This year I decided to make my own planner from scratch – designing and printing the pages, creating a cover, and binding it with my mom’s comb binder. It’s kinda like a bullet journal, but one I pre-made so I don’t have to draw out the layouts again every month. I’m super excited to use such a personalized system for 2022! Enjoy some planner inspiration and a link to some printables you guys can use too!
I hope you had a wondermous Christmas! I’m scheduling this post because I’ll probably be at one of our many Christmas celebrations with family when you read this. Ahh, it’s going to be great! But anyway…
Yayyy, I’ve looked forward to this post for so long! The other day I finally pulled out my new bullet journal and set it up for use in 2020. 🙂 I did my best to keep the layouts simple, functional, and easy to use, while also making it pleasing to the eye with a pretty purple and gold aesthetic. I can’t wait to show you how it turned out!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that it’s officially 2019, I decided it’s time to try a new layout for my bullet journal. 😉 This time, I went with something super simple but still pretty – namely, washi tape! 😀 I got a bunch of GORGEOUS tapes for Christmas (more on that in a later post), and I had so much fun using them throughout this spread!
I kept the first part of my bujo simple so I had more time to work on… some exciting Etsy news pertaining to bullet journals. 😉 More on that at the end of the post. Keep reading if you like bujos or planners! 😉
I’ve been looking forward to posting this for quite a while! I recently used up my second bullet journal and bought a new one, which I absolutely LOVE so far! Today I’ll show you how I set it up, as well as some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
For those of you who don’t know, bullet journaling is kind of like a planner, but it’s more of a system than a certain notebook you buy. Part of its appeal is the limitless options for customization, which makes the system pretty hard to define. But basically it’s a way to keep all your lists and notes and journals in one notebook. Click here to see the BuJo website for more information. And reading the rest of this post might help too. 😉
To begin with: the actual journal itself. I got this Essentials grid dot journal from Amazon, and it’s my favorite bullet journal I’ve owned so far!
Its features include…
a hardcover, easy-to-manage size of 8 1/4″ X 5 3/4″
light, evenly spaced grid dots for writing/drawing guidelines
decently thick paper
an elastic strap to keep the notebook closed
a ribbon bookmark
a paper pocket on the inside back cover
The cover is kind of a boring black, but you can decorate it with washi tape, metallic Sharpies, paint pens, etc. So far I just put a strip of washi tape down the spine and wrote a title with a white gel pen.
SETTING IT UP
My supply list for setting up my bujo includes the following:
Essentials grid dot journal
micron pens (sizes 04 & 08)
Pilot G-2 07 black ballpoint pen
Here’s my simple cover page. I’ve always kept my bullet journals pretty simple because I do most of my journaling in the evening before bed, when I don’t have a lot of time to make it fancy. This BuJo is very minimalistic, but I still think it’s pretty. 🙂
On the first spread I have a “Fonts” page on the left and a “Quotes” page on the right. (Well obviously. XD)
I do my Bible journal in the evening as well, where I copy down my favorite verse from the chapter I read. I added the “Fonts” page because I often run out of interesting font ideas. 😛 Do you guys have any handwritten font suggestions? I also like having a place to put quotes I find in the books I’m reading, hymns I’m singing, songs I’m listening to, etc.
I love this page! Maybe because it took forever. XD Seriously though, it was one of my most time-consuming spreads. : I allowed myself space to fill in 17 books each month, but sadly I don’t think I’ll fill them all up. In my last journal I did read 17 books in a month (in May), but I only read 4 books in January and March. *ashamed look*
Here we have “Birthdays” on the left and combination of a wishlist and prayer list on the right. I was so happy I thought of this 12-layer cake for the birthday page format, but… it didn’t turn out quite as cake-like as I’d hoped. XD Oh well, it still works fine. For the opposite page, I divided the page in two because in my past bullet journals I didn’t use a whole page for either subjects.
