One of the strengths of using a Bullet Journal for planning over a traditional calendar or planner is that you can create and use your own customized system of planner layouts. Do you like to start your week on a Monday rather than Sunday? You can do that! Do you need more space allocated to some days over others? No problem! Often the greatest challenge is finding which layouts work best for you. Here are a variety of tips and examples to help you identify which might be your perfect fit.
Create Only the Layouts You Use
What amount of your time do you need see at a glance? Some people need a spread or two summarizing the entire year (often referred to as a future log), some like seeing an entire month across a two-page spread, others need one week per page, while others enjoy an entire page dedicated to each day. Often many end up using some combination of the above; like 12 monthly spreads, each followed by 28-31 daily layouts, or a yearly spread followed by 52 weekly layouts. There is no right answer here. The key here is to try out each type, pare down to only what you'll actually use, and forgo the rest rather than feel like all of them are somehow required.
Use the Layout Orientation that Feels Right
Each person processes information in their own way. What works for me might not work for you. This is why there are so many different options for layouts. Some are horizontal, some are vertical, some are circular, some are artsy and others are minimalist.
Pick the style that feels right and you do you. If you're not sure what style feels right, try one out. You'll quickly know if it fits the time you have to spend, whether you enjoy the process or not, and whether or not you're drawn or inspired to return to your journal regularly. The style you choose should work for you and alleviate rather than cause additional stress.
Take a look at the following layout/spread ideas and see how they feel to you. Does it feel natural or is it confusing? Do your eyes and mind flow naturally through the information and take it in or do you need to work a bit to absorb what's going on?
Don't overthink this. Use your intuition more than logic to identify how you best process information.
Tools used: Moxie Journal Rule , Cherry Blossom Stencil, Rows and Columns Tracing Card, Super Slider
Tools used: Vertical Weekly Tracing Card, Tidy Slider Stencil, Brush Lettering Strips, Vertical Weekly Stencil
Your Bullet Journal is All Yours
Your journal's purpose is to assist you. Choose and work the layouts that will help you and let the rest go. The layouts you see on social media should serve as options, not standards. Take the layouts that feel right to you and make them yours.
Looking for a mindful way to balance your time and energy? The Balance Wheel might be the bullet journal layout you're looking for. Read on for a complete how to tutorial. You will learn how to make a Balance Wheel and how to use it.
Time and energy are our most valuable resources. Being mindful about how you spend both is an investment in your self care.
I designed this Balance Wheel because I was weary from fussing and fighting over screen time with my children. As we rolled into summer break, I knew we needed an instructive, long term plan about how we would spend our time.
I wanted to teach my children to monitor time spent and areas that deserved more attention and care.
While this particular Balance Wheel is for the purpose of tracking and being mindful about how my family spends our long summer days, the concept can be applied to a multitude of situations.
Here is the step by step process I went through to create our Summer Time Balance Wheel:
1. Brainstorm Topics to be Balanced
The eight areas that we are striving to balance are: Physical/Emotional Health, Alone/Community, Family/Friends, and Receiving Information/Seeking Information. (Receiving Information = screens and reading.)
Your areas might be professional in nature. They might be personal. Think about your investments in time and how they contribute to your overall goals and happiness. Once you have identified an area, think about its opposing area.
For example, social media can be countered with in face interactions. Both are important and both need to be nurtured. Are you clear about how much time you spend on either throughout the week? Would your life be improved if you balanced the two better?
2. Create your wheel
Grab your Compass Protractor and draw five concentric circles. Each circle represents one week. Use the tick marks on the tool to divide your circles into equal pieces. In my case, I divided my circles into six pieces.
Next label the sections of the wheel, placing opposing concepts opposite one another.
3. Use your Balance Wheel
Each circle represents a week. Start using the Balance Wheel from the inside out. When you complete an activity that falls into a particular category, make a tick mark in that pie piece.
Tracking your time forces you to monitor time spent and to be mindful of the areas that need more tending.
If you have questions about this layout or any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. You can find lots of bullet journal support, tutorials and inspiration in the Video Vault and also in the Facebook group Bullet Journaling Tips and Tricks.
Using a bullet journal can be helpful in so many ways and yet it is a habit that is sometimes hard to stick with. Looking for tricks to stay on the path of the bujo? Here are 15 tips that will help you cement and sustain your bullet journal habit.
