My 2021 Bullet Journaling Setup

If you follow me over on my Instagram, then you know I’m a huge bullet journal fan! I started bullet journaling in early 2017 and have been loving it ever since.

Just a heads up, bullet journaling (or “bujo” for short) looks different for everyone, which is part of the amazingness of it! I am going to be showing you what I do in my bullet journal, but keep in mind this will probably look different for everyone.

Let’s take a quick crash course in bullet journaling 101

October cover page

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Bullet Journaling 101

Where did it all start?

Ryder Carroll is credited as being the “father” of the bullet journal movement. You can read more about his traditional methods of bullet journaling on his website here.

Since Ryder’s bullet journal methods took off, a lot of people have taken his basic methods and developed them as their own. This is why bullet journaling can look different for everyone.

Ryder also wrote a book called The Bullet Journal Method which lays out the basics of bullet journaling and teaches how to follow his bullet journal methods.

What is it for?

Bullet journaling is designed by you, for you. Use it to help you in life however you need it to!

It is fully customized to meet your needs whether that be tracking exercising, keeping your schedule more organized, meal planning, travel planning, tracking spending, or 1,627 other things you might need it for.

Packing list

My spreads might look totally different than yours because my needs might be different. Find what works for you and stick to that.

What do you need to be able to bullet journal?

You can bullet journal with just a basic notebook and pen although a lot of people (myself included) prefer to use a few specifics!

bullet journaling supplies

Personally I like to use a dot grid journal. This allows lots of freedom for creating spreads but still provides enough guidelines that everything can be precise.

Boxes are common in my spreads and they’re easy to make uniform with the dot grid to guide me. You can use any journal you have though.

For writing I use these Tombow Dual Brush pens and basic Pilot G2 black ink gel pens. The Tombow dual brush pens are great for adding color to my spreads as well as lettering when I want to.

Tombow dual brush pens

I always keep a pencil and eraser handy as well…more on that later!

Some people also like using extras like watercolor, washi tape, and stickers in their bullet journals.

You can shop some of my favorite bullet journaling accessories on my Amazon store here.

Does it have to be perfect?

That would be a huge NO!

You need to accept ahead of time that you are going to make mistakes in your journal from time to time and that is 100% ok!

I have made plenty of mistakes myself and speaking from personal experience, the sooner you learn to embrace those mistakes, the more you will enjoy bullet journaling.

hello February

How to set up your bullet journal

Planning out your bullet journal pages

I recommend starting with a scrap piece of paper and make a list of the pages you want to create in your new bullet journal.

Here is a list of some ideas:

  • Cover page
  • Key
  • Index
  • Year-at-at-glance
  • Future log
  • Goals
  • Highlights of the year
  • Finances overview
  • 21 in 2021
  • Pet tracker
  • Cleaning tracker
  • When did I last…
  • Monthly covers
  • Monthly calendar
  • Content planning
  • Social media/blog/work tracker
  • Health tracker
  • Exercise tracker
  • Spending tracker
  • Gratitude log
  • Journal pages
  • Weekly spread
  • Daily spreads
  • Packing lists
  • Art pages

These are just a few ideas. The sky is the limit on what spreads you can create in your bullet journal. If you need more ideas, Pinterest is a great resource!

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    Pencil everything out

    I highly recommend penciling everything out before you put ink to the paper!

    penciled out

    This has saved me many times from making mistakes counting out spaces or even helps me to catch any simple spelling errors before they become permanent.

    I don’t pencil out every single detail, but I do enough to guide me for the rest of the page.

    Put it in pen

    After you’ve sketched your bullet journaling pages in pencil, you can use pen to make it permanent. You can either draw directly over the pencil, or you can erase the pencil marks a section at a time as you’re going.

    I usually erase a section at a time so I don’t end up with leftover pencil marks. It helps everything look cleaner that way.

    If I am adding any color or lettering to my pages with my Tombow dual brush pens then I will add that here as well.

    My bullet journal with our RV
    Our RV which I drew in my bullet journal

    Daily bullet journaling

    Now that your bullet journal is set up you’re ready to use it daily!

    I take my bullet journal with me everywhere! That way if I have an appointment I need to write down or think of something I need to remember, I can write it all down and have everything in one place.

    daily bujo spread

    Bullet journaling helped me get my life organized wayyyy better than before!

    Bullet journal art

    If you are an artistic person or even if you just like to doodle, you might want to add some fun art to your bullet journal!

    Collect moments not things

    I like to make my monthly cover pages a little more artsy than the rest of my bullet journal. This allows me some fun pages but doesn’t take up too much time.

    Some people even like to do a different theme for each month. The most elaborate theme I ever did was Monopoly in June of 2019. I will share some pages from that month below.

    Monopoly themed bullet journal
    budget
    Habit tracker
    Expenses
    Squats and water trackers
    weekly bullet journaling spread

    As much fun as it was to create, it took me hours and hours! I definitely don’t have time for elaborate themes every month but it’s fun to do every once in awhile.

    A look inside my 2021 bullet journal

    Now that you understand what bullet journaling is and how to do it, here is a look at my bullet journal setup for 2021!

    2021 Calendar
    2021 Bullet journal calendar
    Future Log
    bullet journaling future log
    Finances
    When Did I Last…
    Bullet journal when did I last
    Growth At A Glance
    bullet journaling growth at a glance
    Blog Ideas
    bullet journal blog ideas
    YouTube Ideas
    bullet journaling youtube ideas
    January Cover Page
    bullet journal January cover page
    January Calendar
    bullet journal January calendar
    Content Calendar
    bullet journaling content calendar
    Instagram Tracker
    bullet journal Instagram tracker
    Social Tracker
    bullet journaling social tracker
    Blog Tracker
    bullet journal blog tracker
    Work Tracker
    bullet journaling work tracker
    Weekly Spread
    bullet journaling weekly tracker

    And that’s a wrap!

    I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that if you haven’t ever done any bullet journaling you will give it a try!

    If you have any questions about bullet journaling or my setup, please let me know in the comments below or message me on Instagram!

    Happy bullet journaling!

    Much Love, Janae xoxo

    14 thoughts on “My 2021 Bullet Journaling Setup”

    1. This is such a great overview. My daughter does bullet Journaling but I haven’t tried because I am afraid it wouldn’t be as pretty. This just makes me really want to try!

      Reply
    2. Love this post! It makes the process of Bujo simple enough to apply but your images get me excited to get creative with my layouts this year. Thanks for sharing! After a lull in 2020 you’ve helped inspire me to get back to journaling 🙂

      Reply
    3. I am SO beyond impressed by your bullet journal! I knew of bullet journal, and love putting pen to paper, but I struggle in that I have a kindergartners writing! Yours on the other hand….Wow.😍 What can’t you do, Janae?! After this article, I may have to invest in a boju of my own🤭😉😘

      Reply

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