Hello my friends, and Happy Wednesday! How is your winter going? How about your new year??
I'm so sorry it's been so long since I last posted! I have in fact had a draft open on my computer for the past couple of months (months?!) but free time has been thin on the ground lately. All that said, I'm sitting down today in the mid-afternoon, to do my very best to get that darn post up at the blog before nightfall! (Or bedtime - whichever comes first!)
Anyhoo - how are you all? I hope you are all well! We are doing just fine here if perhaps stretched a wee bit thin lately from busy schedules and non-sleeping children - but that's a post for a different day! Today I'd like to give you a little tour of my seasonal bullet journal system. I actually have several planning (and tea!) posts percolating, but I'm going to keep things as short and simple today as possible. (Longtime readers know I love long posts - but I also tend to overcomplicate things which keeps me from finishing!)
Ok, onto the bujos ...
So I've posted about my journaling habits here many times before, but "bullet journaling" is a happy little hobby (some might say, lifestyle) I've been exploring just recently. Do any of you keep a bullet journal? Or any kind of journal? I'd love to hear about it if you do! (I'd especially LOVE to hear about bujos you use as self-made planners!)
I'm really still feeling my way around with this concept, but I do LOVE the idea of a bullet journal. And the way other people's journals look on Pinterest. Oh my gosh, i could waste spend so much time on Pinterest drooling over other folks' spreads!
Journal envy aside however, the "bujo" format appeals to me personally for so many reasons - it's creative, flexible, comprehensive and unique! Plus as a life-long DIYer, I just had to give it a go!
Basically, bullet journals meet more than a few of my most pressing planner needs:
I need my planner to be portable - easy to grab and take with me.
I like my planner to be comprehensive - all aspects of my life-planning are in one place.
I enjoy being different. I like for my planner to look like MY planner.
I desire for my planner to be intensely seasonal, a tool for connecting with the rhythm of the season at hand.
I have a few other planners as you all know: a devoted daily planner, a pretty little weekly planner, a binder "household" planner, and let us not forget my own homemade seasonal planner! I have not yet let go of any of these other planners but have instead just set them aside - just for a bit. I've been feeling the need to simplify lately, and use my limited free time as wisely as possible. I bet many of my planner-junkie friends here know what I mean when I say, it's hard to find ONE system that really ticks all the boxes. But it's also hard to truly give a new planner a fighting chance when you have a few other "systems" already in the works!
So I'm on a little planner "diet" while I delve into my bullet-journaling and see if I can make it work all on its own.
(Naturally I immediately broke my "keep it simple" bujo rule, and came up with the idea of a "system" of six journals instead of one. But bear with me - there is a method to my madness!)
As you see in my top picture, there are six journals, and each one is focused on two months, or one season. I keep the current season's journal with me (or close at hand) while the others reside at my desk.
(They fit very nicely in this rack set inside a rolling cart. Isn't rose gold so pretty?)
Top shot. Love the look of fresh notebooks!
This handy rolling cart is situated right next to my "corner office" - a tour of which will be coming next week! (Finally getting it deep-cleaned and re-organized now that Christmas stuff is safely packed away.)
And now for a quick walk-through of my current bullet journal for "Deep Winter" (January & February).
Front cover. As you can see, I haven't done much with the cover(s) yet - I'm still deciding if I like them kind of plain or if I'd like to "collage" them a little. I did use a set of pastel adhesive labels to color-code each seasonal journal. I chose a soft snowy blue for Deep Winter.
That soft snowy blue is followed by a light spring green, then deep blossom pink, sunny golden yellow, warm harvest orange, and finally, a crisp frosty lavender.
(Note: I found these notebooks on Amazon. They come in a pack of two for $12. I ADORE these notebooks! They are a nice size, the paper is wonderfully smooth, the dotted grid helps me keep things neat and the whole kit-and-kaboodle is spiral-bound. Spiral-binding is a must for me when it comes to journals, so this one really hits the journaling spot for me!)
Title page - pretty self-explanatory!
January and February, at a quick glance. Dated calendars above, events of note below.
❄️Exploring Deep Winter nature!
On the left, I listed our weekly seasonal themes and devoted a little space to seasonal brainstorming. I just jotted down any thoughts that came to mind when I pondered the season of Deep Winter ... what we do, what we notice, things we eat, etc.
On the right-hand page I have phenology wheels for the months of January and February, along with a temperature chart. I found the wheel templates on Pinterest. I shaded in the moon phases and every day I draw/write in the weather icon, high temp for the day as well as the sunset time.
(A note on my pens and pencils. In all my planners I use, exclusively, Frixion Erasable Fine Point Pens in black. For the temperature shading I use Raffine Colored Pencils.)
I find using practical tools like paper clips, binder clips and adhesive tabs and flags not only increases the efficiency of a planner but also adds some visual interest! I like using the flags and tabs in the midst of my journaling - sometimes I like to pause and create a list or plan and it's handy to have a way to find that list when I need it! The paper clip's job is described a bit further down in my post.
