January always seems to be a month for new beginnings. The promise of a new year ahead and the scent of possibility in the air 🙂 One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is get organised with my bullet journal. And if you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about have a look at my post on getting started with a bullet journal here.
Using a bullet journal has definitely helped me get more on top of my to-do list. More than that, setting it up acts as a sort of therapy – in the same way that those colouring in books for adults do for many folk. Granted, it takes time to work up the regular spreads, especially at this time of year when you might want to set up yearly calendars. But personally I think the extra effort is worth it for a planner that is totally flexible and exactly tailored to your needs. On top of that, looking at my spread for the week ahead always makes me feel happy. Never underestimate the power of the aesthetic to bolster a flagging mid-January mood!
With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my inspiration for my 2018 bullet journal. Whether you’re new to bullet journaling or just looking for some new ideas, hopefully you’ll find some inspiration to get you doodling full steam ahead!
Before I get going on the spreads I’m loving for this year, a quick word on the supplies you might want to invest in to get your bullet journal habit off to a good start. In all honesty, you don’t really need anything except a notepad, a pen/pencil, a ruler and maybe an eraser, but if you want your bullet journal looking a bit fancy here are the products I’d always recommend:
A LEUCHTTURM1917 notepad seems to be pretty much the ‘gold standard’ for bullet journals. I use a squared version and find it really easy for drawing out grids. I had to think about whether or not to buy a new journal at the start of the year but I eventually decided against it. I still have about a third left of the journal I started late in 2016 so I couldn’t really justify the splurge!
I use a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen for drawing out spreads and writing in my journal. It has a nice fine tip and doesn’t seem to blotch like certain other pens. For colouring in and doodling, I use Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, (full disclosure: they actually belong to my children!) They are a bit pricey, but good quality – I’ve tried using felt tip pens before but always find that the colours show through on the other side.
For little decorative details, I use Washi Masking Tape in various designs and colours. That’s basically it for me but just pick whatever else you like. Stickers, postcards, photos, whatever takes your fancy – when it comes to bullet journaling the designs are as individual as you!
My best buy lately on the bullet journal front though has been this Creative Journal how-to book. It has lots of ideas for spreads and ideas you can copy (of course you could also find most of the same on Pinterest if you want to browse). For me though, one of the appeals of working on my bullet journal is that it gets me away from all the usual electronic devices. I’m happy with my journal, my workbook and my steaming mug of tea! 🙂
Onto the spreads I’m loving for this year, and in terms of a full-year outlook, here’s the calendar spread I’m using for 2018. I didn’t notice until after I took the second photo (with school holidays highlighted in green pencil) that my youngest had popped a cheeky ‘LOL’ on top of August. Eight year olds, eh, who’d have ’em? Seriously though, his little artistic additions always make me smile 🙂
MONTH TO MONTH
As well as the at-a-glance calendar, I’ve put a few month-to-month pages in my journal. They give me a bit more detail on things like important dates and birthdays and any other information I’ll need to transfer over for any given month.
When it comes to the start of each new month I have a more detailed monthly plan and task list. That way when I’m doing my weekly spreads I can refer back and see what I still need to do. Last year I found this spread a little less useful so I’ll see how I get on with it. The beauty of a bullet journal is the ability to ditch anything that doesn’t suit you any time you like!
This is the format of weekly spread I’ve been using for a while now – an idea I got from the Creative Journal workbook I mentioned in ‘supplies’. It covers everything I need for the week and I just love it! It only takes me about 20 minutes to set up at the start of the week now and working it up is an activity I actually really enjoy!
Aside from the basic stuff, I like using my bullet journal for ideas and inspiration. Another idea from my workbook was this spread for things to read:
I also have a tip sheet for those things you mean to remind yourself of for next time but never get round to:
These are just a few ideas, hopefully this post has given you plenty more to get you feeling inspired!
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