Last week, we got a better understanding of what a bullet journal is by answering some of the biggest questions I had when I first started my own journal. This week we’ll be looking at the actual pages of my own bullet journal so you can get an idea of how someone uses this notebook in their everyday life.
Here we go!
_ _ _
The first step in this whole process is deciding which notebook is right for you. As you already know from last week, my bullet journal of choice is the Extra Large Dotted Moleskin notebook you see below.
Once I purchased this notebook, I compiled a list of all of the things that I wanted to use this notebook for. My own list looked a little bit like this:
- Yearly goals
- Monthly goals
- Monthly to-do’s
- Weekly goals
- Weekly to-do’s
- Daily to-do’s
- Track habits
- Maintain a budget
With all of these in mind, I turned to Pinterest and Instagram for set-up ideas and played around each week or month to see which worked best. I also kept in mind that I would not be making my journal super fancy and wanted it to be efficient. As you will see, the final and very simple pages I use in my notebook (which can and will change depending on what I need) are below. I have broken them down by three categories: yearly, monthly, and weekly pages.
Yearly Page 1: Index
As I mentioned last week, I don’t think that an index is necessary (many would argue with me about this), but after enough experimenting, I decided to create one so that I can turn to important pages quickly. I do not include every single page in my index, instead I only include pages I will need to reference again.
Yearly Page 2: Goals & Key
At the start of the year, I picked 3 big goals for myself that I want to accomplish by the end of 2018. I like having this page at the front of my notebook so I can remind myself what my main goals are at any time.
I also wrote my key on this page. I use a simple box for tasks. I write a check when a task is complete or an arrow when a task has been moved to another day. I also draw a circle with a dot for any events I have that day. (You’ll see these in action in the weekly section.)
Yearly Page 3: Reminders for Each Month
Because I don’t write out each month in advance, I created a way to keep track of the little things I need to remember for each month (for example: August has a note to “Buy engagement party gift for Christina & Mike”). This system is super easy to create and maintain.
This is the part of my notebook that is most creative and takes the most time, but I only do it once a month and find it fun to do add some fun designs each month. Here are the pages I create each month:
Monthly Page 1: Goals & Important Dates
This page changes all the time for me, but one thing that is always included is my list of goals. As you may have seen on my Monthly Wrap-Ups, I set 3 goals for myself at the start of each month and include them on this page in my bullet journal. I also decided to include birthdays and important events on this page for July.
Monthly Page 2: Reminders & Calendar
Because I write out each week as it comes, I can’t add reminders to specific dates. So, I created a page for myself to add random things I want to get done before the end of the month (for example: “Pack for Bachelorette Party on 7/30”).
I also have a small calendar on this page so I can have a visual of everything I have going on during the month. This is new for me and I’m not sure I’ll keep it since I already use Google Calendar to keep track of my schedule. But, with July through October being JAM PACKED with fun stuff, this visual will likely be something I keep for a bit.
Monthly Page 3: Habit Tracker
This page is a way for me to keep track of how often I do certain things that are important to me such as make lunch, drink enough water, workout, get my personal inbox to 0 at the end of the day, and more. While I used to write this page out by hand, it took too long, so I created a template that I update each month. If you’d like to use this, you can download my Habit Tracker template.
Monthly Page 4: Monthly Budget
I use this budget page to keep track of how much I am spending each day and how much money I have remaining before the end of the month. It’s also a great way for me to keep track of my monthly bills.
This is the part of my notebook that I use more than anything else. It’s where I keep track of what events I have going on each day and what I hope to accomplish before I go to sleep. It’s also where my Key comes into play most.
Every Sunday, I set up the upcoming week’s spread. Because I wanted this to be a simple and easy process, I made this simple 5 Step process for myself:
- Use washi tape to separate 2 pages into 8 different sections.
- Write “This Week’s Goals” in the first box for the week
- Add the date to the top left corner for all remaining boxes
- Look at my Google Calendar and write down any events I have on each day
- Include any specific to-do’s that I know about now as needed. (For example: “Tiny Tip” on 7/25.)
Here’s a look at how I set up July 23rd through July 29th at the start of the week.
_ _ _
And there you have it! That’s my entire bullet journal.
As you can see, it’s nowhere near as fancy or elaborate as some of the other bullet journals out there, but that’s not a priority for me (nor am I artistically creative enough for that!).
I hope these pages inspire you to start your own journal and customize it in a way that’s efficient for you!
Just remember that your bullet journal is a system created by you to help you be more productive and organized. If a certain page or spread takes up too much of your time, ditch it or find a better alternative. Always make sure this notebook is helping you, not adding to your stress!
_ _ _
Are you going to start your own bullet journal? Tell me about your ideas, concerns, or hesitations below and maybe I can help you out. If you already have a bullet journal, let me know your own favorite pages! I love trying out new ideas, so I’d love to hear from you!