updated bullet journal set-up


Back at the beginning of November I wrote a ‘How I Use My Bullet Journal‘ post. Entering my fifth month of bullet journaling now, and having just set up again for my 2016 journal, I decided now was as good a time as any to share how my bullet journal has progressed. Whilst this will be less of a ‘how to’ guide than my last one there’ll still be a few little tips and tricks I find handy littered around on here! Certain spreads have been omitted because they are essentially the same as they were in my last journal so if you’re really interested in how I do things make sure to check out both posts.


I started my last bullet journal in September so there was less of a need to plan ahead as extensively as I have had to this time. I used the conventional list style back then but this time I decided to try out having the little calendar format on the left but with enough space still to write down a few notes. Over two double spreads I have the whole of 2016 covered and it is such a life saver already! I like being able to have a quick glance at the months ahead.


When I was planning what spreads I wanted to have in my new journal this was one that immediately sprung to mind. I always seem to forget when new books are coming out, even if I’m anticipating them like crazy, so this just seemed like a natural step to take. It still needs filling out a lot more with all the other books I’m waiting for but it’s a cute little comprehensive list so far. I have a pretty similar one for upcoming movie releases a few pages later.


Along the same bookish veins the next page over holds the beginning of my 2016 Reading Challenge, which is 60 books if you didn’t already know! Right now I’m on track (apparently) to reach my goal. I like having this list to look at. It almost makes me feel accomplished when I get to write the book name down once I’ve finished it (even if I have got a little left to go of Blue Lily, Lily Blue oops).


Something I massively needed help on in 2016 was keeping track of where my money was being lent out to, when, what for, and whether I ever got it back. Having this resource available to me when my friends ask what money they owe me is like a gift. I would probably give all my money away and never ask for it back if it wasn’t for this!


This spread was done a little later in my journal than the others were. In fact, I only just set it up last night. With essay writing season sorely upon me I’ve had to loan books out of the uni library for the first time. At first I thought it would be easy to remember what books were due back when but oh boy I was wrong. Since some have 4 week loans and others only the 1 I got myself confused mighty quick. So, since I kept my receipts, I decided to start this page and tape them in each time I took out books. As you can see I had to renew one of them online tonight because it’s due back in tomorrow but I need it for longer!


Now, onto my pride and joy: my monthly spread! Honestly just looking at this page overwhelms me with happiness. I decided that my last journal’s monthly spread just wasn’t working for me. I found it hard to visualise things that I wrote on it and often didn’t even look at it because it was next to no help in helping me plan my month. This more calendar-esque version though – wow, it’s incredible. To start with I draw out the table and fill it in with the right numbers. Things that are on there right now are reminders about birthdays, essay deadlines, plans with friends, and adjustments to my timetable. The arrow on the top two rows is to signify my Christmas break. Then, in the empty column of space I was left with on the right I decided to have a more comprehensive list of things that were happening in the next month. This didn’t get used much at the start of the month but as February draws ever closer I find myself using it more and more. At the bottom of the column I have a little calendar which I colour in on days I post blog posts. It’s to try and help me be more productive and post more because I can visualise the last time I posted. It’s hard to tell if it’s working yet because I just haven’t had the time to write things for here in between essay writing and reading. I’m sure February will reveal more. You might also note that a lot of things are pink on here: that’s because I made pink my colour of the month! As you can also see (if you’re perceptive), blue is the colour of February.


The next page is a habit tracker. As you can probably tell I am failing on an epic proportion with keeping up with it. There was a whole week at the start of the month where I literally did not fill anything in. Even now, I know I’m being lax. Some things I know will never all be done on one day – like watering my plants. I don’t expect (or should!) to water my cactuses every day but with this tracker at least I’ll know when the last time I did so was instead of trying to guess. The only thing I’ve managed to do every day so far is drink a glass of orange juice (I usually have it with breakfast – or lunch depending on the day).


