thought I decided that I did.

What is one little word?
One little word is the reason why I started this blog. In fact, one of the first posts I wrote was on this very topic.

One little word is a word that drives your intention for the year. So far my words have been create, focus, and action. If you’d like to learn more you can read the first post I wrote on this topic here.

I decided to do one little word this year on our way home from Stratford upon Avon. On the drive home it just popped into my head that I need to set a word this year. I realised that I needed something extra to guide my actions towards actually achieving my goals.

How does one little word assist me in achieving my goals?
My goals are the big picture things I want to achieve this year.

My one little word is something I can say in my head everyday. It’s the word I will use to guide me towards making decisions that will assist me in achieving my goals.

This sounds a little confusing, so before I give an example to clarify this I should let you know what my one little word for 2018 is.

My one little word is…

BETTER.

Definition – “More desirable, satisfactory, or effective.”

It didn’t take me long to choose this word, as all my goals are aimed towards making this year a better one than the years before. For instance,

I want to be better with my spending
I want to have better moods
I want to be more appreciate of what I have
I want to think of the positives in everything
I want to be a better partner
I want to be better organised with my blog
I want to treat my body to better foods
I want my family to have better times together
I want to better my friend situation in the UK

An example of how my goals and my one little word work together is as follows:

Goal
Stop focusing on the negatives, appreciate all that I have, and be someone others want to be around.

I really want to stabilise my moods this year so I can be someone others want to be around. So, from now on, whenever I feel a bad mood brewing I’m going to stop and think “how can I act better to stop this mood from happening? What do I need to realise, or do, so I act better in this situation?”

Better will be my mantra for the year. It’s how I’ll alter my actions to ensure I’m working towards achieving my goals.

I’d love to know what one little word you’ve chosen this year, or in previous years, or what goals you’ve set for 2018.

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Combing a bullet journal and Google calendar when planning

Combing a bullet journal and Google calendar to plan

I recently started bullet journaling to plan my life, and I love it! (If you’d like to read more about this then please click here).

As well as using a bullet journal, I also use Google Calendar to plan out my days. However, lately I’ve been wondering if I really need to use both.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that I do need to use both, as they each assist me in different ways.

Here’s how each planning tool plays its part in planning my life:

Google Calendar

Prior to starting a bullet journal I used Google Calendar to remind me of everything. This included birthdays, events, to dos, and shopping lists.

As a result my phone was constantly going off to remind me of something. In addition, I deleted entries once they were completed, so I never had a record of anything.

Since starting a bullet journal I’ve changed the way I use Google Calendar. My phone is always with me, my bullet journal isn’t. Therefore, I still have a need to use Google Calendar, I just don’t rely on it like I previously did.

Instead, I now use Google Calendar as follows:

1. To provide location information
Birthdays, appointments, or anything my sister needs to attend are recorded in my Google Calendar along with their location. These items are also in my bullet journal, minus the location. Once the event has passed I delete it from my Google Calendar, but keep it in my bullet journal.

2. To make appointments on the go
I put any appointments made whilst out straight into Google Calendar, and then copy them into my bullet journal once I’m home. I keep them in my Google Calendar until they’ve been completed.

3. To remind me of out of the house to dos
If there’s something in my bullet journal that needs to be done out of the house I’ll put it in my Google Calendar and delete it once done. For example, any groceries I need on a particular day are written in my bullet journal. Once that day comes I’ll put the items into my Google Calendar to remind me to get them when I’m out.

These are the only things I use Google Calendar for. I no longer put every to do, every reminder, or every thought into Google Calendar, that’s what my bullet journal’s for. In doing so, I’ve minimised the amount of disruption my phone has on my day.

Bullet journal
Any date related items are in my Google Calendar and bullet journal, and that’s where the relationship ends.

My bullet journal goes beyond listing date related events. It also keeps information on anything I’m thinking about, goals I’m working towards, and most importantly lists yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily to dos.

An example of some of these items include:

  • To watch, read, and buy lists
  • Moving list
  • Holiday packing list
  • Weekly chores
  • Yearly schedules
  • Ryan’s baby book to dos
  • Blog post ideas
  • Blog content plan

The biggest chunk of my bullet journal is dedicated to planning out my days.

