February is just around the corner (where on earth did January go?) and I have created a set of easy (and hopefully useful) spreads for an organised and successful month. I’ve used a similar setup to some of my January spread ideas, but have decided to add in a few extra spreads to accommodate the focus of self-care. I’ll evaluate how successful they are at the end of the month and adapt them accordingly.
If this is your first adventure into using a Bullet Journal, fear not. The beauty of using a Bullet Journal is that they can be as simple or as detailed as you like, and there are endless amounts of incredible creators across Instagram and YouTube who share tutorials on how to make your Bullet Journal work for you. For those of you who are more experienced, these spreads may provide extra ideas for trackers, spreads and general layouts for the month. For more information on using a Bullet Journal and making them work for you, click here
Our Theme for February: Hearts
The theme I decided to use throughout the February spreads is hearts. With Valentines Day being the popular day of the month, I liked the idea of a heart design being the main inspiration (albeit a little stereotypical) but wanted to incorporate spreads that focused on the idea of self-care and self-love instead of relationships, and so created a February Bullet Journal setup that would be easy to replicate and accessible to everyone. I created a simple set of doodles with a pink aesthetic that has singular heart shapes of different sizes and banner ideas. However, instead of using a bright pink colour I decided to use more of a peachy shade – when combined with the black fineliner it creates a pretty set of spreads.
Tip: Create your spreads first in pencil, practice different design ideas and then trace over it with a black fineliner pen.
Title Page and Inspirational Quotation
I wanted to keep it simple, so using basic calligraphy with a calendar layout of the month written below, and then created a heart design at the top and around the edges. For the quotation on the next page, I took inspiration from one of my favourite films: Moulin Rouge – The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return. I like the fact that this quote can be used from both a romantic and self-care perspective.
I also like these self-care quotes:
Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life – Steve Maraboli
Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves – Nathaniel Branden
Take time to do what makes your soul happy – Unknown
Want more ideas for inspirational quotes? Here’s a superb list of 77 Self-Care Quotes that you can use in your February Self-Care Bullet Journal spreads.
Click on the individual images for the full size!
Monthly Overview and Habit Tracker
In January I found that creating a linear format – using a single line for each day of the month – was particularly effective as it allowed me to see at a glance the immediate events and appointments that were scheduled for the month. I decided to continue the same layout from January for my February set-up, leaving a space in the bottom corner of that page to set out some goal ideas and things as wanted to work towards. Instead of drawing out a box, I created lines using the pale pink colour to define the space – this was purely for aesthetic reasons, to make the page a little more interesting. Surrounding the title at the top of the page I drew a selection of hearts of different sizes and coloured in the larger ones using the same pen.
Tip: I use the Monthly Events solely for events and important things to remember – birthdays, celebrations etc, and use the calendar layout for the daily tasks that I need to complete. This helps me to separate things easily and keep my lists as small as possible.
For the Habit Tracker I changed the layout slightly – creating a blank monthly calendar layout for each day that allows for quickly colouring in individual boxes as daily tasks are completed. This was a quicker spread to create than the Habit Tracker I used for January. I put a simple heart banner design across the top and individual hearts around the boxes. Emulating the Goals section in the Monthly Events page, I created a small set of lines at the bottom for any notes that I may have for my achievements over the month and where improvements need to be made – this will help when developing my goals to include in any future Habit Trackers that I create.
Monthly Calendar Layout and Weekly Task List
The Monthly Calendar style layout is something that I really enjoy and find incredibly useful, particularly in the fact that I can keep all of my daily tasks on a two-page spread. I changed the design for this slightly in my February setup – instead of using a basic grid I drew out individual boxes, adding a pink drop shadow to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. When I feel that a spread looks pretty, I’m more motivated to use it! I continued with the same heart theme, drawing out simple heart shapes of different sizes and adding a set of curved lines at the top.
However, for those who have a large amount of tasks they may find that this layout doesn’t allow for enough space, and so a weekly task list may be more effective.
Weekly Task List
I completely changed the layout for the February Daily Task List, adopting a vertical format across two pages. Each day is represented by a column (depending the size of your Bullet Journal, each column is about 5-6 dots wide on the first page, and 7-8 dots wide on the second page), and I have added a space at the bottom for reminders or notes.
Tip: If you want to create more space you may wish to combine the Saturday and Sunday spaces into a single column and simple label it as ‘Weekend.’ This means that you can spread the days out a little more adding three columns on each. Similarly, if there are days that you know will be less busy than others, you can combine them midweek to allow more space for the busier days.
