Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Setting up your new Bullet Journal

If you haven't yet heard of the Bullet Journal, check out the blog post I put up yesterday and then come back here. Know the basics? Then let's jump in and see how I'm setting up my newest Bullet Journal.

Personally, I found that the Bullet Journal is the perfect system for me. It's a blend of a to-do list, a planner and a personal journal. You can make it anything you need it to be and it can change with your needs. Thinking of giving it a try? 

For this journal, I'm using this teal softcover dotted Moleskine journal (this one). The cover is so wonderfully soft and I'm excited to use dotted pages for the first time, they're still really hard to find in SA. This is the large size, which is approximately A5. As you can see in these photos there is a small amount of ghosting with my fineliners (which doesn't bother me at all) and no bleeding through. The journal has an elastic closure, a ribbon bookmark and an envelope pocket at the back for you to tuck things into.

Moleskines have a space up front for your details, plus a spot to offer a reward for returning it (I'm broke so hopefully good karma is enough!).

On the first page, I've put my key. I use three basic bullets for 99% of what goes in my BuJo: square boxes for tasks, circles for events or appointments and dots for notes. A single diagonal strike indicates I've started something, the second finishes the cross for a completed task or event. A horizontal strike out indicates something has been cancelled. If I don't finish something, I add a > mark once I've migrated that task to a new day. I also have a few signifiers to add emphasis to deadlines and important things, or mark ideas.

The next two pages are where I'm going to write my index.

Then, I have four pages for the traditional future log. Basically, if I have to plan something in advance, it gets jotted down in one of these boxes.

Now, let's start our first monthly log. On the left, I have the traditional monthly log where I note important events, deadlines, etc. I can add to this as the month goes on. On the right I have space to add my goals for the month, as well as any general notes. When you start a new month, look at your future log and add in anything you wrote down there.

As December is not going to be very busy work-wise, I've decided to have a little bit of fun with my weekly layout. I've drawn in boxes to write my daily logging in. I haven't put in a monthly habit tracker (because I know there aren't going to be many low-calorie, no-alcohol healthy days this month!) but have added a few weekly trackers for my mood, amount of sleep, step count and water intake. I've put in a box for weather tracking and just for fun decided to record my favourite songs this month.

Now, of course, you can go really simple and basic with your logging. I decided to spend 20 minutes or so drawing out this layout while watching some series just for fun but this is by no means an essential part of bullet journalling (you'll see the original bullet journal had nothing of the sort!).

Are you thinking of starting your own Bullet Journal? Let me know in the comments section! I often also post images of my journal on my personal instagram (@lauravlaeren) so follow me there if you are interested.

A quick update to this post to show you what the above spread looked like once it was filled in!


  1. I felt that this year was way too crazy and I couldn't keep track of anything (despite numerous notes and reminders and alarms!), so I decided to also start a bullet journal. Hopefully this means I will be more organised next year. I particularly like the future log pages, because that gives you a nice overview of the time that lies ahead! Thanks for the inspiration, Laura!

  2. You have completely inspired me. Thank you for these posts. I have been so intrigued since I saw your first mention of it and now I am so inspired I am going to start one too. I love the simplicity but how effective and flexible it is.


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