Bullet Journal monthly review: July 2017

Hello friends!

July is wrapping up so I thought I would do a review of this month in my bullet journal. This was the first month I did a theme all the way throughout the month. For the most part I did like it for a few reasons. The first being that I didn’t have to go through the dilemma of picking new colors each week. Another plus to this method was I had something to draw in the blank spaces, so my pages looked a lot more full, which I enjoy. Then finally I just liked the overall look of the month being all in the same color scheme. It’s easy to flip through the pages and see that all of these things go together.

If I look at my monthly tracker, the month started off really well. I filled things out daily and didn’t miss too many of my daily habits. But then in the last week of the month I really fell off the rails. I wasn’t feeling well, I wasn’t managing my time well, and I just didn’t get things done.

July Trackers 2017 | Alifeofprojecst.JPG

I did several doodles this month rather than printing pictures to fill in blank spaces. I like this method but sometimes I didn’t manage to color the doodles in so it looks a little sad still. I will probably go back and still print a few pictures of the big events of the month.

July Doodles | Alifeofproject.JPG

I also realized I’m maybe trying to tackle too much in my daily habits. I think I am going to scale back for August, and once I am consistent with whatever I’ve chosen, then I can work on replacing some or adding in some additional habits. The big ones I have not done well will are my “No TV” goal, my violin practice goal and my “Finances” goal. I definitely want to work on finances for August so I’ll be keeping that one but I will probably let some others go.

July Bujo Trackers 2017 | Alifeofprojects.JPG

Overall, I really liked keeping the same theme and I think I’m going to scale back on some habits to have a better balance in my life for August. I’ve already picked the theme for August, and I will be switching to a new bullet journal as my current one is full, so watch for both of those posts!

Bullet Journal Monthly July 2017 | Alifeofprojects.jpg

Bullet Journal Sleep Tracking

Bullet Journal Sleep Tracker | LifeofProjects.jpg


I’ve been on the struggle bus for a few weeks, and this past week is clear evidence of the struggle. For some reason I keep waking up in the middle of the night and lying awake for 2-3 hours.

I guess I shouldn’t say I lay there. I used to, but this happened so much I read up on what to do if you wake up and can’t go back to sleep. I’ve been trying all the tips: Don’t look at your phone, don’t look at the clock, get out of bed, go read a book, do some meditation, don’t watch tv. Tried it all.

Still awake.

Because this happens so much I’ve started tracking it in my Bullet Journal. I used filled in circles for nights I slept all night and open circles for nights I was awake for more than 20 minutes. Then I tracked the total sleep time in a line graph.

Sleep Tracking | LifeofProjects.JPG

That was a week ago and here’s this week:

Sleep Tracker | LifeofProjects.JPG

As you can see, it’s all over the place. The only reason I got into the “green zone” there is because of benedryl and…wine.

I think what impacts my sleep most has been my lack of consistency. So I worked hard all weekend to set myself up well for this week. Of course that included a lot of planning! I planned out our meals, did meal prep, planned my workouts, set aside things I would need this week, and of course made my plan in my Bullet Journal.

I am hoping I can stay on track this week and not let life-things get in my way and impact my sleep schedule.

This month I also added a “Bed before 9pm” and a “no TV” tracker to my monthly trackers. So far I’ve not been great at it but after reviewing this weekend I feel like I can make progress and do better the second half of the month. Either way, I’m going to keep working on my sleep habits and tracking them for now!

Bedtime Tracker | LifeofProjects.JPG

Do you track your sleep in your Bullet Journal? What parts of sleep do you track? Has it helped you? Leave a comment below!

Bullet Journal July Weekly #3

Bullet Journal July Weekly | LifeofProjects.jpg


How’s it going?

Over here things have been a little hectic. I’ve been really exhausted and not able to keep up with things. So Friday I finally gave in and went to the doctor for some tests. She had some thoughts on what it might be (nothing serious) but we are waiting on the test results to come back before she makes any suggestions.

