What's this? The bullet journal flip through I've been promising you since January?? Yes hold onto your hats, I actually finished getting my journal going and sat down to photograph it.
My entrance to bullet journaling started last May with a generic A5 notebook and I became obsessed very early on. By the end of the year with half a notebook left I was trying to grit my teeth and just get on with a journal that wasn't working for me anymore. And then for Christmas I got given that journal addicts Bible; the Leuchtturm 1917 A5 with squared pages. In black FYI.
I tried for a fortnight or so to stick with my trusty old notebook and wait until I'd finished it to move onto my new journal but the idea of staring a fresh in January and the lure of that new notebook led me to realise, the beauty of the journal is it's flexibility. The whole point of the bullet journal is the ability to change it to suit at the click of a finger and so off to the Leuchtturm I went.
And so here it is! Finally! An (extensive, soz for all the photos) guide to my new journal for your pinning and saving and copying for inspiration.
As I did last time, the pressure of the first page of the journal was FAR too much for me to handle and it's been left blank for now. I've you've peeped inside my journal before you'll know in the end I found some artist inspired fake tattoo transfers and they looked ace but until inspiration strikes again, it'll stay blank for now.
One thing I said about my last journal was how I didn't use the contents page or the key and then what happened when I started the new journal? I integrated both of them again. My last journal was just a normal A5 notebook so I had to create the contents and number the pages myself but in the Leuchtturm there is 3 pages for contents and the pages are numbered so it kinda seemed natural to start including that again. As for the key, I know what I use the symbols for, I don't really need one but I actually simply just like the way it looks.
Next to the contents and key is a filler page where I included important dates I could do with remembering. Things like when Easter is, Mother's Day, Father's Day, when the clocks change, that kinda thing.
I then have 3 double page spreads which are all calendars. I haven't featured photos of all of them but the first is the dates for 2017 (inspired by Megan from Lazy Thoughts) and then half of the dates for 2018 just as a resource to check on when I need it. I then have 2 pages which is the months again but each birthday is circled and then each person and how old they are this year is bullet pointed next to the calendar.
One thing I found with my old bullet journal was sometimes at the beginning of the month I'd not have time to draw out my monthly calendar, habit tracker and weekly spreads and often it'd be a few days in and I'd still not have it mapped out. With that in mind I decided this time to draw out my calendars and trackers in advance so at the beginning of the journal I have 12 double page spreads for the monthly calendar and 12 for the habit trackers for the year.
Having a squared journal makes it so much easier to map out (even if I did just forget a day in January's habit tracker) and I like that I have more room than in my other notebook because the line spacing is smaller.
My monthly calendars are simply what they say on the tin. I've drawn them all out in the same format for the year, the same as in my old journal as it worked so well for me and I have dated each of them already. For each month I have added some dates in, like birthday's, days bills go out, when my car MOT and insurance is due, days I need to remember like holidays and celebrations. And then every time something comes up or I make a plan or an appointment I simply add it to the calendar for that month so I always know what's coming up. I also actually write in what I've already done, so for example I might have written down everything I KNOW I'm doing for the week but if I do something unexpected or change the way I do things like the day I go to the supermarket, I write it on the appropriate day afterward. Idk why, I just kinda like having a record of everything I've done like a diary.
My habit tracker is also the same sort of format as my old journal, I took out a few things that I tracked last time that I don't particularly want to anymore although I kept in drinking 8 cups of water a day which I haven't EVER done. Girl gotta have goals right? I also like that because of the line spacing in this journal there is lots of room for more habits to track so I can add them as and when I want to, for example in March I added in some blog habits in the hope it makes me do them more regularly.
After my habit trackers and calendars I have a few pages I migrated over from my old journal which I enjoyed using. I have a finances spread which has money I've saved on the left which I update on the last day of every month and on the right is a tracker to make sure I'm on ball with the money I owe. I'm sure you can tell the money for my car is going really great......
After that I have a Books Read and a Films Watched tracker. I decided to be sensible and only have a half page for books because I struggle to find time to read and doubt I'll have enough by the end of the year to warrant a double page. This means my films tracker is also only half a page which is filling up quickly so when I finish that I'll simply map out a new layout further down the line in my journal.
I then have some dedicated blogging pages, starting with my blog goals tracker. I set out my goals in chunks and then when I hit them I shade in the appropriate box. As you can see I'm making progress everywhere, some of it slower than others and actually some of these need updating now. I consider my blog goals more of just a stats tracker that I labelled wrong, they are goals as in I set an end number but I genuinely won't be gutted if I don't make it by the end of the year, I just like tracking milestones.
