Simple Bullet Journal Setup - Back to Basics
Another month is here, which means a new Bujo setup. While I keep some parts consistent over time, my layouts always evolve and adapt to my work situation - or just because I've learned from previous mistakes!
August will be a very short month in my bullet journal, since I'll travel first to Seoul to visit the in-laws, then to Switzerland to see my family (it's been so long!), AND then return via Thailand. It's my first real vacation in four years, so I'm running in circles to get everything ready! I'm so used to short trips for business meetings, with my laptop and graphic tablet in tow, that actually finishing every single thing before leaving scares me! I haven't set foot in a hotel in, uh, forever? How to pack when NOT staying in your childhood home around the world...?
So, my bullet journal setup is all about counting down the days until we leave, the smaller and larger tasks that need to be finished at home where I have all my equipment, and planning ahead.
My monthly overview is a reduced version of the July and June versions. Instead of tracking all 31 days, I cut off around the 15th, giving myself one free day before we leave to focus on cleaning, packing, and to have a bit of a buffer in case of mishaps.
As always, I like to have those most important and fixed deadlines in a separate journal, so that I can refer back to it sporadically and cross-check with my daily layouts.
The three sections are: Work, Etsy, and Blogging (...in order or importance.)
But before plowing ahead, here's a look at my finished pages from July. I went for a very simple, time-saving weekly spread layout:
Using my planner & notebook stickers as date markers, the days themselves only had simple to-do lists and random doodles. I played around with different to-do list formats, though, and like how that floral one turned out! As you can see thanks to the one unfinished item on the 21st, each task got marked by a simple dot. Once completed, I added petals to form a tiny flower.
Little food drawings were a must, too, since I visited Bottle & Bowl again, discovered a vegan bakery here on Jeju (Silk Tofu Brownies?!) and then had a delicious espresso at the famous Yudong Coffee in Seogwipo.
Another food diary doodle, this time boxed in to give the impression of a set table.
I always regret drawing these so VERY small, because after taking pictures and zooming in, I can see how messy they turned out! Maybe I should switch it up in the future...
July was a bit laid back compared to previous months, and I even managed to go to the beach! Hamdeok beach on Jeju Island is very crowded, though...
I didn't get to read/listen a lot, with my only new book tracker addition being The Handmaid's Tale.
But: I didn't expect to actually fill this reading doodle tracker page so quickly! The page next to it already has other notes on it, and I'll beat myself up over that. A lot. Aesthetics over everything!
Now for the August Bullet Journal setup:
A tiny calendar in the top corner to keep me sane. Already one of the flight times has been switched around and now that I'm writing this post, the calendar looks like a mess...
Below, I created boxes based on my monthly goal categories: Work, Etsy, Blog. Conveniently separated into tasks that need to be completed at home, and more flexible stuff for on the road.
More simple boxes for my daily spreads. The task lists themselves are minimalist boxes to tick off, with just a hint of whimsy thanks to floral stickers and a doodle habit tracker at the bottom.
Last month's habit tracker was the printable starry sky one, and while I love them and will keep using them, I felt too intimidated of keeping up habits while on vacation. All my habits are tailored around work, self-care and basic exercise. While I definitely plan on keeping up with Yoga, weight training, as many no-buy days as possible, and the occasional meditation session while traveling, I don't want to be too obsessed with the minutiae. Having more free time will automatically get me to move more, blog more, post to Instagram more... and those 24 hour flight days or wedding celebrations will just be outliers, anyway.
By the way, aren't the miniature constellations cute? Connecting random star patterns at the end of the month is the best part of starry habit trackers!
The miniature habit trackers for August are inspired by my early attempts at tracking, and I like how simple they are! I kept them to the minimum of habits - the most important ones.
To fit with the flower stickers, doodling little flowers for completed habits was the logical way to go! I'm also not hung up over completing everything every single day - the opposite actually, as I'm striving for balance. Going all-out every single day would mean about two hours of just yoga, pilates, weight lifting, meditation, Korean language learning... no thanks. Ain't nobody got time or stamina for that, even if it sounds like a lovely way to pass the day.
The no-buy habit is a bit hard to stick to, too. We're buying gifts for family and friends in Switzerland, for my younger brother's wedding, and stuff like sandals and sunscreen, all scattered over several days. Oh well...
The little box at the very bottom is my eating window tracker. I've gotten into intermittent fasting as a productivity booster, and while I still cook or meal-prep at other times during the day, my actual eating time has gotten shorter and shorter. It's just so convenient! I've seen it reflected in last month's habit tracker, too. On days with shorter eating windows, I get so much more done!
I've still got a week of boxes to go before boarding the plane to Seoul (travel sketch diaries, here I come!) and really enjoy the peace of mind these simple planning methods have brought to my life in general. So glad I started bullet journaling!