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New Year, New Journal!

My January pages and set up for the new bullet journal…Better late than never, right?!

After a whirlwind year, 2021 went out the same way it arrived, crazy and COVID-filled. But I am very glad to be continuing my blog and bullet journal journey here with you in 2022, even if this post is a bit late.

This post will include set up for my new journal as well as my pages for January. So, let's get to it!

This year I decided to switch things up a bit. After reflecting on my previous journal, I wanted to size down my journal for 2022 to a 6" x 8" maroon faux-leather bound journal. I got this notebook on sale at Michaels in the fall of last year, so I have been holding onto it for quite a while. Now that I have started using it, I am happy with my decision. So far, I don’t feel like I’m wasting space like I did at the end of the last journal. My needs and uses for the journal have evolved a lot over the last year and a half, as I discussed in one of my later journal posts from 2021, and as such a smaller space like this one seems to be serving me better.

I wanted to talk a bit about how I set up my journal so that if anyone out there is thinking about starting their own bullet journal, or just wants to see how I use mine, they can fallow along below.

Setting Up My Journal:

The very first thing I do with a new journal, is decide what the journal will be used for. In this case that step was easy, this one is going to be used for my 2022 bullet journal. The more difficult part then becomes deciding how I want to set up my bullet journal.

I labeled my journal as you can see below to identify the journals purpose (and so that if I lose it, god forbid, someone might be able to get it back to me). I used a black dual sided brush pen for this page.

Journals like this have been used in a lot of different ways from calendars, to daily planners, to lists, to dos and trackers. This is the beauty of the bullet journal, you make it work for you so that you can use it in a way that best suit your needs.

Since I started journaling, three year ago now, I have been setting up my journal in more or less the same way. The only real differences being the order in which I put the tracking pages. I start with creating some year long tracking pages that help me achieve or follow up with my New Year's goals. At the end of the year, the first few pages of my journal end up being a summary of what I did, what I accomplished, or memories of the year past.

This year, I decided to start off with a year long calendar overview. I like to include this early on for practicality purposes. The speed at which I create my bullet journal pages varies from year to year. So sometimes, it may be January 25th and I will have not yet started creating my February calendar pages. So, in an effort to keep myself organized, I use a month by month year long calendar to write down upcoming events such as birthdays, trips, holidays, and appointments that I will need to remember. Then, when I do get around to creating that month's calendar pages, I can reference these pages.

Over the years the style of this calendar has changed and evolved but with the size of these pages, I felt that a small calendar and three months to a page would be the best setup for this year. The remaining calendar overview looks the same as this example.

To show how my journal has evolved and just some other ways to set up a year long calendar overview, I also included some snapshots of these calendars from my previous journals.

For more of my previous journal pages, you can visit my website's bullet journal photo gallery here.

Next up is the monthly themes thumbnails. Here is where I brainstorm and plan out what I want style I want to use for upcoming month’s page themes. While this page is helpful for planning, it usually end up just being a fun snapshot or summary of what my whole journal will look like at the end of the year.

There are lots of other trackers that you can include in the beginning pages of your journal. I will likely add a post in the future that specifically covers beginning of the year trackers in more detail, as well as the trackers I created for this year but that were not done in time to be photographed in this photoshoot.

I will however, include some additional previous trackers as well as a list of additional tracker ideas that you could add to your journal.

1. Books I read this year / Shows I watched this year
2. Books/shows to read/watch
3. Movies I watched, date and rating
4. Movies to watch (and date I watched them
5. Headache Tracker
6. Oscars ballot
7. Washi tape swatches
8. Stamp collection
9. Year in pixels / mood tracker
10. Bucket lists
11. Job/school application tracker
12. School events or class schedule
13. Back to school to dos/textbook rental tracker
14. Key
15. Places to go bucket list
16. Doodle pages / collages


Welcome January:

After my journal set-up pages, the next and most prevalent part of my journal is the monthly and weekly calendars/planner sections. This is where my journal tends to resemble a typical calendar that you would pick up at the store. The reason I started bullet journaling in the first place was so that I could better customize the calendars I was using. I found that while the store bought calendars were helpful, I needed more space in the daily planner sections to record my classwork, and daily schedule when I was still in college. Thus, my bullet journal journey began!

So here are my pages for the month of January! January always makes me think if cold temperatures and snow so I decided to let that inspire me for this month’s theme. I wanted to translate that frigid feeling to paper by keeping this months pallet in black and white so I only used black pens and markers for January’s pages. In the phot below I used a black Pilot G-2 .05mm pen for the mountains and the details in the calendar and a black dual tipped brush marker for the page titles and the calendar outline.

After the welcome and overview pages, I like to include a monthly sleep log and mood tracker in my bullet journal. I carried my theme of black and white mountains into these next two pages by keeping the sleep log simple in black and white. I did as well with the mountain of moods page. There will however be a few pops of color to record each days mood. It is not pictured below but for that I will use different shades of blue brush markers. (I will post a completed image of this mood board in the bullet journal gallery section at the end of the month).

While this is the way I like to set up my journal, you could include any number of monthly trackers within each month‘s calendar set up. That’s the beauty of customizing your journal to work for you. You could certainly break up any of the fun trackers I talked about at the beginning of this post and include them within each month (ie books I read this month, shows I am watching this month, movies I wast he’d this month etc).
Some other ideas for monthly trackers are:
1. Monthly habits
2. Water drinking
3. Period
4. Headache
5. Exercise
6. Work hours
7. Bills/payments
8. Screen time

Finally, I include weekly spreads at the tail end of each month. This is where I record my schedules, plans, daily activities, to dos and other memories or moments that I want to remember. Again you will see that I pulled the mountains element into the weekly planner and I also tried a different format for this month than I am used to. I used the same combination of black pen and marker for these pages that I used throughout this month. I will be excited to see how this layout works for me as well as getting adjusted to the new smaller size notebook.

Thank you for continuing along with me on this journey! I will to continue posting my monthly pages as I have in the past but I also hope to post some additional content such as other extra journal pages that are not included in this set up post. Maybe I’ll even get around to posting some non-bullet journal content…

Until next time!

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