Bullet Journal – One Month Update

Title Image-Bullet Journal-One Month Update


Before I go into today’s post, you may be wondering: What is a bullet journal?

The Bullet Journal was developed by Ryder Carroll. It is an analog system of organizing, recording, planning and journaling all in one. For a real breakdown, I recommend you go to BulletJournal.com and get the full rundown from the creator himself. That’s were I started!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve no doubt seen me posting snapshots of by bullet journal as I take part in the #planwithmechallenge hosted by Jessica at Pretty Prints and Paper, Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine and Kara at Boho Berry. First off, these lovely ladies have been such an inspiration to me, their blogs and instagram accounts are #goals. Seriously, go follow them now! I’ll wait here.

Taking part in the January #planwithmechallenge has taught me so much about bulletjournaling. I’ve grown so much in mindset, focus and productivity that I honestly didn’t realize how quickly time flew.

I mean, it’s been exactly six weeks since I started using the bullet journal. Six weeks!! I can hardly believe it. It feels like so much more time has passed because of how productive and amazing this time has been.

Thanks to the bullet journal, I feel more creative and more able to express myself through whichever medium I choose to use. I’m not sure what it is about the bullet journal that’s allowing this flow of creative energy, but it’s amazing and it’s not something I’m going to question or stop!

Today I’m diving into my bullet journal page by page (for the most part ^.^). I’ll be sharing with you the basics of my bujo; what works for me, what didn’t, the layouts and spreads that I like most, and the things that I’ll be carrying over into next month.

So let’s get started.


At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d even like bullet journaling. So I didn’t want to buy a bunch of materials that I was going to end up regretting. When it comes down to it though, all you need is a notebook and a pen (or pencil, whatever floats your boat).

The Leuchtturm1917 is one of the popular choices and will be my next choice in notebooks when I’m done filling up the one I am currently using. However, in the meantime, I’ve been doing just fine with a regular journal. That’s right, I have a normal journal with normal lined paper.

I simply cut out grid paper and paste it into my journal whenever I want to do a layout or spread that would benefit from some gridlines. It’s easy and simple. Doing this allowed me to try out bullet journaling without committing to purchasing anything “special”.

Getting Started

The first step of setting up any bullet journal is establishing a key. I figured that I might want to adjust the system Ryder created so I copied his original key on the back of an index card and slipped it inside of an envelope. (I also keep stamps inside the envelope along with other index cards for when I need them.) Over time, I found that I really liked the original key, so I haven’t changed it. But I do like that I gave myself the option of flexibility, just in case.

This is a trend with me…I like to be flexible and change things that don’t work for me. I’m always willing to try something once. However if it doesn’t serve me and I can’t adjust it to suit me then I don’t want work with it anymore.

The bullet journal is one of the most flexible and fluid planning solutions for creativity and focus that I’ve ever seen. I could shout that I love my bullet journal from the top of a mountain and doing so wouldn’t be enough to express how amazing this thing is.

Anyway, where was I? The key! Yes. Make a key.


Next, I drew out an index over the span of three pages. I figure if I need more space I’ll just add an additional index further down the line if/whenever that comes up.


I don’t do too much future planning at the moment. So I stick to the basic six month layout.


Over the past month and a half, I found that I have little use for the monthly spread and the monthly goal spread. I set both pages up for December but saw that they got little use. Because of that they didn’t make a reappearance in my January set up.

I can’t stress enough how flexible and fluid the bullet journal is. If I want to try something out, then I can try it out for the day, for a week or a month. It’s completely up to me. If I don’t like it, I can change it! No more feeling confined to a box like with old planner systems.

Baby Kevin wanted to look at the page. Apparently, in 18-month-old lingo what that really meant is he just wanted to tear it. Oppsies happen.

I was determined that I needed to be able to “see” the month ahead, so I created a monthly view. I also made one for January in advance, anticipating that I’d want one. But after the second week of using my bullet journal I realized that I didn’t need to see my month this way anymore.