1. Keep your journal in sight & travel light
Keep your bujo on your kitchen table, in your purse, at your desk, or next to the coffee pot - wherever you will see it and remember to use it. Taking your bullet journal with you wherever you go will also help ensure you use it. Travel only with the bare essentials and leave your fancier bujo accessories at home for more in depth journaling sessions. Make placing your journal in your bag, purse, or hand part of your departure routine and keep it close throughout the day.
2. Build planning into your day
The act of sitting down with your bujo and organizing your affairs is focusing and it forces you to think through the steps of how to accomplish your daily goals. Include "Plan" on your daily task list, at the start or end of your daily schedule, allowing time to prepare for or reflect upon the current day or get ready for the next. You could also work in a small habit tracker on your weekly layout and include "plan" as one of the habits. Tracking your planning will help you notice patterns as well as keep yourself accountable.
3. Store your pen with your journal
How many times have you gone to write something in your journal but didn't have a pen? That's a missed opportunity right there. Find a pen you like and store it in a pen loop attached to your journal. If your journal doesn't have a pen loop, you can make one or buy them separately.
4. Keep it simple when you need to
If you have a busy week coming up, keep it simple. Don't task yourself with an artsy or complicated layout. Some weeks are just a messy scribbled list and that's okay.
5. Value the process over the end result
Sometimes I make my weekly layouts and then never look at them again; other times my pages are a messy reflection of life. Either way, neither, I feel, is a waste or fail. I sat down and mindfully thought about my week. I wrote appointments, thought through projects, sculpted out time for myself, etc. Just the act of writing helped me remember, focus my efforts, and empty my mind. Regardless of how it looks or to what extent something was ultimately used, often the exercise itself is of the greatest value.
6. If you like to be creative, art in your journal
Creating visual treasures in your journal help draw some back to their journal. If you like to art, art. You don't have to be good at it and you don't have to share. Your journal is for you - be it a place to practice, decompress, or showcase your skills - make what you want of it.
7. Start with dailies
If you're new to bullet journaling, consider starting small and use only dailies rather than feel obligated to create weekly and/or monthly layouts that you may not use. Daily layouts simply allow you to get into the habit of putting your brain and your life on paper. Start small. Start scratchy. On each page, write the day and date, then list all the balls in the air for the day. Give yourself a separate page to jot down future events, so you can focus primarily on the current day. If you find over time that it leaves you with lots of empty space, either fill it with reflection, motivation, or creative expression, or switch up to weekly spreads instead, which provide less space for the tasks and appointments for each day and show multiple days in one go. Still feel at a loss for what to put on the page? Add a habit tracker, a mini monthly calendar, or switch up to using only monthly spreads instead. Continue to shrink or expand according to your needs and eventually, you'll hit your stride.
8. Habit bundle your bujo
Habit bundling is a fabulous concept where you pair one thing you LOVE with another thing you are trying to love. For me, this LOVE thing is drinking coffee or listening to Outlander on audible or being creative. I pair these super groovy things with acts I am attempting to make habits.
For example, I only watch Amanda Rach Lee's You Tube videos when I'm running on the treadmill. Pair planning with your favorite jazz music, a special cup or tea or while defusing your favorite essential oil. It works - I swear.
9. Note when you feel disorganized
You know that feeling when you are mentally juggling too much and you feel like your head is going to explode? Stop and open your bujo, commit all that noise to the page, and quiet your mind. Lean on your journal. Let it save the day. If you use it, it will carry all the things so your mind doesn't have to.
10. Try different layouts
When your bullet journal has gone stale try to switch up the layouts you use. There are a ton of variations of daily, weekly and monthly layouts to try. Some will work for you and some won't. Variety is the spice of life, so try something new. You can find a ton of bullet journal ideas on this Bullet Journal Ideas Pinterest Board.
11. Work towards rewards
Reward yourself for consistently using your bullet journal. Did you make a plan for 5 out 7 days? Did you fill out more than half of your monthly habit tracker? Treat yo' self. Take a bath with your favorite book. Or schedule a coffee with your bestie. Purchase that pen, tape, or special journal accessory you've been lusting after. Positive reinforcement will help to solidify the habit.
12. Know thyself
The key to using your bullet journal is setting up a journal that assists you with your life. You want to create a journal that works for you, not the other way around. If monthly mood trackers simply do not work for you, don't continue to make them. If you know that you can work a weekly like a boss but fall down with dailies, don't use dailies. Your journal is yours and only yours. Make it work for you. In addition, we all have a Big Why behind our bullet journaling. For some it holds all of the details, for others it is a creative outlet, and for yet others it provides space for the hustle and bustle schedule that is life. When you find yourself slacking in your journal, remind yourself of the reason you started in the first place.
