January Review: Hello February (What’s Changing & Staying) + Video

Hello February – Bullet Journal Changes (and content!)

Wasn’t it just the Christmas season and we were all anticipating the upcoming new year and making incredible plans for 2018? I’m pretty sure that was yesterday. But instead, my January weekly spreads are almost filled and my calendar called for me to start working towards February. I liked January’s theme: transportation, but the last couple of posts were definitely not as inspired as the first couple weeks (see the January Fails post).

After trying to refine my style of videos and content, but I’m never completely ready with my monthly layouts and all that glitter by the time the next month rolls around. (I kind of like to do them as I go sometimes too!) I really like the idea of a review of the last month and a preview of the new month.

February Doodles + what's staying vs. what's going from January's plans + video walk through

January Review and the Preview of February’s Plans

I’ve themed my months recently. Every once in a while I like to make the month very structured and less whimsical. That’s the beauty of the bullet journaling system, it can change every month or stay the same. Whatever suits your own needs.

February I wanted to bring back all the structure and get things done. But it was just not in the pages. I think I erased 12 different layouts.

Here’s what I really wanted to do: doodle. I want to go back to my roots of drawing and doodle. Doodling for me is almost a mindless meditation activity where I can let my brain meander through its plaguing thoughts or develop ideas and strategies.

I left the weeklies open for interpretation and I would like to fill them with doodles but each week would be themed with doodles in hopes it will give ideas and inspiration.

January Review - Whats Changing in my Bullet Journal next month

What Worked in January & This Month’s Bullet Journal Changes

I did a lot of watercolor art in January (using markers – see the post here + video where I explain it in greater detail). I would love to do hyper-realistic drawings but I have discovered that it is not {currently} my style. One thing that I really like is a thin outline around the drawings. It seems to clean up the edges and defines the drawing. I did this with the bullet train in my Future Log – but only in some parts of the drawing. I feel like it gives more emphasis to certain areas of the drawing. (There’s a tip of the day!)

Future Log

For my next planner (which I hope to start in March) – I will carry over my future log. I know it sounds silly to create a future log when I have only a couple month’s left in this journal, but it keeps all the future important events right at my fingertips. There’s no way I would have excluded this spread. One thing I would add to the future log is a section for beyond the current year (in this case, a place to record events for 2019 and beyond.)

January Monthly Calendar

I like to keep all events for the month together at a glance. I’ve tried the log style a couple of times, but I struggle with it. Maybe if I had events that spanned several days it would work to my benefit (i.e. if I traveled for work or if I had several mini-vacations planned in a month – wouldn’t that be nice!).

In general, my family doesn’t have a lot of plans that consume this calendar, just some important events (when the kids are off school) and a few miscellaneous appointments here and there.

For the design – again outlining the plane made such a difference to the overall look of the painting. The stripes on the wings and coming along the back are my favorite additions to this page. Using the gelly roll pen for shine is another favorite. (Tip: let your pages dry COMPLETELY before using the gelly roll. You will see a bigger difference in how bright the white is. In other words, learn patience. I still haven’t learned this!)

Bullet Journal Changes - January 2018 Review - outlining art makes it 'pop'

Planning Consistently – Use What You Already Have, Don’t Add Something New

One thing that I do need to plan more consistently and a monthly calendar would help is planning blog posts, YouTube videos, newsletter etc. So I think I will start including those plans on my monthly calendar so I can see them all together and work more efficiently. I thought about adding another calendar for tracking these items – but why not use the calendar I already have (that has room!).

Habit & Mood Tracker

I adore the ribbon script-style font and how vibrant the title is for this page. I received several comments on Instagram that people liked the look of the words. That usually indicates that I should make a tutorial. Let me know your interest level for a tutorial how to do that type of lettering.

The black & gray marks on the tracker stand out and I like the consistent look. (Perhaps using black makes the tracker look more complete?) That may change month to month, but I like the look now.

