I have been admiring others and considering starting one for a long time, but ironically enough because I was so busy with university, I never wanted to commit to one because – a bullet journal is time-consuming and something that needs to be maintained (despite the fact that it’s supposed to help increase productivity). Of course, not all bullet journals are like this, but as a creative person, the kind of bullet journal I wanted would take more time and that’s something I didn’t have a lot of this year. I even tried to start a small bookish only bullet journal about 6 months ago but even that didn’t really pan out.
Alas, with my graduation and only full-time work ahead, I now have way more time to dedicate to my hobbies and it’s been the most fun setting up my own bullet journal with my little bookish additions to help track my reading and motivate myself. I had no idea how much I’d enjoy journalling like this and how therapeutic it would be. Not to mention that it’s nice that my obsessive personality traits are starting to come back (cya depression!). You will not believe how many YouTube videos I have watched and how many hours I spent scrolling through Pinterest to make sure I was making the right decision and doing it perfectly.
So, after showing you guys my spreads on Instagram, a lot of people wanted to see them properly and I figured I might as well write a blog post about it! I took a long time in figuring out exactly what each spread would look like (like the perfectionist that I am), and even forked out AU$60 to get the perfect but oh, so expensive Olive & Archer dotted notebook (because I hate ghosting more than my handwriting). I guess you could say I wanted this to be perfect.
It was so nervewracking working on this journal because I was so scared of screwing up. I do think that a couple of spreads didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, I struggled with a few things but after some practice, I’ve gotten more comfortable and more motivated.
One of the things I struggled with was the layout of the yearly overview spread. This is because I actually bought the dotted notebook in a B6 size, which is slightly smaller (and slightly cheaper!) than A5. I didn’t do this just to save a few bucks but because I just really like this smaller size to fit in more bags that I own. While it won’t fit in tiny handbags, it’ll allow for more room in my medium-sized handbags and work backpack that has limited room when I need to fit my laptop, lunch and other things. It was challenging because it seems like 95% of the bullet journal inspiration and content out there is in A5 size and accommodating certain layouts of information was tricky. Although I’m not super happy with the spread, I managed to fit the layout but just later screwed up in adding the colourful highlighters – a rookie mistake not to keep my main calendar setup plain and neutral.
Not to mention that I just need to get better at highlighting in general!
I debated adding some more bookish spreads but tried to take into account how much I’ll be using resources like my digital notetaking app (Notion) and my Google Calendar. Is it really necessary to make a whole spread about my anticipated book releases when I’ll likely make a blog post about it that I can also refer to?
I also found it a little hard to decide on a specific theme and I guess, experimented a little. I found that I really like the collage type of style, as well as using some simple leaf drawings I based off of the Archer and Olive Instagram. It gave me such a smile to use the cute Shiba sticker I bought from Red Bubble, that one page is probably my absolute favourite because of it.
Creating this journal definitely gave me more inspiration and motivation. I’ve really fallen in love with journaling and after finishing these spreads, I even decorated my new personal Journal for 2020 that I’ll begin in January where I’m writing down my thoughts. It makes me so happy that I’m enjoying this so much since I know that it’s therapeutic and a healthy thing to try and make a habit of.
Anyway, for what you’ve all probably been waiting for; here are my bullet journal spreads (in order) for the beginning of 2020 and January!
So what do you think of these spreads and of bullet journals in general? Are you taking the plunge and trying one out in 2020 too?
Let me know your thoughts,
Until next time,
Love these spreads, Tracy!
Thank you!!! ❤