Back in November I made the decision to start bullet journaling. Why did I go down this path? I was getting frustrated with store bought planners because they were never set up how I wanted. Using a bullet journal is like having your own completely customisable planner. You set it up however you want and can include anything you want.
After 6 months of bullet journalling, I thought I’d finally make a post about it. And because bullet journalling is a lot easier to understand visually, brace yourself from tonnes of photo!
What do I use?
The main thing you need for a bullet journal is a notebook of some variety. It’s kind of vital. I use a squared A5 Moleskin hardback journal. I wanted a dotted one but it was more expensive. Next time I’ll buy a dotted one though because it will look nicer (it’s all about the aesthetic).
Other things I use are basically to decorate things:
- Washi tapes – I bought the tape ones form ebay, and the white out style ones from Daiso
- Zebra midlines – these are double sided highlighters/ markers available in a variety colours. I bought all four packs because I couldn’t resist
- 0.38mm Artline Pen – this is the new pen I do most of my writing in. Before I bought this I used a black ball point pen
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliner – I had these for uni notes and now use them for whatever
The Year Ahead
Yearly goals are new to me and not something I’ve done before but I thought I’d give it a go. So far… not doing all that great haha. I mean the reading is going well, but the some of the others I’ve not really tried to do. Oops.
Monthly calendars are super important for me, especially with all my due dates, rotations, and other things this year. It’s vital for me to be able to see what’s coming up when, especially when I might not draw up the month’s section for a while yet.
My very first overview, November 2016. Super simple with a calender, habit tracker, and section for notes and details. I actually stuck with this layout for a few months, though I did move somethings a bit to give the calendar more space.
March 2017 overview. I wanted to see what it would be like to have a single page dedicated to the calendar, and put the other things elsewhere. The habit tracker is still going strong, and added monthly goals to see how that goes. On subsequent pages (not shown) I have a gratitude log and “brain dump” (a.k.a. various notes section).
April 2017 overview was done because I saw something like this on instagram that looked really cool and I think I might do it again sometime. I wanted to add flowers and stuff but don’t have artistic talent or time. All my other monthly features (brain dump, habits, gratitude, and goals) are on pages after the calendar.
May 2017 overview is a reversion back to older styles I did because I’m struggling for time. I’ve added more habits to track, and decreased the number of monthly goals. Another change for may is that I’m migrating the gratitude log to the weekly pages.
If anything has been the biggest struggle to decide on, it’s the weekly pages. I have yet to find anything that works all the time.
December 2016 weekly layout is what I started with and I wasn’t fussed on it all that much honestly. Some days it was great, but the fact it was pre-drawn frustrated me. The amount of space didn’t always match the amount of work I needed, which resulted in both empty spaces and lots of clutter.
January 2017 weekly layout was done in an effort to maximise space utilisation. It was good in that I did use space effectively, but it was really difficult to plan ahead as I couldn’t plan upcoming days until I finished the current day.
February 2017 layout is a bit of a mix. The two columns meant I could plan ahead a little bit, but I still couldn’t go more than a day or two ahead. It is a layout I really liked and might go back to. I might adopt Jenna’s approach of having a separate planner solely for tracking future days as a draft of sorts before I add it to my bullet journal.
My March 2017 layout was the most successful for me . I really liked the squares and filling up the left over spaces with quotes, memories, and scribbles. It makes it a lot more personal and interesting to look at, even if my inner neat freak wants it to be cleaner.
April 2017 layout is another modification of March because it worked so well for me. I’m not going to add illustrations this month because I have less time and also I kind of wanted to see what it would look like without the extra clutter.
May 2017 layout is a a combination of new and old. I have segmented days again, and I’m hoping it’s enough space because I’ll be super busy with uni things all day. I’ve also brought the gratitude log over from the monthly session, with the hope this will allow more space to write daily.
I have a number of quote pages throughout. Some are there to fill space, others are there for motivation or to look pretty. However it was only the other week when I was putting in this STRANGE THE DREAMER quote that I decided I want to have a quote page for every book I read. It’s really pretty and a good way to visually remember the stories I’ve read.
There are three TBR pages in my bujo. My review TBR list makes sense, because I want to track what I’ve read, and make sure it’s been reviewed. The owned books TBR (5 pages), and the library wishlist (even longer somehow) are there because I got bored one day really. Still it’s going to be exciting to see them all get crossed off eventually.
As I’ve spoken about before, I’m on a buying ban where I can buy a new book when I read 20. This Buying Ban Tracker is solely for the purpose of keeping track of when I read 20 books, and tracking which books I buy. I also have a book wishlist page to guide my decision.