I used the monthly view to plan by blog posts for a while, but because I’m always changing when I want to post I now use a Blog Editorial Calendar in Trello to do all my heavy lifting. I have Kara at Boho Berry and her tutorial on Trello for helping me with that! Love her!


Day-to-Day Setup

For a while I simply wrote out each day as they began (all the while testing out designs and my limited art skills). Side Note: you absolutely DO NOT need to be artistic to start a bullet journal. I wanted to challenge myself to be more artsy and the bullet journal allows for this creative expression.


Writing out my dailies at the beginning of each day gave me room to write out as much or as little as I needed to.


But over time, I realized I was writing less on my dailies as more of the things that had piled up around the house were getting done and I was learning to prioritize my daily tasks (i.e being intentional about the things I wanted to do for the day).

So I migrated to a system where I wrote out the week over a span of a couple of pages. Incorporating a “Review” of the previous week and a “Weekly Goal” section for the week ahead.


Right now this is the system that works best for me on a daily basis because it gives me a little bit of wiggle room for future planning. For example, if something is coming up for that week I just skip ahead to that day.



Bullet Journal One Month Update Pin

Bookish/Book Blogging Layouts

As any good bookdragon, I have to keep all my bookish things somewhere!! I have a page for “Books to Review”, “Books to Read”, “Books to Listen To”, and “ARCs to Read and Review”.



Being the tag queen for a while, I made a layout for tags that I had been nominated for and my progress on those tags.IMG_3691

Not being able to help myself, I also made a layout for the tags that I saw and wanted to do and tag others into. However, since I’ll be giving tags a break for the foreseeable future, these layouts will be out of commission.IMG_3693

Other layouts I have and continue to add on to as I go:





Trackers and Logs

I have a hard time keeping track of all the things I have out there and am waiting on a response for. Drawing inspiration from Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine, I created my own “Waiting On” spread for critiques that I’m waiting on.


One of my biggest additions to my bullet journal was the “Gratitude Log”. I had already been writing down at least three things I was grateful for on my daily pages but I wanted to be able to see them collected in one place. So I borrowed from two of my favorite bullet journalists, Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine who created the Gratitude Log to begin with and Kara at Boho Berry and drafted up my own.

Keeping a gratitude log has not only helped me be more appreciative of all the amazing things and people in my life but it has also helped me tap into my creativity and unleash potential that I didn’t realize was lying around unused. Being grateful for the small things does wonders!


I keep a weight tracker to help motivate me. I don’t do it daily because sometimes I forget, but doing it daily can help me be more mindful as the day goes on and watch for trends. For example, if over the course of a week I implement a new habit I like to look back and see what effect that had (if any) on my weight, that kind of stuff.


I also love my habit tracker. I like to look at it more as something to look back on all the things I did rather than the things I didn’t do. It’s nice to see all the colored in squares and motivates me to get more done!

I also have chronic migraines so being able to track the headache free days is good for me and my doctor.IMG_3703

To help me see my progress and achievements each month, I set up two separate stat-trackers, one for my life and one for the blog. I think it will be really neat and encouraging to watch the personal growth on these pages throughout the year!



Living a More Productive & Fulfilled Life, One Day at a Time

At the beginning of the year, I set out some big dreams! I knew that I wanted to really reach for them this year, to really make those dreams come true and never before have I been more motivated to make things happen, to get out there and pound the pavement to make dreams into reality.

My bullet journal has been instrumental in keeping me accountable to those goals that I set out by helping me track my progress, by helping me celebrate the victories (big and small) and by helping me get more important stuff done!

After one month of using my bullet journal I am more productive, more intentional, more present, more creative, more grateful, more patient, more joyful, and more passionate. I feel more alive!

By getting things straight on paper and by following up those plans with precise action, I’ve achieved more than I’ve ever achieved in such a short amount of time. That’s what I call a victory!


I hope that I’ve inspired you to start your own bullet journal and motivated you to start on your own journey of increased productivity, creativity and gratitude.

Do you have any questions about bullet journaling? Let me know in the comments! I’ll do my absolute best to answer any questions that you have! 