Every Sunday night I plan for the week ahead. I list any to dos that need to be done, and then go to my Google Calendar and enter any events that are happening that week.

During the week I’ll add to dos or events that arise into my bullet journal. I also make notes of conversations I’ve had with suppliers, or record anything else I need to remember. My bullet journal has much greater detail in it than my Google Calendar ever will.

I love using my bullet journal to plan my days. I like the physicality of crossing something off once it’s done. Plus, I have everything recorded, so if I need to refer back to a conversation I’ve had, or find out when I purchased something, it’s there.

Google Calendar, for me, is used as a reminder tool. It reminds me of an event and gives me the location. Or it reminds me to put something into my bullet journal.

My bullet journal has the same date specific information in it as my Google Calendar, but records all my thoughts, and plans out my year, months, weeks, and days. It handles the bulk of my planning needs.

Both of these tools assist me with my planning needs, but in different ways. And I’m happy with that.

Do you have a preference on whether you use analogue or digital tools to plan?

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5 future log spread ideas for your bullet journal

5 future log spread ideas for your bullet journal

Recently I wrote about my love for bullet journaling, which detailed what a bullet journal is, and how to set one up.

There are so many ways that you can set up your bullet journal. So to make it a bit easier, I’ve decided to start a series providing inspiration on how to set up your future, monthly, weekly and daily spreads.

The first post in this series is to provide inspiration on your future log, as this is generally the first collection you’ll have to assist you in planning out your days.

Ryder Carroll (the creator of the bullet journal) describes the function of the future log spread as follows:

“This Collection is used to store items that either need to be scheduled months in advance… or things that you want to get around to someday.”

As it’s nearly the start of a new year (I still can’t believe it!!), now’s the perfect time to start thinking about what future log spread you want in your 2018 bullet journal.

With this in mind, here’s five future log spread ideas to provide inspiration for your 2018 bullet journal.

  1. Official bullet journal spread

Future log official bullet journal spread Image source

How does it work?
This is the layout Ryder Carroll suggests for your future log spread. I love how clean it is, plus it’s really simple to draw up.

Simply divide a double page into a maximum of 6 months, and list all your important dates for each month.

Pros

  • Super easy to use and draw up
  • Allows you to follow the official bullet journal layout

Cons

  • There’s very little space to list a lot of dates
  • Dates aren’t in chronological order
  1. Official bullet journal spread plus calendar

Future log official bullet journal spread plus calendar Image source

How does it work?
This is the design I use in my bullet journal (this image isn’t of my bullet journal though).

It works in the same way as the official bullet journal spread, but it also shows a calendar of the current month.

I use the calendar to get around the lack of space this layout has.

For example, I have certain chores that I do each month. I circle the dates that these chores need to be done on the calendar, and have a key at the end of my future log spread showing what the chores are.

By doing this, I don’t use the limited space to the right of the calendar for detailing recurring dates.

Pros

  • The addition of the calendar allows you to record recurring dates so you can utilise the lack of space to the right of the calendar better
  • You can see what days belong to what dates (if needed)

Cons

  • If using the calendar for recurring dates, you need to refer to a key to find out what the details of the date are
  • There’s still not a lot of space to the right of the calendar if you have a lot of important dates for a particular month
  1. A vertical layout

Future log a vertical layout Image source

How does it work?
I really like this layout; it has elements of the official monthly spread (more on this soon), but in the form of a future log.

To draw up this layout divide a double page by four, then list the days of the month down each column. Once done start recording dates within their corresponding month.

Pros

  • Dates are listed chronologically
  • Allows you to block out dates. For example, in the above image a down arrow shows that a date goes over several days (e.g. a holiday).

Cons

  • There’s still not a lot of space if you have a lot of dates for a particular day
  • You can only see a maximum of four months at a time (any more months and there would be even less space)
  1. The Alastair Method

Future log the Alistair Method Image source

How does it work?
Alastair Johnston created this design to streamline his future planning needs (more about this here).

To use this layout list as many months as you want to view on the page (this image shows four months) and divide them by lines.

When you’re ready to enter a date, put a dot in the column of the month that the date refers to, then write the date and its details to the right hand side.

