Planning & Productivity

Minimal & Clean Bullet Journal

This month’s bullet journal set up is the polar opposite to the creative, artsy vibe I’d been going for recently. And while I love aesthetic and beautiful, colourful spreads, they do require a bit of thought and some work to keep up throughout the month.

November for me is going to be busy (read: hectic). I’m weaning myself gradually back into the world of work and taking on a few projects while still acting as full time PA to a 6 year old, chief cleaner, chef and laundretter (is that a word?) for 4 people, plus wife-ing for an insanely busy husband – as well as being at the constant beck and call of an 8 month old. All of this while I hurtle toward my 2nd year of Uni which starts next January. So at the moment I need function over fancy, substance over style and efficacy over etchings.

For that reason I’ve stripped my spreads right back, and really thought about what I actually need and how much space I need to do it in.

My cover page this month has no decoration, other than a line two thirds of the way down the page so it is still at least aesthetically pleasing. A small calendar for the month and an adjoining goals page to give me space to focus my aims for the weeks ahead.

My monthly spread is one I’m looking forward to using and I feel it will be far more useful for my needs than previous decorative grid spreads, with plenty of space to jot down my morning and afternoon tasks and events. I’ve also added my habit and mood tracker into the monthly spread with an extra column to note down a memory or notable occurrence from the day – which is interesting to review in association with my mood.

As a rule my daily routines change very little, but because they are crammed I decided to draw up a schedule spread this month. I’m a chauffeur most days and due to the constraint of school and work runs I have to do what I want to do within small windows during the day. At the moment my husband and I are sharing the one car. We went down to one bigger car during lockdown and given the savings we’ve enjoyed (plus the more flexible working schedule Mr Sophie Writes now has) we are seeing how we manage without adding a second car to the fleet. We’re currently saving to move home and have made great progress within a year, saving almost £15,000. If you’d be interested in a post on what we cut back and how we did it, let me know below! Alongside my schedule I’ve also made space to brain dump which I’m filling with sticky notes. This means I can easily move ideas round my journal without too much work while I decide on a permanent spot for the thought/plan/idea. 

I’ve decided to veer away from weekly spreads this month and try out a daily page set-up. Space to record something I’m grateful for each day (there are lots of studies out there on the benefits of this) and somewhere to mark out my to-do’s and events. Since I set up these spreads I’ve also added space for an evening meal plan which usually encourages me to cook rather than reach for the takeaway menu! I’ve thought about sharing a week of family friendly meals here on the blog so look out for that post coming soon!

I’m thrilled with this months set-up; it was quick and easy but still looks great and I can tell already it’s going to help me be productive and mindful. I really enjoy a clean aesthetic but also plenty of space to scribble and scrawl as I need. I’ll report back next month on how well these spreads worked for me and what, if anything, I’ll be changing for December.

Are you bullet-journaling? Or are you in the thinking of getting started phase? Drop a comment below and lets discuss!

(Check out my shop for unique journals and notebooks – or request a custom design.)


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