Bullet journal

My 2019 Bullet journal evaluation: Which features will migrate to my 2020 journal

Most bullet journalers are entering or have already entered in the period of setting up a new bullet journal. I am also, but for me it is easy to start a new journal, as I use a Filofax Clipbook A5. In the end of the year I remove all pages from my clipbook and store them. I then add new pages.

In my previous blogpost, I answered the first question that was in my mind in starting a new bullet journal: What happens to the old bullet journals? And since this is by now solved, I can continue to the next one, which is: Which features of my current bullet journal I will continue having in my 2020 version? I split the features of my bullet journal in two big categories: the collections and the monthly/weekly/daily layout.

Collections – Trackers

About this time last year I went through the process of evaluating the collections I have been using in my previous bullet journals. I knew that I have been starting a lot of them and I tended to quit keeping them updated towards the middle of the year. Has that happened to you too?

So in my 2019 bullet journal I kept only collections that were not abandoned and created only a couple of new ones in subjects that I evaluated as really interesting for me, such as books. And guess what? It was an absolute success, as I did not abandon them this year either!

These are the collections – trackers that were so successful for me in 2019:

  • 2019 Roadmap
    This is one of the two not so minimalist pages in my bullet journal. I have already explained the idea behind it here. I absolutely love this short overview of my year!
My 2019 roadmap, as I transferred it to the notebook for safekeeping.
  • Movies and Series watched
    These two collections are of interest for both me and my husband. We watch several movies each year and a lot of series, as it has become so easy with Netflix. These trackers usually end up a bit messy, as I tend to complete them while watching tv, but I love them anyway 🙂
  • Books read tracking
    The Books read collection is the second not-so-minimalist page in my bullet journal. I read about 40 books per year and I tend not to keep the majority of them. As a result, this page is the only way I can really imagine how it would be if I was. It is so fulfilling to see my drawn library filling up!
My 2019 library until now
  • Reading challenges and other book related tracking
    I follow a reading challenge during the year, called BRACE, and it is vital of course to track it in my bullet journal. In addition, during 2019 I decided to keep track of where the books and their authors take me. I track the origin of the authors, so as to have an overview and where and when the books take place. I have been trying to use these data to create some statistics, that I found quite interesting!

Collections – Functional pages

The bullet journal is an incredible organisational tool. I keep a few functional lists that help me in my everyday life:

  • Waiting on…
    I consider this one, one of the most useful collections I use in bujo. Quite often I order things from the internet, or expect an email or a letter from somebody for a follow up. These are things that tend to be forgotten or lost inside a daily or weekly log. As a result, I keep a special page where I note what I should follow up. 2019 was a rather quiet year, but I can’t know how 2020 will go, so I will keep in my new bullet journal
  • Wishlist without deadline
    This is a list of all the things I would like to do, but they are not eminent and I do them only when I have time and mood. Not everything was done, but at least the majority was!
  • When did I last…
    In this list I note things like when I change toothbrushes, clean the windows and the fireplace, or any other task that is donea few times per year, but not regularly.
My “Waiting on” and Wishlist without deadline pages for 2019

Monthly/Weekly/Daily layouts

These are the second most important component of my bullet journal. At this time last year I took some decisions about the monthly/weekly/daily layouts that I have used during the years I have had a bujo. To be honest which of these layouts you use depend on the particular occasion and phase of your life.

During all of 2019 until now I have used a one page monthly log, the running task list for weekly and I didn’t have any dailies. By the way I found out that the running task list is also called Alastair method for weekly.

  • One-page monthly layout
    I know that a one-page monthly layout is perfect for my personal life, so I will continue using it. The months that were full of my gardening activities I kept a second one-page monthly layout dedicated to my plants.
  • Running task list or Alastair method for weekly
    I have found this layout really useful for me. I was mostly staying home and I did not have strict deadlines for the tasks to be done, so by using a running task list I avoided rewriting tasks. Now that my weeks have become more busy already, I will have to reconsider about which layout will be more useful for my 2020 bullet journal. But I never prepare my weeklies too much in advance, so I can change my mind whenever I want.
My current weekly for personal tasks

I think after this evaluation I am ready to start my 2020 bullet journal. Are you evaluating your previous versions yourself? Are there any interesting conclusions you have drawn? Please be kind enough to share them with me!

