I have been using a very simple bullet journal for over a year now. I love it! While I admire the beautiful time-consuming spreads that are all over Instagram and Pinterest (seriously, go look. There’s some amazing stuff out there!) I don’t spend a lot of time making elaborately detailed pages. Here are the tried and true pages that I use day after day, month after month:
This is the simple to-do list that I work off of every single day. I’ve tried any number of arrangements for this, but I’ve found that the thing that works best for me is to have a short list and check items off every day.
Generally I use a two-page spread for a full week of daily lists. I’ve recently added my weekly cleaning/organization/home maintenance list in it’s own section off to the side and that has really helped me to feel like I’m more on top of those tasks.
This is where I record things that need to happen on a monthly basis, or larger projects that have more than one step. For example, I list my weekly Project Life pages here, with check boxes for each week. Once I’ve finished my Project Life page for the week, I check it off. Similarly, I put a check box for completing the previous month’s Project Life spread for each of my kids’ albums. For example, in January I included a check box for each of my kids labeled “December Project Life”. ( I do a two page spread for each of my kids each month.)
I also add tasks here that come up during the month, but take longer than a couple of minutes to complete. Every day or two I quickly run through this list to see if there’s anything to add to my daily page for the following day.
I break this page up GTD style by type of activity (phone, computer, errands, etc.) so I can complete tasks in batches.
I also plan out blog posts and further break down projects for my shop and list them on the monthly page.
Monthly Meal Plan
This is a very simple list of dinner meals for the month. If I know we’ll be at a family gathering one day, I’ll write that in on the date. Otherwise, I usually plan a weeks worth of meals at a time, adding them to this list as I go. I usually plan based on things we already have and add any needed items to a shopping list. Then each day I check the list to see what I’ve planned and start to prep it as early in the day as possible. Evenings are busy around here and dinner always takes longer than I anticipate.
This is for tasks I want to do every day but I don’t want to write repeatedly on my daily lists. Things like exercise, cleaning, studying scripture, reading aloud to my kids, school, etc. I’m not really great at marking every day. But I am getting better, and I really like the visual reminder to continue my streak.
This is really just for my business Goals for each quarter. I’ve found that projects always take me longer than anticipated, so I generally just choose a few projects for each quarter and I can always add more if/when I complete them early.
Project Break Down
I use these pages to break down projects that have many smaller tasks that need to be done. For instance, we’re currently in the process of renovating our mudroom/laundry room. We’ve got a whole list of tasks that need to happen and they keep bumping around in my head. “Don’t forget to caulk the baseboards!” my brain keeps saying, even though we’re nowhere near that point in the project yet. So I created a page just for the mudroom project and listed every single step I could think of. Both my husband and I are good at starting projects, but finishing is much harder. Now I know the mudroom is not finished until every task is checked off that list. Nothing will be left lingering and I don’t have to keep track of everything in my head.
My goals for 2017 are pretty simple:
Read 60 books
A list of Spiritual Studies I want to accomplish
Hike one-on-one with each of my kids each month
I also keep pages for the following:
Books Read in 2017
Blog Post Ideas