Hello, my friends and Happy November!
I am writing to you on this first day of a brand new month - and a bright new season - and it is my dearest hope that this "note" finds you all doing well. ❤
I'm here today to kick off a new series of Teatimes, and to give you all a little tour of how I set up my Late Autumn bullet journal. I am hoping to share a "Tea Journal" post every other week throughout this lovely season of late autumn and the winter holidays. Here is my tentative schedule of upcoming dates and seasonal topics:
11/8: Fading Light/Cranberries/Frost
11/22: Cozy Nests/Earth's Bounty/Thankful Hearts
12/6: Heaven & Earth/Holiday Greenery/Christmas Trees
12/20: Winter Solstice/All Creation Waits/Gingerbread
1/3: Winter Stars/Comfort & Joy/Word of the Year
In each Teatime post I will share a pretty cup of tea and perhaps a special seasonal goodie (virtually, natch!) and I will also share some of my recent bullet journal/planner pages, focusing on current seasonal themes.
So today is just a quick "working tea" because I'm all business when I have a new journal to prepare! You see my pretty mug up top and a little peek at my current journal. I've really just got the bones in place so far - this weekend I'll work on filling things in.
I've been posting about my pages over at Instagram and a few folks have asked me to share how I set up my bujo/planner. So before I get to my photos, here's a little bit about that ...
- journal - I like this one for its smooth paper, sturdy binding, and convenient size
- ruler - one of my dad's old engineering rulers!
- pen - I always use Frixion Erasable pens.
- assorted post-it notes/adhesive tabs/washi tape/paper clips/binder clips
- pastel highlighters (also erasable) and colored pencils
1. Choose my journal timeframe. I know many people use their bullet journals with no particular begin/end date in mind. They just start where they are and when they run out of paper, they move on to a new journal! I myself like to create seasonally-specific journals, so this current journal is organized for Late Autumn (the months of November and December).
2. Create a journal content list. What kinds of things do I want in my journal? See below for my content list - which is based on my own needs and priorities, though I do get a lot of wonderful inspiration over at Pinterest. I love coming across a cool idea for organizing my content in a way I hadn't considered before!
3. Mark off journal sections before putting pen to paper! I use post-it notes to set apart different sections of my journal, so I can be sure all my content will fit!
4. Label journal. Some folks create very lovely and fancy front covers for their journals. I like the look of these simple, pastel stickers I found at the craft store. Each season gets its own special hue and primary "purpose."
5. Create page spreads. I like to sit somewhere comfortable with a large clipboard in my lap and all my supplies around me before I get started. Oh, and tea! I like to have a hot cup of tea by my side. It helps me think! This particular aspect of bullet journaling - the designing and drawing part - probably requires the most amount of your time, but once you get it all set up, you're good to go! And you know, I can honestly say ... I love it! All the measuring and counting and drawing out lines. I don't find it tedious or boring - rather, it soothes me in a way I think might be comparable to knitting or sewing. I try to pick a time for this when I can really bang out most of the planner ... but in reality I usually have to set it aside and continue my progress as I can.
6. Establish a journaling routine. Once you get your bujo set up, it's helpful to make journaling a part of your weekly (daily?) routine. I try to "work" in my journal a little each morning and again in the afternoon. This would be updating the phenology wheel, calendar spreads and writing in the actual journal portion - jotting down notes and adding clippings. I try to carve out time on the weekends for reviewing and catching up in my journal as well as checking in with some of the more goal-oriented spreads.
So just what all do I have in my seasonal journals? Well, let's take a look at this one!
MY LATE AUTUMN JOURNAL CONTENTS:
title page (1)
monthly overviews: Nov/Dec (2)
seasonal themes and brainstorming (1)
teatime planning (1)
personal wellness page (1)
November calendar (2)
December calendar (2)
weekly spreads (4) x 10 weeks
reading log (2)
Thanksgiving planner (2)
Christmas planner (4)
journal index (1)
brain dump/clippings (remaining pages)
(The bracketed numbers indicate how many pages this content item will need.)
My overall design really is pretty simple. I don't embellish or sketch very much even though I definitely admire layouts done so creatively. For me, if I'm going to actually use the journal I must keep it simple. I don't have a lot of time to journal and I tend to obsess over getting something "just right." So it's better for me to keep to straight lines and little bullets, stars and hearts!
Ok - now for the photo tour! (Remember, I'm just getting started on this journal so much of it is still blank ...)
Not much to say here - I just really love those labels!
Title Page - pretty basic! I resisted getting too complicated here - just getting that tea mug as I liked it was stressful enough, lol! As you can see, I chose three colored pencils to shade in some of my writing: russet, plum and pine green. ❤❤❤
I really like this basic spread because it gives me, in one glance, the real nitty-gritty of the season ahead. I've used post-it notes here for miscellaneous monthly happenings.
