October Plan With Me

Hello everyone! I am so excited to share another month of my bullet journal with you! I was really excited with how many of you told me how my original post on how to set up a bujo (bullet journal slang) and September setup inspired you to start your very own! That is the whole reason I wanted to share it, because I knew how much this journaling system had helped me and I knew that it was bound to help others as well! So, once again, thank you so much and if you decide to start or get inspired by what I show you here, please, please tag me on instagram @girlirae or send me an email at girlirae@gmail.com showing me your creation because it would honestly make me SO happy! If you missed my first post on bullet journaling, then click here to read it, because I go into a lot more detail with everything and it will be easier to understand the layout! 
Now, onto October!
So for October, I decided to go with a mixture of creepy Halloween decoration, mixed with autumn and fall accents. I live in AZ where we don’t really get a fall season, so I wanted to see it, at least, in my journal! I was really excited to use some of the techniques and tricks that I had found in some YouTube videos! One of which was this faux- water color technique that I saw in Plant Based Bride’s August Planning Video (and you can see the technique I’m talking about at around 7:50 into the video) She explains and shows it in much better detail than I would be able to here, but you basically draw onto plastic first what shades you’d like to put down and then sprinkle a little water onto the plastic, then turn the plastic over and press down onto your page. The moon in my October cover page was done using this technique and I am in love with how it turned out! Some tips I have for using this technique are that you want to make sure you lay a piece of sturdy paper down underneath the page you are working on so that water doesn’t bleed all over your notebook and to also not drench the plastic with water. Since most journals are not made out of water color paper, they will start to ripple and weaken when too much water is applied. So it may be worth it to practice on a sheet first so that you know how much or how little water you’ll want to use! The rest of my page and the rest of the sheets I included in this month were done using my Tombow Dual Brush Pens, and my Sakura Micron Pens

I kept a lot of the same pages for this month as I did last month, but I also did change alot. SO, for what I kept the same: I kept my social media trackers because it was super helpful to me so that I could be aware of how much time I was or wasn’t spending on social media. It’s really easy to get sucked into wasting all your time flipping through Instagram so I enjoyed that spread alot. I also kept my blog notes and miscellaneous pages the same because they just add a great space to write down any thoughts you have in an organized way. The way that I kept track of what notes I had accomplished (if they were a To-Do) was that I highlighted them to basically cross them out using one of my Tombow markers. I thought it looked more aesthetically pleasing then actually crossing them out with a pen and it showed me how much progress I was making throughout the month. 
If I had to choose one thing that I LOVE the most about my bujo and basically one of the reasons why I will absolutely continue to use it month after month, it is because of my bill tracker! I love my bill tracker so much because that is an aspect of my life that I could NEVER seem to get a hold on. I had so many small $5-$10 monthly subscriptions here and there which seem little, but even if you have just 5 of them, BAM that’s $50 and that can make a big difference to some people on a budget! Once I had paid a bill I would check it off and highlight it and it came to the point where I was actually excited to pay a bill because then I could check it off my list. It was also a great feeling knowing that all my bills that month were accounted for and I wasn’t left wondering if I was behind on something. If this is an issue in your life, I highly recommend copying this spread to use for yourself! Some smaller bills you may want to remember are: spotify, hulu, netflix, hbo now, gym memberships, or any monthly box subscriptions you may have! You also obviously would want to put down your essentials like: rent, mortgage, car payments, utilities, or anything automatic debits from your account! I can’t tell you how much stress this has relieved from my days, because with having all my personal as well as business bills all organized, I noticed that I felt much happier throughout the month. It’s important to remember how much money can have a negative or positive affect on your life and mood! (Also, I blurred out the lines on my bill tracker because as much as I wanted to share this awesome spread with you, I don’t need the world seeing exactly what I got goin on financially!) 

You may notice, if you read my last post, that I have changed a lot for this month! My monthly overview I switched to a traditional box layout just to see how I’d like it since I have WAY more going on this month than I did in September. I totally trashed the habit tracker that I had put in place for last month because I honestly barely used it and I actually felt guilty for not using it. Trust me when I say, I have enough things in life to make me feel guilty, I don’t need it from my bujo too! So I replaced my habit tracker with a mood and sleep tracker. ( I copied my mood tracker from the amazing @amandarachdoodles ) I wanted to see how my sleep was affecting my mood since those are two aspects of my life that I have been trying to be more aware of! We’ll see how I like it for October, but so far, I am very excited for it. 
And lastly, I added a page for me to keep track of all of the items I am going to be making for upcoming fall makers’ markets! Keeping inventory in my shop is one of the hardest parts for me, so I felt that having a tracker for in my journal was essential. I already know that it’s going to be great for me since I started using it the second it was actually inked into my journal! 