My good blogging practices is already one of my least used pages and I can see it becoming completely redundant, I probs wouldn't bother with it again in a new journal. I hoped writing down some kind of schedule and habits would spur me on to do a better job of being more engaged with the community like I was this time last year but already life got in the way, I got too busy and these have fallen by the wayside. Maybe I can revisit them later in the year.
I've jotted down what I offer in terms of advertisers packages, a spread that I have in all of my notebooks and on my phone. I can't remember exactly how many of everything each slot has so I like to have it to hand to refer to in case someone asks or I need to know. I also have a page of blog post ideas which I copied out from my blogging journal I no longer really use but I didn't photograph it because #spoilers.
After all my calendars and trackers I have a few what I have affectionately labelled 'general life admin' pages which is a bit of anything and everything. I have a run of these pages at the beginning of my journal but I also tend to include them here and there in amongst my weekly spreads when I need them. I started with a general packing list, a sort of all encompassing list for trips and travels which I refer to when I'm going away. For example, the general packing list is at the beginning of my new journal and my Manchester list was halfway through January so I drew out the new spread and just omitted what I did and didn't need to take.
Because we've been having house renovations done I also have a few pages for that which includes a budget page where I kept track of everything we were spending and what we still owed contractors. I blurred it out simply because I don't want the world knowing the ins and outs of what we spent. Soz guys. I also have an ongoing tasks list of little bibs and bobs we need to get done to get it absolutely finished and a shopping list of random things like door knockers we keep forgetting about.
I really like these kinds of pages, they're some of my favourites because they're always different and I just draw them up and use them whenever I need to. Some I didn't photograph also included supermarket shopping lists, Joss' works rota and my NYE Resolutions/2017 Bucket List which is already on the blog.
Before each month I tend to start with an 'in advance' kinda page. The layout you can see on January's is one I started in October last year in my old journal and I decided it wasn't really working for me any more so didn't do one at all in February. Come March I decided actually I did want that kind of welcome to the month spread so I took what I found useful from the ld layout and added some other features that might benefit me, I think I'll be playing about with this one for a while until I find something solid I'm happy to use every month.
Finally! In amongst all the rest of the chaos you'll actually find the bread and butter of my journal - my weekly spreads. I included a lot of photos of these because I've used a variety of layouts already and I thought ya'll might like the inspo for what might work for you.
The biggest problem with my last journal was I was laying out my weekly spreads in blocks of 4 weeks/a month at a time. I used the same layout for each and I soon found it wasn't working, some days I needed more space, some days I needed less, some days I had tasks that just needed to be done that week not on a specific day and I didn't have any space for something like that.
This year in this journal I have used all kinds of layouts from my original one from the last notebook to a simple to do list for the entire week to a day for the weekdays and a general list for the weekends (I consider Fridays as part of the weekend most weeks, self employed life yay). I'm already finding this SO much better, isn't it funny how it took me best part of a year to embrace what the bujo really means; the flexibility to change it week on week.
The most helpful thing I've found and the layout I have enjoyed the month is using a 'master' to do list. I've basically been writing down everything and anything from plans to work to tiny things I need to remember and making it a general to do list for the week ahead so I don't forget anything and then when it comes to laying out my week I allocate those tasks to the appropriate days. It's just so much easier having a master list where I can remember even the most menial of jobs and I really enjoy migrating them to the oncoming week.
As well as my new trusty Leuchtturm I am also using the squared notebook that came in my Cratejoy subscription box in January (read about that here) as a kinda design inspiration book. When I have a spare 5 minutes when I should be blogging or summin I am finding myself digging this notebook out and trying out new fonts and designs I might want to implement into my journal. I love jotting down different typography and headers and doodles and I love having this little book as a reference because there ain't nothing like a photogenic bujo.
I am still sticking to the all black and white fineliner method, I just don't think colour is going to be my thing for my journal but I've noticed in this notebook more than the last I am enjoying making it look as pretty as humanly possible. Whether that be through my typefaces or with doodles or boxes or scribbles, I just love decorating the pages and I feel genuine pride when I flip through it and see how beautiful it all is. I'm so modest. (Let's be honest, if the bujo of an illustrator was bare ugly you'd be a bit like eh wouldn't you?)
And that's it! 3 months worth of doodling and layouts and getting round to photographing it and my 2017 journal is finally yours for the peeping! Hope you enjoyed it as much as my 2016 journal and I'm sure there'll be more updates as we go on!