Posted in Life

My 2019 Simple Bullet Journal Setup

Have any of you ever been here? You see a thousand gorgeous bullet journal spreads on Pinterest, get all inspired, and then completely fail?

This is me. I love the idea of bullet journals–the aesthetic, the organization, the doodling, all of it. But it’s hard to make it work in practice, especially as a student. I just don’t have time in the day to give every week a beautiful spread or keep up on twelve different habit trackers. What I really needed from a bullet journal was space to keep track of all my assignments that was easy and organized, but still looked nice and aesthetic of course πŸ™‚

It’s taken me a good while to figure out a balance, but I finally have a regular set of spreads that work for my college life, letting me be organized and simple while still having some visual fun.

So without further ado, here is the beginning of my 2019 bullet journal! (DISCLAIMER: Some pages have areas that are blurred out or covered in white boxes; this was done to protect personal information such as my daily schedule, location, etc.)

This year I’m using this dotted notebook, which is a little bigger than the standard and super affordable. On the inside cover I drew out a spacing cheat sheet, showing how to divide the page evenly into thirds, fourths, etc (full credit for this idea goes to AmandaRachLee). This is a big time saver and saves you from constantly counting boxes and doing math. The facing page is a brain dump that I’ve started filling with ideas for future spreads.
This is my version of a future log. I like having both a traditional calendar and a drop down calendar because it lets me see how the days of the week line up and also have space to write out events (so far I’ve only added federal holidays and birthdays). I decorated each month with a printed picture that seemed to go with the overall vibe of that month. As far as themes go, mine is kind of vague, but throughout all my spreads I used a general theme of neutral gray, nature photos, and simple layouts. I didn’t want to feel tied to a theme that I might not like down the road, but I did want my spreads to be vaguely cohesive. I love the look of these pages and I love my vague theme πŸ™‚
This is the last four months of my future log. On the right page I have a running list of quotes I like and want to use in future spreads. I’ve never done this before, but I think it would be fun to incorporate more quotes on my monthly spreads as little emotional boosts.
This is my resolutions/goals spread, and is probably my favorite. I drew out a big quote that I want to make my theme for the year and added a lovely forest scene. On the left page I have spaces for goals in my four major life categories I want to improve this year. These are my year-long goals, and each month I make smaller goals building up to them (HIGHLY recommend this system, you can read more about it here). On the right side I wrote out my vision for the year and how I want my goals to work for me, and left space to brainstorm smaller goals.
This is my class schedule for the semester, decorated with a sky picture and sky-like colors to give it a really open and not stressed feel (or at least that’s the goal). On the left I drew out my schedule color-coded in a grid because I like being able to visually see how much time I have each day. On the right is the key, and I also left space to write out professors’ emails and office hours. Last semester I found I often forgot these and wasted time trying to find them in various syllabuses and websites, so I think it’ll be nice to have them all in one place.
That’s it for the year spreads! This is my monthly spread for January. I reused the image from my future log and decorated the spread to go along with it using colored pencils and washi tape. On the left side is a simple habit tracker and a quote, and on the right I have spaces for a calendar, events, and goals in each of my four categories. I plan to do all my monthly spreads in a similar fashion, reusing those future log images.
Straight into the weekly spreads! This is one of my ideas for a typical simple weekly spread: a strip along the side to decorate, a space for each day divided into a schedule and a to do list, and space at the bottom for weekly goals, a running generic to do list, and anything else I want to add for a given week. This week I filled my “decoration strip” with leaf doodles.
This is my other idea for a weekly spread; it’s essentially the same thing but oriented vertically. I plan to use both of these spreads and see what I prefer. I filled the strip at the top with a really simple colored pencil ombre. You could also fill it with washi tape, more doodles, stripes, a banner photograph, or anything else you want.

And that’s it! I’m happy with how this turned out and had a ton of fun making it. Here’s to a more organized and productive 2019!

For more tips on bullet journalling as a student, click here.

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Author:

I am a STEM student, aspiring artist, self-taught writer, and and lover of the natural world.

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