Bullet journal

My gardening tracking in April

Some time in March my husband and I started the realisation of our gardening plans. It was obvious early enough that organising the whole idea is pretty essential, especially if we don’t want to have all salad of the year in the same week or be too early or late with planting something.

I started by creating a few pages to track what needs to be done and what is done already. In my blog post Tracking my gardening acitivies in my Bullet journal I explained the first three pages I included in March. By now our seeds have started growing to plants and my gardening tracking is flourishing as well. In this post I will show you how these pages have evolved and some additional ones I found important to include.

Some of my tomatoes plants and in the background my peppermint!

Here are the gardening pages I have in my bullet journal after about a month of gardening:

  • What we planted: In this page I keep the information that the seeds packaging is giving. It is much easier to retreave them from my bullet journal, than from the packaging itself.
  • A planting log: It is like a diary if my plants were keeping one 🙂 Honestly, it is not updated daily, rather once a week or once in two weeks.
  • A table following the seeds we plant: This has proved to be one of the nicest pages I created. It is the summary of the behaviour of the seeds.
  • A monthly log: This is really the least useful of the pages I keep, but since I am not consistent with keeping a planting log every single day, I use it to make fast notes, so as to update the planting log once I have time.
Bullet journal

Tracking my gardening activities in my Bullet Journal

I haven’t posted anything about my bullet journal for a while. Although I use it every day and it is essential for my planning, I do not tend to make changes in the format I use, unless it is needed. But now there is a new addition in my bullet journal!

Last July we moved in a new house with a huge roof terrace. By the time we were finished with arranging the house, the summer was over and the season of flowers and gardening was coming to an end. For the new season to come, though, we aspired an ambitious plan: our own small urban garden!

What is needed for an urban garden? Pots, soil, seeds and a good plan accompanied with a lot of patience and interest. The first ingredient was acquired already in January, when there were incredible offers on gardening things: we bought wooden raised beds we are going to have our plants in that fit perfectly to our terrace! We obtained the second and third ingredient last weekend: soil and seeds of what we are interested in growing check! Interest and zeal we had anyway and patience is not our strongest point, but we will have to live with the problem. What is left? A good plan.

The good plan is maybe the most important of the ingredients in order to succeed in our ambitious dream. We bought Spriessbürger: Handbuch für den Anbau von Gemüse und Salat in der Schweiz, a nice book that explains how to cultivate the most common vegetables in the microclimate of Switzerland. Based on the information from this book, we decided what we would like to grow in our garden. It also gave us a lot of information about the time and the way each seed needs to be started. But all this information and in general the plan should be tracked and noted in detail. What better place to do so, than my bullet journal!

Spriessbürger, the handbook we bought

After a lot of thinking of how it is best to track my gardening and many trials, I decided to keep track in my bujo with three ways:

  • A planting log: It is a simple log of when I planted or when I need to plant new seeds. It is a type of daily log or notes about my planting activities.
My planting log
  • A table with the details for each type of seed: In this table I keep all the information that is essential for each seed I have planted, such as when it was planted, how many days it takes for the seeds to grow and the optimal temperature. I will add information about replanting and harvesting once I reach that point.
My seeds table
  • Notes in my monthly log: Gardening is an activity that requires patience. Seeds require at least a week to start growing and the planting log or the table does not offer a visual way of tracking time. I did not want to create a separate page for this, but I integrated my gardening activities in my current log. This way I will be able to note the period each seedling needs to appear, to be replanted and to be moved outdoors.

Seeing my planting plan completed gives me extra motivation! And it proved to be quite some help with the first seeds we planted!

In the process of planting seeds with the handbook and my bullet journal in a safe distance, so that they don’t get dirty!
Bullet journal

My 2019 bullet journal

Oh my, January is already over! And my new bullet journal is already well started! I have the luxury of starting a new bullet journal every year, by just removing the pages of the old one and adding some new pages, as I use a Filofax clipbook.

This year I did an evaluation of my previous bullet journal, so I was ready to start the new year. Let me take you through my 2019 bujo!

