My 2018 Bullet Journal Set Up

Hey friends! Now that January is almost over, I hope everyone has had a great start into 2018!

I tried bullet journaling for the first time last year after I had finished my bachelor’s degree and had the time and motivation to get a little creative and organized again. For my first attempt, I purchased a Muji spiral notebook and a simple black pen. Though I had a lot of fun setting it all up and actually using the journal, at some point I was starting to get a little fed up with the spiral notebook (I wasn’t able to create two-page spreads and the notebook quickly started to look worn) and the pens I had on hand because they would smear all the time. When I got to the US and started Grad School I gave up on my journal after all because I didn’t have enough time anymore to create spreads myself, so I bought a simple planner instead.

At the beginning of the year, I was thinking about ways that would help me stay a little more relaxed, healthy, and happy in the new semester, as the fall semester had me feeling quite drained and uninspired at times. A week ago I finally decided to make time for bullet journaling again. I did some research about the best notebooks and pens for bullet journaling and because this is something that I also do for my mental well-being, I decided to splurge a little and get a package of everyone’s favorite pens, the Tombow dual tip brush pens (I have the Secondary pack), as well as a pack of four Faber Castell fineliners. My notebook is the Essentials dot matrix notebook in A5 from Peter Pauper Press and it was around half the price of a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, which is the one notebook that almost everyone seems to use for bullet journaling. What I like about my Essentials journal is that it has 100-gsm paper, because I really don’t like it when pens bleed or “ghost” through the page and this paper is thick enough to mostly prevent that from happening. I got the journals and pens from Amazon.

Anyways, I wanted to share my new set up with y’all because I’m quite pleased with how some of the pages turned out and I thought they might inspire someone. So here it is! The image above shows the first actual page in the journal. I wanted to include one of my biggest goals of the year right at the beginning to create the right mindset 🙂 I was inspired by the video How to Create More and Consume Less by Rowena Tsai on YouTube which has the basic premise that creating is part of human nature and that we should try to incorporate more creative activities into our daily lives to feel more fulfilled. I have gotten into the habit of spending my free time constantly consuming media instead of creating. I would spend hours mindlessly watching YouTube and Netflix instead of doing things that really fulfill me. So my big goal for 2018 is to get back into creating and I think decorating my journal has been a good start 🙂


I wanted to have an introductory spread for the new year, so I made these pages using very simple floral designs. I don’t use an index, a key or a year-at-a-glance-page as many other bullet journalers do, since I just wouldn’t use them. I use a vertical variation ot the future log though:


As you can see here, I haven’t quite figured out brush lettering yet, the months still look a little shaky/wobbly. I hope I will get better over time! I use these pages to plan ahead and jot down any coming events or things I want to get done in a certain month.


I have incorporated a few collections and journaling pages. The first one is for blog post ideas and I used a very simple design and a couple simple doodles here:


I also keep track of the TV shows I’ve been watching (they are really way too many and I literally forget to continue watching some of them if I don’t have them written down.) and shows I want to start watching. By the way, I just finished watching Big Little Lies and I looooove it! If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think!

On the next page I will keep track of books to read, podcasts to listen to, and movies to watch.


I also made a page to reflect about my experiences in 2017. I wanted to think about what went well and what did not go well, what I’ve achieved and things like that. I haven’t written down my goals for this year yet, so this seemed like a good preparation to me.


The next page is already my February overview. I’ve kept it pretty simple but I decided to include a quote by Gandalf Greyhame because why not?


I’ll try and track my mood and the habits I’d like to form this February. We’ll see how it goes but for now I’m just kinda proud of my spread because it’s been a loooong while since I’ve last drawn something. I’ve also included a part of the poem Dive by Andrea Gibson because I think it’s so beautiful and it kinda fits a mood tracker page imo.


And here are my weekly spreads for the next four weeks. As you can see, the flowers ghosted/bled through the page quite a bit but I think it’s still ok. I use rather simple designs for my weekly spreads because I need them to be clearly laid-out and I need a lot of space for my daily to dos. The vertical spread is inspired by Amanda Rach Lee’s YouTube channel (she’s like the boss of bullet journaling, please go check her out if you don’t know her yet!).


So this is my set up. I’m excited to actually start using my new journal!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or message! And if you are a fellow bullet journaler, please show me your stuff! I love to get inspired and to see what other people do 🙂

xoxo Lena

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