Pros

  • You can view as many months as you want
  • Easy to draw up and use

Cons

  • Dates aren’t listed chronologically
  • The more months you have, the less space you have to write details
  1. A calendex

Future log a calendex Image source

How does it work?
Eddy Hope created this future log spread as a calendar/index hybrid. You can find out more here.

If you want to use a calendex for your future log spread, draw 12 columns (one for each month), then add horizontal lines to break up each week.

You will also have weekly or daily spreads in your journal (more about this soon). These spreads are where you will write details about each important date. When you’ve done this, go to your calendex, find the relevant date, and write the page number of the corresponding weekly or daily spread (where you’ve put the details about the date) in the relevant square.

Pros

  • Only takes up a double page
  • Dates are chronological

Cons

  • You have to refer to your weekly or daily spread to get more information on the date. If you don’t add weekly or daily spreads to your index, it may take some time to access the details of the date
  • It’s not as simple as the other layouts

Conclusion
Prior to writing this I didn’t know about the Alastair Method, and I’d seen the Calendex but didn’t know how it worked.

This just highlights the adaptability that the bullet journal has. There’s a solution to fit any need that you may have.

The best advice I have is to try what’s best for you, and if it doesn’t work try something else.

Other posts in this series
For more inspiration on how to layout your logs so they suit your needs perfectly, please visit these posts:

5 monthly log ideas for your bullet journal

If you use a future log that works really well, I’d love to hear about it.

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How to feed your toddler with minimal planning

How to feed your toddler with minimal planning

Recently I posted about changing my weekly meal planning routine to make it more time efficient.

Prior to making these changes, I was doing a separate meal plan for Ryan. This meant that I was planning 56 meals a week covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Talk about ridiculous, time consuming, and exhausting.

So, pumped up on how well the new way of planning Nick’s and my weekly meals was going, I decided to change the way Ryan’s meals were planned as well.

Ryan has been baby led weaned from 6 months. This means he ate solids from the start. It also means that he can eat the same meals as Nick and I.

Ultimately this means that Ryan doesn’t need his own meal plan, he can join in on Nick’s and mine. Hence minimal planning is needed to feed him, as he can fit into an already existing plan.

After much thought, this is how Ryan’s meals now look like on a weekly basis, all with the aim of feeding him with as minimal amount of planning as possible:

Breakfast
Breakfasts take the least amount of planning.

I have a tub in the fridge labelled Ryan. It holds the following:

  • Crumpets
  • Wholemeal muffins
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Croissants
  • Brioche loaves

Each of these along with muesli are on rotation, so Ryan has something different for breakfast each morning.

Spreads include butter with vegemite (he is an Aussie after all), peanut butter, or jam. Sometimes he has cheese and ham in his croissant.

Together with whatever is chosen for that morning, Ryan also has a Babybel cheese or yoghurt and fruit.

Lunch
In order to make lunches easy I capitalise on the batch cooking I do for Nick’s and my dinners.

Whenever I make a dinner I fill up two containers with Ryan size portions of the dinner and freeze it. Before I freeze it I stick masking tape onto the container and write what the contents are and when it was cooked.

This means I have a freezer drawer full of meals that can be heated up for Ryan’s lunch in an instant.

If my stock is running low I resort to premade meals like:

  • Mini quiches
  • Pasta
  • Pasta bakes
  • Mini sandwiches
  • Fish fingers
  • Salads

Here comes the planner addict in me. On the Google Sheet I have Nick’s and my weekly meal plan on, there’s a tab titled Ryan. On this tab I have a box with two columns titled lunch stock and snack stock.

Any time I freeze a meal for Ryan’s future lunches, or snacks, I type the meal into the sheet. This way I know exactly what I have on hand for his meals.

Right now the sheet looks like this:

Lunch stock Snack stock
2 x Greek pasta melts 8 x Strawberry nutty bites
1 x Home made pizza 2 x Pitas
1 x Mexican mince 4 x Macaroni and cheese muffins
2 x Tortellini packets 5 x Ham and cheese rollups
15 x Nuggets

Dinners
Ryan eats the same dinners as Nick and I.

As I batch cook my dinners they’re ready a couple of days before they’re needed.

