What H*ll do I plan? – A Bujo & Happy Planner Love Story
What the H-E-Double Hockey sticks do people plan? Maybe you’ve seen the bullet journal craze. Or drooled over a Happy Planner at Michaels (seriously, guys, STICKERS!). But you’re not a bright eyed and bush tailed student, you don’t run your own business. Your routine is pretty mundane, you wake up, you go to work, come home, make dinner, rinse, repeat. That’d be pretty boring. So what do you plan?
I thought the same things, but decided to start a bullet journal anyway. I watched lovely videos, spending dozens of hours on Youtube. (Seriously, anyone else ever fall down a Youtube rabbit hole? Or is that just me?) The more I used my journal and planner, the more I realized that this is what was missing from my life. I needed to find a way to make a plan and planning work for me. We’re all special snowflakes and no one’s system will be useful to something you make yourself.
Now I use a combination of a Happy Planner and a bullet journal. The Happy Planner is more for day to day things, and my bullet journal is for longer term things, like projects, my habit tracker, and vacation planning. But what the heck do I put in these things?
The Short Term Plans, or my Habit Tracker
The most used page in my Bullet Journal is monthly habit tracker. I was skeptical when I first saw the idea. But I tried it, and stuck with it for most of the month, and I really saw the benefits. It gives me an overview of how my month went. Some things I track include:
Not counting things like groceries, gas, dog food. The no spend is to celebrate the days I don’t go ham in the Target Dollar Spot.
Did I pack a lunch? I find that when I don’t pack a lunch I spend around $10 on lunch. If I’m lazy, I’m basically spending $200 a month on LUNCH. On lunch people. Considering I’m attempting to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible, that’s a lot of moolah to throw down my gullet.
As a book blogger and reviewer, I try to read everyday to stay on top of my to be read list.
I’m getting jiggly ya’ll. It’s easier to see what days I did some forced exercise (aka the gym, yoga) if I have the whole month spread out in front of me.
My goal is to spend 10-15 minutes a night cleaning up and tidying the house so I don’t spend my whole weekend cleaning up after two humans and three dogs.
We’ve been doing this way too much. I want to track it to see if there are any “triggers” that cause me to not want to cook.
Did I drink my whole 32oz water? I’ve been really bad about letting myself get dehydrated, and this leads to a cranky sleepy, headachy Meg.
Okay, this is for all the ladies. After watching my sister struggle with her lady health, I’ve decided to track my menstrual cycle to see if I have any other problems around Aunt Flo’s visit.
The Long Term Plan
Ever try to plan a vacation? You have the flight reservation in your email, your hotel reservation on your work email, your spouse/significant other/mother made the dinner reservations. You have no clue where you put your travel toothbrush.
My family and I are going to Disney World in November (And I’ll be the youngest going at 25, don’t hate) and it’s been a planning effort between my mother, myself and my brother-in-law. So I created a page in my planner with hotel reservations and confirmation numbers, my parents’ flight info (I’ll be driving, brother-in-law hasn’t booked flights yet), and our dining reservations. This way if we need to make a change, or need to check a reservation when we go book our fast passes, I know what park we need to be in and when. I’ve even started a packing list on things I’ll need to bring.
This is where my bullet journal didn’t work for me, and why I picked up a Happy Planner. I simply needed a concrete way to say I made an appointment on X date three months out. In a Happy Planner, this is all laid out, and I can flip to the month view of that day and jot that down. I used to keep post-its and confirmation emails everywhere. To say I missed a few things is an understatement.
In my bullet journal, I keep tabs on my longer term projects such as blog topics, creative projects, and dog training. In my Happy Planner I include the tasks I want to complete that week for each project. I really like the three boxes that Happy Planner divides your day into. While I don’t always follow this format, I tend to use one box for tasks, another box for project work, and the last one is used for quick capture.
For the blog, I keep a separate Happy Planner for my blog planning and notes. I keep my instagram calendar, notes regarding news letters & blog posting dates, and whatever I can think of about the blog.
I hope that gave you some ideas on what to include in your planner, and I encourage you to get started. Remember, it doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby! Just pick up a notebook, a pen, and away you go!