My 2017 Bullet Journal

Everyone and their brother knows that I love my Bullet Journal. It's my creative outlet, my planner, and my security blanket. Since I started working with my Bullet Journal, I've had people bash it, adapt it, and try to read it (stop snatching my BuJo!). With my second Moleskine notebook almost full I thought I would go back and review what worked this past year, and what didn't. 

If you would rather see me set up my Bullet Journal, check out my Plan With Me videos on my YT Channel, and be on the lookout for my NEW BUJO set up! 

I started using the system because I needed a space to hold E V E R Y T H I N G. 

I haven't looked back since. If you aren't familiar with the BuJo system, I'd suggest getting some background first

What worked:

  • future log: I found this future log somewhere on Pinterest (check out my Organization + Planning board here) and fell in love with the simplicity. I like that it incorporates the original vertical layout of a month, and allows me to write a lot down. I'll definitely be sticking with this in my next Bullet Journal. I prefer this over the traditional future log because Ryder's version doesn't allow me to quickly see the date that corresponds with the event. I know a lot of people use a Calendex, which is awesome, but it never worked for me. That's the beauty of the BuJo - you find what works for you.
  • password log: This has been my saving grace. I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten passwords and usernames, only to have to reset them over and over again. I know writing them down can be risky (what if someone steals my BuJo?!)(lets be one's getting close enough to it to steal it) so I would recommend some kind of coding system if you're someone who is in a situation where people see your Bullet Journal. For me, just writing them all down works like a charm for my forgetful ass mind.

  • birthdays: Found this one somewhere on Pinterest too! The birthday wheel was one of the funnest spreads to make. Even though we have so many ways to track birthdays, I like having them written down. I refer back to this spread when I'm setting up a new month and add the names to my month at a glance. Living across the country means I can't schedule a lot of in-person birthday celebrations, but this allows me to reach out to the person directly and not forget the date.
  • monthly pages: In the past (almost) year of Bullet Journaling, I have perfected my monthly spreads. They're like my "homepage" for the month, and the spread that I constantly go back to. I always start out with my month at a glance. I've alternated between the traditional vertical layout, and a more "planner" like style of boxes. Right now I'm on a boxes kick. I color code my events on here (more on that later), and to the right I have my habit + self care trackers. If you're using Ryder's style of Bullet Journaling, you probably have your task list to the right of your month at a glance. For me, I put this on the next page, and separate my tasks into "work" and "home" columns.

  • tracking self care: Guess what guys...I have a huge issue with mental health. I say that because I'm not ashamed of it, and I think we should all be doing our part to break the stigma. I'm planning on doing a blog post dedicated to using your Bullet Journal for self care, but here's one of my favorite parts: my self care tracker. I added this into my monthly tracker page in March and April. It gives me a monthly view of my mood, sleep, activity, and anxiety. I rate all of these on a scale of 1-10 and am able to see how all of these work together each day. When I first started Bullet Journaling (in June 2016) I tracked my anxiety levels in a weekly spread. I liked this, but I wanted to see a bigger picture, and create something that connects different aspects of my life.

  • resolution check in: This is a relatively new spread for me, but was sparked by a thought I had going into March. So many of us create New Year's Resolutions, but abandon them or forget about them after February. I wanted to check in with myself and see how my resolutions were going. This page helped me map out my next action steps & got me motivated to keep working on my goals.

  • editorial cal: For us Social Media/Blogging girls, an editorial calendar helps our businesses and brands run smoothly. I use mine religiously for my own social media, as well as all of my clients. I've created one that you can get for free if you sign up here. I'll usually print this out myself (to avoid the daunting work of drawing straight lines) and tape it into my journal. This is a lifesaver for me, because I need a visual of what's going on my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook group, Facebook page, and what is being uploaded onto my YouTube & both of my blogs. 

