Monthly habit trackers are one of my must have printables for planning – so useful!
It can get a bit boring doing the same thing each month so I like to mix it up, here are some of the different ways I’ve ‘decorated’ while monthly habit tracking.
Monthly Habit Tracker Ideas
1. Colored pens
Pens are a great tool for color coding! Rather than keeping 2 separate habit trackers for work and person, use different colors.
Colored dots instead of shading in the boxes or crossing them off:
Or if you don’t want to use stickers or washi tape, decorate using different colored pens (my favorite are the Frixion erasable)
2. Goal and Actual
One of the things I like to do when tracking the progress of tasks, is to put one line through a checkbox when the task has started and another when the task has been completed. You could take a similar approach to habit tracking – one line for the days you plan to do something and a second line (to form the cross) if you did actually do it that day.
Or another option is to have your goal number for the month (mine is in the G column in the habit tracker below) and a T for the total.
Dual tip markers (the Tombow Twin Tone are my current favorite) are ideal for this:
Using add on pages in one of my Plum Paper notebooks
Highlighters are also ideal for tracking goal and actual. Draw a border on the inside of the border of the boxes for the days you plan to complete tasks, then shade the boxes in the days you actually did things. It makes it really obvious which habits you need to focus on.
I prefer to use dual tip highlighters for this. Some of my favorites are Iconic, Artline and Daiso.
Paperchase and Kikki K have highlighters that have a very thin end (that you can write with as well as highlight) which are ideal for small page size planners.
A thick and thin dual tip marker pen also works well such as Uni Pi’s, Pure Color F and Tombow Twin Tone Markers.
One of my favorite planner supplies ever: stickers! I used asterisk stickers but you could also use solid colored stickers (such as these) for color coding and writing a number on them. For example, if you exercise that day, the number of hours you exercised that day, or you could put the number of vegetables you ate that day etc.
5. Planner Stamps
I only recommend using stamps if they’re self inking. Normal stamps are too much hassle in my opinion, plus the space for each day needs to be small if you want to see the entire month on the one page. Self inking stamps are quick and mess-free. My favorite brands are the Frixon erasable and MAMBI Happy Planner.
Related: Week 44: Planning the week using stamps (MAMBI, Carpe Diem & Creative Devotion)
If you don’t want to use a printable, stamps for each day are quick and easy setup:
- Frixion erasable pen in black
- Pink stripe washi tape by Doodlebug
- Orange polka dot washi tape by Doodlebug
- Frixion stamps: flower (number 15) heart (number 51), star (number 52)
- Poppin ruler
- Plum Paper notebook
Supplies used: habit tracker printable and heart frixion erasable stamp
6. Black and gold
Apart from rainbow, black and gold is my favorite color combination.
I used one diagonal line for the days I planned to do things and another line to create a cross on the days I actually did the task. I probably won’t use this method again. It’s good if you have tasks that don’t happen daily but otherwise it’s a bit time consuming doing all the lines.
If you’re using a small size planner (this is the ARC notebook) but don’t want to sacrifice planning space, punch on the shorter side then fold the page to fit
7. Black pen & patterns
This one’s ideal if you’re travelling. Just use a black pen and decorate by using different patterns:
I used the Sugar and Type Planner, Papermate Flair UF and MUJI Hexa Pen
If you run out of lines, divide a line in half with a / (in the habit tracker below I split fruit and veggies i.e. the top half of the triangle was for tracking fruit and the bottom for veggies)
Instead of using pen to ‘decorate’ the page, you could add some washi tape. This thin washi tape (from MAMBI) is one of my all time favorites!
Symbols are great for color coding. I occasionally use symbols for list making, the same could be used for habit tracking:
Highlighter pencils (or any pencil) can be used to quickly (and cheaply) add color. You could do different colors for each column or each row. Alternate 2 colors, 3 colors or use a different color for each habit.
I used a mix of highlighter pencils and fluro pencils I found at Daiso. The highlighter pencils were ‘file backups’ and ‘inbox zero’ – the colors are brighter but not really worth the extra cost, I recommend just using bright colored pencils.