Since I set up the first pages of my journal before the beginning of the actual year, I had the time and luxury to include in the beginning several of initial part of a bujo and things I think will be useful during the whole of the year. So in general, the first pages of my 2019 bujo can be divided in the following five parts:

  • 2019 Opening page

In the beginning, I have a simple opening page, similar to the one for 2018. Last year I used the free space for the keywords that I would like the new year to be characterised by. This year, I decided I will leave it empty and write keywords as they come during the year.

  • My year in a glance – 2019 Roadmap

The first thing in my journal is my 2019 Roadmap. I discussed in my post How to track your year in a glance that this was the most successful collection I have done! So why not include it again?

My 2019 roadmap. Still almost empty 🙂
  • Basic components of a bullet journal: Index and future log

Then I created my index per category. Yes I use an index, but not a general one by just listing the number of pages one after the other one. You can refer to my post My bullet journal indexing, so as to find the explanation of my system.

My future log is a simple calendar with a bit of space for notes. I do not need a lot of space for my future log, but I quite often need to see the calendar when I try to fix an appointment and having it like this helps me a lot.

My simple yearly log
  • Interesting collections

As I discussed in the evaluation of my collections, I have migrated the tracking of movies, tv series, ideas for my blog and of course a page for “Waiting on…”.

In addition, I have pages for the books I will read during the year and for the reading challenges I am following.

  • House matters – Cleaning schedule

I wanted to avoid having to repeat the cleaning process every week or every month, so I decided to include this tracking as a page in the beginning of my bujo. It came up as a schedule for a bit more than the first half of the year and I combined this page with a “When did I last…” page. In the latter I note tasks that happen on a rather irregular basis, but it is still better to keep track of them, such as changing toothbrushes or backing up my phone.

Last July we moved to a new house and we are still in process of improving small things around or rearranging, so I decided I will keep the house plans I had in my bujo last year.

It is always handy to have the fairly new house plans available!

After these five parts, I have started the everyday use of my bullet journal, with the monthly pages and anything else that occurs. How does it look? Do you use anything else in the beginning starting setup of your bullet journal?

Bullet journal

My 2018 Bullet journal evaluation: Which monthly and weekly log works best under which circumstance

As a continuation to my previous posts about evaluating my 2018 Bullet journal, after Collections, it was time to decide about the monthly and weekly logs.

I have been using a bullet journal for two and a half years now and I have gone through different phases of my life, from being really busy while working full-time and planning my wedding, to being more flexible with my time while taking care of the house. As a result, I have tried  a couple of different monthly logs and several types of weekly logs. Oh and I have never used a daily log by itself. In this post, I will go through the different formats that I have used during the time I am using a bujo, evaluating each one of them.

Monthly logs I have used

  • Two-page monthly log

When I first started with a bullet journal, I was making my own monthly log, spread in two facing pages:

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A two-page format for the monthly log

I had enough space to add a few habits for tracking, as well as some space at the side for notes or anything else I wanted. It was quite simple, but functional. I did like the fact that the working week was in one page and the weekend in another, thus supporting my effort to have more personal time, which was quite precious at that time.

Evaluation
+ Wide view of the monthly log
+ A bit of space for additional notes or things
– Two facing pages needed
– A bit of time needed to set it up
? Is the space used enough for needs or is it too much?

  • Pre-printed monthly pages, for example the ones from Filofax

As I explained in an older post (The utensils I use in my bullet journal), for my bullet journal I use a Filofax Clipbook A5. This came a few default pages from Filofax when I bought it, so for some months I used their pre-printed monthly pages and it looked like this:

Monthly log Filofax.jpg
A pre-printed page of Filofax

They have the same format from both sides, so I used the front side as a monthly log and the back side so as to write a small sentence for each day. They were really useful for me during some months that my husband and me went travelling (we went for a road trip down under!), so as to keep a kind of fast diary. We were keeping an online blog for our travelling, so I just needed small notes that I could use while writing at the blog.

Evaluation:
Saving time in preparing the month
+ Two identical pages, so one can be used for something else, for example for a “One sentence per day” page
– Additional cost
– Not a lot of flexibility

  • One-page monthly log

Once the pre-printed pages finished, I decided not to go back to the two-paged monthly log, but compress it into one:

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A one-page format for the monthly log

Evidently, it looks like the first format I was using, but more compact. I did like this more, especially when I did not have any problem with personal time anymore! I was using the facing page for habit trackers, summary of my month and notes that I should include in the month to come, although towards the end of the year I discontinued the use of such a page, as I was spending less and less time on my journal.

