It’s been a wild journey in 2021 and it pleases me to say that I’m back into bullet journaling after a year’s break! Although it isn’t going to be a full-on, month to month bullet journal like that of my 2020 journal, I’ve decided to go back to bullet journaling to motivate myself and keep track of my reading!
It’s really cool to see reading journals get more and more popular, and I noticed that with my busy schedule, how days can figuratively fly by and I have completely forgotten to pick up a book or take some time for myself. I reinvigorated my love for planning, went on a small shopping trip to a few stores and got some stationery to get myself started. Without further ado, this is my 2022 reading bullet journal!
I’ve been weirdly obsessed with traveller’s journals, even though I cannot travel anywhere due to the pandemic. I’m not sure why but the vintage, style and slim size that fits nicely in my hand makes this style of journal super cute, so this year, I got myself a slim B6 dotted notebook and a matching notebook cover in the traveller’s journal style from Muji. If you didn’t know, Muji is a Japanese store with stunning, minimalist designs where you can buy pretty much anything there, including great quality and affordable stationery. I chose the grey notebook cover so that it looks modern and I can carry it around day to day, whether I’m working from home or going to the office.
The best thing about this setup is that it conveniently fits the 2022 planner that I’m using for planning my week (personal and work) so that both my professional, personal and bookish planning can be done in the one little pouch-like cover. I won’t be showing the inside of my planner but it is a B6 Slim Jibun Techo, which is also Japanese and has a gorgeous, compact vertical weekly layout that I’ve been loving. From my extensive research and finding what works for me, I’ve found Japanese brands to be super reliable when it comes to Stationery and this is just the beginning of my journey with brands like Muji.
For the reading journal cover, I wanted to continue a pink-themed collage-style cover that will look cute all year round. What do you think? I’m still obsessed with these adorable cat stickers and I’m starting to run out so I need to figure out where to get more!
My Reading Challenge and Reading Log
Part of why I wasn’t as interested in getting back into bullet journaling throughout the year and really ruminated on it for a while is because it was very much a time-consuming hobby of doing spreads month in and month out to update things and create a new theme. Although I loved the creativity and mindfulness in sitting down once a month to create something pretty, it became a chore that wasn’t as functional so this time, I kept my spreads super simple, minimalistic and to the point so that I shouldn’t need to add any new pages to this journal unless I feel like it!
My first spread is to present my 2022 reading challenge of 30 books and a simple table for my reading log. My reading challenge was 50 this year but I brought it back down to 30 when I realised that I wasn’t reading as much, and it wasn’t healthy or feasible to push myself to read more purely to reach this goal on Goodreads. I think keeping it at 30 in 2022 is a great starting point for me and I’m super motivated to smash that goal next year! The reading log is easy to track what I read throughout the year. Instead of doing monthly ‘books I read’ spreads, I’ll pop in every book I read and what rating I gave it, as I go. I was very much inspired by Caitlin’s corner on YouTube who created a similar spread in her traveller’s journal sized reading journal in early 2021 and her journal really inspired the functionality of mine.
As per usual, I do generally like to keep track of my reading stats – and the two stats I only really care about most of the time are the number of books and pages. I know other bloggers and bookworms love to track the genres, the time read, the origins of books but with my limited time and mental space to think about those things, I just like to know that I’m reading regularly and enjoying myself. My stats page continues after another page of my reading log, in case I happen to read heaps next year.
Book Buying Tracker & TBR
As I was working on this reading journal, I did an unhaul of my physical books so it’s important for me to not buy books just for the sake of buying them. I’ve done pretty well in 2021 in that, I think I’ve only bought maybe…10 books? I can only think of about that much off the top of my head, which is pretty good! I went months without buying any books and I want to maintain that by hopefully only buying up to 15 books in 2022, with those books likely being anticipated reads I’d expect to get my hands on anyway. So this spread has a simple little sticky note design for me to track the books I’ve bought (physical and eBook). The little sticky notes come from DAISO, another amazing Japanese store you can go to in Melbourne.
The next section of my journal is a monthly TBR list for the year. I created this collage-style cover for ‘to be read’ a while ago in another little journal I had that I, unfortunately, didn’t use much, so I wanted to reuse it and stick it into this reading journal to motivate myself. The TBR section is a simple layout that avoids me having to create a page every month that lists out my TBR.
To make things easy, I’ve pre-added every month of the year and only left 4 spots for my TBR for each month. This is to make my TBR more achievable for what I’m able to read right now, and to allow for my now mood-reading tendencies! 4 is kind of the perfect amount, as my reading challenge is 30 and if I manage to read 4 a month, I’ll smash that goal and read 48. So this number is low pressure and great for me! It was also super easy to add all those boxes because Muji has a literal washi tape with them pre-printed (which is a game-changer). I never have to hand draw little boxes ever again.
Book Series Tracker & Physical TBR
My last few spreads are again for long term tracking of books throughout the year. The first is a series tracker. After going through my books, unhauling a bunch and seeing what I’ve got left that I still want to read – I definitely have quite a few series I still need to finish and although I’m slow – I do want to finish them. The book series tracker is easy for me to keep track of just that, and is a simple list of the different series I’m still keen to continue with the circles indicating how many books are in the series and which of them I have already completed (filled in vs not filled in).
To pair that, I thought it was great to maintain accountability for my book buying and reading habits by listing all the physical books I own that I really want to get to. I’m proud to say that I have exactly 45 physical books on my TBR and if all goes well in 2022, my goal is to smash through most of them and only have 10-15 left for me to peruse in 2023. Obviously, book-buying will reduce my progress but just seeing the list written down is satisfying and motivating for me to tick them through them as I go. If you’re curious, you can check out the list yourself and let me know if any are also on your TBR.
And that is my super simple, minimalist reading journal for 2022! I am still deliberating on whether I add any spreads, I know that quarterly and 6-monthly reflections are popular and I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘best book battles’ to find your favourite book of the year, but for now, I’m pretty happy with this simple setup. I’ve made it so that it’s functional for me, with minimal work or effort to maintain. I just need to read and fill in as I go.
What do you think of my reading journal? Have you got one for next year as well?
Until next time,