Bullet Journalling, Layout

Experimenting With Layout

Disclaimer:  I receive NOTHING if you click on any of the links in this post.  They are shared purely to show you what I use and to give you a reference point for purchase.  I am not paid or sponsored by any entity or corporation.

Last week, I jumped right in after a long hiatus with a review of the Scribbles That Matter notebooks, noting (hah!) that I’d given up my Leuchtturm 1917 official Bullet Journal (A5) in favour of the STM B5 notebook (which appears to have been discontinued as it’s no longer listed on their website!).  That was a huge leap, as I’m sure you can imagine, but in keeping with the beauty of the Bullet Journal system as it was intended, I needed to do what was going to work for me, and what worked at the beginning of the year no longer served me.

I had not, however, worked with a journal so large before.  I’d always enjoyed the A5 size, feeling that it was both easily transportable and had, at the time anyway, sufficient space for all of my needs.  What really motivated me though was seeing a picture of a portrait oriented habit and mood tracker, one I desperately wanted to emulate.  From there, it was only a quick jump to deciding on having a page a day layout as opposed to combining days on one page as I’d been doing.  I wanted to be able to make notes, have a gratitude log for each day, a daily tracker for each day, and a place to log my daily oracle card draws on, yes, each day.  As you can imagine, this took some wicked experimentation!  The Habit Tracker, however, was easy, as you can see here:


I really view this first STM as my experimental bullet journal.  I had loads of ideas for it, especially dedicating the first half of the book as a Book of Days quick reference style thing.  I never did get around to filling those sections in and quickly realised that if I did so and kept that format, I’d be migrating just…so much stuff.  And it would be just…so much work.  Besides that, I didn’t miss it!  That tells me I likely would have barely used it and essentially, I would have ended up doing all of that work for naught.

That said, the majority of my experimentation was with my daily layout.  First, I tried a vertical time bar with notes about appointments and dedicated time periods – a time line more than a time bar.  I sectioned the pages off with my tasks and appointments at the top, my daily card notes, then my daily gratitude log.  I even tried to add a journaling box, and played with my symbols a bit as well.

That lasted about half a month, but as I looked back over all of the blank “Journaling” boxes, I realised I was really just wasting space.  I also wanted to re-introduce my “Daily Do’s” back into my bullet journal so I could move some of the repetitive, daily tasks I tracked to that – and have better accountability as to whether or not I was doing right by myself.  I decided to give up on the timeline, go back to my normal time bar at the top, and take the space to the left of the page for a Daily Column instead.


I also entered into November deciding to give up a weekly layout.  I tried that for an entire month and decided that while it was nice in theory, I really needed space where I could add tasks that needed to be done that week, but not necessarily today.  So in December, I played around with some different weekly ideas until I settled on a one-page layout that seemed to serve me well…but I can tell you that I know for sure it’s going to change again in January! (More on that in a minute).


I also elected to move my gratitude log back to my monthly spread in December instead of tracking it each day in my daily spread.  In it’s place, I put in a self-care tracker similar to my Daily column.  I got the tracker from The Witch of Lupine Hollow’s self-care journaling sheet – but couldn’t fit everything I wanted to from that sheet into my daily, so I elected to just use the daily self-care checklist for December.  I already know that I’m going to change that to a monthly tracker in January, and possibly move back to a 2-page weekly spread since I’ll have more pages to work with given that I didn’t take up the first 29 with wasted space.


I added a daily tides and sunrise/set bar to my dailies for December too, and I think that I’ve finally settled on a layout that will work for a while.

I think I’m settled with experimenting for the month of December and have a good idea of how I’ll be moving forward in my new STM to ring in 2019.

All that said, what happened to my Traveler’s Notebook?  Wellll, that’s going to have a new life in 2019, but you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to find out how!