Tips and Resources for Beginners:

Now that I have a bit of a better understanding of what I do and don’t like so far, I want to share it with you! Amanda Rachel Lee and Ali Freie on Youtube have some great monthly planning videos that I’ve been getting some inspiration from! Amanda has more of a colorful and decorated approach, and Ali has more of a minimalist aesthetic! I find myself somewhere in the middle, so I enjoy watching both of them. 
Some of my favorite instagram inspirations are @amandarachdoodles, @bumblebujo and @inkbyjeng! 
I also want to add and emphasize that these bullet journals are meant to simplify your life! So if you don’t want to go all out and draw in every page, then don’t! My mom recently started journaling as well, but she primarily uses it for work notes during meetings, meaning that she still wants it to look professional enough to take to a meeting. So she doesn’t embellish every page, but it works for her! So feel free to go as crazy or as simplified as you want! Another tip I have for anyone nervous to actually START the journal process, is to use pencil! I usually will sketch out some ideas for pages I have in pencil first and go over it in pen, then just erase the pencil. That way if you mess up, its NO BIG DEAL. 
And my last piece of advice: dedicate a page (towards the back of your journal) to testing out pens and markers, so that you can see how they write on your pages and if they bleed through the pages. Nobody wants that! So test them out first! 🙂 

Materials Used This Month:

Tombow Dual Brush Pens:
N00 (blender)
Sakura Pigma Micron 03 ( 0.35mm )
Leave me a comment below if you love this post and want to see more like it!!
You can find me here:
Instagram: @girlirae

Jumping on the Bandwagon: How To Setup A Bullet Journal

So, I did it! I jumped on the bullet journal bandwagon! I’m sure if you’ve spent anytime on instagram or pinterest, then you’ve seen the bullet journal craze all over. Not gonna lie, at first, I did not see the appeal. I’ve gone through several different pre-set planners and could never keep up with them, simply because the layout never worked for me personally!  Well I stumbled across a couple bullet journal YouTube videos a couple weeks ago and got sucked into the rabbit hole. (aka spent hours upon hours watching different “plan with me” videos) I noticed, in all the videos I watched, that no two planners were the same! Each YouTuber personalized their planner to match up with their, daily, weekly and monthly planning needs. Along with that, I kept on noticing each of them saying how the bullet journaling process was so therapeutic for them and released their inner creativity. So, the point is, I decided to dive in. 
This past month has brought on a lot of changes in my life, both emotionally and business wise. I adapted a completely different sleeping schedule along with deciding to restructure my salon business. (Yes, I do have a life outside of crafting and blogging). I thought that with all these changes, a bullet journal would be perfect for me to organize the many different elements of my daily life in a way that made sense for me! I’ll explain some of the core elements of bullet journaling as we go along, but if you’re a total newbie and have no clue what I am talking about, then I highly suggest you first watch this video by Ryder Carrol (the inventor of the bullet journal system). In that video, he explains the basic elements that go into the system! 

To start off, you’re going to need a journal. While you can use this system with literally any basic journal you find, there are a couple that are super popular in the bullet journaling community because of the special offers they feature. I decided to go with a very popular journal, the Leuchttrum 1917 A5 Dotted notebook. Some of the reasons this journal is so popular is because it features 3 pages in the very front that is dedicated to your index, every page in the notebook is already numbered so you don’t have to, and the pages are thin enough to not be bulky, but are also “bleed” resistant, meaning that most ink will not bleed through to the next page! 
(Quick tip: even though the pages are bleed resistant, there many still be some “ghosting” or shadows from your pen from the previous page) This doesn’t bother me though. Another great feature is that is a hard cover book, and a GREAT size. I can easily fit this into my small purse and that is a very important factor for me. Now, for some people, the $20 price tag of this journal can be a deal breaker, so if that’s the case for you, then any dotted or graph journal will do just fine! Don’t think too much into it, after all, you’re just gonna be writing in it so it doesn’t have to be that stellar. Next, you’ll need some pens and whatnot. I wanted to decorate mine a little bit so I looked to see what others were using and I found that the Tombow dual brush pens and Sakura Micron pens were really popular. So, of course, like a lemming I bought some! I would NOT recommend using sharpies or crayola markers, as these types of markers have a much higher chance of bleeding through to the next page! 
The first page I set up in my book was my main cover page. I wanted this to be cute because well, I’m a girl and like to be basic every once in a while! I just used a basic cursive to write my first name and copied some cute floral design I found from pinterest to frame it. This page doesn’t have to be crazy, just straight to the point and cute. Don’t spend too much time on the actual decorating of this journal because it is meant to help you organize your time, not spend all of your time stressing about if your journal is as cute as others! 
Next, is what is called your “future log”. Now, these pages are not necessary if you don’t want them, but they are popular to put in the beginning of your journal so that you can have an overview of the entire year. You basically just want to write out all the months of the year, and leave enough space to fill in important dates for each month that goes along. By doing a future log at the beginning of your journal, you can easily bookmark it or refer back to it quickly since you’ll know exactly where it is. Since I started my journal in September, that is the month I began with and I went all the way through the end of December 2017. Once, you’ve created your future log pages, you’ll want to write them down in your index in the front. This will help you keep your journal organized, and you’ll want to do this with each entry you make in your journal!
Admittedly, I do not use a journal so much for event planning, since I use a calendar on my phone for all my business appointment, I put my personal appointments on my phone so that I can refer all back to one place. I more so use a journal to keep all my ideas organized in the same place. But that is what is so great about this system, there is no wrong way to do it, as long as it works for you! 
The next page I set up was something that I personally wanted to have in a journal. It is a crystal key. Basically, it is just a list of 6 main crystals that I use around my house or in my personal life for different reasons. Each crystal, to me, is used for a different purpose. So, I wanted a place where I could quickly reference the crystal and use! This page is not necessary at all, but it’s just something I personally wanted and I am pretty damn happy with how it turned out. Instead of a crystal page, some people will add a page about different books or movies they’ve been wanting to read or watch. Or you can even do a page of future goals you want to keep track of! Just think of what is most important to you or what you’d like to keep track of the most. Once again, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO DO THIS! So just do you, boo. 
Following in the theme of my crystal key, I also wanted to add a moon tracker and meaning spread. I personally feel that different phases of my life and moods are linked up with the different moon phases. There are many different apps you can use to track the moon, but I like having a spread of it in my journal so that I can quickly see if I am under or near a full moon as I am planning out other elements of my life! For many people, I know this spread would be irrelevant for them, but if you are a little moon child like me, then feel free to copy this spread because I have found it really useful in the planning out moments so far! 
That’s all I put into the “Front of journal” pages for me, you can add more or less depending on your needs, but once you’ve finished those foundation pages, you’re ready to jump into your monthly spreads! 

