Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 31]

Planner peace...does such a thing exist? Bahaha.

I'm happy with my journey. I'm enjoying figuring out what works for me, and learning to let go the mistakes and just-doesn't-fits.

Here's to getting organized, having fun, and getting my adult on.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 30]*

This is a great example of the additional stuff I like being able to plan in my bullet journal.

Next month my husband & I are going on a trip to Asheville, NV for our anniversary. I am planning both our itenarary and budget in my bullet journal, as seen below.

This page is for ideas of places to go/things to do and how much each would cost. I've got ideas saved online but am waiting a bit to finalize things once the seasonal calendars are more settled.

This page is a breakdown of our time there so we can plan what event to do when.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 29]

I pull out my bullet journal pretty soon after arriving at work. I note down my outfit for the day and memory for the previous day. I write down anything that I know needs to be done, and migrate anything leftover from yesterday. 

Throughout the day I write down anything I think of. Usually at lunch I draw any new spreads that I need over the next few days. I try to pull my journal out at home each night and complete my tasks for the day...but TBH it doesn't always happen.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 28]

When I was first starting out, the Minimalist Bullet Journals group on Facebook was a big help. It was nice to see other people who preferred function over aesthetics. Not saying one is better than the other, just saying it was both practically and emotionally nice to find a group whose interests aligned with mine.

Here are some of my more minimalist spreads.

The second one in particular is super simple to set up. I probably could have done it even easier by not even making the day label into a little bar and just writing it in (so only one line right down the middle) but sometimes old habits die hard. 

These spreads are from my summer class and when we had the boys for foster care, so I really needed to keep up with everything but had no time to make it pretty.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 27]

There are so many ways to decorate your bullet journal. I don't do a lot of doodles, I prefer to use colored pens if anything. I have played around with washi tape also, but eventually figured out that I prefer to use it on the edges of my pages so I can flip to specific sections easier. Anyway, here are some of my cutest pages, even though I use a much more minimalist approach the majority of the time. This much effort usually only goes into pages that will be used repeatedly, definitely not weekly spreads/etc.

This is an example of a super cute page that I just never used. When I was setting up my current bullet journal, I included a page that gave all kinds of ideas for separators and headers...which I've used maybe 3 times in almost 11 months.

And it's sideways because...Blogger refuses to accept that it's not.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 26]

I have two sections of my BuJo that are related to blogging. One is a schedule, with dates and names of posts that have already been written and scheduled. The second is just a place to list potentional ideas so I don't forget them later.

This is one of the main reasons I like BuJo, because I can plan not just daily but by project too- all in one place.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 25]

I don't have any progress tracking in my bullet journal currently. Well, I have my MBA program planning. I guess that could count.

The highlighted classes are ones I have taken, with the semester completed anEditd grade received.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 24]

Here's how my bullet journey started:


-Oh fuck, I forgot XYZ.

-Hmmm that page is pretty and cute and I had fun making it but I haven't looked at it for 2 weeks.

-I don't want to make that spread.

-That looks like so much work.

-Ugh I give up this isn't for me.

*insert three more weeks of no bullet journaling and still feeling unorganized and forgeting a lot*

So I went back to the drawing board.

I had to sit down and figure out a) what it was about bullet journaling that appealed to be in the first place, and b) what purpose I needed bullet journaling to serve me.

I decided I liked having everything in one place, number pages and having an index, and having somewhere to keep all the little tasks I thought of but immediately forgot.

So I focused only on those things. I unfollowed a lot of Bullet Journaling groups on Facebook so I wouldn't get overwhelmed. I made weekly and monthly layouts and that was basically it.

I used a cheap notebook that I already had on hand. After a month of consistently using the BuJo system, I "upgraded" to a 5$ notebook from A.C. Moore which came with a cover and a pen loop. I still love the cover of this notebook, but it's lines and I've grown to enjoy the dotted versions.

After 6 months, which was conveniently around New Year's, I upgraded again to a LT1917. I've been using it all through 2018. There are definitely time periods I slack off and time periods I depend on it more, but it's been in consistent use for over 9 months. And it's been over a year since I started BuJo altogether.

I was hoping to makeone  notebook last all year, but it's going to be very close. I might run out in November or December. I definitely think I wasted some pages, and I've learned a lot about myself and my needs. So I could probably make a LT1917 last a full year in 2019. Not sure if I will move directly into a new one if I finish this in Nov/Dec or if I will use a smaller one to cover the gap.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 23]

True story, I google'd to see if recurring was a word. I thought it was reoccurring.