Do you like experimenting with your layouts or do you prefer to keep it simple and standard?  Let us know in the comments – and I’ll see you next week when we’re talking about migrating journals for the new year!

product review

A Triumphant Return – And a Product Review – Scribbles That Matter

Disclaimer:  I receive NOTHING if you click on any of the links in this post.  They are shared purely to show you what I use and to give you a reference point for purchase.  I am not paid or sponsored by any entity or corporation.

Wow, has it been way too long since I’ve posted here!  The second half of this year just got crazy.  My s/o and I took the big step of moving in together, but in order to do that, we had to pack, clean, and move both houses (!), in addition to getting our “together home” painted, repaired, and ready, an effort that took literally the entire summer.  A week after we moved in, we were traveling to see our nephew graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp; work for both of us got really busy and chaotic; and of course, there was still the matter of unpacking, getting rid of more stuff, acquiring new stuff, and generally setting about making a house into a home.  Then came the holiday season.  So, long story short, time for personal activities and, unfortunately, maintaining Renaissance Magpie, was non-existent for several months.

That said, we are, finally settled in and I am finally able to reinvigorate Renaissance Magpie.  As you may have noticed from the paragraph above, a LOT of changes happened this year and among them was the way I bullet journal.  When last we spoke about systems, I was working with the Leuchtturm 1917, official Bullet Journal notebook, in a Traveler’s Notebook system.  By the end of September though, I’d come to the end of my latest LT 1917, and was looking for a bigger journal.  I had a lot of layout ideas that just needed more room, and I had to admit to myself that the Traveler’s Notebook system as I’d envisioned it at the beginning of 2018 was just not working out the way I’d hoped or wanted any longer. Continue reading “A Triumphant Return – And a Product Review – Scribbles That Matter”

goal setting, habit tracking, Healthy Habits

Using Habit & Lifestyle Trackers in Your Bullet Journal – How, What, and Why

Some of the questions I see over and over in online Bullet Journal groups and forums all have to do with habit, mood, sleep, and general lifestyle tracking in your Bullet Journal.  Common questions that are asked on a near daily basis are, “What do you track?”, “How do you track it?”, “Why/What benefit is there to tracking?”, and “Where do I start?”  I thought that it might be helpful today to talk about the things you might track, and to try and answer those questions

So, let’s start with the what.  What do you track?  Simply put, you track anything that you want to make, or break, as a habit, or try to see a pattern in. Let’s start with the most common, habit tracking. Continue reading “Using Habit & Lifestyle Trackers in Your Bullet Journal – How, What, and Why”

Bullet Journal Migration, Bullet Journalling

Migrating to a New Bullet Journal

Hey everyone!  I’m back, and this time we’re going to talk about Bullet Journal migration!  I know, I probably should have done this before I did the July Plan With Me post last week, but hey – it’s fun to mix it up a bit, right?

Migrating to a new Bullet Journal always leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.  As someone who never totally filled up the more traditional planners or even journals, I’m always a little thrilled to see that I’ve managed to complete another Bullet Journal with only a few blank pages (usually) toward the end.  For many though, I know the process of migration can be daunting, especially when you have a lot of collections that you want to move to your new journal.  It’s partially this reason that prompted me to move to a Traveler’s Notebook system as I talked about in this post not long ago.  Using the inserts for long term collections (e.g., my Year in Pixels habit tracking, colour key, etc.) means less to migrate when I start a new journal.  Nevertheless, I do have some things that I bring with me into each new journal, so read on to see how I migrated into my new Bullet Journal in June of this year! Continue reading “Migrating to a New Bullet Journal”

Bullet Journalling, plan with me

Plan With Me – July

Hey everyone!  Wow.  I can’t believe that June is almost over already!  I know that I’d promised a June Plan With Me post, as well as a journaling challenge, but once again, life reared it’s head and conspired against my productivity.  This time, however, it was for a positive thing!  We spent every bit of our free time moving my S/O out of his house in June, and into mine.  But it’s not over yet.  We’re moving again at the end of August, this time, to what will be to our house, which is so exciting!  What’s not so exciting is the packing and actually moving piece.  Because of this, I’m refraining from any in-depth snail mail and art swapping until at least mid-September, and I won’t have a lot of time to spend here over the summer either.