Once again, I started this journal out for September, and decided to keep with the theme of crystals. A monthly cover page is totally NOT required and is so extra. But I wanted to do it as a part of my journalling process because, it has been YEARS since I have drawn or painted, and I have to say, I am so glad I did. I forgot how much I loved it and it really helped me clear my mind. 
Since I already use a calendar for my business, I didn’t see the point of drawing out a full calendar for these pages, instead I used the original Ryder Carrol method of a vertical calendar and I just split it between personal and business use. On the next page, I forgot to take a picture of it, but I just put down some social media trackers for my blog, instagram and pinterest so that I could just see how well (or not) I did for that month and what I can change. I also added a small portion to the bottom for my etsy store so that I could track that progress as well. I also thought this would be nice for me to add because, months down the road I can look back at the numbers and see how much has changed! 
Now, this next page is called a “habit tracker” and to be honest, I was really hesitant to add this. I didn’t really think it would be helpful or productive for me, but then, I just kept seeing everyone on YouTube LOVING it and I thought I’d give it a try. I put down a few habits that I’d like to keep on top of and remember to do on a weekly or daily basis and we’ll see as the month progresses if I still like it, but for now, I kinda like it…I’ll update you with my final thoughts. Some people also will do a mood tracker next to or under their habit tracker, so that you can see how your habits affect your mood. I decided to skip it for this month, since its my first time! Didn’t wanna overwhelm myself with too much!
The next page is probably the most important to me, and most of the reason that I started this whole journal because I needed a VERY ORGANIZED way to track my bills. Seriously, this adulting thing sucks sometimes and bills are probably the worst part about adulting. Obviously, I took this picture before I filled it out because, trust me when I say, you do not want to see my entire list of bills, but now that I do have it all filled up, I feel so much stress taken off my back and I don’t feel like I am forgetting about ANYTHING! The worst feeling is when you forget a bill and get hit with that late fee. So this page perfectly takes care of that issue for me! 
So, this next spread is usually where I see alot of people putting in weekly calendars. But, since I mentioned (several times now….) that I use a calendar on my phone, I didn’t see the point in wasting paper. So, instead I added basically a notes spread. Notes for my blog post idea or website ideas and then a Miscellaneous page for all my random thoughts or notes. I will probably add a few more of these because my favorite thing about a journal is to write down random notes, or to do lists (that I never get around to checking off ) BUT, hopefully this journal will help me feel more motivated to check out every damn TO DO on my list! 
And that is it! I want to state right now, that I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am really just a newbie that wanted to share my likes and dislikes with all of you! I also did a bunch of research on it before I started and have different approach to it since I don’t just use it for tracking my events! I am really exited to see if this process helps me stay more or less productive in the coming months and how it evolves as I use it! I’m also thinking about maybe sharing this with you all once a month, when I first set it up. Let me know if that is something you’d like seeing, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can make it a regular occurrence 😉 I would looooove to see how you guys bullet journal, so if you post on ig, don’t forget to tag me @girlirae, so that I can see your process! OR, if this post has helped to inspire you to start your very own journal, PLEASE let me know, because I would totally love to see! 
As always, if you have any questions or just wanna chat feel free to reach out to me! I love making new online friends! 
You can find me here:
Instagram: @girlirae