What doesn't work: 
  • meal planning master list + monthly meal plan pages: This was 100% a dud for me. I started out creating a page for weekly meal panning, and used the page next to it for a master shopping list. In theory, this is great for someone who is meal planning regularly. Unfortunately, I never used the meal prep page, and rarely visited the shopping list page. In an attempt to eat healthier/save money/make my future wife happy, we tried meal planning again in April. I created a page for me to write down the meals we would eat each day. As you can see, I've abandoned the idea. The only meal prep type thing that worked were my meal trackers in my weekly spreads.

  • appointment log: I created this spread in December after moving for the 3rd time in 2016. The goal was to keep track of appointments once my insurance kicked in. Not only have I not visited a doctor since I moved, but I haven't added anything to this page. Whoops. Maybe next time.
  • highlights page: I see so many talented people creating memories or highlights pages in their BuJo, so in December I tried to create a cute highlights page for each day of the month. If I had stuck with this, I think this spread would have looked amazing! After about the first week, I forgot about it. For my new Bullet Journal, I'm going to try a new memory keeping page that I found through one of the Boho Berry Tribe members.

  • Monthly reviews: I'm not sure why but I always think these are a good idea and then I abandon them halfway through writing them. Couldn't tell you why.. 
Tools I love:
  • Teresa Collins B Journal: I'll be honest, I haven't actually used this yet. Allie got it for me earlier this week and I am itching with anticipation to get started with it. So many people use the Leuchtturm 1917 or a Moleskine notebook, and after going through 2 extra large Moleskine's I was so happy when Allie brought this home.
  • Global Arts Materials Pencil Case: Another gift from my overly-supportive girlfriend! I have so many frekain pens and before this, I was constantly losing them. I've filled this up with almost 50 pens and it still zips and fits in my purse. I take it everywhere with me.
  • Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pens: A staple in my planning routine. I have one set of colored ones, and about 4 black ones. I'll be upfront, they definitely can bleed and smear, but I enjoy them too much to switch.

  • Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen: I bought this a few weeks ago and now understand why everyone RAVES about them. I bought the black 199 version and really like to use it for my weekly and daily pages. I find that it doesn't smear as much as my black inkjoys, and dries quicker. I consider this my fancy pen and only use it when making Bullet Journal spreads.

  • Crayola Super Tip Markers: I bought the 50 pack of these and love them. I have expensive brush pens, but I feel these work just as good. I absolutely love the range of colors, and haven't touched my fancier brush pens since. 

Methods I use:

  • RYCL in the back of my journal: I'm a pretty busy woman. I'm working on writing two books, have a full time job, run a side business, and am working on creating online courses. I've got so much to plan and write down that it started to feel cluttered and overwhelming when I used my first Bullet Journal for both work and personal things. That being said, I did not want to have two different notebooks - so I started doing all of my personal planning in the front of my Bullet Journal, and all of my business related planning beginning on the back page. Eventually they'll meet in the middle. This is perfect for me because I can easily reference both without having to switch notebooks, but I also don't feel that my work is getting lost in my personal spreads. Is anyone else doing this?

  • Color coding my monthly: I mentioned this a bit earlier, but I color code my month at a glance. One, I enjoy the creativity of it. Second, I'm such a visual person, so I'm able to quickly identify what type of event is happening each day. I know a lot of people who color code their entire journal, and that's just too much for me. I like the flexibility of changing colors each month, and the leniency to only do it on one spread if I want too. 


  • In 2016 I created a free course for people who are just getting started with Bullet Journaling. You can find it here, and signing up means you'll get to experience all the updates I add to it!
  • BuJo website: the holy grail for the system. This is where all credit is due, and where it all began. If you want to see the original Bullet Journal concept, go here.
  • Boho Berry: My favorite source for inspiration. I am a part of her Bullet Journal Facebook Group (want to join? check out her website) & watch most of her YouTube videos.
  • YouTube Channels: Here are a few of my favorites -
    Bujo Boosted - if there are any MEN reading this, check him out.
    Alexandra Plans - I find her voice calming as hell, and her layouts are too die for
    AmandaRachLee - a great channel if you don't want too many voiceovers
    Studyign - a great channel for high school or college students