I spent most of today outlining several yearly spreads for my new bullet journal. Yes, I am once again giving this type of planner/journal a shot. I previously started one in 2019, but I gave it up after a while. This year, things are going to be different — I hope.
In my previous life of three years ago, I did not have a desk. That hindered my ability to write with a pen comfortably and do other things I have been missing out on like drawing. However, I have been reacquainting myself with working from a desk in the past year, so we’ll see how this goes.
I love watching videos of the beautiful artwork that many people put in theirs, but I knew that would be too much for me. Sure, I want it to look good, but I am also not trying to make a career out of bullet journaling. I just need something that I will actually use.
These first 12 spreads (24 pages) shown below are yearly trackers, lists, and such. I have at least one more that I want to do before diving into the actual planner part of it all. I intend to just do a monthly schedule because I don’t have enough items to really do a daily or weekly schedule.
Without further ado, here is what I put together today:
About Me and Letters to Myself
Of course, as soon as I told you I wanted to keep it simple, I start off sort of big. I plan for this to be one of the heavier, artsy-type spreads since it is the intro to the journal. The “About Me” page is just blank at the moment, but I will piece it together.
One thing I really wanted to do was leave a section for letters and notes to myself in the future. This leans into the journaling aspect of this whole thing. I had a lot of fun putting it together.
To create this, I glued down an envelope and have slid a notecard inside to grab whenever I need. The faux stamps are from a collection I bought to stick “mail” into my three-year-old niece’s custom-made mailbox. She has this weird obsession with getting mail, and I have 400 of these stamps.
Goals and Ideas
This is just a simple, two-page spread of lists for the year. The first is just your run-of-the-mill bucket list. I split it between lifetime and yearly goal sections.
The second is something I came across elsewhere. It is a braindump page for listing out ideas all at once. I’m eager to give it a go and maybe create similar pages down the road.
Dreams and Highlights
The next section is an “if I didn’t need money” page. This is sort of like a goals page but a little different. I plan to add things that I would consider doing if I didn’t have to work and money was a non-issue.
On the second page, there is just an empty list for keeping track of 2022 highlights. I hope I can at least fill out all 25 slots.
I do a halfway decent job of keeping my house clean as a single man. But, I also sometimes let things slide and have to catch up with a big cleaning day. I would like to avoid that and stay regular.
So, this spread is just a way to keep track of everything I need to be doing daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi-annually, and annually. Let’s see if it sticks.
Wait. Christmas already? Yep. I went ahead and created a two-page spread so that I will stay ahead of the holidays later this year.
On the left, you might notice another envelope pocket. This will likely be a recurring theme to avoid spending too much time creating things like “Dutch doors” in my journal. In this one, I cut a blank Christmas card in half and will use it to list gift ideas throughout the year. This way, it stays hidden if someone else gets a look at the page.
I plan to use the section on the right for notes and other things I might want to do around Christmas. Maybe ideas for this year’s party.
I use Goodreads to track my reading habits, but I thought it would be fun to keep a hard copy of what I’ve read over the years too. That’s the page on the left.
The page on the right is split into two sections. At the top is a place to note books that I want to read. The bottom is a “book bingo” card. I haven’t filled in all the squares yet, but I have a ton of recommendations from friends on Facebook (the post is public, so feel free to steal from it).
Manga and Graphic Novels
Similar to books, I am keeping track of the manga and graphic novels that I read. This is also a bit of a “collection” spread. I read most books on my Kindle, but I collect physical copies of my manga, comic books, and graphic novels.
Movies and TV
The movies and TV pages are pretty much the same as the previous spreads. I am an avid collector of physical media, so it should be fun looking over everything I purchased throughout the year.
It might also be interesting to see if I need to cut back to save money when I look over this in 12 months.
This is actually the start of a giant, four-page spread. My biggest. For the first two pages, I broke my grocery list down into six categories. This will include lists of food items that I typically buy or need to keep in stock.
Now, I just need to actually fill in all the sections.
Household Shopping and Recipes
This spread is a continuation of the previous, but I have broken it down into a few household (and cat!) categories on the left page. I left a small section for art and personal shopping at the top of the right.
At the bottom of the right page, I went with another envelope pocket for recipes. I wanted this close by my shopping list so that I would have it on hand when trying something new just in case there’s an oddball ingredient or two.
Pushups and Peanuts
It is easy to get carried away with daily trackers. Really, there is no end to all the data one could track if they really wanted to go crazy with it. So, I narrowed mine down to two for the year: pushups and peanuts.
The pushups page is just a quick way to jot down my total pushups whenever I do them — fitness, yay! As for peanuts, that is a codeword. This is a personal goal, so don’t even ask. I used a codeword for a reason. I did want to share the layout, though. I had fun with the smiley-themed key.
Garden and Food Forest
And, last but most definitely not least, is the gardening section. I always intend to keep track of each gardening season, but do I ever do it? Do I?
This year will be different. I will only do a small veggie garden, so it shouldn’t be that hard to jot down the important bits. I left enough room for notes in the layout too.
The right page is, perhaps, the most important in the long term. It is my food forest page. I mapped out the fruit trees already planted (some by me in 2021) in my backyard. I already have some money set aside for new plants this year and look forward to filling them into the map. Next year, I want this to be a full two-page spread on its own.