Both recur and reoccur can mean simply “to happen or appear again,” and this is the way that reoccur is most often used. Recur can suggest a periodic or frequent repetition in addition to having the same basic meaning as reoccur
-source: Miriam-Webster
I don't have a ton of recurring events. But this seems like a good day to discuss two of my absolute favorite pages in my bullet journal, which sound super boring but are used ALL THE TIME...because as an adult, the few recurring events I have include bill payment and grocery shopping.

These pictures are from when I first made the spreads, so they are relatively empty but have since filled up nicely!

Bill Tracker
This bill tracker helps ensure that everything gets paid when it should. Hubby's job change meant that his paycheck schedule changed, so that has been an adjustment and it would have been even harder without this tracker.

Favorite Meals list
I started meal planning after my daughter was born. I'd always avoided it before because it felt like so much work. And if we are being completely honest, it was so damn hard at first. But I figured it out and it became on of the greatest things ever in my life.

Please note that meal planning and meal prepping are different, although probably work well together, and I only meal plan. I think that confusing the two was part of why I was so hesitant to try it. 

Anyway, I use Pinterest a lot when meal planning because it has so many great recipes but after a while I felt like I had a good number of go-to recipes that we had tried and enjoyed and didn't want to dig through Pinterest to find them. So I made it easy on myself and wrote them all down! They are divided by the following categories: Vegetarian-Chicken-Beef-Pork-Seafood-Crockpot. I can make an entire month's worth of meals with a fair bit of variety. It's great.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 22]

Hmmm, this feels a lot like the prompt for Day 14, which was My Favorite Supplies. So check that out if you haven't. But I will add some less tangible things that I think are also essential for Bullet Journaling.

Willingness to try.
There are tons of planners out there. What makes Bullet Journaling different is that you can 100% customize it. 100%, guys. Nothing else is going to be MADE BY YOU, FOR YOU. It can be overwhelming, and intimidating, and frustrating. But it is so worth it once you get it exactly right. It's going to take some time and energy, and you have to be willing to try.

Willingness to accept mistakes.
You're going to make mistakes.  If you choose to start in a really basic journal, you're probably going to misnumber your pages. You'll start a spread on the wrong date or day. You'll misspell a word, lots of words. You'll use the wrong color. You'll choose a spread that you hate and doesn't help you at all. But that's part of the process. Bullet Journaling forces you to face mistakes and hopefully helps you learn to be patient and gracious with yourself.

Ability to be honest with yourself. 

Ability to pace yourself.

I'm addressing these two together, because they are needed for the same reason.

There are so many resources for bullet journaling. It's great, and it's terrible. Because if you are looking for something specific, you can probably find it. But when you are first getting's hard to figure out what it is you want/need.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 21]

Habit tracking is a big thing in the bullet journal world, but it's not something I spend a lot of time on. When I use my favorite spread, I track my daily and monthly chores. For a while I was also tracking my water intake.

I do track my daily outfits. I want to be more conscious and track what I'm actually wearing, because then I can easily clean out my closet and know what it is I am/am not wearing. Trying to be thoughtful and purposeful regarding my wardrobe.

I also do a daily memory. Lots of people journal in bullet journals, but I only do that when the whim strikes. I heard about one-line-a-day notebooks though, and decided to incorporate that into my BuJo. It's nice to flip through and remember, plus it's mostly the same as a little Gratitude List because I tend to write down happy things.

Sometimes I incorporate these into each day's section of my weekly layout, and sometimes I give them their own separate pages to keep an entire months entries together. Think the second option is my favorite, just because I like seeing it all together.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 20]

TBH I don't have a daily routine. I used to have a morning routine, but Hubby's job change completely changed the household schedule so...that's not really happening anymore.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 19]

I make so many mistakes while bullet journaling, you guys! 

I definitely don't bother taking pictures every time, but here is one. I was trying a new layout and made so many mistakes I just gave up. The boxes weren't evenly sized, and there was one more than I needed, and I wrote the days in the wrong boxes. 

I do it all the time on monthly layouts, where I automatically start on Sunday instead of whatever is the first day of the month. 

This was a big part of learning to bullet journal for me- becoming okay with mistakes. Both with mistakes in a layout, and with a layout that just doesn't work for me. Like I said yesterday, I found bullet journaling when my daughter was a newborn. I was already feeling like I was failing at most things, and trying something new and failing was tough.

But it also forced me to realize that good enough is...good enough.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 18]

This might be a long one, y'all.

I found bullet journaling pretty soon after I returned to work from maternity leave.

I was floundering in so many ways. 

