It’s the final few days of March, and April is finally just around the corner. The weather is warming up, the trees are blooming, the days are getting longer — and my life is getting busier. As Vancouver starts to, slowly, open back up, it’s beginning to seem like life may, actually, return to normal at some point — which is something that I’m, frankly, rather unprepared for. I’m so used to lockdown life at this point that I honestly can’t even imagine what “normal” life was like anymore — or how I’m going to return to it. It’ll be an adjustment, for sure, but as returning to a more regular life is on the inevitable horizon, I definitely think it’s worth trying to adjust slowly now, while I have the time, rather than forcing it all at once when I no longer have the option.
One way that I’m hoping to keep myself organized and on track is with my bullet journal. I’ve been having a bit of an on-again, off-again relationship with it since the start of 2021 — however, I can certainly say that I’m more on top of things when I keep up with using it regularly. I already keep an agenda for explicitly planning out what I’ll be doing each day, but my bullet journal goes above and beyond with keeping my life on track — especially since it can be tailored so specifically in any way I choose. While I use my agenda to schedule each of my days, my bullet journal helps me keep track of my mood, reminds me to stay on top of daily tasks such as working out and taking pills, plan my blog posts and keep all kinds of lists for all kinds of reasons.
This month, I’m expanding my journal even further and adding new segments, such as a page for brainstorming blog topic ideas — where I’ll write down every idea that comes to mind, whether I end up using it or not — and lists specifically for items I need to buy and what I need to do each week in terms of my job hunt. As well, I’m re-writing my daily schedule, with some slight changes, in hoping that writing it down will help me stick to it better. This way, by breaking down everything further, I’m hoping to make everything easier to track to ensure I’m staying on top of everything.
My mood tracker is one of my favourite parts of bullet journaling — not only does it help me to reflect on my day without expecting too much of myself (such as a full journal), but it allows me review how my mood has been cumulatively over time, so I am able to check in with myself and see trends that I may have otherwise missed. Rewriting the past is easy — we often dismiss things as being “not as bad as they seemed” or “better than they were”, but this way I can objectively reflect on how I’ve been doing, and not be swayed by how I’m currently feeling. I keep a list of nine colour-coded options for each days mood, ranging from “absolutely amazing” to “completely terrible”, as well as an option for days when I’m not exactly sure how I’m feeling, and days that are totally crazy where it kind of feels like a bomb has been dropped on your life (which, to be fair, I’ve only used once).
This is perhaps the most important aspect of my bullet journal — which I’m also going to be expanding on this month. Each night, as I fill out my tracker, I’m not only able to hold myself accountable for habits I wish to form (ie. exercising regularly), I’m able to cumulatively reflect on how often I’m being productive (ie. working on my blog) and remind myself to complete tasks before bed (such as taking my medications and vitamins). In the past, I only kept six trackers per each month, and sometimes I would switch it up depending on what was important to me that month. However, this time I’ll be tracking ten different habits to ensure I stay on top of everything that I need to.
April Daily Schedule
As I mentioned above, I’ll be reworking & rewriting my daily schedule at the start of this month to hopefully serve as a reminder to stick with it. I really don’t expect myself to follow it perfectly every day (or even any day), but rather I use it for a guideline to make sure I’m getting everything I need to done, sticking to habits I’m hoping to form and keeping a regular sleep and eating schedule.
I keep a goal list, separate from my to-do list, to help inspire me to reach above and beyond each month. Rather than forcing myself to achieve all of these goals, they serve as a motivator to push myself to not just do what I have to, but go the extra bit further.
This is where I keep track of what I’ll be posting on my blog each week. I’ve been trying to get ahead on my blog posts so I can have posts ready in advance and have at least a rough idea of what I’ll be posting each week — so when a post gets written down here, it’s all but final. I don’t write everything down too far in advance — you never know when random inspiration may strike — but for certain posts that I’m absolutely certain will be posted that on specific days, I keep track of them here so I know what’s done and what still needs doing.
This is something new I’m adding this month, that’ll allow me to keep track of rough ideas and deadlines without convoluting my official planner. This page is both for keeping track of all of my ideas — good and bad, since you never know what bad ideas may inspire your next good one — as well as a rough posting schedule for weeks that I haven’t set in stone yet. I’m hoping, by doing this, I’ll be able to feel more inspired, come up with more ideas (and actually remember them), as well as be able to utilize my planner in a more official way to keep track of finalized blog ideas.
To Do List
Each month, I keep a standard to-do list of everything I need to get done. I add to it as the month goes along, and when I have the opportunity to get something crossed off the list I transfer it over to my agenda to help me remember to complete it. This way, I have everything I need to get done written down in one place — rather than in random iPhone notes or on random paper lists — and as long as I write things down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting them (since I’m the queen of “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it”. Spoiler alert: I never remember it. Figures.).
To Do List – Job Hunt and School Application Edition
Over the last month, I’ve been working with a career consultant (more on that later) to help me work out exactly what it is I want to do in life, and how to get there. Being a post-grad in a locked-down COVID world, I was having a lot of trouble finding any sort of job in my career path of choice, and honestly starting to question if it was really the right one for me. While I’m working with this consultant, I’m keeping a separate to-do list of things I need to get done specifically pertaining to job and school applications, even if they’re already in my agenda, just to ensure everything runs smoothly and nothing falls by the wayside).
As I mentioned above, I am absolutely the WORST about believing I’ll remember everything I need to get done in my head, not writing it down, and inevitably forgetting. In the past, I’ve written stuff down on all kinds of random lists with absolutely NO structure of any kind — which makes it easy to lose track of things. In the past, I’ve kind of mixed my “shopping list” in with my “to-do list”, but I feel it’ll be way more organized to keep them separate. This way, I can keep everything I need to go out and purchase in one place, and know exactly what it is I still need to buy.
TV Shows To Watch
Okay, so maybe TV shows I’m looking to binge isn’t the most important thing to keep track of, but whatever — I’m doing it anyways. Honestly, I already had a list (and multiple, in fact, in the past, that I re-wrote before completing) but I’m hoping that I’ll keep this list in order so I can go through and watch each show one-by-one until I make it to the end, before adding new shows to watch. (Shows that I keep up with week-to-week aren’t included, so this is purely a binge-watching list — hopefully keeping it more organized).
And that’s this month’s bullet journal! I’ve added a lot of changes this month, but I’m hoping they’ll have a positive impact and help me stay consistently motivated and organized for the upcoming month — especially since it’s going to be my busiest yet in 2021. Do you guys keep bullet journals of your own? What kinds of pages do you find work best for you? I’m always in search of new ideas and inspo, or ways to make my current pages more effective! Let me know in the comments what your bullet journal looks like, I’d love to hear it!
Happy Sunday, everyone, and happy last weekend of March! Spring is finally, officially here and the weather is only going to get better from here on out. Here’s to April, may it be a good month to all of us! 2021 may have started off a little rocky for some of us, but it’s never too late to turn it around. With a little effort and a little luck, hopefully April will be 2021’s best month yet.