I kept this whole spread blank for writing down notes – ideas I thought of, questions to ask pen pals, blog posts I want to make… anything else that doesn’t fit in my other pages.
The left page is available for either more notes or a new list. The right page is a place for my goals, whether unrealistic or practical. 😉 It’s pretty much a long-term to-do list.
Now for my monthly set-up! I used my 08 micron to write the name of the month in a font that’s both simple and pretty (are you starting to see a theme here? XD). I’m also going to use the gorgeous navy washi tape for each new month. I thought about adding doodles of important happenings on each month’s cover page as I go along, but I’m not sure I want to ruin the nice clean page now. XD Maybe I can use the blank page to the left?
On the left I have a sort of monthly overview, and on the right I start in with my daily journaling. I’ve never used a calendar before, but I think it will be nice to see at a glance what important events are coming up. Monthly goals are pretty self explanatory, so…
The right page is the part of my bujo I use the most, and the only daily section I have. I don’t have habit trackers for everyday chores and such because, well, I do them every day anyway. 😛 Instead, I just write a few sentences about what I did/what happened that day, and then make a short to-do list for tomorrow.
And that about wraps it up! Before you go, here are a few things I’ve learned from bullet journaling so far:
TIPS & TRICKS
If you make your BuJo too complicated, chances are you just won’t use it. (Or if you’re like me you’ll still use it and just be frustrated. XD) The time it takes to set up a page should correspond with how long it will last. Time-consuming pages are just fine for spreads that will last all bullet journal long (like my “birthdays” page, for instance), but don’t go as all-out for pages you’ll have to remake each month. For daily things, I like to keep it as simple and easy as possible.
Make a halfway mark in pencil for ease-of-use. It’s nice to have things centered, but it’s sooo tedious to count the dots and divide them up each time you make a new page. Instead, do that just once, and mark the center on the edges of the pages for a great shortcut. Now you can check the mark before centering your titles.
Use washi tape for easy pops of color, and to mark important pages. Washi tape is a nearly fool-proof way to add color and interest to your bujo. If you wrap the tape over the edge of the page like I did with my “June” page, you can see it even when you close the journal.
Get a bullet grid journal and one with a pocket for random lists. I suppose I’m a bit biased since I’ve only used a bullet grid journal, but I HIGHLY recommend them over just a regular lined notebook. It makes measuring and writing things a whole lot easier, plus it looks prettier! I’m also really enjoying the paper pocket at the back of the Essentials journal. It’s great for holding lists that I thought of after I already set everything up, or temporary lists that I don’t need to put in the BuJo anyway.
Hopefully this post was enjoyable and helpful! Do you have a bullet journal, and if so, do you have any tips for me? What lists/page is your favorite in YOUR BuJo? What was your favorite of my pages?
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day!
I’ve been thinking of doing this post for quite a while now, but just haven’t posted, perhaps partly because there are so many other posts like this that I didn’t feel it was necessary. 😛 But I do enjoy looking at BuJo posts, plus it’s fun to see people’s different styles, so here I am!
I just got my second bullet journal the other day and it felt like I knew better how to set it up this time, so I thought it’d be a good time to show you guys.
What is a bullet journal? In brief, it’s a notebook to keep track of pretty much everything – to-do lists, habit trackers, favorite quotes, books to read, cleaning schedules – really whatever you need! They’re really more of a customizable system than a physical notebook. You can lean more about them here.
The hardest part of setting this up was finding a balance between pretty and practical. I love all the gorgeous bullet journal formats I’ve seen on Pinterest, but I also don’t really want to spend twenty minutes a day just on the header/design, you know? But since I’m who I am, I obviously wanted it to be at least a little bit aesthetic. XD
I’m pretty happy with the layout I ended up with. Hopefully it will help you guys too if you’re setting up a bullet journal for the first time! Although just a note: there is no one way to set up a bullet journal. That’s the great thing about these journals – they can be whatever you need them to be!
