My Bullet Journal is all set up for the new year, and I have to be honest with you. I really think I’m finding my groove with it.
When I first discovered the Bullet Journal method of planning, I immediately fell in love. But with most things, it has taken time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for me.
Through lots and lots of trial and error, I really think I’ve found a simple approach to planning that truly works for me.
You see, I tend to over plan, but when I do that it stifles so much creativity. At the heart of my personality is a deep seated need to be free. Overplanning makes me procrastinate. Then everything just gets frustrating.
So, planning is good to a point. Then I need to just let loose and see how the days and weeks unfold as the Spirit leads, and as I see how actual life starts working itself out.
I’ve learned that there are things I simply don’t use my Bullet Journal for that other people may want to include in their journal.
For example, I keep my master calendar on my phone. All of my appointments, birthday reminders, and deadlines are in my phone. This means I don’t have a “monthly spread” in my Bullet Journal. I just glance on my phone to see what’s coming up for the month.
Related: My Weekly Planning Routine
However, I do like to see the months laid out in one fell swoop, so this year I set up a Future Log in my Bullet Journal.
Today I’m going to show you how I set up my Bullet Journal for 2018.
I will warn you. It’s not fancy. It has loads of mistakes, and I fought the urge to “beautify” it in order to post about it.
This is really how it looks.
This is really how I plan to keep it.
Flaws and all.
By the way, if you’ve never heard of a Bullet Journal, then head over here and read this post first.
This is my third bullet journal.
I’ve used a cheap journal from Wal-Mart (lined) and a Leuchtturm 1917 (dotted). I adored the Leuchtturm and bought another one to use for my prayer journal.
Related: How I Set Up My Prayer Journal
However, the Leuchtturm is a little more pricey than I generally like to pay for things like this. I do fill them up rather quickly.
I mean, the Leuchtturm is worth it. Don’t get me wrong, but I decided to see if I could find another journal that’s similar and cheaper.
I came across the Minimalism journal when I was searching for a new journal for my son. He wanted one “like Mommy’s” for Christmas, and I just couldn’t fathom spending $20 on one for a 7 year old.
When I saw his, I knew this was going to be worth the shot.
There are three significant differences worth noting:
- There is no pre-set index section. The Leuchtturm comes with the index already made for you at the front of the journal. This is handy.
- The pages aren’t numbered. The Leuchtturm comes with the pages already numbered. This is convenient.
- It is smaller. But only by a little bit. It’s not quite as wide as the Leuchtturm. This was a little bit concerning to me, but has already proven to not matter in the slightest.
With all of that said, I’m eager to see how I feel about the Minimalism Art Journal as the year progresses.
So far I’ve not seen enough of a difference to warrant spending the extra money in the future. But we’ll see.
Which Pens Do I Use With My Bullet Journal?
I continue to use and love the Paper Mate Flair pens. My husband stocks me with these every single Christmas.
I also use the Precise v5 Rolling Ball pens and love them. I like how bold they are and my handwriting is just overall a lot more readable with this style.
My Bullet Journal Setup
Bullet Journal Key
The first page in my journal is my Bullet Journal Key.
I have found that I like boxes instead of the traditional bullet points.
I know, sort of goes against the whole BULLET journal thing, but oh well.
The next four pages consist of my Future Log.
Even though I keep my master calendar on my phone, I need to be able to see all the months of the year at a glace. I opted for this simple lay out and so far I am really loving it.
I don’t keep every single appointment on my Future Log. This isn’t my master calender. It’s my year-at-a-glance so to speak.
My Future Log is home to the big things I don’t want to overlook or miss.
They are also the things that probably need some extra planning ahead of time like booking a campsite for Memorial Day, or first week of baseball is quickly approaching.
You can see that I haven’t really filled in anything yet for the second half of the year. I will probably do that toward the end of March. I don’t know what those months hold for us as a family just yet.
The next two pages are probably the ugliest pages I’ve ever put into a Bullet Journal. ha!
But nope. Not even close.
I ended up not being able to fit all my goals on one page. Because I started backwards, I overflowed backwards instead of flipping a page and doing front and back.
That probably makes no sense, but it is what it is. 😛
I did like that I added little tracking bubbles that I can color in as I check in each month with how I’m doing on my goals. That’s already proven useful.
I do plan to flesh out my word for the year – press – just a little more in the big blank space. I just haven’t had a chance yet.
Blog Goals & Reading Log
Blog Goals are for my eyes only. Sorry. Those seem a little personal since it’s part of my family’s income.
You can see that I don’t have many though. I’m focusing on some pretty big rocks this year.
My Reading Log page is the same one I used last year. It worked really well so I’m just repeating it this year.
My goal is to read 104 books, so I’ll color in a square as I finish a book.
I plan to use different colors for each month. I like being able to see if there are trends for my reading. Do I tend to read more in a certain month each year? That’s what I hope to see (when I compare to last year).
Also, it’s worth noting that I clearly messed up this page. I almost re-did it, but thought better of it. It’s really just too much work to be a perfectionist.
The next four pages are probably my favorite.
I copied out my intentional living monthly checklists (they’re free when you subscribe!), and added additional items to the list that coincided with my yearly goals.
For example, I want to back up our pictures each month and complete a yearly album, so I added this to my monthly checklists. Now I have a monthly evaluation point to see if I’m moving this goal forward or not.
I talk about how to break your yearly goals into monthly goals in my resource Made to Give Life Seasonal Goal Planner.
Bible Reading Plan
I cut and pasted my 5-Day Bible Reading Plan into the next three pages of my Bullet Journal. You can get the Bible reading plan from BibleClassMaterial.com.
I’ve already mentioned my reading goals, but I wanted an easy way to keep up with the 2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge, so I dedicated a page of my journal to it.
The next section of my Bullet Journal is for our financial goals. I also set up a tracker for various parts of our budget.
The spread on the right is for our clothing money. We use the cash system, but I needed a way to track how much we’re spending on each of us.
Finally, you see an example of my daily spread. It’s nothing fancy, but so begins my new year of planning.
From this point on, I will follow my planning routine outlined in my eBook, Planning 101: How to Plan Your Time to Be More Intentional Everyday.
What about you? Do you keep a Bullet Journal? Have you set it up for 2018 yet?
Other posts you might be interested in:
- Put Your Plans Aside and Start the New Year This Way
- A Video Flip Thru of My Bullet Journal
- 7 Lessons I Learned from My First Bullet Journal
- 30 Journal Prompts to Start a New Year (+ FREE printable)
If you’re ready to stop the chaos, and start making intentional, deliberate choices to breathe life back into your home, your church, and your community this year, then the 2020 Made to Give Life Seasonal Goal Planner is the tool you need.
This isn’t just another planner. It’s a way of life.
A resource designed to help you be intentional every single day for the glory of God. Click here to learn more!
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