This post originally appeared on The Hippie Art Studio in 2016.
I’ve been using a bullet journal for several years on and off. This year, since my Word of the Year is Focus – I want to really work on daily plans so that I can focus on getting at least my top three goals completed each day. Last month, I did okay at daily planning, but I’m hoping by simplifying some part of my process that I will do even better this month!
Why I Plan
Let’s take just a minute and discuss planning. There is magic in the act of putting your intentions down on paper. Somehow things just seem to happen once you write them down. This applies not only to your big dreams and goals, but also to your daily tasks! That is why I’m working on making daily planning part of my routine. I’m a very busy Momma to a lovely 2 year old, and planning helps me to remember life’s little moments (through my monthly calendar and daily notes), while also letting me get stuff done so I can actually focus on my daughter.
When I don’t write stuff down, it all builds up in my head until my head feels like it’s going to explode. I will get more frequent and downright horrid migraines if I don’t get that crap out of my head. That’s one reason that I love brain dumps as part of my daily planning sessions. It gets all that junk that is bouncing around in there out of my head and onto paper so I can actually start crossing it off!
Another reason I plan is that it actually helps to increase my focus. The act of planning helps me figure out what my top priorities for the day are, and planning helps me to break those priorities into action steps so that I can actually get them done without feeling overwhelmed! Now, let’s take a peek at how January worked out for me in my bullet journal and what February is starting to look like.
Changes, Experiments, and Lessons Learned.
In January, I experimented with the addition of a weekly layout as a way to track the tasks that I accomplished each day. These tasks were my “Big 3” tasks and goals that I decided were my priority for each day. While I did love being able to review all the these I accomplished at the end of the week that moved me forward in my bigger goals, I found that by adding this extra step to my planning process resulted in me simply not filling them out. Plus, my daughter was sick for the last two weeks in January, which probably didn’t help with using these weekly layouts. Therefore, I decided for February to just nix them and move back to using strictly my daily pages for planning.
Another thing that I’m switching up for February is playing around with having an editorial calendar spread so that I can have easier access to the content that I am creating for my blog, YouTube, and other social media outlets (like Twitter and Instagram). I created a spread that divides each page into two quadrants that gives me enough lines for two weeks on each page. I also divided these weeks into four separate sections, one for each of the social media areas that I’m focusing on creating content for (Blog, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter). I made sure that each week had 7 lines, so that I have each day of the week represented and can make notes on what content I’ve created for each platform on that day. So far, I really like seeing everything altogether in this fashion, but this spread may need additional tweaking for next month. We will see how it works out!
Finally, I’ve decided to allow myself some leeway with color coding, at least until I can find my highlighters that are currently MIA. Last month, I did pretty good about coloring for about half the month and then it completely dropped off (I’ll continue to blame my daughter being sick, despite the fact that it just added another step that put me off this whole planning process). Instead, I’m going to outline the boxes in black pen this month for my monthly tracker and daily time tracker (with written notes on what I was doing), and then color code it later – probably at the end of the month because that’s how I am.
That’s pretty much my setup so far for 2016. I’m sure it will continue to evolve and change – that’s one of my favorite parts of the Bullet Journal system, it can work for you however you need it to!