When you work at home, summer can actually be a really hard time. The sun's out and all you want to do is have a picnic in the park all day every day. Motivation is hard to come by. It's especially tough when you've got kids and a teacher-husband who are home for the summer months too, providing plenty of distraction. There's no routine, no schedule, no real timetable, and yet the tasks, assignments, and general "work" continues.
Bullet journaling helps keep me somewhat focused though, even in the craziest (and laziest) of times. And contrary to popular belief, bullet journaling does not need to be complicated.
While my summertime may be otherwise occupied by park-hopping, city strolls, hours upon hours of viewing (with enthusiasm!) Lego displays and Minecraft worlds, playing superheroes and MarioKart, reading books, and other summertime non-activities, I've tried to maintain somewhat of a schedule for myself to help keep on top of this blog, my design shop, and my Young Living business.
I've had some success staying on task this summer – at least the most important things are getting checked off, anyway – so I'm going to share with you my very basic planning system in hopes that you'll maybe feel a little less overwhelmed by the thought of bullet journaling!
The Future Log
The Future Log is an at-a-glance view of events and dates you've got coming up over the next few months. I created this one in July, and after checking my Google Cal, my kids' and husband's schedules, and my iPhone cal, was able to put this 6-month log together within about 15-20 minutes.
The sloppy banner header is not a requirement. (Just in case your panties were getting in a bundle over that detail.) Also, no, I didn't use a ruler to measure space or anything – I just eyeballed it all. If you don't have time to be precise or perfect, then don't be!
I like to leave room for adding events, and if there's something in particular that isn't set in stone, I use pencil so it can be easily removed from my log. I do not use the Future Log to keep track of tasks; I use the Monthly and Weekly Logs to track tasks, and the Future Log's purpose (for me) is solely to record events and dates that I need to remember.
The Monthly Log
The Monthly Log is a more detailed at-a-glance view of your current month's events and tasks. I usually put mine together a few days before the start of each month, and it usually takes me about 15-30 minutes, depending on how fancy I want to get.
Left: Calendar Page
Referring to my Future Log and my Google Cal, I list events and dates on the Calendar Page. Simple.
Right: Task Page
On the Task Page I list tasks that should be completed at some point during the month. I first refer to each upcoming event on the Calendar Page. If there are tasks related to an event, such as packing for a trip, getting a birthday gift, preparing designs for a client, hiring a sitter, etc., I add those to my task list. Then I refer to the previous month's task list. Anything that wasn't completed last month, or any tasks that need to repeat monthly, I will then record in the new task list for the current month. Done.
Again, any event on the Calendar Page that isn't a "for sure" is written in pencil. Of course you can just strike through cancelled events, too.
As for tracking tasks on my Task Page, I use the bullet system as described here under "Tasks".
The Weekly Log
The Weekly Log is a detailed at-a-glance view of each week. Over the summer I mostly refer to the Monthly Log, but when I know there are deadlines coming up, I'll whip up a Weekly Log to help keep me on task. I typically put a Weekly Log together on Sunday or Monday of each week, and it only takes about 10 minutes.
Left: Calendar Page
Referring to my Monthly Log and my Google Cal, I list events and dates on the Calendar Page. It doesn't get much easier than that!
Right: Task Page
On the Task Page I list things that I need to get done within that week. I first refer to each upcoming event on the Calendar Page. If there are tasks related to an event, I add those to my task list. Then I refer to the previous week's task list if there is one. Anything that wasn't completed last week, or any tasks that need to repeat weekly, I will then record in the new task list for the current week. Finally, I'll take a look at the current month's task list and will pull tasks from there that should or could be completed within the week. This might sound complicated, but once you get started it's really the simplest thing, because everything is already written down. You're just compiling.
Once again, events on the Calendar Page that aren't confirmed are written in pencil, and I just strike through cancelled events.
As for tracking tasks on my Task Page, I use the same bullet system as described here under "Tasks".
You guys, that's it! I told you it was basic. (And not in Urban Dictionary terms.) Bullet journaling is the only planning system that I've stuck with for this long (I've been bullet journaling for 16 months!). It works – bullet journaling is the most flexible and forgiving planning system out there!
There are other really exciting and fun things you can do with a bullet journal too, and I intend to get into that again when I gain back some sort of routine. I'll be here to share when I can!
"Keep cool, my babies."
(10 points if you can tell me who said it. Without Google.)