Keep Reading and Keep Writing,


 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

23 thoughts on “Bullet Journal – One Month Update

    1. I love the system that Ryder developed. There’s an official “Bullet Journal” that can be purchased from the site but it’s always sold out and like I said I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it. Overall, it’s been a life changer and I can’t imagine planning and organizing any other way!

  1. Wow, your bullet journal looks amazing! Just looking at the pictures make me want to go and be productive. Perhaps I’ll start my own some day, although I know I’m ridiculously lazy when it comes to tracking anything (except NaNoWriMo words). In any case, thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Niina!! I’m so happy that you liked looking at the pictures! I encourage you to start one! If you need any ideas just drop me a line and I’ll be more than happy to brainstorm with you! I love it for it’s functionality, it helps me track but it also just is the best way for me to plan my tasks for the day! It’s really helped me learn to be intentional and focused with what I want to get accomplished in a day!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and the bujo love!!

  2. That sounds amazing, I’ll have to give this a try I think. And I suppose if I have to buy a new notebook then I can live with that, too. I love all the pictures you included, I want to take notes just looking at them!
    May I ask you whether you’d recommend Instagram to another writer? Has it been a useful way of promoting your writing? I’m on the fence about joining the bandwagon.

    1. I am still trying to figure out my platform on Instagram so I’m not sure if I’m the best person to ask. I do think it is a great platform to build and engage an audience. I think it has the potential to build community, I’ve seen it. But as a writer trying to break into to instagram, I have had little success. I have had an increase in followership due to my participation in the #planwithmechallenge and being an active participant in the bullet journal community, and I’ve seen increased engagement in the bookstagram community but from other writers not so much. It would depend on what kind of brand identity you’re seeking to share on instagram. Personally, I don’t like accounts with a bunk of pictures of people and their daily lives. I like instagram accounts that seek to inspire or engage me. So those are the accounts I follow and that’s what I try to do. I do post personal pics every now and then, but it’s infrequent. When I first started instagram I had no vision for my account so it was mostly selfies and pics of my kids. I’ve since worked towards rebranding my account so it can grow and have greater outreach. I hope somewhere along that longwinded explanation, I’ve answered your question or at least inspired ideas!
      And I fully support your bullet journaling endeavors!! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask! ^.^

      1. Thank you for the detailed reply! I’d mostly use it for behind-the-scenes pics of my writerly routine (a fellow writer on twitter pointed that option out to me and I do so like behind-the-scenes pics!) so it would be mostly pics of my book-related things like new maps, my mascot (my cat) getting in the way and other book related things. I was so against Instagram when I was a photography student that I know very little about it and its uses.
        I’m having the bullet journal website open right now!! It speaks to the part of me that loves organising things with highlighters. It feels like a lot to take in, though, there seems to be so much info on the website. Was it easy to get used to?

      2. Lol! Thanks for your patience in reading such a LONG reply!! I am definitely no expert in Instagram. I HAVE seen the increase in Instagram following and it IS something that I want to be better at, but I’m learning too! We can learn together!! ^.^
        And I totally understand about the bullet journal site feeling like a lot to take in. But I promise that it was really easy to get used to. Try starting with just daily pages. So write the date and day at the top of your page, use the “rapid logging” method to list out your tasks and at mark them done as you go. At the end of the day, write the next day’s “header” (which is just the date and day again) and “migrate” any unfinished tasks over. Part of rewriting tasks over and over is learning to be intentional with the tasks we set each day (you could also set a weekly task list instead). Any other questions, just toss them my way!

    2. Instagram IS helpful in promoting. I actually know a guy who is an expert on book marketing with Instagram. He is in the process of writing a post for my website, Author Branding Essentials. When it is up, I’ll give Nicolette the info to pass on to you.

  3. Hi Nicolette! Love how you shared so many wonderful pages of your Bullet Journal! So awesome to see your progress and how you’re changing things up as you see fit 🙂 By the way, I created the gratitude log as well 😉 It’s one of my favorite creations, for sure! Kara loves it just as much as I do 🙂

    1. Hi Kim!!! (A little star struck right now, thank you so much for visiting my site, you’re such an inspiration to me! I visit your site regularly for tips on writing, focus, and how to use my bujo effectively!)