I was suffering from undiagnosed postpartum anxiety, I was dealing with a lot of new responsibility regarding my daughter, I felt constantly under the spotlight as a new mom, I had to make a completely new routine with this new little person and I just didn't know how to get it all done.

I honestly don't remember how or where I first heard about the bullet journal system. 

It was somewhere online, I'm sure. But I did some research and it really appealed to me. I liked that it had clear and direct goals. I liked that it kept everything in the same notebook. I liked that it could be adjusted for each persons's individual goals.

I started using it, and at first it was really hard and intimidating. 

Like I've mentioned several times in this challenge, there is so much freedom and possibility within the system. I had to really sit down and ignore what everyone else was doing online and decide why did I need it.

I needed to remember all the little things that had to get done every day- mail off anniversary cards, pay daycare bills- actually keep up with all bills, remember doctor appointments for this new little life I had, etc. Mommy brain is real, y'all.

I also just needed to remember to clean the bathroom and do laundry and take a shower.

Yes, there are days when SHOWERING is on my to-do list...because otherwise I just won't have the energy or motivation. So I developed a cleaning schedule for my husband & I to follow and wrote down meals I knew we liked so I had a list instead of combing through my new useless brain or Pinterest. It was all about simplifying and making things easier on myself.

Anyway. I grabbed a notebook and some pens. I drew a calendar and a weekly spread. It was nice to be using my hands, nice to be being productive, nice to feel useful and back in charge of my life.

It helped. Life was being kept on track.

That was over a year ago, and I'm still going strong. It's super helpful and I love it. 

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 17]

I've been thinking about this prompt in 2 different ways- experimenting with layouts/etc within my bullet journal, and how bullet journaling kind of equals experimenting with my life.

There are so many ways to bullet journal. There are all different styles of monthly and weekly layouts; there are habit trackers and savings plans and weather trackers and book collections and probably a lot more I haven't even seen.

I thought at first that I just had to find the right weekly layout and then I would stick with it for...ever, really.

But nope. 

Some days I don't have time to draw a busier layout...some weeks I don't have much going on and don't need as much space...I play around. It took some time, and some acceptance when I make choices that don't work as well as I'd like, but it's taught me to be okay with experimenting.

It's also had me try different things in life. 

I've used it to meal plan, which keeps my family fed with less stress. I've used it to develop a cleaning schedule, which we don't always stick to but it gives us a rhythm to fall back into. I keep track of date night possibilities in it, so on the rare occasions Hubby & I have a date night we don't waste time doing the "Well what do you want to do?" routine.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 16]

A lot of people hear about bullet journaling and go

And I definitely feel that way when I see some of the super artistic ones, or even just cute and colorful ones. But I do it because 1) it's helpful, and 2) it's fun.

There is something about finding the right layout that helps all those problems fall right into place that is so appealing! And I like that the community is so big and so many people "get" my love/need for planning and organizing.

I get pleasure out of knowing that I am creating exactly what I need.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 15]

TBH, sometimes drawing all this stuff in my bullet journal is a form of procrastination. I know, I know- literally the opposite of the point of my bullet journal.

But...sometimes there are things I just don't want to do. And I can convince myself that bullet journaling, which does provide so many benefits in the long term, is an acceptable thing to do instead of XYZ.

But bullet journaling also helps me figure out why I keep putting things off. 

Part of the original system includes something called migration. Basically, it's another term for rescheduling. If you don't knock something off your to-do list, or if an appointment gets moved to a later "migrate" it to that next time period- whether it's the next day or the next month.

If I migrate something more than twice, I stop and think about why.

Either I'm avoiding it for a reason, or it's not really that important. And if it's not important, it needs to just be wiped off my to-do for good.

This is one of the things that can be helpful for my anxiety and guilt. 

Obviously if I keep putting something off, either I need to identify that cause and fix or I need to realize that hey, it must just not be that important and therefore I should refocus that energy to something more helpful (rather than freaking out about the fact that I'm not doing the thing I "need" to do). It's a way of figuring out procrastination v. prioritization.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 14]

One of the cool things about bullet journaling is you really only need a notebook and a pen. It can be as basic you want it to be.

But here are the supplies I use.

Notebook:  Leuchtturm 1917.
Currently I have the official Bullet Journal edition in the Emerald. I'm coming close to the end of mine though, so I already have a standard black standard black LT1917 ready and waiting. Both of these are an A5 size...which is a weird term until you hear it but is a common size for notebooks. It's maybe 2 inches longer than my hand- smaller than a notebook used in school but not pocket sized. There are about a million reviews for it online- Pinterest & YouTube again- if you want more info.

