Artist Life, Journal

How I Turned The Monthly Spread For My Planner Into A RPG

Doing the same thing over and over again can get exhausting. But what if it was turned into a game?

Changing your perspective on everyday tasks can sometimes be all you need to help get the sparks of motivation going. That’s at least the idea behind integrating game elements into my bullet journal!

With a new month just around the corner, it’s time to start working on the next chapter of the year. So grab a cup of tea and come join me as I break down what a monthly spread is, how I’m gamifying it, and share some quest adventure ideas for your own planner.

  1. Purpose Of A Monthly Spread
  2. Transforming It Into A Game
  3. Putting It All Together
  4. Future Ideas For Monthly Quests

Purpose Of A Monthly Spread

Simply put, the monthly spread should be there to give an overview of what will be happening within the next month. This can include deadlines, goals, events, etc.

How it’s blocked out depends on the planner, usually setup with a calendar and a notes section on the side. The perk of using the bullet journal system as my inspiration for this planner is that it can be blocked out for specific needs. Which, for me, involves planning content, keeping up with habits that’ll help me complete quests, and a reminder of any big dates happening this month.

Transforming It Into A Game

As I mentioned, I’m turning the monthly spread of my planner into a rpg. There are a couple of ways I’m doing this:

  • Changing the Terminology. By changing the vocabulary to be what you’d see in a rpg instead of the regular terms that appear in a planner is the key to this transformation. This is a bit of a psychological trick to get into the headspace that it’s a game, not a collection of exhausting chore lists. See the full list of changed terminology over in my gamifying my journal post to learn more!
  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. One of the things that gets me to come back to a game is the positive feeling of accomplishing something and the sweet rewards for doing so. Using this as a baseline to treat myself for accomplishments throughout the month in real life can help give the tasks a more quest-like vibe.
  • Adding Fantastical Components. Using stickers, pens, and imagination to assist in setting the fantasy aesthetic most RPGs showcase.

By combining these elements with the bullet journal system, it should create the equivalence of the pause menu in a game.

Putting It All Together

THE HEADER. Recently I stumbled upon the idea that each year can be romanticized as a “book” in your life, and thus each month a “ chapter” within it. I love this outlook and wanted to integrate it into my planner. So instead of writing the month on top, we’re now entering Chapter 2 of this year.

MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE. It’s cheesy, but having it there during low energy days can help push me out of a funk. Plus, it’s kinda nice to have it as the “title” for the chapter we’re about to roll into.

DAILIES. Originally known as a habit tracker, this section is here to keep track of what’s been accomplished in the month and still needs to get done. I’ve seen a lot of folks use this for keeping track of hydration, fitness, and more. The ones shared on mine were specifically created to help me complete my quests quicker. It’s said that five minutes a day towards a goal is better than sporadically working on it.

IMPORTANT DATES. I’m not a fan of having multiple places with the same info on it. Since there is a dry erase calendar above my work station to keep track of when content is being released, the only thing I need here are the important dates that take the full day and might change up how my dailies should be handled.

REQUEST OF THE MONTH. When playing a rpg, each chapter has an arc within it that progresses the overall story. So for this month, I’m helping the town’s alchemist collect the ingredients needed to create a variety of love potions. When an ingredient is collected, aka a monthly goal completed, one of the potions will be colored in. I think it’s a more entertaining way to work on achieving the goals set out for the month at least, and a way to get an external dopamine hit.

EXPENSE TRACKERS. With the main page of this chapter completed, the next few pages will become expense trackers for my financial goals. I feel a little odd talking about the specifics here, so I’m keeping it vague for now. If you’d like to see how I break these down though, please let me know!

Future Ideas For Monthly Quests

Though I landed on potion making for this chapter since February is the month, there are a variety of possible prompts to use for this section. For example:

  1. Gather Adventuring gear
  2. Help the town guard gather the local wildlife that is terrorizing the townsfolk.
  3. Hunt for the X rings of magic.
  4. The witch’s familiar has escaped! Get their favorite treats to lure them back home.
  5. Retrieve the X artifacts for the local museum.
  6. Find the X pieces of the legendary Kingslayer so it can be reforged.

Is this a cheesy setup for a planner? Sure! But it does make reaching my goals a little more fun and thus more motivating to complete.

I’m very excited with how this gamified planner is coming together. It’s been inspiring me to create templates and such to help make the prep for each new page smoother. I even have an itch to create some stickers for next month’s setup. Is that a wild idea? Would that be interesting?

Ta ta for now,



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