I have always had an inexplicable love of flamenco, both the dance and the music. It is intense, earthy and immediate. Though much of the flamenco that is performed on stages is choreographed, it comes from a tradition of improvisation, in which the dancer and musicians invent their movement and song in the moment, responding to each other. This sort of performance invites the audience right into the act of creation. A thrilling experience.
Sevilla (or Seville in English) is the town in Spain where flamenco is said to have been born, so that’s where I decided to travel this month—in my bullet journal, of course.
I thought that today I’d share more of my layouts, and talk about why I use these specific spreads. (If you’re curious about bullet journaling and would like to learn what it is, watch this 5-minute video from Ryder Carroll, the creator of the bullet journal.)
When I started bullet journaling I didn’t make cover spreads—they’re not necessary. But I love the way a cover creates a clear change from one month to the next, and so I’ve gotten into the habit of including one. Plus they’re fun :o) For a while I was making two-page covers, but I found that because I had no functional reason to go to those pages, I rarely looked at them. The effort seemed wasted. So now I include my trackers next to or on the cover spread. This month I messed up. I spent a couple hours sketching Sevilla for my cover, only to realize that I was on the wrong pages! Oops. So for September 2020, my cover is actually my monthly log. The spread I had intended to be my cover is the third spread for the month. There was no way I was going to start that sketch all over again!!
My monthly log is an amalgamation of Ryder Carroll’s list-type log and a traditional calendar. I love the list aspect of Carroll’s log. It’s natural for me to scan downwards, and I enjoy seeing my whole week that way. But I found that listing an entire month vertically on one page didn’t leave me enough space for a family’s worth of items. So I run the days vertically from top to bottom, one week per column.
The other spread I use every month is a two-page Projects spread. Here I list all the tasks I hope to do in the current month. I’ll usually include a goals list with my top three priorities. Having this helps me as I fill in each week’s tasks. I love my flamenco dancer this month. She makes me smile every time I turn to this spread :o)
I like to see my week at a glance. I need to include family and kid activities as well as my own, plus space for the tasks I hope to accomplish this week. My spread lists the hours from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm so I can keep track of who’s where when. A wide column to the right has plenty of space for tasks (called tareas in this month’s Spanish theme). The rest of the spread is divided into days, leaving an extra block where I sometimes list reminders of what’s coming the following week. Other times I’ll include a quote.
For a while, I tried skipping the dailies. It seems so repetitive to have a monthly calendar, a weekly schedule and daily logs. But the daily logs are one of my favorite parts of the bullet journaling system. Because they’re at the end of my monthly spreads, they are open-ended. One day can take a couple lines or a couple pages, depending on what I need that day. They work well because they provide a place to focus on today only. I can plan and re-plan and re-organize my day as it goes without the distraction of everything else that’s going on this week or month. This month’s dailies look extra fancy. I often just write the weekday and date at the start of each day without any graphics. But I was inspired by flamenco :o)