Making designs on my habit tracker (within each of the squares) has been a failed attempt every. single. time.  I usually forget which direction my lines need to go and I mess up the pattern within a couple of days. This doesn’t mean that I am going to stop trying. Maybe I need to have a template reminder in the corner.

Habit Tracker Definitions

I generally just keep a mental list of what each habit’s expectations are and mark them based on my definition but I will write them down this coming month for a couple of reasons. One: I don’t have to remember it. Two: consistency in tracking – with defined terms written down I will know I fulfilled my own expectations. I do not plan on being too rigorous, but just so I know if I fulfilled the commitment.

Tracking items I will keep for next month:

  • Combine wake up times 5:30/6 by separating the space with a diagonal slash so this indicator doesn’t take up two rows
  • Prayers, study & journal (I would like to write to my kids in their own journals I got for Christmas)
  • No Spend & Make Dinner
  • Straighten & Clean
  • Kind words

Tracking Items I am adding:

  • Yoga
  • Blog
  • Kid Time (I forgot to add that to January and I missed it as a great reminder to spend a few minutes each day talking to each child or just playing)
  • No Soda/No Sugar
  • 8×8 Water (8 oz x 8 servings)

One thing to note:

I am REMOVING dishes! Woo!  (Here is the initial post of why dishes were the bane of my existence. In last month’s mid-month habit review, I decided I could successfully remove it). We will see if I actually formed a habit or if I just think I did.

Circular Mood Tracker

The circular mood tracker really works well, but will change from a numbering system simply because adding up the numbers for an average was a lot of math and I tended to calculate incorrectly (did I already add that number?). I like the idea of a 1-5 scale so I think I will assign a color to each number on the scale.

Tracker Additions

In January I added a blog post, video & product tracker (which doesn’t have a set quantity, just a goal. Also continuing from January is the little weekly cleaning tracker. I am amazed at my “have 10 minutes?” post has changed my thought process and inspiration for those pesky projects and mighty to-do lists. This is one thing I will most definitely continue and I will develop more related to it.

One Line Per Day

One line per day wasn’t necessarily a flop, but it wasn’t successful either. Many times I went back to a specific date to add notes. This is a great idea as it was a challenge for me to list out “Only Good Things” but I will need to rethink the process.

Coming Projects

Overall, January has been a great month FILLED with ideas and inspiration which I hope continues to the next months. Because I want to dedicate more time to projects, I needed to scale back the weekly videos and editing so I can have time to complete new projects.

Video Overview

Watch the video overview of January below and get some sneak-peeks of what is in store for February. Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have ideas and suggestions.



Remember to plan your life so you live beautifully and don’t be afraid to find your inner muse.


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3 thoughts on “January Review: Hello February (What’s Changing & Staying) + Video”

  1. I have putting off setting up my monthly for February. I’ve been scouring Instagram for inspiration because I have yet to find a monthly spread that I think would work for me. The one I used for January was very basic and just kind of a place holder for all the days. You mentioned one of my favorite things too about bullet journaling, you can start over every week, and every month. Heck, you can start over every day if you want. There is something very liberating about that. Though, on the other side of the coin, it leaves a lot up to your imagination, and sometimes I just can’t put the thoughts together. This post has definitely encouraged me to get on my February set up though ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the peak into your January all together. And I love that theme really was exciting, the page with the plane is my favorite, I can practically feel it taking off!

  2. Hi Ani! Monthly calendars are the hardest for me to get new inspiration and make feel anything but utilitarian. I’ve tried the log a couple times and I just can’t get into it! The grid layout I think is always going to be my – go to just because it is so functional. I have seen where each box is independent of each other and has a shadow – I kind of like that. There was one that looked woven. I think I would mess up the pattern in a second!
    I completely agree with you about the plusses and minuses of creating your own layout each time. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes its completely overwhelming. I’d love to know what you create!

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