Don’t underestimate the ability of a Bullet Journal to capture memories. I think there is a perception that because they are organisational tools, they are future-focused. However, a Bullet Journal is always what you make it. I’ve only recently started to use my Bullet Journal for monthly reviews, but it’s a great tool for positive reflection. With no further ado then, welcome to my July 2020 in review!
I thought I would start with a flip-through of how my Bullet Journal looks for July #afterthepen. Some of these spreads will be familiar if you follow me here or on Instagram, but having a flip-through of the whole month gives you an idea of how I see my journal.
July 2020: Everything not going to plan!
Unfortunately, my plans and goals for July went out the window! I cut work and residential ties in late June and was due to fly to Australia on the 8th of July. Due to travel restrictions and airport closures, I didn’t end up flying until the 27th. As mentioned in my July posts, I planned weekly spreads around my departure date, so they were based on location rather than days of the week.
In hindsight, this was a terrible idea. There’s no better way to jinx yourself than to plan yourself into a corner! The mess my plans became also flowed over to the goals I had set. My goals were reliant on my two-week quarantine, which didn’t happen in July. I also neglected to amend them as my situation changed. Looking back, I needed to be far more flexible in my goals! This month, I had a goal for a set number of job applications, despite deciding I wanted to be more selective. It’s an important reminder that while goals are important, I need to think carefully before setting them!
Another big issue was that I set unquantifiable goals. This just doesn’t work as you can’t measure your progress. I think a monthly mission statement would be an idea for general aims, but goals need to be trackable. I may use a mission statement in future, and I need to be more careful with my goal setting.
#Afterthepen Mood Tracker
You may remember from when I set up July, that I’d never used a monthly mood tracker before. In my previous journal, I’d used a year in pixels spread to track my mood, but I often forgot to complete it. Moving to a monthly tracker, therefore, made sense for me. To incorporate my travel theme, I based this spread on a plane seat map! It’s probably my favourite spread looking at July 2020 in review because, unlike a lot of my spreads, it was a completely original idea.
Spreading my artistic wings (no pun intended!) ended up being important to my July spreads. I was proud of the job I did with the monthly cover, as well as my globe weekly spread. They helped give me the confidence to try something new again in August with my mountain theme.
July 2020 in Review Favourites
Writing up a monthly review page is something I’ve appreciated this year. A lot of what we record and consume at the moment is negative, it’s really important to reflect on the positive. One of the ways I do this is to make it a habit to record something positive each day. The other is to go back through a month and have a think about some of the highlights. These highlights don’t have to be complicated. I like recording things that are tangible such as books or movies.
With access to Disney+ in July (thanks Hannah!) we got through Disney classics that I hadn’t seen in years. I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched A Bug’s Life! I enjoyed the old films, but at the end of the day, none of the Disney films hit me as hard as the final How to Train Your Dragon, which leaves me bawling. We don’t deserve dragons, but damn do I wish we had them sometimes!
I didn’t watch a lot of TV in July, but the second series of the comedy series Miracle Workers was very well made. It was satisfactorily tongue-in-cheek and had the bonus of Daniel Radcliffe being the most incompetent medieval prince in history. On the book front, I re-read one of my favourite audiobooks. Reading something you’re familiar with as an audiobook is interesting as you can pick out the differences and get a sneak peek into the story.
Because a lot of July was spent staring at the same four walls, I relished the few days we had canal boating! It was fantastic to get out of the house and do something physical after so long cooped up. I wouldn’t live on a canal boat, but a few days wrestling ropes was an excellent way to end my time in the UK.
July wasn’t the month I expected it to be, but that’s ok. As a wise man once said; “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” This month I appreciated man-handling ropes, the need to set tangible goals and that flying business class is amazing but expensive! As long as we learn from our experiences, we can continue to move forwards and grow.