So each night I dish up a portion of what Nick and I are due to have that night for Ryan, heat it up, and let him eat. He eats earlier than Nick and I. This way I don’t have to think of a separate meal for Ryan. It’s pre planned.

Snacks
I have a drawer in the kitchen that holds Ryan’s store bought snacks like:

  • Sultanas
  • Rice cakes
  • Wafers
  • Fruit bars
  • Muesli bars

Now that I’ve finally settled into the new place, my aim is to get back into making home made snacks so Ryan will have store bought and home made snacks daily.

I still have a few home made snacks in the freezer, which are shown in the above table.

Just like lunches, any future home made snacks will be frozen and added to the snack column to make snack time easy.

If I ever need meal inspiration I refer to my Baby and Toddler Food Ideas (BLW) Pinterest Board, which has helped me heaps of times.

So that’s it, that’s how I feed my toddler with minimal planning.

If you have any other tips or food ideas I’d love to hear them, I’m always up for varying Ryan’s meals and making his meal times super quick and easy.

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What is a bullet journal and how to set one up

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up

I’ve spoken previously about my planning dilemmas, in particular how I’ve gone back and forth between electronic and paper and pen planning. For a little while I was a keen Filofax decorator, although admittedly not a very good one.

Sometime ago I heard about bullet journals, and how effective they are in helping people plan.

When researching them I remember seeing what looked like a complicated system, which used bullet points and other icons to categorise tasks. It looked too confusing, so I dismissed it as an organisational tool.

However, my interest in them recently came back and I’ve decided to give the system an official go.

So, this post is about sharing what a bullet journal is, how I’ve set mine up, and providing steps that you can follow to set yours up too – if it’s something you’re interested in.

Firstly, what is a bullet journal?
The bullet journal system (herein referred to as bujo), was created by Ryder Carroll. It’s a fully customisable organisational system that can be used in anyway you want. It can be your appointment reminder, personal diary, list maker – anything. It’s whatever you need it to be.

Why should you start a bujo?
If you’re looking for a system to keep you super organised, and that allows you to write anything that crosses your mind without restrictions, then a bujo is perfect for you.

How you can get started
I’m super tempted to go through the ins and outs of this system, but there’s no way that I can make it sound as simple as it is.

Instead, here’s the link to the official bujo website where you can learn everything about the system in simple detail.

Upon reading this link, or doing your own research, please don’t get confused about the icons and what goes where. To avoid this confusion I recommend looking at one other website in addition to the official one above to complete your bujo research (a good one is from Cerries Mooney) then look at my how I started setting up my bujo below and jump straight in.

Lastly on the topic of research, if you come across some brilliantly decorated journals remember that yours doesn’t have to be. The reason why I ceased using my Filofax was due to the pressure to make it artsy week in and week out. It just wasn’t something that I was interested in.

As you’ll see from my bujo pictures below, my pages are super simple (and photographed a little dodgy – sorry!), which makes it a system that I find easy to use, which will motivate me to use it for the long term.

How I started setting up my bujo

Here’s how I started:

  • Create a key so you know what each icon in your bujo stands for. Here’s mine:

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up key and time tracker

  • Start your index and fill it in every time you write something. Here’s mine

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up index

  • Draw your future log
  • Draw the current month
  • Decide if you’ll do a weekly or daily spread, or both, then once you’ve decided draw it up
  • Add all of these items to your index
  • Fill in your future log with dates you know about
  • Write the current month’s tasks from your future log onto your current monthly spread
  • If you’ve chosen a weekly spread, write down each item next to the current week’s dates from your monthly spread to your weekly spread, plus anything else that needs to get done that week
  • If you’ve chosen a daily spread, write down each item for the day from your monthly spread to your daily spread, plus anything else that needs to get done that day

The order of writing things into your bujo is:

FUTURE LOG – MONTHLY SPREAD – WEEKLY/DAILY SPREAD

Remember, your bujo is customisable so you can change anything at anytime to suit you. I did this very early, I went from weekly spreads to daily, which I’ll talk more about below.

Do you need a future log?
The idea behind the bujo is to plan as you go. You only have one month, or one week/day planned at a time.

For an over planner like me I thought that I’d struggle with this, but I have the right hand side of my current monthly spread dedicated to any tasks or ideas that I need to focus on in following months, so I don’t have to worry about them until I need to.

