Updated: May 17
Since January 2019 I keep a bullet journal. I never thought I would keep up with it for so long but I wanted to try and didn't expect it to love it so much! I didn't want to fill it in one style, I first wanted to be creative and try all kind of templates en colors. I wanted more of a creative scrapbook than a neat agenda. My book is from
(link to amazon, but it is the Dutch version). It measures 6.7 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches and has 240 pages.
In my journal I write both in English. I will translate it when I wrote something 'important' in Dutch.
(I cleaned my spreads in photoshop, so do not think all my pages are that clean.)
WHAT I USE TO DECORATE MY JOURNAL
What I mostly use - aside from the basics as pens, pencils, scissors and glue - is lots of pretty paper. And it does not have to cost much! You can find paper blocks with all kind of patterns in hobby shops, but I cut a lot of illustrations and other pretty paper and quotes from magazines! I have a whole stack with big illustrations and patterns. Aside from that I also have a metal box with little clippings.
You can also recycle wrapping paper! Just open your presents with a little more care. ;)
A must-have for bullet journalist who don't like to spend to much time on decorating pages is WASHI TAPE. It is both beautiful and practical. You can paste images with it in your journal and it immediately adds an extra creative touch. You can find washi tape very cheap. However, there is a great difference in quality. Some stick very well, other get lose quickly. I have some good and some bad ones, but I honestly do not know anymore which brand they are from. I will remember to note that down the next time I buy some. In the meanwhile you will just have to test it yourself and find some brands that you like!
There are all kinds of other creative stuff to decorate your bullet journal. Aside from a lot of paper and some washi tape, I have these to sheets of clear stamps.
This is all I have of materials to decorate, but you can do a lot with it! However, there are a lot of tools for your bullet journal. You will just have to decide what you would like to use!
Some people prefer to only make either a monthly or a weekly spread. I prefer to make both. I like to have an overview of the most important events that month on a single page, but I need a weekly spread to make daily to-do lists.
I started this journal in JANUARY so this was my first monthly spread! I was quite content with it to be my first one! This one is pretty easy and great for beginning bullet journalists!
For the FEBRUARY spread it took me some time to draw all the boxes, so I kept the rest of the page quite simple.
As I already told you, I cut illustrations from magazines. This pattern underneath the APRIL schedule is also cut from a magazine. I marked the weekends and holidays in pink.
It is maybe hard to read (because of the light and because it's in Dutch) but in this MAY spread I wrote the days vertically in blue.
In summer I prefer to have an overview of all the important events during the two holiday months JULY and AUGUST. The boxes are smaller to write, but I still have the weekly spreads to make more notes. And now you know my birthday. ;)
In SEPTEMBER I wanted to have an elegant scrapbook feeling on the page. This sounds weird maybe, but hopefully the picture clarifies this! I just pasted some pictures and quotes from magazines and kept the actual schedule quite simple.
When I go on holidays or have a project for several days, I just write it down once and mark all the days this event is taking place, instead of writing it again on every day.
The OCTOBER spread is an easy one but I love it nonetheless! I might use this vertical template more.
After the monthly spread, I make all the weekly spreads. I don't make any other lists inbetween these weeks, because it is easier to scan through the month when these pages are bundled.
The weekly spread usually matches the monthly spread! I cut a heart instead of a square for the day my boyfriend and I were three years together and for Valentine's Day! I think that's a lovely and subtle accent.
In this MARCH spread I wrote my appointments and important events above the green marked date and my daily to-do list in the bottom part of the boxes. I have an extra to-do box that I fill at the beginning of the week, when I do not always know yet when exactly I will do everything.
APRIL was a quick and easy one because it was a busy period. But that does not mean it does not have to be pretty!
When you like to take extra notes, write down memories or thoughts, you can stick an extra little piece of paper in the middle of the double page.
JULY is also an easy spread but I loved the simplicity!
In this AUGUST spread I painted the cirkels with watercolor, all with free hand (not sketched with pencil beforehand) because I wanted that 'handmade, artistic feeling'.
Just like the monthly spread of SEPTEMBER, I wanted the weekly spread to be also a bit like a scrapbook. Every page has different pictures but the basic set-up is the same.
Until last Sunday this OCTOBER spread was my favorite one from the whole year. But then I made the spread for November and that is my new favorite one! I cannot wait to share that one with you next week!
On the last page of my bullet journal I made a yearly overview of 2020 with room on the right page to note important dates. My bullet journal will be full at the end of the year so that's why I made this on the last pages.
I also made a yearly overview of my classes, weekends and holiday this school year, with the contact information of my school on a little piece of paper in the middle, and the class schedule behind it.
MORE THAN AN AGENDA
A bullet journal is all about memories in my opinion. Even when you just use it as an agenda, you will probably keep it once it is full because you put so much time and effort in it, and you have an overview of everything you did that year.
After every month I make a memory page about all the things I have done that month. You can paste pictures, restaurant bills, a list of books you read that month, quotes you read and loved etc.
I also love making lists. They can stress you out when you realize your list is way to long for the little time you have, but it also clears my head and motivates me to check off goals.
So I am a bucketlist girl, but my goals are mostly not that crazy, like 'finish x chapters before the end of the year' or 'learn that piece on the piano'. I have a list for the whole year, but I also made a list for the summer (+ a to-do list). And although I didn't manage to do everything this summer, this lists reminds me that I reach most of my goals nonetheless!
I have multiple lists about books: a pages on which I draw books I read this year on shelves. Apart from that I also have a reading tracker with the date I started and ended a book, the title and my rating. I regret not giving them a number to keep track of the amount of books I read so far (even though I can easily count them or look it up on Goodreads, but still.) And last but not least, I have a separate list for the books I got via Netgally, with the title, the deadline date, a box to check off when I read it, and my rating.
When you love to write (and need a little motivation sometimes) you can keep a writing tracker in your journal. This way you keep track of when and how much you write. It can make you realize you have to spend more time on writing, or that you actually write more than you thought! I added a little paper with the chapters of a story I'm writing so I have an overview of the chapters I am done with.
Another one of my lists is one with movies I have watched. I color the ones I have seen in the cinema in yellow.
I also have a list to keep track of the series I watch (right page). I only write down the series I actually started watching and check them off when I finished them.
On the left page I have a list of things I can do when I am bored. I can tell you that I am rarely bored but when I do have such a moment than a list like this can come in handy (I don't write any obligations on this list! Only things I like to do!)
One thing I started to do since I have this bullet journal, is tracking my income and expenses. I makes me concious about how much money I actually spend, and I always try to spend less than I earned that month (independently from what I earned the previous month). I am still a student btw, so I don't make or spend a lot of money and do not have a lot of regular costs because I am still living with my parents. But it should be even more usefull when you do have a job and live on your own!
I hope I have given you some inspiration for your own bullet journal! Do you already own one and have some tips for me? I would love to hear it!
From now on I will try to share my spreads every month!