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My additional page to the monthly log

Evaluation
+ More compact look
– Eventually less space

Weekly logs I have used

  • One-page simple weekly log

This is probably the first type of weekly log I used. It was a totally simple separation of the page in seven horizontal spaces, one for each day of the week. It was ok, but there were days that I needed more space than I had.

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The first and simplest weekly log I made
  • Two-paged compact weekly log

For a few really busy weeks I needed more space that what the one-page simple weekly log was offering, so I used the following format:

weekly 2016.jpg
A two-paged weekly log

It did give me enough space for several tasks, as well as a way to track the water I was drinking (the blue squares) and some meal planning. In addition, it looked neat, something that I appreciate in general. On the downside, it required a bit more time to set it up.

  • One-paged format with enough space

Since I started using my Filofax, I decided that I wanted a one-page format but with enough space. As a result, from the beginning of 2017 and until May 2018 I was using something like this:

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A one-paged weekly log with enough space for several tasks

I liked and still like this format a lot! It is also neat and structured and have space for several tasks, although in one page. In addition, it is kind of easy to draw it. A combination between the first two weekly logs I have used!

  • Running task list

In June last year we moved to another home and suddenly my free time became scarce and my life less structured. I had already tried the Running task list and I had noticed the advantages of it! So since June I have only made running task list weekly logs:

My weekly log from last week

I loved this way of keeping track of my week. It allows flexibility both in noting down tasks that occur, as well as to which day they are assigned. Especially the latter was so important for me, since I work without strict deadlines.

As you can see I started my 2019 bullet journal with running task lists. I will see though, how the rest of the weeks are going and modify things accordingly.

Bullet journal

My 2018 Bullet journal evaluation: Which collections will migrate to my 2019 journal

The end of 2018 is close and a lot of us that have a bullet journal are going to start with a new bujo for the new year. For me it is easy to start a new journal, as I use a Filofax Clipbook A5. In the end of the year I remove all pages from my clipbook and store them. I then add new pages.

As I said in my previous bullet journal post, about How to track your year in a glance!, I have started evaluating my current bullet journal, so as to decide how the one for 2019 will look like. Today I am going to discuss with you the evolution of my collections during 2018.

I have several collections in my bullet journal. Some of them I created at about this time last year, when I was setting up my new journal and other I included some time during the year, so as to fit my needs. Unfortunately, I did not continue updating all of my collections with the same zeal.

When I started this blog in March, I presented 10 of the collections that I had included this year. This is a good starting point so as to do my evaluation! So here is how some of my collections evolved during 2018

  1. Mood tracker
    I had a yearly mood tracker that I updated nicely until about middle June. In June and July we moved houses, so I was far too busy to be able to update every single day my bullet journal. As a result, my “Year in pixel” was abandoned. Oh such a pity… It would probably have looked really nice with all the squares coloured. I think this is a clear indication that I should not include it again in my new bujo.
  2. Movies and Series trackers
    It was the first time I included these collections in my bullet journal and I had high hopes about them!  In the first half of the year my husband and I were watching mostly movies, but in the second half we focused on some interesting series. As a result, I overestimated the space I had dedicated to the movies, as you can see from the photo below

    On the contrary, I underestimated the pages I would need for the tv series. I started with only two pages, but joining Netflix lead to a boom in the number of series we have been following. So I had to add two more pages to the collection. Fortunately, this is easy for me, as I have a discbound notebook, but nevertheless these pages are not numbered anymore. It is so annoying, right?

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My series page in March above and my series pages in the end of November below
  • Books read
    I love this tracker. I keep it in my journal in parallel to Goodreads. It is one of the trackers in my bujo that are not totally minimalist. I like the layout of a library and I make it look similar to my own library. As I was expecting, it evolved nicely throughout the year and the titles of the books are still being filled slowly. I will not manage to fill all of the books in my library, I am afraid, but it definitely looks nice to me.
  • Crocheting and knitting projects
    These collections were both a success and a failure at the same time! I did like tracking all the things I created during the year, but it was a totally bad implementation to use the layouts I did.

