Bikurgurl Monthly Planner/Journal, A Do-It-Yourself Guide – Step 2

Note: I started writing this post with an entirely different title and realized as I was looking for my poetic love of my Franklin Planner in days of yore {yep, that’s how I like to think of my past!} that I had actually started this guide months ago….that line in church is ringing true as ever with, “all the things I’ve left undone”!

Sorry for the wait Stephanie, but hope it’s worth it!


Have you heard of the revolution storming the planning world? That’s right: It’s the Bullet Journal.

Start here: STEP 1 Monthly Planning Journal


If you haven’t heard of it, the Bullet Journal was developed by Ryder Carroll for The Analog System for the Digital Age“.

Here is where I’ve really latched on to one of the Bullet Journal Junkies love: The Tracker.

Since I had cancer surgery last year, my body and life has changed dramatically. I had actually planned on writing more on this blog about the changes in my life, but to be honest — I’m finding the writing to be very personal and am planning on editing it together. It’s too raw right now.

All that being said, my new life post-hysterectomy but too young to dismiss the risks of osteoporosis {I’m under a physicians care, please refer to your health care professional for your personal situation}, I take hormone replacement via patch. There’s a whole story about ‘The Patch’, but I needed a way to remember to change it every 3 {or 4} days. *Note: I tried going every 4 days since the first cycle is 4 days, then the next is 3 days. I was hoping to self-medicate without a medical license and found that every 4 days was not going to work for me, even if it did stretch out my medication, and was even more difficult to remember to keep track of.

While it’s one thing to put it on the calendar — and what a downer is that, next to fun outings and doctors appointments, the constant reminder of my being vulnerable was overwhelming. Vitamins, supplements, and the like having to be taken twice a day, it was a lot to remember with all the other changes in my life. How was I to keep it all straight without having to constantly look at it all day?

The Tracker!

So many beautiful trackers, journals, and illustrations on BoHo Berry! Thank you for the inspiration, Kara! Follow here on Instagram here 🙂

I’ve tried several iterations of this tracker – most without success. I did online searches and found these gorgeously illustrated works of art, expensive planners, downloadable checkboxes — when all I really wanted was a way to track when I’d taken what to keep myself healthy. When I happened upon the Bullet Journal, with it’s fun spin-off by enthusiasts of the trackers, I was hooked!

TRUTH: I do not follow the bullet system as set-up by it’s creator. Way too detailed for me. If you didn’t start with my first post on my monthly writing books in Step 1, start there to find out what works for me. I’ve since added more booklets and a fun, inexpensive cover to house them in, so that’s in Step 3 and Step 4 with a flip-through. I can’t wait to get started on the videos!

As you can see in the InstagramImage above, I have multiple books. The yearly book has a monthly calendar {purchased as a set of 18 on the dollar rack for $1.99 at Michaels} that I’ve used glue dots to insert into a smaller book {also purchased at Michaels with the covers, see below} to have a monthly double page spread.

I began this book by writing down monthly goals, but since I found that redundant after writing goals in my monthly book, I wanted to keep track of my tracking in something I could carry with me over time. I could look back to celebrate my success and find reasons for not being able to carry through. Did I overschedule? Was I out of town? Did I fail to give myself enough time to plan ahead?

And how can I minimize the number of books and checkboxes I carry with me and can stay committed to while still keeping me on track with my objectives? I don’t do well being a slave to technology-based systems, so I knew paper was the way to go. Integrating the need to track my personal daily checkboxes was essential to me.

Some trackers were good in theory, but not good in practice. The image above was too much work and just really messy. It drove me to obsessively looking for grid journal books, or better yet, the elusive dot journals. I could find them in small, field notes sizes, but I wanted something that mimicked the same size as my larger Moleskin Cahier journals {and you can totally make your own, but I purchase mine from Target – either Kraft cover or Black cover, with blank pages}.

I used the $1.50 Daiso purchase of graph paper index cards, cut to size, and…Voilà – a tracker that was manageable, not too pretty or precious {or expensive!} was born!

Bikurgurl 2016 – InstagramImages

I’m super happy with this easy fix. I’m generally overthinking things to the point where they seem insurmountable — but occasionally, I happen upon a stroke of genius in simplicity!

On the bottom of the image, or left hand side of the tracker, I list the habits I want to track. Across the top of the page, I simply numbered the days in the month of September – with reference to the monthly calendar on the opposing page for day of week. Many trackers also add day of week on them, and I may do that in the future, but for this month, I’m going to try this out.

For instance: I have pills I take twice a day, I change my hormone patch every 3 or 4 days depending on which end of the cycle I’m in, I started tracking steps last month with my new iPhone and want to hit 10,000 steps daily, I integrated lifting weights {still working on that!}, and also my daily chores {which are in a separate journal I carry in the one cover}. I’m not sure if I’ll leave daily chores in this tracker as I want it really to be for my health-related tracking, but I did add cups of water to this. Yes – 8 slots for the 8 minimum cups humans should have daily.

Or whatever you’re tracking

You’ll also notice on my patch tracker, I have blacked out many days. These are the days I won’t be changing my patch. I will also be blacking out days I am not lifting weights, which are just 5 pound hand weights at this point. I also have in my goals to start running again once the weather cools down and I can run on the treadmill in my garage and will only run on specific days, or specific runs on days, so there will be blacked out days on that.

See — in this way — the planning is an overview of the month. It’s super easy, at a glance, to see the commitments to yourself. For me, my commitment has to be to my health, which is why my monthly tracker is set-up to focus only on this.

I hope to add a tracker specific to my blog writing goals, but at this point, I just want to take on one realm and find success before I more on to the next. I also keep a planner for homeschool, life, family, a commonplace, writing….

Such is the life of a writer. A storyteller….




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