Plus, my future log also lists down future appointments or any other notes that I need to transfer to their relevant month, so for me a future log is fantastic, but remember, if you don’t want it, don’t have one.

If you’d like some inspiration on how to layout your future log, I’ve provided 5 ideas here.

Monthly log
I’ve been bullet journaling for only one month and I’ve already changed the design of my monthly log – that’s the benefit of this system, customise it to your needs.

Originally I had a calendar of the month on the left hand side, and a task page on the right hand side.

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up previous monthly spread

With this layout I found that I didn’t have enough space to write down anything in the monthly date boxes, so I changed it.

Now I have the same layout as Ryder’s concept on the left hand side, which is the days of the month listed vertically, and have kept the same layout on the right hand side above.

I will be changing this again in November so the right hand side is for a brain dump / tasks. It will list everything that comes into my brain that I want to do that month, or that can be scheduled to a following month.

If you’d like some inspiration on how to layout your monthly log, I’ve provided 5 ideas here.

Weekly vs daily spreads
A weekly collection isn’t part of the original bujo concept. However, I had a weekly spread when I first started and it looked like this:

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up weekly spread

It was helpful for a few weeks. I loved how I could open up my double page spread and see everything I had coming up in the week. However, very quickly I realised that it didn’t give me enough room to make detailed notes if  needed, or plan my day out by time. So I recently went to the below daily spread and I love it so much better.

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up daily spread

You can learn about the time tracker section of this page and get all sorts of massive help and inspiration from Boho Berry, who will soon become your bujo best friend.

If you choose to do a daily spread you don’t have to plan out everyday. Right now I’ve gone for a week without planning as I’m moving and knew that I wouldn’t be doing anything but moving (and sadly still am!!!).

Make planning a night time routine
Every night for about 5-10 minutes I set up my daily log for the next day, do my time tracker and weather, and then dot point each task I want to get done for the day.

Here’s my order:

  1. Fill in the time tracker
  2. Add tasks / appointments for the day from my monthly spread
  3. Add unfinished tasks from the week before
  4. If I think I can get more done, I’ll then add items from my task list on my monthly page
  5. I then prioritise the top 3 things that I definitely want to get done, so if they’re the only things that get done on the day, then I’ll classify it as a good day

How has a bujo helped me more than any other planner?

The fact that it’s totally customisable, there’s no need to decorate, everything is in one place, and there’s room to write as much detail as you can is the biggest plus of a bujo over any other planner I’ve used.

I still use Google Calendar to plan, but want to decrease my reliance on it. To find out how I combine bullet journaling with Google Calendar, please visit here.

I’ve also started a series on providing inspiration on how to set up future, monthly, weekly, and daily logs. If you’d like to read these please visit the future log post here. They’ll be links in this post to the others.

If you’re already a bujo devotee I’d love to hear any tips that you have to make your bujo your ultimate planning assistant.

If you’re keen to become a bujo devotee and need advice, or have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

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How to make weekly meal planning easy

How to make weekly meal planning easy

Image

I spend way too much time planning my weekly meals. It currently takes me two days to plan and buy groceries.

This is before adding the time it takes to cook meals. As I cook from recipes, I often find that a recipe I’ve chosen takes longer to cook than planned, and has way too many ingredients.

I need to become more time efficient with this task. I love cooking, but the time it takes to plan meals, and then cook them is taking way too long, and turning my love into a dreaded chore.

So in order to streamline this entire process, this is how I will be making my weekly meal planning and cooking less time consuming.

Planning
To make my recipe search quicker, each day of the week will be dedicated to the following meal types:

Monday – Leftovers
Tuesday – Meat
Wednesday – Fish
Thursday – Chicken
Friday – Takeaway
Saturday – Pasta
Sunday – Stir fry

Planning will take place on a Tuesday night, and will consist of finding a recipe on my dinner Pinterest board and adding its link to a Google Sheet. This sheet lists every day of the week, and the food type that needs to be cooked that night.

So for example, on a Sunday I will add a link to a beef, mushroom, and greens stir fry as it’s a stir fry recipe, and only stirfries will be cooked on a Sunday.