Pens: I keep a plain black pen in my pen loop at all times. Currently I'm using Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. I've also used black Sharpie Pens and a black Uniball Roller Grip Pen (which I love, but smears a bit and is bigger so can stretch out a pen loop, so you kind of have to commit to that one long-term if you use it because the skinnier Staedtler & Sharpie pens will fall out of the pen loop afterwards).

I tend to prefer felt pens, like the Staedtler & Sharpies. I found these Maped Graph'Peps Classic 0.4 mm a few months ago, which no one else talks about but I really like so far. Wore the black one out pretty quick but the colors are great for special layouts or adding a little pop to my basic monthly and weekly layouts.

Cover: There are super expensive covers you can purchase, like 100$+. I have this one from Michael's, it's actually from the Bible Journaling section but fits my LT1917 relatively well. I wish it was a few centimeters longer, because it pushes my pen out just a bit- it fits, I've had it for 6+ months, but I do worry that eventually the pen loop will rip. But it has extra slots I can keep my little ruler in, and provides an extra pocket to tuck papers into if needed. The colors are fading, but was 5$ and gets thrown around in purses/bookbags/diaper bags constantly. The material itself is holding up well, so I'm satisfied overall.

Small ruler: I purchased a 6 inch ruler from a local school supply store for $0.50. It fits inside the pocket of my journal cover. I would like to find my full length ruler, for when I am making lines that cover the entire length of the page (which is around 8 inches I think?). But I keep forgetting to look, because I should have one at home.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 13]

As mentioned on day 6, my problem with traditional planners is that there is almost never much room for anything "extra." You get monthly and weekly layouts...maybe a few little, pre-decided spots to discuss your "goals" or "hustle" nowadays.

But I need extra space for random events and projects. This is my blogging tracker, I only made it for 6 months at a time because I wasn't sure how long I would be using this BuJo. It worked great, but I might go for something more minimal in my next journal.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 12]

My time management has gotten sooooo much better since I have been bullet journaling. I don't have many things that need to be done at a specific time, but the fact that I have all of my to-do's in one place along with appointment reminders, etc. makes me able to organize my time as needed.

Plus I can have all my additional lists- my school assignments, my degree requirements, my plans for vacations, out-of-town trips to visit family- in one spot. I don't have to freak out worry where things are because it's all in the book.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 11]

My inspiration comes from a variety of places.

Pinterest has so many spreads and bullet journaling ideas that it's ridiculous; same for Instagram. Just search "bullet journal," you can add "monthly" "weekly" "habit tracker" etc as needed.

I made a YouTube playlist that includes some good suggestions also.

And I'm a part of Bullet Journal Junkies plus a few other Facebook groups.

All of these places can be overwhelming to those who are new to bullet journaling- or they were to me, anyway. I definitely have to make a conscious effort to discern between what is actually helpful and inspiring versus what is...beautiful but unnecessary (for me).

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 10]

I'm not necessarily a fan of analog versus digital.

If forced to choose, analog it is. 

But I definitely still use digital tools too.

My husband and I have a shared iPhone calendar, which is soooo helpful. We can each enter things as needed and the other person sees it AND gets a reminder.

But at the beginning of each month, I look through that iPhone calendar and write those things into my Bullet Journal because that's what I check on a day-to-day basis.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 9]*

Every day/week has a to-do list, so here is what I have for this week so far.

Show Us Your Books October 2018

Last month I was surprised to only have one book, because I DID read a second book! Haha. I read Landline by Rainbow Rowell but somehow the date didn't get saved on Goodreads so I couldn't track it correctly. But I don't see it on any of my SUYB lists over the past few months and I definitely read it recently.

It was a good book, not what I expected...I enjoyed the reality and complexity of the marriage relationship but I did not expect or feel super comfortable with the...supernatural? element. It wasn't a hate-read or anything even close, but I wouldn't recommend it the same way I would Fangirl or Eleanor & Park (my favs from Rowell so far).

I also finished my re-read of Harry Potter (since the last link-up, I finished Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). I didn't read these books when they originally came out- they were literally the only thing I was not allowed to read as a kid. However I watched the movies as a adult and finally read the books a year or two ago. TBH, I'm so glad I reread them because I understood a lot more and enjoyed was somewhat overwhelming the first time and I didn't super enjoy all the little details because I was trying to focus on the plot. The fact that Harry wasn't always speaking as Harry was super confusing last time but this time I understood when it was switching from his viewpoint much better and that helped sooooo much.

Pretty much all of my books this month were all around 3.5-3.75 stars. Each had some slow bits and some really good bits, but weren't as consistent as I personally would have preferred.

