(Due to the recent discussions on social media, I have thought long and hard about updating this post. I did not want to create something that would be considered as ‘Ramadan fluff content’ – something that doesn’t end up becoming beneficial. Finally decided to update it since the Bullet Journal method has helped me a lot personally the past few months in being systematic and having a routine. So hoping the Ramadan Journal will benefit in the same way. Insha’Allah)
I came across the Bullet Journal Method at the beginning of the year and It has been life-altering for me. Often I have lists to do, work to finish, and places to go neatly arranged in my mind but never on paper. The downside of it is that our mind is often overloaded and overstretched, especially as moms of young ones, we end up forgetting what we have to do or chores to finish only to remember at the last minute (or in the middle of Salaah sigh). That is where the Bullet Journal comes in handy – Jot down every aspect of your life in easy short sentences (and free up that brain space! :D)
I recently wrote an article about Bullet Journal Ideas for Muslim Moms and decided to write a similar article for Ramadan on how to create a custom Ramadan Journal suited to one’s own life and situations.
Of late, we might have seen many beautiful Ramadan Journals on Instagram and Pinterest. I too had made a Ramadan Journal for Busy Moms years ago. But how do we choose a Journal fit for our own needs? What will we do if we purchase a journal but it doesn’t suit our requirements?
Voila, we create a custom one, perfectly suited to our own needs and requirement
Let’s digress a little bit,
Why do we need a Ramadan Journal? What is our niyyah (intention) in making a custom Ramadan Journal?
The Prophet PBUH said “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. – Saheeh Bukhari
My personal reasons and niyyah – To be organized so as to free up my time for Ibadah.
Organising and a strategic time management helps us to complete tasks as per the schedule and thus utilize the rest of the time for reciting the Holy Quran, Dhikr of Allah, reading Ramadan books or listening to beneficial podcasts and lectures. We do not waste time scrolling the phone or on mindless TV because we have allotted each minute of the day for activities!
Why do we need a Journal? We have so much going on throughout the day and the month and writing it down on paper helps us to compartmentalize our time for each task, rather than constantly fret I have to do this, I have to do that and forget about all the tasks to be completed! Another reason I want a journal is to keep a log of my Ramadan so as to keep it for memory sake and also to assess myself of my spiritual growth!
We can use one journal where we note down our goals and tasks for the month, reflections of each day or the month as a whole, habits that we want to inculcate each day religiously, a Quran recitation tracker, Tracker for Sadaqah, Zakat (if paying this month) or Zakathal Fitr towards the end of the month, Ramadan duas that we want to say every day, meal plan for the week, our intended duas and activities for the last ten nights, planning for an Ifthar party, a track of the books we want to read, a list of beneficial lectures to listen to etc.
So how do we create this amazing custom Ramadan journal?
Before I start, I would ask you to read the basics of Bullet Journaling on the Bullet Journal website (or this post) so as to know the terms such as monthly log, daily rapid log, task, event, notes and collections
On the first page, I have made the monthly log where I have made a calendar for the month (I will add the dates once Ramadan is announced) Any task I have for any specific day will go in the square boxes, so a quick glance will help me in understanding all the work I have to complete.
The next few pages are for Tasks, Goals and Ramadan Reflections. Under Tasks, I will write all the general tasks I intend to complete this month. It could be something as simple as calling XYZ or cleaning the house or calling ABC for ifthar or attending a lecture etc.
Under Ramadan Goals, I will note down what I intend to do this month – Recitation of the Quran, FInishing Tafseer of Juz 1 & 2 from Al Manar Course etc.
Under Reflections, I intend to note down any new dua or information I have learnt during this month. (Since the space is small I will add in another page of the Ramadan Reflections collection later on)
Next is my favourite spread – Ramadan Duas. Ever since I read about the Etiquettes of Duas, I have divided my dua into sections – Praise Allah, Call Upon Allah by His Names and Attributes, Salaat upon the Prophet PBUH, Akhirah, Matters of Dunya, for family and friends, for the global community.
A little write up on my Ramadan dua story
Next spread is a tracker of my Quran Recitation and the date of finishing.
The next collection would be helpful if you are hosting a guest for Ifthar (This is a distant dream during these pandemic times, But I sincerely pray where you are, you are not under lockdown and can catch up with a friend or two!)
I have made columns for 1) to Buy 2) To Cook 3) To order 4) To clean & Decorate 5) Cutlery & Set Up. Basically, plan to the last dot and do accordingly and utilise the rest of the time for Ibadah. Do not be in the kitchen forever trying to recreate elaborate recipes while forgetting to pray your Fardh Namaz.
The prophet PBUH said, ‘ Whoever feeds a person breaking hist fast will earn the same reward as him without anything being lessened for the rewards of the fasting person. ( Tirmidhi)
On the next page, I will be making a list of Books I intend to read this month and the Lectures I intend to hear insha’Allah. I have already made up my mind to listen to this series by Imam Omer Suleiman, Insha Allah.
The next page is the Habit Tracker where I will put a check mark against each activity everyday so as to help me assess where I am lacking and what I have been doing continuously. The habits that I want to inculcate this month are all the Fardh Salaah on time with their Sunnah prayers, Taraweeh prayers, Qiyam, Qur’an, Tafseer and Journaling, Lectures and Podcasts, Dua, Sadaqah, and a few fitness habits such as 10k Steps and 3l water besides writing and reading. It is a marker of myself, for myself, by myself to review myself and to know my consistency in each habit
A very important one for me as a mom of two young children – Meal Plan. I will meal plan for the entire week so I do not end up wondering each day what to make, what to make. For the kid’s, breakfast and lunch will be leftovers from iftar and Suhoor😄 ( A lazy mom hack ;))
3.Daily Rapid Logging
The last is the daily rapid logging where I will be noting down any task I have to finish, any event to attend or any note regarding the day. It can be as long as I want or as short as I want. I can also add daily reflections or add a note of something I am grateful for each day.
If you do not like this multiple collections of duas/meal plan/ ibadah list you can also write down all the separate activities each day as an example below from my Ramadan Planner.
Do you. Do what suits you and your lifestyle and life situations.
The basic idea should be to be mindful of each and every minute that you spend during the Holy month of Ramadan.
I hope you have got an idea on how to create a custom Ramadan journal suited for your lifestyle from my post. Do comment below if use a Ramadan Journal or tag me on Instagram to share your Journals.
Have a blessed and safe Ramadan!