At the beginning of the year, I began Bullet Journaling. (Bujo for short.) I really enjoyed it but I lost interest because it just didn’t work for me. And even more importantly I got really discouraged by the fact that everyone else’s looked so much better than my efforts! I’ve never been good at making things pretty but I got really frustrated with how everything I try looks like a mess.
Last month, I decided to try again and I was pleased with my efforts. I’ve found I work best when I can see everything at a glance. I knew I needed different pages for different things like my budget and my weight loss chart etc. I did really well but I found that my bujo was getting battered from excess use and some of the pages fell out so I needed to think again.
I looked into buying a proper bujo with a sewn spine instead of a ring spine but I found they were quite expensive. Our budget is tight so I couldn’t afford to buy a new notebook. And to be fair, I’d never be able to make my bujo anymore than functional. I thought long and hard and decided that an Excel spreadsheet was the best thing for my bujo. I’ve used all sorts of spreadsheet packages in the past buy Excel is always the one I come back to. And you can download an official Microsoft Excel app for your tablet and use it for free. Although RiverSystem and I pay £7.99 a month for a 5 use license for our various devices.
I already had a spreadsheet with our budget on. I was already using it to keep track of our bank account and also to analyse our receipts to see what we spend our money on. I have an at a glance sheet (above) for my bank account. It tells me what money is going in when and also what’s going out each day. I’ve also started putting our spare money every week into my savings account to keep us from spending it so we’ve got it for weeks when no money goes in but we still have bills to pay.
The above sheet is for our receipts. I’ve listed each item we’ve bought and analysed them by category. Being an accounting technician, I’m all about the analysis! I started it in July 2017 because I wanted to learn where our money was going and where we needed to cut down. Next will be an inventory of the cuboards and how much we’ve thrown out! We decided last month was a bad month because of my operation. We had way too many takeaways! We’ve started again this month because it’s a more normal month. Although it is our anniversary this month…
The brilliant thing about Excel is that you can easily add extra spreadsheets as you need them. I think I might have gone a bit mad!
The first sheet I added was a mood tracker. I also wanted to keep track of days when I’m in pain and when I’ve been busy the day before so I can see the trends. If anything specific happens on specific days, I’m adding a note to the day. For example on the 4th-6th, we went to a religious convention. Yes, I spent most of the day sat down but it was really tiring having to concentrate onwhat was being said while we were there. Although I came away with some good tips on coping with health problems. By the end of the day though, I was tired and hurting so a little note reminding me when it happens gives me a clue for when I want to talk to the dr about my mood. I’m also trying to keep track of my menstrual cycle so I can see how that affects my fibro and depression.
Then I added to help me keep track of how much I want to lose and how much I’m losing every week. I’m finding it helpful to have a chart to fill in as I’m losing weight so I can see exactly where I stand. From next month, I’m also planning a meal plan but I haven’t decided how that will look yet…
I was advised by my GP to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to help me lose weight and flush out my system. I kept losing count of what I was drinking so I added a sheet I could colour in when I’d drunk a glass of water or squash. It’s actually been really handy!
As vital as a healthy body is a healthy mind. Therefore, I decided to keep track of whether or not I attended my religious meetings so I could compare it to my mood chart and work out how my attendance or lack thereof is affecting me.
I’ve got a few more sheets that I wont bore you with. As we have smart metres, I’m using a sheet to keep track of our energy usage so we can see how much it’s costing us every month. I think it’ll take a few months for that to be worthwhile but I’ll let you know how it goes! I know my bujo isn’t pretty but it works for me!
Do you bujo? Do you find it helps? I’d love to hear your opinion!