My First Bullet Journal – the first four spreads

My Bullet Journaling Begins

In my two posts, here and here, I wrote about my need for a good time management system, and introduced the idea of bullet journaling.  Now I am going to share with you the beginnings of my bullet journal.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes setting them up, but I share them anyway because I want to encourage anyone interested in Bullet Journaling to dive right in, mistakes are OK, a bullet journal is to use, not to hang on the wall and admire… (for things to hang on the wall and admire, see my artwork by clicking on the Purchasing Options tab).

 

I encourage anyone interested in Bullet Journaling to dive right in, mistakes are OK, Click To Tweet

 

 

First the Index

My index isn’t very interesting yet, since I’ve only just started my bullet journal, there just isn’t much there.  I used the Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Hardcover Dotted notebook.  It has the advantage of having the pages already numbered for you, and having several pages already set up as an index or table of contents in the front of the book.  So I just basically have to note what I’m doing on various pages.

You’ll notice that the section that says, “Dailies for July 6-” doesn’t have an ending date yet, or an ending page number.  All through July I’ll keep dailies, and when July is over I’ll enter that information into the index.

You’ll also notice that I have a place for Wednesday night bible study notes. I am using my bullet journal for pretty much everything I want to write down, so Bible study notes, sermon notes, and even Art Co-op Board Meeting notes are mixed into my dailies pages as they happen, however, I want to note those page numbers separately in the index so if I want to look them up, I don’t have to thumb through all of the dailies.

Right now, it isn’t very clear because the index is so incomplete at this time.  But lets say my July dailies span from pages 9-30, but within those pages, say on page 11, 16, and 19 there are Bible study notes, and on page 17 there is July’s board meeting notes. I will make a line on the index for each of these pages, to make it easier to find those notes without having to thumb through every page from 9 to 30.

 

There isn't much here yet, and I wasn't that neat... but that's okay, the beauty of the bullet journal is its functionality, not just its appearance!
There isn’t much here yet, and I wasn’t that neat… but that’s okay, the beauty of the bullet journal is its functionality, not just its appearance!

 

Second the Key Page

The next page is the key page, and I also included undated tasks on this page mainly because I forgot to leave room for them in the future log.  The Key tells me what what different types of bullets stand for.   Undated tasks are things I know I need to get done, but haven’t assigned a timeline for so they can’t be added by date into the future log yet.

 

Again, I made mistakes, so its not the neatest looking page. But it will work.
Again, I made mistakes, so its not the neatest looking page. But it will work.

 

a bullet journal is to use, not to hang on the wall and admire... Click To Tweet

 

 

Third, the Future Log

The future log is a place to note future events and tasks.  I extended my future log to a full year, but I probably should have only done six months, since I’ll most likely be using a new book before a year is out.

At any rate each two page spread covers six months, three months per page.
Within each month, I simply note dates that already have tasks or events assigned to them.  They don’t need to be in order, so I can add more events at any time.  I noted birthdays, appointments, my son’s driver’s ed events, the days I am scheduled to clean people’s houses, and the days that nothing is auto renewing on etsy, because those are ideal days to add new listings so my etsy shop stays active and high in the search engines. (etsy’s search engines are affected by the frequency that you add or renew listings, so ideally, something should be added or renewed each day, I am working toward having everything in my shop renew automatically, with at least one thing every day.) Now, as I was noting the dates that nothing auto renews, I realized there were many of those in the month of October, and eventually I stopped giving each date its own line in the future log. Instead, I listed the rest of those days on one line and wrote after them, “no auto renews”.

Bullet Journal 1st future log.
This is my first attempt at a future log, its not fancy or pretty, but it IS very functional!

 

Bullet journal future log
The second six months of my first future log. Not much here!

 

Fourth, the First Monthly Spread

After the future log is where you are supposed to put your first monthly spread.  Now, according to the creator of the bullet journal system, it should be one page with a list all the dates in the month, and then another page with the tasks that need to be done in the month, but which may not have been assigned specific days yet.

Well… being the mistake prone person I am, I had accidentally flipped two pages when making the lines for my future log, so my monthly spread was divided into six parts.

I made the best of it and made the parts “weeks” except that the first week of the month was almost gone when I started this, and I grouped the final day in with week before so as to avoid using one section for just one day.  I used the remaining sections to list tasks and goals for the month.  I don’t think I’ll do this every time, it was a mistake, and I just made the best of it rather than just wasting these two pages or using white out on them. The goals were specific goals I want to do this month, the tasks are individual things, some created by breaking down the goals into steps, and some taken from the future log and entered in.  Then of course on each date I will enter what needs to happen that day.  I will update this whenever something new gets scheduled for July.

At first I was making the mistake of putting things out of order like on the future log, then remembered that the monthly spread should be all the dates in order so tasks can be added as they are scheduled.  So, my first week is kind of messed up, after that it gets better, with the dates listed in order.

 

My bullet journal's monthly spread for July
My bullet journal’s monthly spread for July

 

for things to hang on the wall and admire, see my artwork Click To Tweet

 

Tomorrow I’ll share with you my habit tracker and some daily entries.  But I think this post is long enough for now!


6 Responses to My First Bullet Journal – the first four spreads

  1. This is a great guide to bullet journaling. My bullet journal consists of simple bullets by day according to key categories that I’ve defined. I think mine needs improving and I could pick up your valuable stuff to do that. Thanks so much, Vicki!

  2. Vicki, this is great! I had never heard of a bullet journal until your post today. What a great concept! I have been doing something similar, in the Notes section of my iPhone. I keep lists on different topics, including column ideas. Thanks for the idea! And all the best with your bullet journaling.

    • Kebba, I was doing that for a while too, but for me, it took much longer to “text” a note in then it does to grab a pen and write it down. But each person should find what works for them!

  3. I love Bullet Journaling. It is the first time I’ve ever been able to come up with a calendar system that works with my very complicated schedule and life. Keep spreading the word! ;o)