Supplies used: Plum Paper notebook, Daiso fluroescent pencils, Hi-Line neon color marker 3.9 pencil (pink), Faber Castel Textliner 1148 highlighter pencil (yellow)
10. Laminated Habit Tracker
To make a habit tracker (or any printable reusable), laminating and using a whiteboard marker is a good option.
11. Hand Drawn
Washi tape to create a divider between each habit (or you could use a highlighter)
Converted a notepad from Typo into a weekly habit tracker.
You could do the same thing for a monthly habit tracker…
… or just to decorate the page
Zooms are those cheap twistable crayons you probably used for coloring in when you were a kid. Well now you have an excuse to use them as an adult too!
Supplies used: Frixion erasable pens and Staedtler zooms
Paper options for habit tracking:
This is my preferred method for habit tracking as I can quickly type the tasks I want to track on my computer then print the page over and over again. If there’s a new habit I want to track or one I no longer want to track, I can quickly update the printable.
Grid dot paper
What most people use for habit tracking. Ideal if you don’t like lined paper (which can get a bit busy if you’re drawing freehand bullet journal spreads).
Good but only with feint lines, otherwise it’s hard to see what you’ve written. I made some free printable graph dot paper that can be downloaded here.
Using graph paper on the studio stationery weekly planning notepad
If you don’t have space in your planner or your planner doesn’t come with the option to add grid dot pages (Plum Paper offer this), then a small notebook (like a traveller’s notebook) can be used in conjunction with your planner.
If you’re hand drawing your bullet journal I recommend Poppin rulers as they are flat and heavy so they stay in place while you rule the line (and they have large, easy to read numbers).
Some weekly planning notepads come with a dedicated habit tracking section. If not, you can always convert the notes section into a habit tracker.
MAMBI have grid dot paper inserts that are ideal for habit tracking (and cheap too!)
Tips for making (and using) a habit tracker
- Use erasable pens so you can easily fix up mistakes
- Use dual tip pens – that way you can outline the days you’ve scheduled to do things, then ‘color in’ with the fat tip on the days you did that habit / task
- Use a flat, heavy ruler with easy to read large numbers which won’t move if you bump it (my favorite is Poppin)
- Adjust as needed. If a habit has become, well, a habit, you may not need to track it anymore
- Choose a notebook that has enough space when turned horizontally for 31 dates of the month with space to write what habits you’re tracking. Or use a number reference then write what the habits are in the key of your bullet journal, a sticky note or note paper fixed onto the page with washi tape
- Track goal and actual – makes it extra obvious to see if you’re making progress
- Measure up first to make sure you have enough space on the page
- Use grid dot or graph paper – makes it so much easier to rule straight lines
- Outline the border of each days’ box on scheduled days, then shade in or put a line through when actually done
- Don’t use too many colors that it becomes time consuming to record what you did each day
- Self inking stamps are a fast way to track what you did – my favorite are the Frixion erasable stamps
- Habit trackers can also be used for tracking things like TV series episodes (habit tracking ideas in this post)
- Don’t worry about perfectionism, make it look deliberate (like not coloring in accurately in the habit tracker below)
Dot markers are one of the best tools for marking off the days
Portrait versus landscape?
I prefer to do landscape page orientation as I find it less crammed. There also tends to be enough space to add columns for goal and total.
Where to put your habit tracker
- Weekly spread (notes section)
- Underneath a monthly calendar
- In the monthly or weekly sidebar
- Monthly habit tracker on 1 page (landscape page orientation) – this is my favorite way to habit track
- Portrait (free printable graph paper for habit tracking here)
- A planner with a habit tracker built in. My recommendation is the Mi Goals Planner
Want to try monthly habit tracking? Download a free printable habit tracker from the library here.
Printable habit trackers are also available in my printables shop!
More planning tips
- 50 Tips for writing a better to do list that will make you more productive
- Choosing sections for your planner: what to keep in your weekly planner versus a household binder
- 7 Planner supplies I don’t regret splurging on
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