There’s a peek at my gratitude log which I started this month, as inspired by Boho Berry and Tiny Ray of Sunshine, on the photo above but here is a closer look. Again, I’m pretty terrible at filling it in every day because I usually forget. These past few days is the most consecutive days in a row I’ve done. So far I’m not entirely sure how well it’s working – I almost find myself writing things that make my happy or smile instead of things I’m grateful for? We’ll have to see. I will probably adjust this spread as time goes on because I’m not 100% happy with it right now.


I was a bit stuck with how I wanted to daily log my holiday time. Compared to term time, home life is a bit, well, static. I don’t really do much with my days. Then I saw a great post by studyign on Tumblr and decided this was the way I wanted to go about it! So the first week and a half of January are logged like this. You might see that I have failed epicly to fill all of w/c Jan 4th in yet – I’ll get there in the end (are we starting to see a pattern here or is it just me? I’m lazy as hell okay). I really love how scrapbook-y this looks!


And now drawing to a close with more of my favourite pages: the dailies! I’ve just completed my first full week of logging like this now I’m back at uni and I love it. It’s going to be a continuous, run on thing – I won’t be starting each new week on a blank page like last year. Also, I’ve decided not to dedicate a whole full page to weekly plans: just a few lines like at the top of this page suffice enough to cover the main things I want to get done. The rest just falls into place as the days go on.

So, there you have it! Another year another bullet journal. I really love having this physical manifestation of my thoughts and it actually does help with my organisation, believe it or not. Even when I don’t fill it out from time to time haha.

sign off 5.png


15 thoughts on “updated bullet journal set-up

  1. Cherry

    Wow your journal is so organized! I haven’t tried a bullet journal yet but seeing how other people use them is really cool (: I definitely should add a section in my planner for book releases and maybe a habit tracker as well. i really like those ideas, thanks for sharing Jess! (:

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jessica

        I feel exactly the same way. I’ve got in bed tonight without doing what I need to in my journal because I’m so damn tired :\ unfortunately I make a regular occurrence of it. if I figure out any times for staying focused on frequent updates I’ll let you know because my god do I need them too!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cherry

        Omgosh same here! I think about checking my planner and updating it but it hardly ever happens and then I end up with a week that’s almost entirely blank 😦 that would be really awesome, thank you!! I’ll let you know if I can think of anything too (:


  2. Panda

    This is so cool! In fact, the last post you did about this was what introduced me to bullet journals and what inspired me to start one and I’ve kept it since mid-November! No way near as artsy as yours, all I have is a year view (nov15 to nov16), then monthly views at the start of each month then I write my dailies as I go. I do a “musical idea of the month” as well as noting down the books I read that month too πŸ˜› It’s going pretty well for me though. It kind of helps me get things done as I set a “to-do” list kind of thing every night! πŸ™‚
    Yours’ looks just amazing though. Wish mine could be as artsy πŸ˜›


    • Jessica

      oh my god that’s so cool i’m so glad i could inspire you in some way??? that genuinely makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. i’m glad it’s working out for you! thank you so much

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica

      thank you!! i’m certainly not the most organised person alive but it really does help me clear my head and stops me FORGETTING ALL THE IMPORTANT THINGS I ALWAYS FORGET. seriously, i’m so bad for it. give it a shot if you feel the urge – any old notebook can do and it doesn’t have to be extra artsy! i have a bunch of other helpful and inspiring bullet journal links if you ever need any!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. keepsmeoutofmischief

    I use some similar layouts as you. I have the whole academic year mapped out at the start on the double page spreads that you use for each month. I find that I can future log more easily. I am also doing a ‘Best Thing Today..’ in a similar way to your gratitude log. I love how adaptable the bullet journal system is.


    • Jessica

      well, it is the best layout if i do say so myself πŸ˜‰ sounds good i’m glad things are working so well for you! the adaptability of bullet journals is what makes me adore them too. i’m as changeable as the winds with what i want but this lets me seamlessly transition from one thing to the next!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s