Bullet Journal Tips for a New Year

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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This year has been an experiment. I journeyed into the world of bullet journaling back in February and haven't looked back. Actually, I went full throttle! Once I got the hang of a regular bullet journal I set up a homeschool bullet journal to keep my son and I on track with his work (You can read about it here.) Now that I am at almost a full year of keeping my life in order this way I wonder how I ever kept organized beforehand! Before we jump into my ideas, let me explain what a bullet journal is and why it works...

A bullet journal is a hand-written day timer. You can set it up specifically for your needs and how you run your life. If you want to read about the basic set-up then go to this post. A bullet journal is WAY better than a calendar or a day timer. When you are hand writing everything out (even the set up of your schedule) you are more invested in your plans. Also, because a bullet journal is so flexible you can customize pages for the information you need and want. I love that all I need is in one place instead of scattered all over my house. No more looking for the file on my dog so I can see when he needs shots next (because I have a page for that now). No frantic searches for meal ideas (because, yeah, I have a page for that in my journal!). No wondering what book I should pick up next (Yep, there's a page for that). Read on to see how I have set things up for 2017!

So here is a quick look at my set up for 2017 and a few tips for you if you are just starting out...

First of all you need a few supplies...at bare minimum a pen and a journal...then there are the extras if you want to decorate your journal. I use colored pencils and a glitter pen, but others use washi tape, stickers, stencils, or no decoration at all.  Here is what I use:

Moleskine Notebook, Squared- I used a dotted one and decided I didn't like it as much as this squared one. The squares make it easier to create boxes and grids.

Staedtler Pigment Liners- I LOVE these pens for my bullet journal as these don't smudge and create crisp, clean lines.

Prismacolor Pencils- I use these to add a bit of color to my journal. I love that I can blend these and also create an ombre effect.

Wink of Stella Brush (in clear)- This is a glitter brush that I use over the areas where I have put down color. It adds a bit of sparkle to my pages. 

Tips and Ideas

One of the best things I did this past year in my bullet journal was to set up a page where I could record ideas of what I would want to add or take away from in my next journal. Setting up my journal for 2017 was a breeze, because I had a list of what I wanted to do. I decided that for 2017 I would continue to keep a running list of ideas so that I can modify things in 2018.

One thing that I have set up differently is my future log. This past year I just had a running log and events were all jumbled together. I really had to go searching to make sure I didn't miss anything for a particular month. So this year I have already separated the months into columns and have started listing tasks and events in their proper months.

I also set up my birthday/important dates list differently for the coming year... Below you will see my bullet journal on its side. I now have space to put important dates on either side of the month they happen in. This gives me extra space to add in dates that may be important in the future.

Here is my year-at-a-glance page which is extremely useful when you are setting up your monthly and weekly calendars. Yes, it is a lot of writing, but I refer to this page constantly through the year.

Here is a collage of some of my other pages...

  • A book list of what I am reading and have read
  • A page for important health information on the family (allergies, when procedures/shots are due, blood types, etc.)
  • A page of information for our dog, Titan (medical info, foods that work in his diet, etc.)
  • Several pages of meal ideas based on the season
  • A page where I can record what I loan out to others and when the items come back to me.

So what are you waiting for? We have little over a month left in this year...now is the time to set up your bullet journal!

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