I’m also going to make sure that the majority of recipes I add to Pinterest take less than 30 minutes to cook, and don’t have many ingredients so I’m not spending forever cooking.

Purchasing
Immediately after I finish planning I will order the ingredients for each meal online. All I’ll have to do is click on the link in my Google Sheet and I’ll be taken straight to the recipe.

Cooking
To carry on with my effort to become more time efficient, I’m going to start batch cooking!

On Tuesdays I will cook Tuesday night’s meal as well as chop and pre cook what I can for Wednesday’s meal.

On Thursdays I will cook Thursday night’s meal and also chop and pre cook what I can for the weekend’s meals.

Future planning
Each Sunday night I will stocktake all the ingredients I have in my freezer, fridge, and cupboard, and will ensure the recipes I choose for the next week use as many of these ingredients as possible.

Here’s what my meal planning week will now look like:

Monday
Groceries delivered

Tuesday
Cook night’s meal
Prep Wednesday night’s meal
Plan and order groceries for next week

Wednesday
Rest night

Thursday
Cook night’s meal
Prep weekends meals

Friday
Takeaway night

Saturday
Rest night

Sunday
Rest night

I really hope that these activities make my weekly meal planning tasks easier and more time efficient.

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Filofax weekly pages May

Love from Lisa Filofax decoration

Planning is a big part of my life. It not only makes me more focused, but it ensures that I allocate enough time for the things in life that truly matter to me.

My planning tool of choice is an A5 Filofax, and here’s what it looked like in May.

Monthly view – week 1

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages May

Monthly view
April was about Autumn, May’s about dots. There’s no particular reason for this, the dots just felt happy and matched perfectly with my dot magnetic bookmark. However, like April, the decorations for this month’s monthly view were scrap paper attached with double sided tape.

Here you can see scheduled blog posts in orange washi tape. The reason you can see these for this month, and no other month, is that part of my April action plan was to write a three month post schedule. This means you’ll see these over the next couple of months as well.

Week 1
Over Easter I bought the cutest scrap booking accessories from Lincraft. One of them was a birthday pack and had some really cute little animals with birthday hats and presents. This page uses some of these.

This was a quiet week dedicated to cooking and trialling the gym, which is part of my May goals of needing to establish some routines.

Week 2 – Week 3

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages May

Week 2
This week was all about getting things done, hence my little list decoration in the middle.

This week included baking Macadamia, Chia, and Raspberry Muesli Bars, and a Chewy Chunky Chocolate Slice, writing my monthly Head and Heart post, and going out for dinner with friends.

Week 3
These gorgeous flags are part of the packs I got at Lincraft, which are attached with double sided tape. I really love this week’s decorations as they’re simple, and the colour is really pretty.

This was also a quiet week where I was able to take some time out to do the things that really matter to me, which include setting goals, checking out cool things on the internet, and hanging out with my sister at Camberwell Market.

Week 4 – Week 5

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages May

Week 4
By this week I was really behind on my decorations, so I feel like this one was slapped together without much though. Here you’ll notice a little message that I wrote to myself, reminding me to eat fresh. I’ve done a lot of restaurant eating before this point so it was a reminder to eat better.

This week was very uneventful. All I did was write some posts and catch up on Grey’s Anatomy, which I’m totally addicted to at the moment!

Week 5
This weeks decoration was inspired by using some washi tape that I haven’t used before, combined with using some Autumn / Spring related stickers as Winter’s coming up, so these can’t be used for much longer.

Again, this was a super quiet week, with nothing really scheduled, which is always great to have once in awhile.

For planner updates as they occur please visit my Instagram account.

For inspiration on how to use and decorate a Filofax please visit my Filofax Planner Love Pinterest board.

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Wardrobe makeover

Love from Lisa wardrobe makeover

One of my favourite chores is decluttering and organising my wardrobe and drawers.

If this is something you’ve wanted to do for ages, here’s how I go about it. I hope it provides you with some ideas.

Step 1 – Take it all, and I mean all, out!

Take everything out of your wardrobe and drawers and lay it all on your bed.

