by Design Team - Boberina Dexter-Attwood
If there is one part of a planner that I have struggled with more than any other, it is the monthly spread. Starting with a bullet journal, I never had enough space to record everything that was going on and I just couldn’t make it work for a while.
The first planner I go was my Erin Condren Vertical – I say first… I’d already got the teacher planner. I was in limbo for a long time and was adding stickers for personal things that were going on – guides each week, then a few stickers for other events. It was always just a bit empty.
In May 2017, nearly a year after I’d starting planning, I began adding work things into my monthly spread and as I got into the Passion Planner, the spread developed a bit more. By December, I was back into the habit of setting it up and then never using it – more frustrating because in the Passion Planner there is space for tracking and all sorts of other things to be recorded on the spread.
There was definitely a long period where looking through my planners, the monthly spreads are virtually empty. Maybe there was a sticker put down. Maybe there was something scrawled on. Maybe there was an attempt at a monthly set up. But on the whole it was unused. I don’t like that!
Cut to December 2018 – 2 and a half years after I’d started planning – I finally had a spread that I used. I changed the purpose of my monthly spread completely, with the purpose of recording gratitude. Guess what – the spread actually got used for a whole month.
For January this year, I decided that I was going to have a new planner (even though I had an academic planner and didn’t need one!). I started with the intention of using the monthly spreads for the same purpose, and refining the additional space around the calendar for other purposes. It worked. I have a fully completed monthly calendar for January and February with my gratitude prompts. It almost feels like a complete revelation for the monthly spreads in my planner to be used. However, its not perfect and there are still aspects that need to be used more.
For March, I’ve refined what I’m doing even more. I took inspiration from several members of the Passion Planner community who use the monthly spread for different purposes and combined them. So far this month, I’ve stuck to everything and nothing has not been filled out. Now I know its still early, but I’m loving how it works. I have meal planning, a small events space and daily gratitude. The rest of the space has monthly tracking, monthly goals, bills due, gratitude prompts, and guide meeting focus. It’s a lot on one spread, but it’s a central place for everything that going on.
The only thing I’m thinking now – the classic Passion Planner would definitely give me more space!