13. One place, all things
Yes, a bullet journal is a great way to customize your own planner. Prefer to start your week on Monday? You can do that. Tasks on the left, appointments on the right? Yep, you're making it, so you get to decide how it looks. However, a bullet journal can also be where you jot down that running list of books you want to read, plan your next vacation, or think through that difficult discussion you need to have with your boss. The more you go to use it, not just as a planner, but as an extension of your own mind (replacing all the post-its, scratch pads, lists, and more), the more likely you'll be to continue using it on a regular basis for planning too.
14. Accept incompletion and imperfection
Did you miss a day or a week? Maybe you made an amazing mood tracker but only filled in two days? Or better yet, added two Tuesdays to this week. Do yourself a favor and don't forgo using your journal for fear it won't be perfect. Because it won't be. There will be jagged lines, misspelled words, smears, smudges, and months missing the 4th entirely - because you are human. The downside to all of the glorious bujo inspiration on social media is that it can set up unrealistic expectations. As someone who posts that eye candy, I can tell you that the page before the one I photographed and shared is often all jacked up. Allow yourself some grace and adopt an "Oh well" attitude. Jump back in wherever you are, without shame or guilt and just move forward.
15. Connect with the community
Connecting with like minded folks provides validation, inspiration and reinforcement. If you are looking for a Facebook group where you can ask questions, share successes and post photos, please consider joining us over at Bullet Journaling Tips and Tricks. MoxieDori hosts this kind, generous, and calm group of over 19,000 people and we'd love to see you there!
Want to learn how to make the most effective habit tracker? Chances are you've played around with a few different types and perhaps haven't found the one that works best for you. You might find the right fit in one (or more) of these three habit trackers.
1. Weekly Grid Habit Tracker
The Weekly Grid Habit Tracker hones in on six or fewer habits. Maybe these are the habits that glue your life together. Maybe three of these habits are old hat and three are behaviors you are trying to turn into habits. Or maybe you are just paying attention to how many times per week you do these things.
Regardless, this handy little 6 by 7 grid box tracker can be made quickly with The 4 Piece Essential Stencil Set. You can use Distress Inks or a damp makeup sponge and watercolors to create a colorful grid. Then you can trace the box in black pen once you've completed the habit. (Pro tip: I find if the habit tracker is a bit of eye candy, I tend to use it more.)
This tracker will more than likely live on your weekly spread, where it will be easily seen and therefore worked. Seeing the tracker there will be the trigger to get the behavior chain going and the habit formed.
2. The Graduated Tracker
Some habits or tasks are not all or nothing, right? Maybe you didn't walk 10,000 steps today but dang it you walked 7,667! Or maybe you went above and beyond and walked 15,000.
The Graduated Tracker shows if a habit/goal/task is complete or if it is partially done. It also allows room for growth to show that you surpassed your initial goal. For example, if I decided to tackle Mt. Laundry on the day in the photo below, I could use the 4 Piece Essential Stencil to pen in another square or 2 and color them in as I completed additional loads.
Likewise, if I wash and fold but don't put away, I only get to color in part of the box. Make the plan, work the plan. Wash, rinse, repeat.
3. Completed Task Tracker
The Completed Task Tracker is an alternative to the full page monthly habit tracker. Just looking at all of those tasks exhaust me and I never remember to flip to that page and fill the boxes in. The result is a depressing page of incomplete tasks every month.
The Completed Task Tracker is more of a "Done" list than a "To Do" list. You list the habits or tasks you would like to complete. Then you pen a box (or a star, heart, or water drop) after the task and color it in when you complete it. If you want to reset your goal, draw another box and go for it! This way you'll see a tracker of the habits and tasks you have completed.
Habit Trackers are great ways to maintain or create new habits. They serve as triggers for the desired behavior and act as accountability. Your challenge is to find the tracker that works for you and not the other way around. Best of luck!
If you have any questions or want to see more tips and tricks like the ones you saw here, hop over to our Facebook Group Bullet Journaling Tips and Tricks.
We also have a curated Pinterest Board of Bullet Journal Trackers over here.
