How to Use Trackers in Your Bullet Journal

Trackers are a super useful bujo tool. Basically, a tracker is a flexible bullet journal collection spread that allows you to gain insight by analyzing data. (Wait, what did I just say?) Think of it like a report card for… anything. You can track your health, your mood, your gray hairs, the color of the cat’s vomit. Anything that feels valuable to you, you should be tracking! Think of it like journaling without having to write those pesky words (says the blogger).

What I love about trackers is their versatility. They can be simple or complex, minimalist or decorative. You can incorporate imagery, color, and shape into your tracker. Every bujoist does it differently, and they all have their value. The key is to choose something to track that will benefit you in some way. The benefit will keep you motivated to check those boxes everyday.

Mood Trackers

One of my favorites from my feed @edelweiss_crafts.

Tracking your mood is a wonderful wellness trick. I started tracking my moods when I first noticed that I was feeling more anxious and depressed. Tracking my moods everyday allowed me to see trends, like feeling positive on the Fridays or anxious on Sundays. (Sunday scaries, anybody?) Once you spot trends, you can identify triggers and work your way to better moods in general!

There are lots of ways to track moods in your bujo. Some people do a full year tracker that they set up near their future log, giving a single square to each day. You can also track your moods in your weekly spread. When I first started, I just used a little emoji face next to the date. My favorite is the monthly tracker. I like to create a coloring page that fits my monthly theme, like the snapdragon above. As long as your image has the right number of spots to color in, you can use picture! Download some free printable ones to try from my freebies page.

Habit Tracker

I love these cheerful lemons that decorate this simple yet effective habit tracker. Thanks for letting me share it @sociologeez.

They say it takes 30 days to form a habit… or 14? Or maybe 30 days to break a habit? I clearly don’t know, but they don’t form overnight… and they definitely don’t form without consistency. Whether a habit is about making sweeping life changes, or taking baby steps toward something new, a habit tracker can help you monitor your progress. Without data, you may keep paying that gym membership and never showing up. Or, you might realize that you haven’t eaten a single carb in three weeks and you still feel exhausted everyday… The internet, your best friend, and your mother are all suggesting one simple habit that could change your life forever. You’ll never form them (or be able to prove that they aren’t working for you) without the data.

When you’re setting up your monthly (or weekly) spread, add in a couple of easy habit trackers to try it out. Just draw out 30/31 squares and label them. Check it off every day that you do (or don’t do) that thing. At the end of the month, you have some useful data that will help you determine how to move forward. For me… maybe the fact that I’m doing dishes three times a day to keep the kitchen clean should tell me that we need to buy a dishwasher. (Or I need to break all the dishes.)

Budget Tracker

@zigzagsandzebras is taking control of her financial health with this awesome budget tracker.

If you’re a Gen-X’er or a Boomer, you may look at the spread above and think of the time honored tradition of “balancing the checkbook”. Remember that? Sitting (or your folks sitting) at a kitchen table and flipping through carbon copied check stubs to write out all of your expenses? Maybe you had a cheap solar calculator to make the math easier.

Yeah, we don’t do that anymore. Shoot, how many checks have you written lately? Check books are all but obsolete, and balancing them is no longer an effective way of budgeting . A budget tracker is essentially.

Just like a checkbook, the key is accurate information. Start with the total in your checking account at the beginning of the month, and be sure to note every expenditure (from latte to student loan payment to rent). If you don’t want to track everything, consider using cash for smaller purchases.

Health Trackers

Not strictly in a bullet journal, but this health tracker by @join_my_journey_nicole04 has all your bases covered!

Living a healthy life can be challenging. You probably need to drink more water, cut down on the sweets, and exercise more often. Don’t we all? Those big lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight, and they won’t happen if you aren’t intentional. Health trackers help you set and reach attainable goals. You can track your progress to form a healthier habit, or monitor your stats. Tracking hours of sleep, self care, and physical symptoms can be useful information. The better you know your body, the better you can take care of it. My suggestion is to start small and track one behavior at a time. If you can’t think of one, a safe bet is water. Draw a little drop for each day of the month. If you manage to drink 64 ounces (8 – 8oz glasses) fill the droplet in. If you only do half that, fill it in half way. It’s a great way to form a healthy habit!

Trackers are only as good as the data you track. Start off with one or two things, and be intentional about what you’re tracking. Does the data benefit you at all, or are you just creating yet another chore for yourself. Never judge yourself for dropping a tracker from your monthly/weekly set up. If it isn’t working for you, you should waste your time.

That being said, trackers can help you form positive habits, keep an eye on patterns in your life, and live happier and healthier!

Like what you saw? Consider following my colleagues on Instagram! Just follow the link under each picture and click that follow button. Cheers!

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