SEASONAL BRAINSTORMING & PHENOLOGY:
I think it's safe to say this is my favorite spread in my whole journal! On the left is a page just all about the absolute joy that is the season of Late Autumn. I've listed our weekly seasonal themes at the top, and just below that is my seasonal brainstorming blurb ...
I love writing down all the little comforts and joys that occur in a season ... some are universal and some are more personal. All make me eager for a new season ahead!
I found the phenology wheel template on Pinterest. Just do a search for "phenology wheel" and many designs will pop up. As you can see I have filled out today's slice of the wheel. I record the moon phase, the weather (my little icon indicates partly cloudy with wind), high temp and sunset time. Across the outer rim, the dates will be shaded according to my color-coded weather chart. (I forgot to do that this morning!) Here's a completed wheel from earlier this year ...
Nature nut, color-lover and weather geek that I am - I find this hobby enormously satisfying! :-)
BLOG PLANNER & WELLNESS PAGE:
I'm using post-it notes on this spread, because I often find it easier to organize my initial ideas with post-its! Both of these pages will require a lot more information than what I've jotted down so far, so I'll revisit this spread in a future post. To be honest, I haven't had much success keeping up with these pages in previous journals - perhaps because it's all rather personal and it can be hard to make time for "self-care," especially at this busy and stressful time of year. With that in mind, I'm committing to reviewing this spread each weekend and making sure I'm keeping up with my goals - posting as promised, and taking care of my physical and mental health!
This journal is devoted to just November and December, so I only need two monthly calendar spreads. I got November's template done but I still have much to do for December!
Here are a few closer looks ... I did have a little fun with sketching (not my strong suit!) and penning out seasonal quotes (more my forté!).
I always love to list monthly folklore like birth flowers and gemstones. My mother's birthday is this month so I have a special fondness for "mums" and golden topaz jewelry. :-)
(Fyi, First Frost is one of my all-time favorite books! I just adore Sara Addison Allen and am counting the days till she publishes a new book!)
What a wacky turkey, lol ... I copied him from one of the boys' books. He doesn't look like a very happy turkey, does he?
December to come ... by the way, I used a pretty washi tape to set apart these particular spreads since I look for the monthly calendars quite often.
This section is really the heart of my journal planner! I have a three-page spread for each week in the season. I like a vertical layout - it helps me SEE where I'm busy and not - and yes, I prefer a Monday-start. Not everyone does! I just SEE my weeks beginning on Monday and ending with the weekend. I like a to-do column up front at the start of the week, too.
The middle page is for weekly planning: inside the fold I list out ideas for seasonal living (this week's theme is "goodnight, garden") and homeschooling lessons. The fold shown above is for "housekeeper" planning - errands, meals, cleaning and current projects. The backside of this folded page is for weekend plans and miscelleneous notes.
At the top of each page in the outer corner I list the dates of the week, the month at hand and the weekly theme as well as the moon phase. The spaces below each daily column are for to-dos specific to that day. I also list monies spent at the bottom of the to-do column.
Naturally I couldn't help but embellish this week a little! You can also see here in this picture, the tabs I used for organizing the rest of the journal after the weekly planning section. None of these sections have anything to show yet, so I will just tell you that I have a two-pages spread for Thanksgiving planning, a four-page spread for Christmas planning, a page for my reading log, and then the rest of the journal is for ... well, journaling! :-)
Well my friends, I hope you've enjoyed this not-so-brief tour of my Late Autumn Journal! And I thank you, as always, for joining me here ...
Before I go I'd like to remind you all that when it comes to things like bullet journaling and seasonal planning - everyone does things in their own way! Some of us do similar things, some of us do wildly different things, but all of us are doing our own thing and that's the best part about it! I think that's what I love best about "bullet journaling" is how you can customize things to suit your very own preferences.
I share the above photos and information with you all not to say ... "this is how you do a bullet journal" ... but rather ... "this is how I do my bullet journal!"
But maybe something I show you will give you a better idea of what you want, or help you see things in a new light. Or maybe you're looking this all over thinking, Hey - this gal's on the same page as me - we're like kindred spirits! And, well ... that's swell, too! :-)
Oh, and also! If you'd like to participate in a Teatime, you are most welcome! All are welcome to stop by and read/comment but I'd love to hear your take on my topics! You could post something at your own site and send me the link or you could send me a picture and your thoughts, and I will include them in my scheduled post. You can reach me by emailing me at drhanigan AT gmail DOT com. You can also reach me via Instagram direct message.
Thanks again my friends, and I hope you all have a great weekend! I also hope you said "Rabbit-rabbit" this morning! - I'm looking at you, Penny! - and to all a Happy Late Autumn ...
See you here again very soon!