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Bullet Journal… Bujo… How do I use that to plan my month?

I have always LOVED planners. I love feeling organized!

If there was one thing that helped ease my mind at the end of the day, it was checking off my to-do lists and seeing my accomplishments on paper. From the time I was in high school to my time in college, I’ve always felt more on track and put together when I had my school planner with me. However, I always bought the planner made by the school that had things in it I didn’t need; it always started in the middle of the summer, ended shortly after the school year ended, and didn’t have a whole lot of customization options.

It was after college, when I started work that I realized I needed to find something that worked for me. I tried store-bought planners, a handmade planner I made on wordprocessing software, and even a fill-in-as-you-go three ring A4 planner. None of these held my attention & unless I thought to do them during the day, I forgot about them in the evening. If I forgot about a day, I wouldn’t want to fill in the next day… or the next day until that first day was finished. It became cyclical and more of a pain than benefit to me. I started dreading my planner rather than using it to inspire and better myself.

That’s when I found Bullet Journaling. But… What is that?

In short, Bullet Journaling, or BuJo is a new idea to an old concept. It’s taking day-planner and creating a catchall. BUT you start with your own blank canvas and go from there. I searched for a dotted grid journal that would lay flat and have enough pages for a  year. When I didn’t find one I fell in love with, I made one (and the BizzyBookz were born).

The best part about Bullet Journaling… and the hardest part? ACCEPT YOUR MISTAKES. EMBRASE YOUR MISTAKES. WORK THROUGH YOUR MISTAKES… and find beauty in whatever happens because you made it. If you love it? repeat it. If you hate it? change it next month! How Inspiring!! I LOVE IT!!

Now, I make my Month work for me…

One of the hardest things for me (even though I adore my Bullet Journal) is setting up the next month. I want to make sure that I do it right, and get it to look PERFECT so that the month follows in style.

So… How to begin?

IMG_20170320_094616_783 - Copy
I start all my journals off knowing the length and height of my two page spread.

Knowing my dimensions helps me know exactly how much space I have to work with, and if I want to divide something evenly across the page, I know what numbers I’m working with…

I wanted my April Monthly calendar to use as much of the page real estate as possible.

Because I wanted as much space as possible in each of my monthly blocks, I knew that I wanted as little dead or unused space on the page as possible. I’m listing out my entire process of setting up the monthly grid… if you think you’ve got this, you can skip on to the next photo

  •  I knew there was 42 squares from left to right
  • With 7 days in a week, I took 42 ÷ 7 = 6
    • That means that each day of the week gets to be exactly 6 squares wide without any wasted space.
  • I knew there was 32 squares from top to bottom
  • With this particular month of April in 2017, there are 4 full weeks and 2 days that are outside of these weeks, one before and one after
    • That means that there are 6 week lines that will be used
      • because the 1st and 30th are each on their own row.
        • I could have started the calendar layout on a Monday instead of a Sunday to reduce the number of lines to 5,
        • The first row would show the 1st and 2nd as Saturday and Sunday, and the last row would be a full week with the 30th being a Sunday
  • With 6 rows in this month, I took 32 ÷ 6 = 5.33333333333
    • This means that each weekly row gets to be exactly 5 squares wide, and I have a third of a square left over from each week –
      • with 6 weeks, that means I have 2 squares to spare, which I decided to leave at the top.

(This pen is BLUE! Hard to see, but the outline of the calendar and these flags are dark blue.)

I like adding character to my pages, but still want them to be neat and legible. It’s homemade, but a good homemade! I decided to use vertical flags for each date & use a horizontal flag for the important days of the month.

Now that I have the outline, it was time to add some fun to the flags!

I wanted to further distinguish my everyday from my special days, so I used color!

Now I have the blue colored… time for my DECORATIONS!!

From here I added Numbers and my Black Ink details.

Since the outline of my month is in Blue, I decided to get all the black ink on the page at once. This means

  • Succulent sketches at the bottom
  • An inspirational Garden Quote
  • Lettering APRIL (I left this as an outline so I could fill it in with color later)
  • Lettering 2017 (I filled this in for the contrast between the colored April and solid 2017)

Added some Color and my Special Dates — I’m ready for whatever April Brings!

For how much explanation and thought went into my process, my efforts panned out in an elegant, spunky and mostly clean calendar spread for my monthly appointments, holidays and important events!

However you start your month, I hope you can reflect yourself and your interests!

Let me know what you think or any tips for how you set up your journal!

AND stay tuned for more Bujo tips and tricks  – especially how I break in my new journals – overcoming the first page!


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