The first step in setting up a new bullet journal is to make a plan for how to set everything up before you put pen to paper. Planning in advance helps to keep your book organized in a way that is logical for the way that YOU use it.
For me, this structure has been many years in the making. I’ve added and subtracted many (many!) spreads and lists over the years, but this is the one I’ve decided to go with for the start of 2019.
I start off with the standard Bullet Journal items that are a part of the official system, but with my own tweaks.
I always include a colour coded key since having the different parts of my life in a different colour helps me quickly identify things at a glance. Each family member gets their own colour. Then there’s one colour each for my day job, my side hustles, money and bills, home and household.
This year I’m also going to try incorporating the official Bullet Journal Key to see if this helps me separate “to-do’s” from “random thing that happened” easily.
The Leuchtturm1917 I’m using this year (in Berry!) has handy pre-printed index pages that I like to use, so that’s quick and easy.
Calendar – Year at a Glance
I like to keep 9 months of the upcoming calendar at the front of my book for handy reference. This book will include January to September, but since my books usually only last about six months before I fill them up and have to start a new one, I’m also good starting this calendar page with whatever the current month is that I’m starting that particular book. My current 2018 book has the yearly calendar starting in July 2018 since that’s when I started using this book.
Monthly Calendars – Future Planning
The Bullet Journal Method has a monthly calendar written like a list on one page, but by brain doesn’t work that way. I’m old school and I like an old school monthly calendar. So that’s what I use. I put six month’s worth at the front of my book (this book will be Jan – June) so that I can use them for easy future planning.
The standard logs I use to keep track of my cash and spending are:
- Cash Spending Log
- Online Order Tracker
- School Expenses
- Savings Tracker
Blog Editorial Calendar
I keep one to help give me ideas for what to write each day, history has taught me that I generally write whatever I’m feeling or thinking about that day. So, yeah, I have a calendar that would keep me busy blogging every day of the year, but since I know that’s not realistic for me I like to keep it around as a guideline or an easy way to write a post when I feel like writing but don’t know what to write. I should probably call it a “Blog Post Suggestions Calendar” instead, but, whatever.
I keep track of my blog and social media stats, not to obsess over them, but to have them handy when a company I’m planning on working with asks for them. They would be easy to obsess over, but I don’t have that kind of free time! 😛
When I used a Passion Planner a few years ago I learned how to use their Passion Roadmap to really think about what I want to accomplish in my life. Having the steps all laid out for me ahead of time helps me to quickly identify what to do next when I’m working towards a specific goal.
Movies to Watch
I like to write down movie titles every time I catch a good trailer. They come out so far in advance of a movie these days that I find it helpful to write down the name of that random movie I want to watch because the trailer looked cool. Especially helpful since some movies don’t make it to the theater, but go straight to a streaming service. Having a list helps of what to search for helps!
I used to keep a list of books to read in my book as well, but I’ve found I prefer to keep track of them in Goodreads instead.
Pro Tip: If you’re a book nerd, Goodreads is for you.
It’s at this point that my book goes into my Monthly To-Do list, Weekly, and Daily spreads. I also add lists and trackers as I need them, which is the beauty of the Bullet Journal system. Every new thing gets recorded in the Index at the front so it’s easy to find.
And there you have it, my 2019 Bullet Journal plan.
Now to put pen to paper!
Happy New Year y’all!
Note: The pictures in this post are from my current 2018 book. Visit my blog regularly for updated posts and pictures of my 2019 book, or sign up for my newsletter which will go out once or twice a month with links to all of my new posts!
If people are interested I’m thinking of breaking down each section with more detail in their own blog posts. Leave a comment below to let me know if you’d be interested in seeing those.
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