  • 20181128_105218_1
    My collection for knitting projects now

    I crochet much more than I knit, as a result, my knitting projects collection has still some space, while my crochet project collection was full already by May. I have created several more projects but I didn’t create additional pages, as I did in the series tracker. I had already decided that this layout is not what suits me.

    I will definitely include similar collections in my new bujo, but I will have to find new layouts, that are more functional for me.

  • Waiting on…
    This is one of the most useful collections I use in bujo. Quite often we order things from the internet, or expect an email or a letter from somebody for a follow up. These are things that tend to be forgotten or lost inside a daily or weekly log. As a result, I have created a special page where I note what I should follow up. It is a total success and I am definitely going to include in my 2019 bujo!
    Inked20181128_105237_1_LI
  • Ideas for my blog
    This is a collections I started in April this year. Since my blog was born in March, I found it quite important to have somewhere to note my ideas for posts. After all, they come randomly and are forgotten quite fast if I don’t note them! This is going to be included in my 2019 bujo, as well!
  • Till the end of the year wishlist
    As the calendar year is coming to an end, I get the urge to finish things that I have wanted to do but I always delay. Towards the end of September, I created a wishlist with all these things that have been in my mind and are still not completed. It gives me extra motivation and it helps me to keep focused! This is not a regular collection and I am not sure I can include it somehow in my 2019 bujo, but it might come up handy again towards the last quarter of the new year. Who knows…
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  • Are you starting a new bullet journal for 2019 or are you continuing with your current journal? Have you started setting it up already or are you still thinking about it? Are there any collections that were such a success for you and you would like to suggest it to me? I would love to hear some ideas from you!

    Bullet journal

    My bullet journal indexing

    Today I want to talk to you about indexing. Do you have an index in your bullet journal? Have you felt disappointed from it? Have you thought of not using an index? Well that was me! But let’s start from the beginning.

    The index consists one of the basic components of a bullet journal according to Ryder Caroll. Popular notebooks for bullet journalling, such as Leuchtturm, even if they are not pre-printed, they include a section about indexing by default. It is really the contexts of your notebook.

    The most common way of indexing is as books have them: the topics one under the other one by order of appearance in the notebook. As we usually number our pages, the first page filled is recorded first, the second is recorded next, and so on.

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    The index from my first bullet journal

    After using this way of indexing for a couple of notebooks, I decided that I don’t like it. It didn’t really help me find the pages easily. In a bullet journal pages are not usually grouped according to topic. This way of indexing is just recording the chronological order of when things are written. As you can see above, my monthly pages were in pages 15, 18, 41 and 67. I happened to use this journal in order to plan my wedding, so the only way I had to group the pages were to try to note all the pages that considered this topic next to each other. I even tried using colours, but space is limited and the index gets messy…

    At the end of last year, I was planning the starting of the new year and of my new bullet journal. And I was contemplating of not having an index at all! But then I got an idea!

    Have you seen books that have a register in the back? They usually group the contents according to alphabetic order. Well, alphabetic order would not have been useful for me, but why not group my index according to topic?

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    In my case, instead of leaving a couple of pages totally empty in the beginning, so as to keep a list of the contents of my journal, I gave titles to the pages, according to what I usually note in my journal: Collections, Monthly, Projects and Recipes. So now, whenever I write a page, I register it in the appropriate page or column and not just all together.

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    I think I have finally found the best way of Indexing for me! I love that I can find easily that recipe I noted in the middle of February! Or the project that I created I don’t remember well, was it May or June?

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    Of course there is the risk that the the space I left empty would not be enough. Already since May I encountered the problem, that I underestimated the Monthly index. You can notice in the picture of Index 2 that the page I had dedicated got filled within half a year! This is a problem in general with bullet journal when you try to plan too much ahead!

    I have the luxury with my Filofax Clipbook A5 to add pages wherever I want, so at least it did solve that problem by adding another page at the end of my whole Index, naming it Index 2a. Unfortunately, I can’t number this page correctly and in general, I am not sure I like it like this, having another Monthly index after the Recipes and Projects. I might decide to rewrite the whole Index pages again, in the close future. Or I might adjust my predictions of pages needed in the 2019 bullet journal. Who knows…

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