Bullet Journal Walk-Through: Part 1

I've talked about bullet journaling here & there but decided to do an official walk-through of my 2018 bullet journal.

If you want to look into it, I suggest starting with BulletJournal.com. There are tons of groups and Pinterest pins...but some people make it very artistic and it can be overwhelming.

Basically it's an analog system...which means it uses symbols. So you make a list and use a symbol to denote it, like a bullet (•). Then you X it out when the task is complete. I bought the official Bullet Journal, although you can use any notebook, which came with the basic key although Pinterest will show you a TON of more complicated options. I really only use the Task/Completed/Migrated/Irrelevant options, but again there are a lot if you want/need them. But the beauty of BuJo is that you can ignore whatever doesn't work for you.

The system doesn't really include any new information but it's beautiful me in it's simplicity. What made it really stand out to me were 2 things specifically.

1) You can make your own "weekly spread," kind of like you would see in a traditional planner. You can also do "monthly spreads." BUT since you make them yourself and can use ANY NOTEBOOK, you can also include basic to-do lists or important information. Traditional planners never have enough blank or "notes" pages for me unless I customize them, which makes it both really expensive and really heavy to carry around. So I would end up with a planner but then also with random lists in a million different notebooks. This way I get everything in one notebook.

2) The crazy simple but mind-blowing idea of an index. Basically, number your pages (or buy a notebook with numbered pages). When you write a list or something important, you write down what page it is on at the beginning of the notebook. Dude, this is so stupid and simple but holy fuck it's changed my life. Not only do I have everything in one book, but I have a list of WHERE it is in the book instead of flipping through the book frantically because I know I wrote something down at some point but can't remember where.

Some people think that setting this up would be too much or time-consuming. And it did take a little bit of time to get my system down. But it really takes less than 10 minutes to do each week. There are few things I spent more time on, which I'll talk about later, but this post specifically goes over the standard things and they are all really simple.

Also...because I am huge nerd, and love pens and being at least a little creative and a little organized some stuff I made more elaborate because it was fun to me :)

Future Log
In the bullet journal world, this is called a Future Log...basically it's a yearly overview by month. You can place holidays and birthdays and doctor appointments and all that stuff that you need to remember a long time from now.

Monthly Layout

I started a new Bullet Journal for 2018, because I wanted to use a dotted one (I started in a basic lined journal). I created monthly layouts (just a basic calendar for each month) for the first 6 months of the year, because I'm not sure when I will run out of space in this notebook. Lots of people don't do this until the month actually starts, and just use the Future Log. But I think I like doing it this way. I messed up on the one in the picture, because I don't like how the middle column is splits both pages. But I've fixed that in the other ones and this one gives you a basic idea.

Weekly Spread

The next major thing is weekly spreads. This is basically the typical part of a standard planner, but you DIY. You can see I have my daily cleaning tasks on there. I also write down each night's meal on there, from my meal plan. Just makes it easier to know what all I have going on that day.

 Most people do weeklies as they come, like on a Sunday, and that's for a few different reasons. 1) There are lots of different ideas for how to set these up- some are better for very busy weeks, some are better for weeks that don't have much going on, and some people just like the ability to switch it up. 2) The point of doing a bullet journal v. a traditional planner (IMO, anyway) is the ability to use pages for WHATEVER YOU WANT. So if you set up a lot of weeklies at a time, that's taking space for other notes you may want to include in the notebook...so you do things as you need them for the most part. Again, for me at least, it's about having ONE NOTEBOOK for ALL THE THINGS rather than having a pre-printed planner and other random notes. So if you use a book for a month or a year, it's up to you. Everything is done chronologically. 

Personally when I make a weekly layout I go back to my monthly layout and transfer any info specific to the current week from there. Yes that means I write something twice, but it also means I'm more likely to remember it! Which is a win for me.

Wardrobe & Memory Tracker

I also do a monthly wardrobe tracker and monthly memories. Basically, I felt like I was wearing all the same outfits all the time so this will make sure I don't, ya know, wear the same pants every third day because I just recycle them out of the dryer. Also, I suck at traditional journaling or scrapbooking anymore so I like this quick little memory tracker. No, these things don't really go together...but they are things I want to keep up with and it's easier for me to fill them out when they are directly beside each other.

I basically repeat these layouts over and over (although I am trying out different weekly layouts atm to figure out exactly what I like the most). It doesn't bother me to repeat these because if I have a week when I'm not busy or not doing anything, I just don't have to make a layout for that week. Also, they are SO EASY I can literally do it at work in less than a minute.

These are the bare bones of my bullet journal. But, if this was all I needed then I could use a traditional planner. So stay tuned for the additional stuff I use my BuJo to keep up with, coming later this week!


  1. I love bullet journaling. It is just so personable & unique.
    You just gave me an idea on adding in the wardrobe chart. I love that.

  2. I wanted so badly to be cool and do a bullet journal, but having found the Moleskin weekly w/ a notes page solved all my issues and it means I don't have to spend the time making the pages. My ONLY complaint is that Sat/Sun share a line.. but there is a deadspace at the top of the page and I use that for Sundays since it is the official start of the week. Annoying, but works for me. They also sell them in 18 month format, which means that it should last longer.. if you're not me and start at the wrong time of year (Jan, vs when the planner starts: July).

  3. So cute! I wish I had the patience to have kept up with a bullet journal lol