organization · things around home

A New Happy Love: My Bullet Journal Set Up

I’m a planner by nature, and I’ve purchased one every year for as long as I can remember. But I haven’t always utilized my planners to their greatest potential. In the past, I’ve found they haven’t been set up in a way that gave me enough room to write or  feel inspired. Often they had quotes that weren’t my style, or didn’t have enough space for me to thoroughly plan, doodle, and dream. I then ended up feeling frustrated, used a scratch piece of paper {misplaced that scratch piece of paper} and gave up filling out most of the journal. Has anyone done this before?

So this year I joined the bullet journal craze, and have fallen in happy love!


Having just started a few weeks ago, I am a “baby bullet journalist,”  but I can tell you we are going to get along just fine.

I know along the way I’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work for me, but that’s the beauty of it.

A Bullet Journal (“Bujo” for short) is one you completely create for you and by you to help track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.

The concept was created by Ryder Carroll and is explained thoroughly here.

Basically, it’s a journal: lined, dotted, graphed, or blank that you completely customize to meet your lifestyle, likes, and needs. You can keep track of anything and everything you can imagine: calendars, to do lists, quotes, appointments, tasks, dreams, goals, menus etc.

I like to think of it as my brain on paper.

Writing stuff down has helped me keep my life, happening simultaneously at once, straight!  This year is no exception: with home duties, oodles of remodeling projects, my daughter’s wedding, traveling,  company to visit, women’s Bible studies/church activities, and all of life in general, I need to keep my sanity with organization!

I went ahead and purchased this 249 page dotted journal: Leuchttrum 1917 from Amazon in the happy little color of light blue.

I’m using a black fine tipped sharpie, colored pencils, and fine tipped stabilo markers for my writing and embellishments. I also found some stickers and dye-cuts while cleaning one day that I thought would be fun. The possibilities are endless. Some people find post its, washi tape, and pockets helpful. It really is up to you.

You can use any journal. Other journal brands that are good are Rhodia and Moleskine. Whichever you choose, try and find one that has a decent paper weight to the pages, a good binding, a size that works for you (because you should take it everywhere you go), and an inspirational color that will keep you motivated. As for the pen, try to  use one that is smear-proof with minimal amount of bleeding. This will help keep things looking neat.

Here are a five things I already love about bullet journaling:

  • I can set it up anyway I like
  • There is always enough room to write
  • I can personalize it with things that inspire me
  • It helps keep me on track…knowing what I accomplished and what I need to do and what is happening in the future
  • It’s so much fun!

There are a ton of bullet journal examples out there. Just google “bullet journal”  on Pinterest or YouTube and you will find an overwhelming amount of instruction and inspiration. Some people’s pages are complete works of art!

But the beauty of your own bullet journal is just that, it’s your own.

You never have to show anyone, it doesn’t need to look like anyone elses, or be something featured at the National Art Gallery. Do what works for you. In fact, even if you make mistakes allow yourself some grace. I was creating one of my first monthly calendar spreads and made a bobble in drawing my lines. What to do? White out would look too noticeable on a cream page, ripping it out would leave a sad mess, and using it would remind me of my poor ability to draw a straight line!  I am a perfectionist  learning to embrace the imperfections and used one of my friend’s suggestions: Why not tape the unwanted pages together with double-sided tape? Move on!  I love how friends help you see things clearly sometimes.

Back to Setting Up My Journal:

Some Things I Knew I Needed in Setting up my Bullet Journal: (you can see the sample pictures below)…again yours may be different, but here are some ideas…

  • I needed a  system, a “KEY,” to mark my activities
  • A Year Inspiration Page- This is where I place My Bible verse for the year to focus on in the front of my journal.
  • An Index page and Numbered Pages to find things quickly  (the Leuchttrum comes with both). I may add tabs later as I see how this works for me.
  • A Year at a Glance
  • Monthly Calendars (For me this works to have them consecutively in my journal)
  • Weekly Calendars (spreads) This is where I can add pages as I go. I usually do a couple of weeks in advance. Any future log items can be added to my already set up monthly calendars and then placed in my weekly spreads as needed
  • Inspirational Pages (I’ve been having great fun with these..and find doodling fun again! Some are featured below)
  • Keeping my bullet journal in the same place in the house and taking it with me when I leave is very important and a time/stress saver.
  • Sitting down for a few minutes every weekend to log and plan the next week is critical. Using it everyday is critical, as well.

Here are a few of my spreads. I thought I would show you a few pages before I thoroughly filled them in. I’m experimenting with different set ups to get a feel for what works for me. I’m allowing myself the year to learn. 🙂

monthly spreads…





weekly spreads…




special topic spreads…here are just some I have set up already. There will be more as I go…


I added and envelope with a  removable Scripture verse for the year, so that I can take it out as needed, and memorize it easier.


I started from the back of the journal for these special pages leaving myself the majority of blank pages in the middle of my journal for all my weekly spreads, planning, inspiration, and what have you. There are 249 pages in this journal, so I’m thinking it should last the year, but if not, I’ll start a new one when needed.  These pictures were taken before I started filling up the pages ;)…





On my last page I created a spread for my year end review, with plans to write down, as I go, those things that best summarize the year…


Other pages my mind is thinking of creating… in no particular order…

  • Fun Quotes of the Year to Remember
  • Tracking Water Intake
  • Goals for the Year
  • Brainstorming
  • Mind Mapping
  • Home Remodeling Projects
  • Seasonal Capsule Wardrobe Organization
  • Wedding Preparations
  • Date Night Ideas
  • The Year in Praises
  • Bible Verses to Memorize
  • Top Menu Recipes for the Year

I’ve finally found a journal that works for every area of my life!  I think this bullet journal and I are going to get along just fine.

If you want to learn more about setting up your own bullet journal, check out this thorough link on How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide.

Do you bullet journal? How do you keep track of life?

Do share. I’d love to hear!


2 thoughts on “A New Happy Love: My Bullet Journal Set Up

  1. wowza! ♥
    i’m not nearly as creative nor necessarily organized as you, dear heart…
    but i’ve maintained a mountain of ‘journals’ through the years and i call
    them simply **my brain.** ! during a mental fog, i misplaced my brain a
    couple years ago .. found later though i lamented long. a sorry state
    to be sure. wink. i digress :: your bullet journal is gorgeous. period.

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