Aesthetically, I have started to highlight each line with the same pink colour and used the banner design across the top, incorporating different sizes of hearts and colouring in the larger ones. I have also added a heart and small box around each date, colouring it in to make it stand out, and added a drop shadow using a thicker black pen.
Tip: If you have a month that is particularly busy, you may wish to use the weekly layout, and use the monthly layout when things are a little quieter. Don’t be afraid to change it up to suit what you need – a great reason to use a bullet journal!
For the February Bullet Journal set up I have incorporated a Mood Tracker, something that I didn’t include in my January spreads. As the focus of February is self-care I thought it necessary to track my daily mood, being able to see through the use of colour how my mood changes throughout the month and potential causes.
I wanted to keep this as simple as possible, so drew a heart for each day with the date written in the centre of each. In the bottom corner I have created a key, using three colours to represent three different moods: light pink = good, dark pink = average and a brown-pink = low. Like the Habit Tracker, it is an easy spread to complete, simply filling in a heart using the corresponding colour from the key that represents best how I felt that day. I’ve also included a ‘Notes’ section that I can use at the end of the month to analyse my results and any factors that I may need to consider in the next month. To define each heart, I’ve added a thicker black line around the right edge, helping each one to stand out.
Tip: Sketch this out using pencil first to ensure that you have the correct amount for the whole month.
Continuing with the self-care theme, I thought it might be useful to use a single page spread for self-care ideas that I can use when lacking in inspiration during the month. Self-care has become a huge focus for the benefits of physical and mental well-being in the last few years, with emphasis on deliberate and intentional activities to improve daily quality of life, moods, reduce anxiety and develop self improvement ideas. Self-care can be adapted to suit your own individual needs, likes and interests – from exercise, breathing and meditation to crafting, counselling and developing healthy routines, self-care is a vital tool when preventing burnout and being mindful.
For this spread I made my list slightly more interesting than simply writing it down in a linear fashion. Instead, I have used more of a mind-map layout, incorporating different fonts and sizes around the central title, adding in small heart doodles and using the same pink colour.
Tip: To make your Bullet Journal a little more aesthetic, you may wish to write certain things in different fonts, or adopt the same font for a particular month to match your chosen theme. If haven’t thoroughly mastered the art of many of these (particularly calligraphy) yet, then block capitals or bubble lettering is super effective. I like to change my font style from month-to-month simply to make it more interesting for myself in the planning process, but it isn’t necessary. There are lots of font tutorials available on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Here are some brilliant ideas for learning how to create different fonts.
Ideas to Potentially include in your Self-Care Spreads
- Inspirational quotes and affirmations
- Defined goals
- Cycles of encouragement
- Spaces for writing or poetry
- Nice things to do for others
- Exercise ideas – walk, run, swin, jog, yoga, golf, boxing, aerobics, Hiit etc
- Spiritual activities – meditation, prayer
- Healthy eating recipes and meal plans
- Life rules to develop and follow
- Mental health activities
- Hygge activities
- Creative activities – read, write, listen to or create music, draw, sketch, knit, sew, sing etc.
- Reward ideas
Doodle Page and Heart Ideas
I’ve always found drawing and sketching to be therapeutic, but don’t possess the artistic talent to create the stunning works of art that I see within lots of Bullet Journals on Instagram. I can, however, replicate doodles and small symbols to make a page a little more interesting, so I have created a double-page spread for potential doodle ideas to use throughout the year. It covers all sorts of themes – travel and holidays, plants, trees and flowers, weather, celebrations and gifts, animals, sports, food and drink and miscellaneous ideas for almost every possible topic, and I intend to use this as a reference page when I am struggling for design ideas.
As the theme of the month is ‘Hearts’ I have also created a heart doodle page that is potentially useful within the February Bullet Journal Setup. To make it look a little more interesting, I have added some highlights with the same pink colour that has been used throughout the spreads.
Tip: Still don’t feel confident enough to create your own doodles? There are endless styles of washi tape available in most craft stores that can make any Bullet Journal page look pretty!
Ensuring Success with Your February Bullet Journal
Make sure that you use your Bullet Journal every day if possible. The more you use it, the easier it will be to track your progress and results.
Analyse your success and improvements needed when planning your spreads for the next month. If something hasn’t worked, then don’t be afraid to adapt it or change it to suit your needs.
Want to see what others are doing in the Bullet Journal community? Check out these useful hashtags:
#BulletJournal #BulletJournalIdeas #BulletJournalWeekly #BulletJournalMonthly #Bujo #BujoWeekly #BujoMonthly #BulletJournalCommunity #Bujo2019 #Planner #PlannerCommunity #PlanWithMe
Happy planning, and Happy February!