In the meantime I’m working on being more consistent so that perhaps I will be less stressed, sleep better, and therefore have more energy. Consistency was my word of the year for 2017 so I’m trying to keep that in mind as I move forward.

I often lose consistency over the weekends as is evidenced by this blank page:

Bullet Journal Fail | Lifeofprojects.JPG

It wouldn’t be a big deal if it only happened on super busy weekends…but it’s every weekend. Every weekend I have to go back and fill things in. I am going to try and work on this in the next week.

I also don’t do the best job at filling in my weekly spread to add things into the week as they come…but I did try to fill it in a little this weekend….so maybe that counts?

Week of July 16 | LifeofProjects.JPG

I’m sticking with the cactus/succulent theme both in my Bullet Journal…and in my house….

New Family Members | Lifeofprojects.JPG

These little guys came home with us this weekend from our local nursery! We got a discount since that one seems to be looking a little worse for wear but I’m hoping I can rehab him. We shall see.

For this week, again more succulents. Still tracking sleep and trying to keep on top of things. I really think I’m liking the monthly theme rather than weekly.

Before The Pen | LifeofProjects.JPG

How is your week going? Do you use monthly themes or weekly? No theme? Let me know in the comments!

Bullet Journal July Theme

Hello friends!

Trying to get back into this blogging thing. My good friend whom I shall call A…inspired me by asking a ton of questions about my Bujo and now she’s hooked too! So I thought I’d make this a regular part of my blog.

This month I decided to try a theme for the whole month. I’ve not done that in the past, usually I switch things up every week but with work and everything else that has been getting a little hard to deal with.

I decided to go with the theme of cacti and succulents this month since July is pretty hot and dry where I live. I’m also good at drawing these things so….cheating. 🙂

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

I gave myself space to add in my monthly To Do’s and played around a little with the July header. I’m not sure if I love the lines dropping in to the monthly boxes but because July takes up 6 week-lines and I loathe half-boxes….I had to make it work.

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

For the weekly spread I’ve got my standard format pretty set in stone. I like equal sized boxes for each day, even weekends, even if I don’t fill them all out at the start of the week. I need to get better at going back and filling them in during the week…

This week was the 4th of July here in the States, but it’s also my dad’s birthday. This is the first year I haven’t been able to spend it with him so it was a little hard.

I also added a sleep tracker that you can kind of see there beside the weather tracker. I’ve not been feeling energized and….I think I might have to work on my sleep hygeine! I’m adding this tracker to this week as well because….I didn’t hit my target of 8 hours any nights. 😦

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

This is what my daily looks like right now. I’ve switched up the daily header for July and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I love banners….but I like the fully colored in look better than the half-colored….but the issue is coloring around the tiny sun and rain symbols. It gets really hard not to have the yellow get covered up by the color of the banner.

I did really like having the set color theme and having the cactus theme to add in days when I didn’t really have much on the schedule.

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

Now it’s time for BuJo Confessional Time.

I don’t finish things.

Yep. I plan them but I don’t finish them. And it’s almost always the weekend when I fall off the bujo wagon. Friday went well….mostly. I was a little rushed as we had a post-work outing with a friend so I didn’t go back and fill things in.

Then Saturday….I slept in because we were out WAY late….and then all day Saturday we were busy with grocery shopping and housework. I did not sit down almost all day Saturday and then we went out to hear a friend’s friend’s band play.

Sunday…surely I can get some planning done. The majority of Sunday morning the husband and I went out for a walk…8 miles so not a short one. Then we came home and did our meal prep for the week. This usually takes 3-5 hours so finally around 5pm I managed to prep for next week but wasn’t able to fill in the weekend.

It was a lot of fun but…I felt very unorganized all weekend and it tends to bleed over into the next week. Normally what I will do to deal with the blank space is go back over the month, note where I’ve got a lot of blank space (sometimes it’s left intentionally) and go through my photos and select ones to print and add to my pages. I print the pictures out on sticker paper so it’s easy to just add them in.