FINALLY! I FINALLY READ THIS BOOK! I've seen it everywhere this year and just couldn't get to it, but I did. It was very good and I understand the hype, haha. It was pretty much what I expected, which was a who-dunnit Breakfast Club. I did somewhat guess the ending, or part of it, but probably not until maybe 80% into the book. And there were some parts I didn't see coming or realize how they were connected.

It was an interesting premise but I didn't feel super connected to the characters. However, the last 50 pages really grabbed my attention and that is what makes it more than a standard 3 stars.

This book kind of had two things going on. It was partially about weird celebrity fame culture, which I knew about going in. And this topic was handled well, albeit somewhat on the nose in some sections. Also April May was extremely self-aware but also not working on changing...which was maybe on purpose but IMO if people bother figuring themselves out they usually at least try to change some things so that rang odd to me. But the other part- the Carl mystery part- was actually super interesting and I wanted more of that. Like, I could have read an entire book about that. The two parts weren't exactly disjointed but not weaved together quite as seamlessly as I would have liked.

 The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
This was a wonderful dysfunctional family drama all about relationships- familial relationships, platonic relationships, romantic relationships. It addresses love and family and race and privilege and parenting and aging and I don't even really want to examine why I love it, I just want to sit with it because it was so enjoyable and lovely. Pretty sure I heard about through this link-up, so thank you to whoever it was that originally shared because this was my favorite book of the month.

Life According to Steph

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 8]

This is hands down my favorite spread. It has room for everything I need on a daily basis, but also allows me to track additional things like my water intake-memory tracking-daily and monthly chores. I don't always get these things done, but looking at it every day helps increase my chances. This post is from a few months ago, so if the dates seem funny that is why.

As you can probably tell though, it takes a little time to set up and I don't always get it perfectly. I am working on a "cheat sheet" so I can just copy instead of drawing it completely by scratch so maybe I can do it a little faster from now on. 

I found this spread on either Facebook or Pinterest and modified to suit my needs. It took some detective work by some nice people in my Facebook Bullet Journaling groups, but it came from Dessa. Just want to give credit where it is due!

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 7]

Hmm, I don't really track health and fitness in my bullet journal. I don't have a specific exercise routine- I attend FiA when I can, basically. I list these workouts as my daily memories sometimes, and the dates I am scheduled to lead a workout are definitely in my monthly and weekly layouts. But no specific trackers for health.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 6]

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of specific links or anything for today. But...I've tried a lot. My high school gave out planners, which I used religiously. I found some on a recent visit to my parents house actually and they were so fun to flip through.

My major issue with most planners though is that they don't include many blank pages for notes. There is a very specific section for each day/month/week and not much else. I like having places I can write down books I want to read, songs I want to download, etc without having to flip through the whole planner and remember what day I originally heard about it. Which is why I moved to the bullet journal system- I can create super simple weekly and monthly layouts like a traditional planner, but also have room for all the other stuff I need.

Yes, you can customize some planners. But that makes them super bulky and heavy, which is not fun to carry around. This is why I could never bother with Erin Condren or Happy Planners, etc. They look awesome but are expensive and so just darn big! I need something I can easily carry around.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 5]

Monthly layouts are one of the places I differ from a lot of the BuJo community.

The original method from Ryder includes a future log, usually for about 6 months. I don't like's small, I end up running out of room as the month gets's just not for me.

So at the beginning of my journals, I make 12 traditional monthly layouts. Any date, for the next year, goes in the calendar. Super basic and easy. I used to decorate with washi tape, now I'm just going to try doing little banners. I can always add more if I feel like it...but that's just not what I really use my journal for.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 4]

Here is my weekly spread for this week. The main things I need in a weekly spread are:

1) A defined section for each day, so I can list events/tasks I know are coming along with things that come up.
2) A place to put random notes that don't belong to a specific day.
3) A section to list things for next week so I don't get blind-sighted on Monday morning.

This is a new spread for me- sometimes I do the wardrobe/monthlies for an entire month, but this time I'm going to try including them on my weeklies. That means my next week/notes sections are much smaller than normal...but I usually have room leftover so I'm hoping what is shown here is adequate.

My weeklies can be super simple or slightly more complicated- I have favorites for each. 

Sometimes they are one pages, sometimes they are two. It depends on a) how much time I have to create it, and b) how busy I think the upcoming week will be.

Boho Berry Challenge October 2018: Planning [Day 3]

Here is a look at what I have going on today. It's not a lot yet, but things will get added on as I think of them.