OH BLOODY HELL, IT'S SHARK WEEK... AGAIN
When I was younger, I used to be completely surprised by the arrival of my period. I was also a little fuzzy about when exactly I was most fertile each month, even after I became a mother. Twice. (I know... right?) Fast forward to last year when, in my late 40s, I decide to study up in order to answer a frequent Bullet Journaling Tips & Tricks request, "Let me see your period trackers." Thanks to you all, I am now far less clueless about the female cycle! Oh, how I would have loved what I'm about to show you when I was younger. Better "late" than never I guess? (Har, har!) Anyways, below I'll describe how to track the length of your cycle, better predict the start of your next period and identify the portion of each month you're more likely to be fertile. I'm using the Period Fertility Tracking Stencil we designed to make the whole process both simple AND lovely.
LATHER, RINSE, AND REPEAT
Since the length of your cycle can vary slightly from month to month, keep track of your cycle for at least 5 or 6 months initially in order to get an overall average of your cycle lengths.
FERTILITY AND FAMILY PLANNING
Intercourse during the first seven squares on the circle will have a very low likelihood of resulting in pregnancy. However, somewhere between squares 8 through 19 will be a fertile period of approximately 6 days, during which there is a higher likelihood of getting pregnant if you have unprotected intercourse. Here's how you can get a little bit closer to figuring out where your 6 days will fall each month using trackers.
Becoming more aware of your cycle can give you an idea of when to use additional birth control methods if you want to avoid pregnancy or help highlight the days during which you're more likely to conceive if you're hoping to start a family. Identifying the day you actually ovulate and the days that proceed and follow it when conception is actually possible is a more involved process. It involves tracking your menstrual cycle as described above, combined with the Temperature Method where you take your temperature in the morning every day before you get out of bed and the Cervical Mucus Method where you check your cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) every day. We've included the icons in the center of the Period Fertility Tracking Stencil to make recording these types of details in your daily, weekly, or monthly spreads more enjoyable as well.
LASTLY, PLEASE NOTE: NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME
This tracking technique is effective if your menstrual cycles are regularly between 26 and 32 days long. Determine if your cycles are in this range and whether they stay in this range first before you use a tracker like this for family planning purposes. If you have cycles outside this range, you should use a different family planning method to prevent pregnancy. It's also advisable to use more than one method of birth control at a time if you want to avoid becoming pregnant.
Join me in creating a mandala using these simple, step by step instructions. Grab your Compass Protractor, Mandala Maker or compass and protractor. Also gather a pencil, your bullet journal and a pen such as an 03 Tombow Mono Drawing Pen.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Draw Concentric Circles
Pencil a light dot where you want your circles to be centered, then using the MoxieDori Compass Protractor™ or Mandala Maker™, create about 6 - 8 concentric circles at a variety of distances apart.
Step 2: Divide the Circles
Using the notches of the Compass Protractor or Mandala Maker, make a light mark at the top (12:00), bottom (6:00), right (3:00) and left (9:00) of the circles. Make additional marks halfway in between each, again using the notches of the stencil. This will result in eight marks total around the perimeter of the circles.
* For a more detailed mandala, make one more round of light marks halfway in between all the existing marks, using the notches provided by the stencil. This will result in sixteen marks total around the perimeter of the circles.
Using the straight edge of the stencil or a ruler, connect the opposing marks (12:00 to 6:00, 3:00 to 9:00, etc), lining them up with the registration dot in the center of the circle.
Step 3: Add Center Circles
Add a few smaller circles if you’d like, using the straight lines to help place them on center.
Step 4: Pen in the Mandala Elements
Beginning with the center circle, start adding mandala elements with a non-smearing pen. Use the circles and the straight lines to guide the height and width of the elements, remaining inside the lines of each pie-piece section to create a balanced and consistent look.
Repeat the same element 16, 8 or 4 times as you rotate your notebook in a 360 degree circle. (Rotating your notebook makes drawing consistent elements easier.)
Decorate each subsequent circle, adding elements of varying in shape and size. Do not fret about the perfection of each individual element. The mandala as a whole will be beautiful regardless of a few imperfections.
Enjoy the process as well as your final product. Erase your pencil marks, leaving your penned in decoration plain, or color them in for additional creative or meditative expression.
Please share your mandalas or questions with us in the Facebook group Bullet Journal Tips and Tricks.
Also, if you would like a pdf download of written directions on how to draw a mandala, hop over here: https://www.moxiedori.com/members.html#mandala
Looking for a fresh theme for your March layout? Here are 10 inspiring layouts with gorgeous elements that can be expanded upon throughout the month of March.
