Hello everyone! This year I’ve decided to take up bullet journaling–it’s something I’ve been eyeing for a long time (hello, getting organized! hello, beautiful notebooks!) and wanting to get into, and the new semester is as good of a time as any (since I finished my moleskine planner in 2016). So far, it’s been a fun (and a little creative!) process. I try to keep my journal minimal–clean and professional–but of course the ideas are endless! Washis, stickers, the list goes on and on.
I want to show you guys how a newbie (me!) set up her first bullet journal. Already made some mistakes (for example some of the pages are… heh, out of order), but that’s all part of the fun and I figured if I was too careful with it, this process would seem daunting and chore-like rather than something I enjoy doing daily. So here we go: how I set up my 2017 bullet journal!
The journal I use as my bullet journal is a classic, the Leuchtturn 1917. Apparently they’ve been making journals for 90 years now! This is a really classic bullet journal, but a little bit pricey, running at around $16 on Amazon (and closer to $20 if you want the hardback version with more pages). It has 121 pages, a table of content, and I personally went with the dotted pages version (lined, gridded, and blank notebooks also exist) to keep things neat. The pagecount is proving to be a little low (I feel like I would run out soon…) since it’s only mid-January and I’ve already used some 20 pages. Is that normal? That said, it’s only my first bullet journal so I opted for something that has less pages on purpose. I want to see if I liked it first.
As you guys can see, I’m putting the table of contents to good use. There’s a whole three pages of this so I’m not particularly afraid of filling it up.
The first thing I put in my bullet journal is a semester overview. Which is, well, exactly what it is. It’s mainly for future planning (in my research about bullet journals, I found that a lot of people’s complaints were that there isn’t dedicated spreads to allow for future planning), so I make my own little semester calendar and I list out the important dates next to it. I started making a summer spread as well (which isn’t pictured in this blog post), but didn’t make a fall 2017 semester overview spread as I’m not even sure I’ll get that far in this book! I have a feeling I will run out of pages before I get to next semester…
The next couple pages are quite similar: Titled, “music,” “books to read,” and “movies, podcasts, and shows,” these are pages that I will use to keep track of the music I listened to, books that I plan on reading/have read, movies/shows I watched, and podcasts I’ve listened to. On a similar note, I also have two pages for me to list out different blog post ideas and youtube video ideas. For brevity’s sake I’ve only included one here. Their only difference is their different titles and page designs (different washi tape/sticky notes).
After that, I move on to the lists/items I update monthly. Now here is where the ordering gets a little messed up (if you’re walking along with me based on the index above), but I’ll just go by the order that makes the most sense in my head (which happens to *not* actually be what happened in actuality…
First is my January Monthly tracker. Instead of drawing out boxes (in my honest opinion, too time consuming!), I went for a list format, with each day and day of the week listed out for the month of January, accompanied by important events. As you guys might be able to guess, this is also another method for future planning. The details of this month aren’t super filled out yet (as you can see, the “goals” box is blank), but I expect that they will as the month goes on. This is my very simplistic but practical layout for this month:
Next, I included two different monthly trackers: a gratitude tracker (where I write down what I am grateful for throughout the month–I used to do this every day, actually, in a journal, but it ended up being too much once college started, so I wanted to get back into this habit but on a lower maintenance scale), and a youtube tracker (basically where I write down my view count and subscriber count every day throughout the month so I can track the growth of my channel). The Youtube tracker is more or less in a list format so it’s not as interesting to show, but this is what my gratitude tracker looks like:
And yes! In the adjacent page I started my weekly/daily spread. I like to do a week overview on top, followed by the day’s tasks (and some fun washi tape!). By the second week of using this journal, my weekly/daily spread has evolved a little, though:
As you can see, the week overview portion is more compact, and the design is more simplistic as well. I’m thinking of switching up how I write the days of the week (mon, tues, etc) every once in a while. For my to-do list, I use a bullet to denote a task, a circle around it to mark it was ‘priority’, and “x” to mark it as complete, and an arrow to migrate it to the next day. If a task is ever in progress/half complete, I just put a “/” (half of an x).
So yeah, that’s the gist of how I set up my 2017 bullet journal! I also have some miscellaneous pages in between the spreads, usually little notes/lists/reminders for myself. I am a person who really needs to get everything down on paper (it’s always easier to be productive if there is less information cluttering the brain!), hence the need for more random/varied trackers (such as one tracking me applying to internships, or one tracking my work on a GIS project). One I will show you now is a list I created (inspo from Pinterest!) to remember to single task (not multi-task!) and adopt habits that will allow me to be more productive. On the flip side, a reading list for premeds.
I hope you guys enjoyed this little “flip through” of sorts and how I organize my bullet journal for 2017! What are some of the spreads that you can’t live without? How do you like to use your bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below!