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How to set up a new bullet journal

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Aaah the new year means a new bullet journal! Today I'm showing you how I set up a bullet journal for the new year and semester. With my bullet journal I keep up with a full course load, a part time management position at a clothing store, an internship, and of course this blog. A journal typically lasts me a semester or about six months, so this is a twice-a-year process for me.

1. Get it together

I start out by getting a few things, most of which I used last year except for the notebook of course. This year I'm using this purple, squared Moleskine notebook. I also use some notecards cut in half, some high lighters, and a few cute stickers I've piled up over the course of a year.

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2. Number your pages

Every time I get a new Moleskine I like to start out by numbering all the pages, which doesn't take as much time as you'd think. I only number the odd pages, so it goes pretty quick. Numbering your pages will help you find things later on. Don't worry too much if you miss a page while numbering, I did it this year and it wasn't the end of the world.

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3. Make your keys

Next I take the index card and cut it in half, then use a Scrapbooking thing to round the corners, not mandatory but whatever. One card will be used for my class schedule, another for my icon key,  and last for my color coding system, which you can read all about here.

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My bullet journal key use to be a lot larger, but after using my planner for a few semesters I've really boiled it down into three basic bullet points. Here you can see last year's key and this year's, it's basically the same exact thing.

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Next I use colored pens to make my class color key. This upcoming semester I'll be taking four classes, shown below. I assign a color to each class and put these dates on my monthly calendar. You can read more about the tools I use to keep up with classes in this post. Here you can see my last semester's classes and my new classes for this spring.

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My third and last index card is for my color coding system, which I'm keeping the same into the new semester. This system helps me keep up with my internship, job, school, clubs, and personal stuff. 

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I stick these three index cards into the front cover with some washi tape.
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4. Fill in your info and make a password sheet

Next I write my name, phone number, and school email address onto the front cover, in case I lose it. I also use the very first page to write out my passwords and usernames, both shown below. I hate playing having to search all over the place for my passwords, and this page is hard to write on so I don't like to use it for my first entry. 
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5. Make your index

My very next two pages of my bullet journal are dedicated to my index. I usually end up with two indexes by the end of my book, but one is fine for now. This is where those numbered pages become helpful. I literally just title the first of the two pages "Index" and add the first few things, like my passwords page, index, and monthly calendar –more on that later.

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Here's what my full index looked like at the end of my last bullet journal. You can see how I used my color code system to keep up with the different entries of my journal. Obviously I did a lot of blogging–pink– this past year.

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6.  Make your first monthly spread

I like a traditional monthly spread for my bullet journal, so for January I simply listed out the days 1-31, then beside each day marked the day of the week. I also draw a line between the Saturday and Sunday of each week, just so it's easy for me to find dates quickly. Here I keep up with my weekly work schedule and any events I have during the month. I also like to do a simple geometric doodle around the Month.

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On the right side of the spread I write out to-dos or goals I have for the month. Here I've written a few already like miss zero classes and update my creative cloud subscription. 

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7. Transfer anything you need into the new year

The last thing I do to set up a new bullet journal is go through my old one and flag anything I need to transfer into my new book. Normally it's lists like "Books to Read," "Blog ideas," or to-do lists for long term projects.

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Whether it's your first bullet journal or you're on your tenth journal I hope you were able to pick up some set up tips from this post. Comment below or tweet me your variations and other bullet journaling tips.



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4 comments:

  1. This is such a unique way to keep things organized, I don't know if I could get the hang of it! Very cool though.

    Emma | Seeking the South

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never tried a bullet journal, but I love making to-do lists. I'll look into getting a bullet journal this year. Thanks for the helpful guide!
    -Kim
    www.simplybeingkim.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whoa. I'm so impressed.
    You're a hardcore journaler/scheduler! I wish I were half as organized as you.

    It's crazy how keeping a diary/journal/daily agenda can really cut back on your stress. I recently made my own daily schedule, and it's already helped so much. I love the idea of keeping a list of passwords in the front of the journal. Right now, I have all of mine for my blogging accounts in the notes of my iPhone. I feel like that's a sketch situation waiting to happen...

    Also, washi tape is dope. Love that stuff.

    Okay, I'm off to pretend to be as organized as you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a great post for getting your journal set up! The first of 2016 came and went and my bullet journal is a little neglected! I'll have to get on that. Great post!

    Kate
    Kateintheclassroom.com

    ReplyDelete