Welcome to my new series, Bullet Journal 2.0. In this series, I’ll be discussing a number of topics, including what a bullet journal is, future logs, the monthly log (hey, you’re here), weeklies vs. dailies, habit tracking, collections, getting over the fear of starting, what to do before you get started, FAQs, and a final wrap-up with my top tips and pointers. If you were counting, that was 10 topics. One topic a week for ten weeks! I dug myself a deep hole here, but with your support, I’ll pull through.
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Monthly logs are among my favorite pages to setup and reference regularly. Partly because they are easy to customize, but mostly because they are super awesome productivity tools. Chances are, you’ve seen tons of monthly logs on Pinterest and Instagram. I’m not going to bore you to death with how to set one up.
If you must know, you write down all of the numerical days of the month with their corresponding day of the week, leaving room for tasks, events, and notes. For more information on how to set up a monthly log, check out the Official Bullet Journal website.
However, I am going to give you some tips on making the most out of your monthly logs, show you some different layout alternatives, and my favorite supplies to use when I make my monthly logs.
Monthly Log Tips and Tricks
I am almost all the way through my Leuchtturm1917, and it’s only May. Having tabs/labels on my months makes it easier to find where a new month starts without flipping to the index. There are lots of options for this, but I use a non-busy washi tape to make labels. This set of 20 has some great colors you could coordinate to holidays or seasons. I have this set, and it includes some pretty patterns and is a great width for making small labels. Another option is to mark the corners of your monthly logs with washi tape or use some of these really neat monthly tabs from Etsy.
Adding Monthly Trackers
Typically, I like to make a calendar style monthly spread on one page, then use the adjacent page for my habit tracker. It isn’t necessary to use this format, but for me, it helps to see my month at a glance and my tracker at one time. Sometimes I don’t get around to filling in my habit tracker until a day or two later, so referencing the prior days can help job my memory on what I did or did not do.
If you choose to go with a calendar style monthly log, a horizontal format is very space efficient. Flip your journal. Divide the page into 7 columns for the days of the week. If you have an A5 LT, each column will be 5 cells wide, with 3 cells to spare. This allows enough room for very brief tasks or events within the boxes.
Small Calendar with Additional Lines
This is my current, and so far, favorite setup. I make a small calendar near the top of the page. Each day is 3×3 cells. Then, below the calendar, I divide the page into two columns and write out the days of the month along with the corresponding day of the week. This is a hybrid between the original monthly log designed by Ryder Carroll and the more popular calendar setup. I find that this satisfies my need to see the month in calendar format, and still allows me plenty of room to write in tasks and events.
Monthly Log Layouts
This is the traditional monthly log setup. It’s extremely easy to setup. Start on the second cell of your page and number from 1 to 30 or 31, depending on the month. Now, just to the left, write the letter for the corresponding days of the week. Now you can use this space to add appointments, events, notes, and tasks. On the adjacent page you can include a habit tracker, goals, a gratitude log, non-date specific tasks, etc.
There are different variations of this setup. You can turn your journal and make a single page calendar, or you can utilize two adjacent pages for a larger calendar. Also, you could make a mini calendar with an area below to write in your tasks and events.
I have a whole page on my blog dedicated my supplies. But, as you know if your a planner addict, every tool has it’s purpose. I consistently use the same supplies to make my monthly logs crisp. Obviously, the first thing you’re going to need is a ruler. Six inch rulers are the best for A5 journals.
For pens, I like to use something that has a rich black ink and dries relatively quickly so it doesn’t smudge. This is hard combination to come by if you like using fineliner pens, like me. So far, the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners have been the most reliable for dark lines without the smudge. I also like Sharpie Pens and Sakura Pigma Microns, but the Micron pens are wetter and will smudge if you aren’t careful.
To add a hint of color I use Zebra Mildliners and Tombow Dual Tip Pens in Pastel. They add just a little bit of color without being overwhelmingly colorful. However, if you want your monthly log to pop, I highly suggest getting a pack of Bright Tombows or the 50ct. Crayola SuperTips.
Next week is going to be insanely hectic for me. We will be moving to another state, so I can’t promise a Tuesday addition to the series, but I’ll definitely do my best. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get an update as soon as it’s out. Next weeks post details Weekly vs. Daily Logs.
Other Posts in the Series:[ Part 1: WTF is a Bullet Journal] [Part 2: Before You Get Started] [Part 3: The Future Log] [Part 4: You Are Here] [Part 5: Weekly Logs vs. Dailies] [Part 6: Habit Trackers] [Part 7: Collections] [Part 8: Getting Over the Fear of Starting] [Part 9: FAQs] [Part 10: Wrap Up & Final Tips]