Nevertheless, we shall persevere and I will definitely be back to weekly posting once we’re settled in to our new place.  I felt bad that I didn’t get the June Plan With Me Posted though, so I wanted to ensure that you got a July Plan With Me!  Read on to see what I’ve done – and what mistakes I made this month! Continue reading “Plan With Me – July”

Healthy Habits

It’s the Little Things…13 (Mostly) Little Life Changes that Make a Tremendous, Positive Impact

Lately I’ve been writing a lot about Bullet Journaling, in particular, my Bullet Journal, but this week, I wanted to shift gears a little and talk about some small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference in your day-to-day quality of life.  I was actually inspired to write about this by this BuzzFeed listicle.  For some reason, it popped back into my “For You” feed even though it’s 4 years old, and I like to peruse this type of content to see if there are any small changes I can try to make in my daily routine to make life a bit easier.  I then looked through a few more listicles and realized that, hey, I actually do most of the things suggested – and a few more of my own.  So today, I want to share with you the things that I have found that not only make my life easier, but have given me an overall better quality of life too.

This is especially important for me as someone with Fibromyalgia.  Part of keeping flare-ups and the associated depression at bay is maintaining, and doing, these 13 things to make life better for me.  Hopefully, something in the following list will inspire and help you too!

Please note that if you suffer from serious mental illness or depression, nothing on this list will supplement or replace medication, therapy, and medical care!  If you need help, please – reach out.  If you’re suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Now, on to the list…

Continue reading “It’s the Little Things…13 (Mostly) Little Life Changes that Make a Tremendous, Positive Impact”

Bullet Journalling

Bullet Journal Weekly and Daily Layouts

Last week, I shared my Traveler’s Notebook with you, and how I incorporate my Bullet Journal into that system.  As promised, this week I’m going to share my weekly and daily spreads!  Of course, I actually changed my weekly spread layout for this week, so I have two different layouts to share.  That’s the beauty of this system though – when you get tired of one layout, or find that it no longer serves you, you can change it up the next day or the next week!  So let’s dive right in, shall we?

Continue reading “Bullet Journal Weekly and Daily Layouts”

Bullet Journalling, Traveler's Notebooks

Using a Traveler’s Notebook with Bullet Journal

Hey everyone! I mentioned in my my last post that I had moved my Bullet Journal to a Traveler’s Notebook (TN) system and promised I’d share more with you, so here it is.  Let’s talk about the TN and Bullet Journal hybrid – a best of both worlds!

I have to admit, I was hesitant about this whole idea at first.  It seemed that using a TN and the associated inserts with the Bullet Journal spat in the very face of the Bullet Journal concept which was to streamline and simplify your planning (I know, I know…hyperbole much? 😀 ) but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this could actually work without taking away from bullet journaling!

For one thing, for busy people, migrating “permanent” spreads into a new bullet journal is daunting.  I was, well, am, no exception to that rule, and I realized that some of these spreads that I consider permanent or at least long-term (like my annual goals and bucket lists) might be better off in a TN insert.  So, I bit the bullet (er…sorry…) and bought a TN from Elrohir Leather as a Yule gift to myself.

Continue reading “Using a Traveler’s Notebook with Bullet Journal”

Bullet Journalling

Plan with Me – May 2018 Bullet Journal Walkthrough

I can’t believe that it’s May already! This month snuck up on me and I almost, almost wasn’t prepared. I found myself cramming to get May in my Bullet Journal set up last week and somehow…I made it! I thought that it would be nice to share my May layout with all of you before it got too cluttered with, well, being filled in!

As you can see, I have moved to a Traveler’s Notebook. This beauty from Elrohir Leather was my Yule gift to myself and no, it’s not three dimensional! One of my dear friends got me a matching pocket sized journal for my birthday.

Continue reading “Plan with Me – May 2018 Bullet Journal Walkthrough”