What do you do with your blank space? Have you tried one of the photo printers for your BuJo? Leave me a comment!

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

Project: Planner Peace and Why I Don’t Believe

1.28.16 Calendar

Ok, I’m calling bullshit on “Planner Peace”.

There. I said it. Planner peace is bullshit.

Planner peace, in theory, and in my understanding, is having one planner that is perfect and does all the planner things you need it to do. It tracks your water intake, your meeting schedules, your kid’s soccer practice, your boss’s nieces birthday party. It keeps your grocery list, your dry cleaning receipt, and your tax information. All the things! All in one place!!

It sounds great, right? Your life is finally organized. You just need this ONE thing. This ONE system will solve all your problems.

But let’s be honest, that isn’t going to happen for most of us.

Or at least in my opinion, that’s not happening. At least not for me.

My problem with planner peace is that it makes me feel like I’m not doing it right. I’ve got two planners. And a system on my computer. And then the calendar on my phone. Planner peace makes me feel like this is wrong. But what if I’m not wrong? What if planner peace is wrong? After all, entropy is natural, right??

At any rate, I don’t want planner peace. If you do, that’s fine, I’m happy for you. But for me…I like planner FUN. I like trying new planners, themes, layouts, stickers, etc. It’s FUN. Why should I give that fun up just for one system?

Right now I’ve got 3 main organizational tools. Ok 4. Let’s be honest.

Paper-planner-wise, I use the Bullet Journal system for my daily planner. This goes with me everywhere. It’s a basic notebook, no stickers, not super-exciting. However I DO sometimes doodle and journal in it. I use it mainly for my daily schedule, to-do list, and habit tracking. Here’s a sample day:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I also keep a long-term calendar and other long-term planning things in it…like my upcoming half-marathon schedule.

1.28.16 BuJo

Then, for mostly personal tasks, and for just keeping my week overview organized, I use a more traditional, super sticker’d, planner.

1.28.16 Lilly Planner.jpg

For me, this planner lacks the detail and minutiae of what my daily life needs. However I love it, I love the stickers, and every Sunday it makes me sit down and review the week ahead. The Bu Jo does NOT make me sit my happy ass down and figure out my upcoming week. I mean it could…but….I like this one better. Plus I’d run through like a notebook a month if I did weekly planning and To-Do lists AND meeting notes all in one place.

Then, I also use two computer systems. I use google calendar for super-long-term things…like if I by tickets to Elton John and the concert is 6 months away. It goes in the google calendar then later it gets transferred to my weekly and then to my daily paper planners.

Then for shopping lists, lists of movies to rent, and my work-related notes, I use Evernote. For more about Evernote, feel free to check out my other blog here. (#shamelessplug #idontwanttorewriteitsoohwell) The nice thing about Evernote is that it syncs to the cloud and I can access it from my phone, computer, or sister’s boyfriend’s uncle’s computer if I have to. Realistically, I could run everything out of Evernote, but the paper planner and the super-fun stickers make me pay more attention to my schedule than Evernote does. Not gonna lie.

So some of you might say that I have NOT achieved planner peace. I won’t necessarily disagree, but I’m also not actively seeking it. I’m perfectly fine with the system I have, but I’ll also be ok if I decide to change it in the future. In fact, I KNOW it will change rather soon and I look forward to it. I have requested (and bought and then exchanged for cash) a Kikki-K planner from my mother for my birthday. So eventually…either around my birthday or maybe next year, I’ll be switching to a vertical layout. No idea how I’ll like that but I think it will be fun to experiment.

What are your thoughts on planner peace? Do you think you’ve achieved it? Did you think you achieved it and were then proven wrong?

Project Planner Peace| Lifeofprojects

Project: March Planning

Hi all you crafters, pinners, and planners!!

I’m so excited to start my March planning this week! I’m beyond ready for spring! How about you? We had a few good snow storms here in Virginia, and that was enough for me. Today it’s freezing rain and sleet outside, so I’m going to stick to inside activities for the day!