Step 2 – Let the decluttering begin

One by one go through everything and categorise it as follows:

Cull – if it doesn’t fit, you don’t love it, or you haven’t worn it in over 6 months, then it’s time to go. Place these items in a garbage bag and put the bag in your car so you can donate them. Don’t be tempted to take anything out of this bag. They’ve been bagged because for some reason you don’t want them anymore.

Chuck – if an item’s beyond repair then bin it.

Keep – everything left over is to keep.

Step 3 – Categorise

I place each item in the keep pile into one of three category piles, which are work, casual, and occasion.

Step 4 – Time to organise

This is the fun part! This is where I put away each item based upon their category and colour. To explain this madness, this is what I do:

Items that go into my drawers

Tops
Work tops are folded into two piles and placed in the same drawer. Casual tops are folded into one pile and placed in the drawer underneath.

Pyjamas and exercise gear
These are folded into separate piles and placed together in the one drawer.

Items that go in my wardrobe

This is where I get all fancy and put items away not only by category, but also by colour!

Pants
The first items you see hanging in my wardrobe are my work pants, which are hung with black at the front, followed by brown, blue, and then tan using these hangers. You can see this set up in the main image above.

Cardigans and jackets
Behind my work pants are my work cardigans and jackets. All cardigans are hung next to each other, followed by jackets in order of dark to light using these hangers from Costco.

Occasion jackets
Next up are any jackets I wear to special occasions, which are all black and short sleeved.

Shorts
Behind my occasion jackets I hang my shorts, dark colours first, followed by light colours.

Skirts
Skirts are next. I only have long skirts at the moment, all dark in colour.

Dresses
The last item hanging in my wardrobe are my dresses grouped by occasion then casual.

Here’s what gets folded and stored on the shelf above the hanging section.

Casual pants
Folded in one pile above my work pants are all non-work pants including jeans and leggings, with dark colours on the bottom, and light colours on the top.

Cardigans and jumpers
Next are three piles of cardigans and jumpers. One pile has all non-work long cardigans, another pile has non work jumpers, and the last pile has jumpers I can wear to work. Each pile is sorted from dark colours on the bottom, to light colours on the top.

Scarves
This is the last pile, which lies above my dresses. Each scarf is folded and stored by dark colours on the bottom, light colours on the top.

Shoes
On my shoe rack are heels and flats, with dark shoes closest to the door, light shoes closest to the back. Next to the shoe rack, but not on, it are my boots.

Step 5 – What about jewellery?

Necklaces are stored on my wardrobe wall using a tie holder similar to this.

Rings and long earrings are stored next to my work pants in one of these with studded earrings stored in one of these in one of my bedside drawers. Both of these are from Howard’s Storage Word.

Sot that’s it, that’s how I organise my wardrobe and drawers.

If you’re after some more organisation tips, then please visit my home organisation and cleaning Pinterest board.

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Filofax weekly pages April

Love from Lisa Filofax decoration

Planning is a big part of my life. It not only makes me more focused, but it ensures that I allocate enough time for the things in life that truly matter to me.

My planning tool of choice is an A5 Filofax, and here’s what it looked like for April.

Monthly view – week 1

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages April

Monthly view

Like March, April continues with an Autumn theme, using scrap paper and stickers.

Week 1

Bunny page flags were used to celebrate Easter, which was a week for catch ups with work colleagues and friends that I haven’t seen in ages.

Week 2 – Week 3

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages April

Week 2

As this was my last week of freedom before starting a new job, I tried to do as many things that make me happy as I could. This included shopping, writing Edible Experiments and Head and Heart posts, making garden plans, and eating a lot of food.

Week 3

This week was about being motivated, hence the reason for the quotes.

Week 4 – Week 5

Love from Lisa Filofax weekly pages April

Week 4

I love these decorations, they’re from a make your own birthday card pack. This week was about getting back into a schedule, and thinking a lot about how to stay on top of blogging, which is a massive priority for me.

Week 5

I love this week’s decoration, it’s basic but cute.

Socially this week was very quiet, which all weeks from now on will be now that I’m working full time again. I’m resolving to dedicate the majority of my free time this week onwards to improving my time management skills so my blogging life stays a priority whilst working full time hours.

For planner updates as they occur please visit my Instagram account.

For inspiration on Filofax usage please visit my Filofax Planner Love Pinterest board.

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