Oh wait, before I start, I bought this bullet grid journal from Amazon. You can see it here. It’s pretty, cheap, and also pretty cheap. 😛 The grids aren’t very precise (if you flip through the book, the dots move toward the left a little bit), and the paper is pretty thin, but it’s good enough for me. (I know I’m using “pretty” a lot but I don’t know what else to use. Help.) You can make any ol’ notebook into a BuJo, but I really like having the faint dots there to use as guidelines while they’re not as distracting as whole lines.
This is the first really customizable spread, after two pages of inspiration printed in the front of the notebook.
Your key basically helps you keep track of what different icons you use and what they mean. This is helpful for things like to-do lists especially. (Also “migrated” means moved to the next day/month/list/etc.)
Banners are a fun and easy way to spiff up your header. The grid format makes it easy to draw them. I wrote my header in flowy cursive and added a touch of purple colored pencil.
You’ll want to number your pages and write them in your index so you can quickly find whatever you need. That way if you think of a new list or topic you want to add, you can just use the next blank page and write it down in your index.
Of course I needed a pretty hand-lettered quote in here somewhere. XD
Okay, now we’re getting to the main part. Remember my discussion of pretty vs. practical? I decided to spend a little more time making the permanent pages pretty (like lists that will last me the whole time I have this journal), and keep the repetitive pages simple (like my daily entries). The beginning of my journal is mostly permanent lists.
I don’t particularly like this page’s layout, so I would suggest looking up a better one on Pinterest. XD But anyway, I really enjoy having a books-read-tracker so I can look back on how many and what books I’ve read in a month. So far I’ve only read one. Heh heh.
Oh, and since I filled my last journal in about six months, I formatted this to last the same amount of time. So I have six bookshelves for six months.
I use a task box instead of a bullet point so I can see the prayers God answers. ♥
I didn’t have this page in my last journal but I wanted to add it now. This is a pretty simple layout compared to some, but it’s still pretty (at least I think). Not perfect (UGH SMUDGES 😡 ), but nice. I’m planning to write the birthdays in the cupcake wrapper first and then in the icing if I fill that up. You could also write your family’s birthdays in one section and your friends’ in another.
I use this page a lot too, to record all the post ideas I have. (This is an incomplete list, by the way.) I decided to make two columns since I used up my last blogging page way too fast.
This one’s not very important, but it is fun. 🙂 Especially around the holidays. As you can see, I mostly want art stuff. XD
I use this page as a sort of big picture to-do list. It’s currently filled with art projects, although not in this picture. XD
And my last page is Notes. My thoughts/notes/ideas overflowed my allotted one page in my last BuJo, so I came better prepared this time. XD
Before we move on to the next section, I just wanted to say that I think it’s a good idea to keep a few pages blank before you start your daily or monthly section, just in case you want to add more lists later.
Okay, we’re done with the lists. I like to draw a little “cover” for each month. This is one of the parts I had trouble with in my last journal – when I came to the next month, I usually wasn’t ready to sit down and draw an elaborate header for it, so I just kind of scribbled something.
This time, I decided to write each month’s name in simple (fake) calligraphy in one corner so I could fill in the rest of the page later with a picture, or just add a small doodle like I did here.
Alright, now onto the daily section! I personally don’t have a need for a habit tracker or anything broader than a daily journal. I usually write the month, date, and day in cursive first. Then a bullet point and a few sentences to a paragraph about my day (no, I don’t record any secret thoughts or that sort of thing really XD). I also record what post I’ve written if I’ve posted, and my to-do list for the next day, which is my favorite part. 😉 The picture below is from… well October, obviously. Heh.
I find that it really helps me enjoy the day more and stay more focused if I have some goals to look forward to, however small. Sometimes I even just write “Draw” as one of my goals if I can’t think of anything more important. And here’s where I use my key.
And that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed looking through my bullet journal! Did you find any good ideas or inspiration? Do you have any tips or inspiration for me? Do you have or want a bullet journal?