      And yes! I am so sorry I know that (knew that?) you created the gratitude log, let me fix that and attribute properly! Thank you so much for being a continued source of valuable information, inspiration and guidance! Your Jan set-up post and your blog & business bujo post have been my inspo for my February set up. If I can get all my things in order (pics etc), I plan to share it in a post (and credit you, of course!) to encourage other writers and hopefully help them focus on their writing, since that is something that I want to be more intentional about this month!

      1. Aw, no worries, Nicolette! Such a pretty name, by the way! You are so sweet! I am happy you’re enjoying my blog ❤ I look forward to more peeks of your beautiful Bujo! 🙂 Stay classy.

      2. Thanks Kim! And thank YOU for putting together such an inspiring blog. I’ve been feeling like I’m in an “inspo” rut lately and scrolling through your posts has been helping. Still not sure where I’m going, but I think I’m getting close to some answers through mind mapping and just journaling it out. 🙂

  4. This is literally one of those things that looks sooooo motivating but I know my lazy ass will never do properly. Like those moments where you watch a Youtube video of someone working out and you think “this is so amazing! I have to do this” while eating a packet of crisps XD. SO awesome though! I’ll try it soon 🙂

    1. HAHA!!! Tristen!! I love you!!! AHH!! You’re here! I mean I know you always read but you’re here in the comments!!! YEAH!!! ^.^ (In case someone’s trolling around my comments I should say that you’re the best critique partner in the world…you know…just so everyone knows…..) *clappy hands*

  5. AHH THIS IS AMAZING. Although I don’t think I could do it. Looks way too organised/complex for me :’) I think I’ll just stick to my daily to-do lists. I do keep a diary, though.

    One day, maybe! I’m inspired by everyone’s bullet-journaling, that’s for sure 🙂

    1. First off, thank you sooo much!!! I’m sooo flattered that you like my bullet journal! ^.^
      Also, I totally know/understand where you’re coming from on it being/looking way too organized/complex. When I first SAW the bullet journal system I was like police cat, so many levels of NOPE! I felt overwhelmed just looking at it. But I’m always refining my system to work for me, and if things aka LIFE just gets too crazy for me, I drop it back to the basics and just keep my daily to-dos as well. It’s so flexible, it does what I want when I want it. I journal in it too so I keep all my brain dumping stuff in one place. (I used to be that girl who was all “just give me one sec while I pencil this in my green notebook” then proceeded to search uselessly for the green to find the blue and the pink and triumphantly pull out the LIME but not find the green….LOL. I love stationary so yeah..I used to have lots of journals…
      But I really do recommend a bullet journal! I love mine, I love doing it MY way, which is translation for the fact that it’s always changing and growing to suit my needs, which is how I like it. 🙂

  6. How WONDERFUL that you found an organizational/planning/journaling system that works for you, especially if it’s boosting your creative energy!! Not sure if I’m ready to dive into Bullet Journal of my own yet, but I would like to do a better job of tracking goals, so I was thinking of trying out Victoria Schwab’s calendar system. I recently ran across a video of her discussing it, and it sounded perfect–especially when I found out stickers were involved. XD

    Nicolette, you have BEAUTIFUL handwriting. Sadly, my handwriting was ruined by note-taking in college, and it never recovered.

    1. Thanks Eve!!! 😍 I truly live and breathe by my bujo and it really is the best way for me to keep my goals in sight and manage them and adjust them as I see fit! I haven’t heard/seen VS’s calendar but now I’m totally intrigued and will be checking it out also bc I’m such a planner girl any new planning ideas I see I sometimes like to borrow and reform to use for my own purposes! So thanks for the tip, I’ll be looking her’s up now. 😊

      Oh thank you sooo so much for such a lovely compliment! I do try and it means so much to me that you noticed my handwriting! ❤️❤️❤️

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.