International Women's Day
Great photos are key for catching attention, sparking interest and kick-starting engagement. Whether you want to improve your bullet journal Instagram photos or lure clients with great product shots, these five simple steps will help you do just that.
Natural light is everything. Turn off overhead lights, as they create shadows and cast yellow hues in photographs. Find a window with filtered light (not direct sunshine) and set up there. I find the light to be the best between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in my north facing window. You'll have to find your personal sweet spot.
If you want to convey the color of your item, use a white background. I use a white foam board from the Dollar Store. If your item is mostly white and you want to set it off, use a dark background. I like to use a dark wood table that doesn't have a lot of grain to it as I want the focus to be on the bullet journal spread, the stencil and the journal rule.
Put three things in your photos. Number one will be your main item of interest. It should go in the center and be in focus.
Now add items two and three and create an upside down triangle with the three objects. The observer's eye will start at position 1, travel to either 2 or 3 and then back to 1. Then the observer's eye will travel to the opposite item and finally land back on item 1. This causes people to look at your main item again and again.
Attempt to use items in positions 2 and 3 that tie in thematically and/or have a similar hue as the primary item.
Finally, get your hands in the photo. Hold your item and take the photo from the angle and distance that would naturally occur during normal use of that item. Psychologically the observer enters the photo and they feel as though they are holding that item. I have noticed that photos with my hands in them get much more engagement on social media than traditional flat lays do.
4. iPhone Camera Edit
My first photo edit is on my iPhone's camera app. I always shoot in Square and crop if needed. When editing, I start by adjusting the Light. I almost always increase the exposure first. I slowly adjust the brightness and brilliance. At that point I go over to Color and adjust the cast. I then go back to the Light and adjust the shadows, the black point and sometimes the highlights.
5. Snapseed Edit
I make my final editing touches on Snapseed. It is an amazing app and it is really easy to use. I resist using the "Looks" and head over to Tools. While I use Selective and Healing the most, I sometimes use White Balance to adjust the color of my bullet journal page.
Selective allows you to choose certain points on the photo to adjust Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Structure. Use the Healing tool to "erase" small flaws in your photo.
We hope this was helpful. Hop over to MoxieDori on FB and share your before and after photos with the community. We'd love to see!
Before and After
Join our blow out party to celebrate our website expansion!!! There will be a fabulous giveaway and a discount code for the new shop. MoxieDori Launch Party!!!!!
Do you love galaxy watercolor paintings? Today is your lucky day! Rosanne Schuurmans of @rosannecreates is sharing her galaxy watercolor technique with us. Grab your Tombows and create along with!
1. Gather your supplies.
Gather your supplies! It’s very important to use watercolor paper for this technique. It doesn’t have to be the best/expensive you have, but it should be at least 200gsm in weight and smooth (so you don’t fray your markers). I love blue, but you can use any color Tombow markers you have.
2. Draw a window using the Journal Rule
Tape your paper down to a flat surface, and use the MoxieDori Journal Rule and a black alcohol marker to draw out your window frame. It is important to use an alcohol marker, because that will not react with water in later steps.
3. Start coloring!
Lay down the colors with your Tombow markers. Start with the lightest color and work your way out to darker tones.
4. The fun part!
Use a wet brush to go over the colors. Start with the lightest parts again and carefully work your way out. You will see the colors start moving on the paper and blending into each other. Don’t use too much water, only enough to blend. Let your work dry completely before moving on to the next step.
5. Draw the cat.
Draw a cat silhouette with the same black alcohol marker. You can use the Moxiedori Cat Doodle bullet journal stencil for this step! You can of course draw a different silhouette. You could try a vase with flowers, or a Christmas tree for December. Get creative!
6. Draw the stars.
I use a white gel pen to draw the stars. You could also paint them on with white gouache or acrylic paint, or splatter them on with a toothbrush!
7. Peel off the tape.
Your artpiece is finished! All that is left to do is peel off the tape. Do this very slowly and carefully, you don’t want to rip the paper! It helps to heat the glue of the tape a little with a heatgun or hairdryer.
Marvel at the beautiful painting you made! You can paste it into your journal, make it into a card or hang it in your house.
Rosanne also has a lovely etsy shop full of her original works. Hop over to RosanneCreates to check out her beautiful watercolor paintings.