Some friends were discussing bullet journals on Twitter. One friend admitted she's always afraid to write in a new journal because she doesn't want to mess it up. I said that's why I decided to make Excel pages for mine.
I am not artistically inclined. I have terrible handwriting unless I really focus. I also get upset when something that is meant to look exactly like something else doesn't match. Hand-creating pages for a bullet journal would stress me out, which is the exact opposite of what I want.
So I was searching for Bullet Journal page layouts and found "printables" for them. Basically templates that you can print out and paste into your journal. Then I thought "Why not just use a binder and printed pages? Then I can add more as necessary and not have to sit around with gluesticks and scissors? I'm getting pretty handy in Excel, and that has nice, neat grids, so why not try it?"
So here's what I have.
The pages are 8.5"x11" for a standard binder. They can easily be sized to A5 for a smaller binder like a Dayplanner or something similar.
First I did my bill page.
You don't need to see exactly who I pay, but I wanted to show the basic setup -- the first cluster is for the things that absolutely have to be paid every month: utilities, mortgage, and such.
The second cluster are things that have to get paid every month most of the time, but not necessarily EVERY month - credit cards, store cards, etc.
The third cluster is things that get paid every month but are optional and could be cancelled.
The last two lines are things that don't get paid every month but are vital to remember to pay on time.
I don't care about tracking the exact day something got paid or how much I paid them. What I want is a quick, clear reminder of what I have and have not yet paid.
Next. Habits I need to keep or start.
Print it out, write the name of the month up there with "Daily Habits", black out the last few days of the month that don't apply for that particular month, and go on. Color in the date each time you accomplish something. See how I even stuck "writing" in there in an attempt to make it a daily habit?
I copied the layout and changed the habits to the medications I take.
And then there's the most important page.
Month and date can be written in next to "Daily Life". This way it's nice and generic and I can print out as many as I want and use them over and over again. (I may drop the 2017 from the title line because it seems kind of silly to me now). I can record the weather, what time I went to bed the night before, what time I got up, how I'm feeling on a scale of 1 - 10.
I have nightmares (which don't bother me) and anxiety dreams (which do) so I thought I'd track those, in addition to whether I have dreams in general.
Blood sugar and carb tracking because Go Team Diabetes. I figured I'd also track water just because I really should drink more of it. I kept the scale 1 - 10 just so it was even with the rest (did I mention I don't like it when things don't match?). This exact page is also duplicated directly below it so I can print it out double-sided. Save some paper and some room.
So that's it. Easy, clean, flexible, adaptable... the beauty of using a binder is knowing I can add sections and pages as needed.
Now I just have to use it....