(Note the next spread was a bit personal, having to do with personal New Year's Goals, so I am skipping that part of the tour. What I did was to write out some personal "Year 50" goals as well as some Winter Wellness ideas and break them down into simple actions to insert into my schedule. That might be a post for another time!)
Ok, next comes the monthly calendar spreads:
And it's as basic as it looks! I just drew in the grids and wrote in the dates, etc. I added washi tape to the edges of this calendar section so it's easy to find it when making appointments or plans. In the leftover white space I added in seasonal quotes and information ... something I have yet to do in my February spread!
(Note: I use Frixion Erasable Highlighters to color-code activities. Green - I'm going somewhere. Blue - the boys are going somewhere. Pink - happy things/self care. Yellow - home-based entertainment/projects. I also have a lavender highlighter for feasts and faith-related activities but I've lost that darn pen!)
Another thing that helps me find sections quickly - paperclips!
I use a large metal paperclip to connect the monthly calendar wth the current weekly spread. This makes it really easy to flip back and forth between my two most used page spreads!
And directly after the monthly calendars comes the weekly planning section. I used three pages for each spread ...
The page on the left side is for the first half of the week. In the top corner I noted the week's dates (always a Monday start) and seasonal theme. I highlighted the month in blue highlighter, indicating it's a "wintry" month. The week-at-a-glance begins with a To-Do column - which admittedly is a little narrow - but since I'm comfortable writing tiny it's no trouble for me.
I wrote the agenda's hours alongside the spiral binding, and left space at the bottom of each column for pertinent daily notes.
I like that these columns allow for timely planning - it lets me see how full a day might be, and where there is "white space" for other tasks and activities.
The very next page is used as a "middle insert." I think it's kind of like a "dutch door" concept but I don't make any cuts. Instead, I keep it folded so I can see both sides of a weekly spread. I keep it flat in off weeks so as not to add to the journal's bulk.
The folded middle page allows for four sections of notes: seasonskeeping, home lessons, homekeeping, general notes.
The right-hand side of the weekly spread is for the rest of the week, Thursday through Sunday. In the upper righthand corner I have the week's dates and month again along with the current lunar cycle. (As you know, I'm such an "Ooh, look at the moon!" kind of person.🌝)
There are nine weekly spreads in this bullet journal, the very weeks that make up the season of Deep Winter. (Next season's bullet journal, Early Spring, begins with the week of 3/4-3/10.)
At the end of the weekly planning section I have a two page spread for a reading log, then another spread for my thoughts on Winter Homekeeping and connecting with the season of Deep Winter (a time for resting, rejuvenating).
Next comes a journal index page where I will note anything pertinent at the end of the season - information I'll need again and where to find it.
And then begins the true "journal" section of my seasonal bullet journal ... :)
I chose a pretty image from a New Year's card I received from my cousin. (I took a photocopy and taped it onto the page.)
And the rest of the pages are just being slowly filled up with my thoughts and any clippings I like! These are just a few examples ...
I'm not very strict with my journaling - I don't even do it every day, though I really wish I would. I start with the date and the weather icon/temp. and then I just ot down whatever comes to mind. Things we did, people who visited, observations of nature, ideas for seasonal meals, etc. I want my journal to be something that when looked back upon years from now, there is a sense of me, and my family and home ... and time of year! They're certainly not very exciting and perhaps not all that interesting, but I do love looking back at my journals. It's such a great way to preserve memories and inspire seasonal awareness.
I've kept journals like these since high school, but I've mostly kept them separate from my planners. In recent years however, I have tried keeping my journaling notes inside a three-ring binder, along with planning forms. While I like that idea very much, it's just not very portable ... and so I tend to work in that platform a little less than I'd like. I'm finding this small book is fun and easy to carry with me and work in whenever mood strikes.
Here is my current journaling spread:
I added that pretty February note page but have yet to use it! Not sure if it will be a list of goals for the month or a catch-all of monthly folklore and storytelling ideas. The blue post-it note was for monitoring yesterday's daily to-dos. (I know ... I KNOW. I used this simple little sticky note instead of using a page in my Day Designer and I felt ... well, a little guilty! But a little relieved, too.)
The right -hand page has clippings to be added and you can see the little binder clip I use to mark my spot in my journal. Another handy-dandy tool that helps me find my place fast!
Back cover - the end! :)
Well, I hope you enjoyed this tour of my little seasonal journals! I will revisit them in a future post and let you know how I'm doing with them. I will also post again to update you on how all my other planners are faring. But for now - as the darkness descends out my windows and the ovens come to temperature ... it is time for me to move away from the computer and get my family's supper started!
Thanks as always my friends, for stopping by ... and thanks too, for your patience, when I'm unable to blog. I will always return no matter how long my "breaks" ...
See you here again very soon!