Also…I have this tiny tickle in my throat. Crossing my fingers it’s nothing because I have too much fun stuff coming up this month to be sick! So let’s talk about the plans I’ve got for the blog this month.

This month on the blog:

  • Oh Fransson Crazy 7’s quilt (Ok so her original is crazy 9’s. I needed to modify it.)
  • Super cute and quick crochet projects
  • Yoga retreat in Charlotte!
  • Other surprises!

But for today, it’s all about planning.

Recently I got a coupon for $5 off $10 at Jo-Ann’s. Whaaatt??? So off course I had to buy all the washi.

The collection is getting a little out of hand.

Oh well. There are worse vices. Also, picked up some SUPER cute new stickers from VintageGypsyRoad and LifePlannerWashiTape.

So I started planning my March month view with my new washi and some St. Patrick’s day stickers I got from the Dollar Tree.

Who wants some free printables??

A Life of Projects | Free Printable Planner Stickers

Click here for the PDF: A Life of Projects March Printable Planner Stickers

I recommend using an inkjet printer set to “best” or “photo quality”. You can get the sticker sheets I printed mine on here. If you use the stickers, please leave a comment down below! This is my first free printable, so let me know what you think! I think I sized them to fit most planners, including Erin Condren!!

Enjoy!! Happy planning!

A Life of Projects | Free Printable Planner Stickers

Signature Large

Project: Organization

So we are a little over a month in to 2015. I know a lot of people have “Get organized” as a new years resolution. Was it one of yours?
For me, I usually don’t do new years resolutions. Generally, I might have some goals i want to do for the year, but I don’t write them down and commit to them with any sort of significance at the start of a new year. However I do find this time of year to be good for revamping, cleaning out, reorganizing etc.
In particular, this new year meant a new planner for me! I had heard about the Passion Planner from Domesticated Academic. It was a Kickstarter that grew to epic proportions. (Sidebar: I do know they have had issues filling orders, the strikes at the west coast ports have slowed them down, and a lot of people are unhappy. I ordered mine in November and it got here the last week of January. I can’t find much to complain about, she offered the printable for free, you can’t predict when something is going to go viral…or shipping issues. I still think it’s a great company.) Last year I didn’t use a planner much at all and relied mostly on Evernote and google calendar. (More on how I use the Evernote system can be found on my other blog, here.) I missed the physical list-making and planner. I like organizing my week and day.
I really love the Passion Planner’s features. It has several writing and goal-setting prompts. These aren’t available in the free printables as far as I can tell. At first I thought it was a little corny but then I went through the exercise and it’s really helpful for me right now, as I’m trying to finish my dissertation, find a job, graduate, and work on some personal goals. This systems helps me be able to sort through all the different projects and zero in on the specifics I need to attend to each month and each week.
But more than that, I’ve discovered the planner community. And the 10 year old kid inside me with a massive sticker collection is SUPER excited about this. In fact, that 30 year old woman went digging through every box, folder, and closet she could think of to try and FIND said sticker collection. But after roughly 8 moves in 10 years…I think it may have been a casualty somewhere along the lines. (But the back of my head SWEARS I’ve laid eyes on it in this current apartment, in a folder…). So I’ve started rebuilding the sticker collection thanks to Etsy and Instagram.
And washi tape. Ohhhh the washi.
So now on Sunday I take some time to plan out my week, then I fill in parts as I go through the rest of the week. Do I need all the stickers and washi? No. But it makes my heart happy. I actually find it fairly relaxing. It’s like painting or drawing but without all the materials and mess. It really does engage the artistic part of my brain, and I need that sometimes after hours and hours of lit review.
But mostly, taking dedicated time each Sunday to plan my week helps me to consider what’s coming up, what projects I need to focus on, weekly goals, travel, and other things.
Do you set aside time to plan each week? Are you part of the planner community?? Do you love planner stickers too?! I’m thinking about doing a free printable planner sticker sheet for March! Stay tuned!!!
Here are some of my favorite sticker sellers!:
Signature Large