Hi everyone! Something slightly different on my blog today. I want to finally show you my bullet journal and the set up I have made for 2017 so far. I know that bullet journalling is becoming more and more popular (at least it seems that way on social media) and maybe this post will help to give those new to it that little encouragement I know I first needed to put pen to paper.
I first started to dabble with a bullet journal in July and my first full month in my journal was August 2016. I soon discovered that I completely loved this system as I could make it so perfect for me. I have always been somebody who loves lists. It is incredibly rare to find me without one, whether it was written in my teacher planner, on a post-it note, on my phone or on a scrap of paper. What I love most about my bullet journal is that I can keep everything I need in one place. The only thing I make lists of outside of my journal is in my work planner, but most of my ‘to-do’s’ for work are recorded in my journal too.
It took me nearly a month to finally put my pen to paper once I discovered the bullet journal system. I think this is because I became so incredibly overwhelmed by what I found online. Pinterest became both my best friend and my enemy as I found myself wondering how I would EVER have a journal as beautiful as those I was seeing. The same could be said for Instagram where I obsessively stalked the #bulletjournaljunkies tag. My main source of inspiration came from Kara @ Boho Berry. Her blog is absolutely wonderful and I love watching her Youtube channel. Although her journal is the most beautiful thing I’ve laid my eyes on, she also seemed so encouraging and constantly reassures people it’s about making it work for you. You should definitely check out Kara’s posts/videos if you are getting into bullet journalling.
Once I finally put pen to paper I realised I was completely addicted and so I want to share with you my 2017 bullet journal set-up. I have a purple Leuchtturm 1917 dotted grid journal and I use a variety of pens but couldn’t be without my Staedtler fineliners and my Faber Castell fineliners.
So here it goes…!
Key & Index
The key and index are absolute musts in a bullet journal, otherwise I would lose track of my spreads and where things are. This is super organised at the beginning of a new journal but gets messier later on as new collections are added. My key is nice and simple and I use these symbols consistently in my daily spreads. The index is pretty self-explanatory: here I simply add the page numbers of different spreads so if I’m searching for something I can locate it easily. The bonus to using a Leuchtturm notebook is that the pages are already numbered for you and the index already exists.
The beginning of my journal contains some really simple layouts that a lot of people with bullet journals use. I’m not claiming that any of these spreads are uniquely mine at all (I would never do that), most of them are inspired by other people in the BuJo community but I’ve added my own adjustments to make them work for me. I personally like to add some colour to my journal as I find colouring therapeutic and it just works for me. I’ve used a colouring page from Kara @ Boho Berry‘s tribe (you can sign up for free print outs) and then included a welcome page with some positive words for the year, a year at a glance and birthdays.
Next up is my ‘Future Log’. This is basically my break down of the year and is something I find SO useful when trying to arrange appointments etc as I can merge birthdays, work dates, events, personal dates all in a short space. It takes up two spreads in my journal but I’ll just show you Jan-June as you’ll get the idea. After this, I have a work calendex where I keep ONLY work dates. As a teacher there are so many events and deadlines to keep on top of and it’s handy to have this in an easily accessible spread. I also have a little quote at the top to inspire me on those tough work days. I love how I can keep so much information in such a small space in my journal. On both spreads I use a colour code so that at a quick glance I know the nature of the event on a certain date.
That concludes my general set up for the year, but I follow this up with some collections that I find useful throughout the year. There are a few different things here. First of all is my 2017 goals page. Pretty self-explanatory, this is a list of 10 things I would like to achieve this year. This is followed by a weight tracker. One of my goals this year is to become happier with my weight so on January 1st I weighed myself and each time I lose 2lbs I will colour in a square on the tracker and note the weight. I’m looking forward to seeing this one fill up (still hopeful and determined!).
No journal of mine would be complete without somewhere to track the books I read this year. My goal for 2017 is 100 books. I had seen a few people doing something similar in their journals and loved the idea so I decided to create my own bookshelf in my journal and added a couple of items to jazz it up a little. I am not the world’s greatest artist but my journal inspires me to try! I decided that each month I will colour in the spines of the books I read in a different colour so hopefully I will end up with a pretty and easy way to look at how often I read each month. Thanks to all those who already complimented this on Twitter! I also have a page to track the challenges I am taking part in on Goodreads.
Next up are some social media spreads. The first is where I will keep track of my stats for my social media. My blog, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin’ followers. I will write these in at the end of the month so I will be able to track how my blog is developing. I don’t have these accounts because I am desperate for followers but it is certainly lovely when you see that people are interested and/or share your views. Then I have my 2017 blog schedule (which so far I have stuck to!) and a growing list of Twitter chats that I take part in.
Three more spreads that I have included in my initial set up are: Films of 2017 where I will log the new movies I see in 2017 and a rating; Memory A Month where I will draw an image of my favourite memory from each month of the year and 12 Steps of Self-Care which I saw on Facebook and just knew I needed to keep in my journal. I will look at these to centre myself on bad days.
So that concludes my initial 2017 bullet journal set-up. I love how I can make a journal that has everything I need in it. I didn’t realise until starting a bullet journal just how creative I can be when I set my mind to it.
Next Saturday I’ll be back with a post about my January set up and the first two weeks of January to show you.
Do you keep a bullet journal? Are you thinking of starting one? Let me know!