There is nothing like the amazing feeling that comes with starting a new bullet journal. Maybe you’ve switched brands and you’re excited to use the better paper. Or maybe your previous one was so loved it was falling apart. But finally, the time is here to switch!! You sit down one evening, eager to set it up… and…
You don’t know where to start.
If you’re anything like me, with the excitement of a new journal, comes a little bit of panic. And that’s because you need to make sure you save enough pages in the front for all the collections you need for your time in that journal.
Over time I have become less worried about adding collections later in the journal, but there are always some staples that I know I’m going to regularly use and want in the front. As well as suggesting page ideas, I will offer some other ways to keep your collections together if migrating them between journals is too much work each time, or you can’t get started with your monthlies because you need ALL of the collections together.
- Archer and Olive Journal – The lovely and thick pages have no bleeding or ghosting, so you get a clean start for every spread/drawing! Also, it means you can decorate your spreads without worrying about it.
- Pencil – To carefully plan out your ideas so you can make sure your spread has everything you need.
- Fineliners – My favourites are the Unipin fineliners as they’re waterproof, affordable and have a strong nib.
- Decorative Touch (optional) – This could be anything from washi to watercolour, or of course, nothing! I usually like to adda personal touch to my spreads so they’re more fun to use and look at.
I always like to put a quote on the first page that sets the tone of what I want to focus on the next six months. It’s bit similar to picking a word for the year, but I’ve recently preferred a quote.
About Me Page
A fun challenge that was going around on Instagram a little while ago was creating an About Me page in your journal to let people get to know you a little more. Even if you don’t share pictures of your journal online, this page is really fun to create. It’s also great to look back on in years to come to see if any of your likes/dislikes/favourites have changed!
If you’re new to the system, or you have a lot of signifiers to remember, you may want to include a key at the beginning to refer back to.
An index is brilliant for keeping on track of where everything is in your bullet journal. Here you can list all the spreads/sections of your journal and note which page they’re on. This way, when you need a specific collection or weekly spread, you can quickly see where it is in your index instead of having to flick through all the pages. You can either make your index chronological, or have a separate section for calendar and collection spreads.
This is one of the most important spreads I include in my journal. Most people, me included, usually only have one month set up in advance. Therefore, a future log is the main area for booking appointments/events in advance.
I always like to include a spread for goals at the beginning of each journal. I like to set a mixture of small, big, short-term and long-term goals so there’s always something to work towards throughout the year.
Most people have gone completely digital with their finances, but I find that writing out my incomings, outgoings, monthly expenditure and budgets helps me keep more on track with my spending and more likely to save money.
There’s no better feeling than when you have happy mail on the way! I don’t usually order things online, but when I do I usually order a few things, so I like to write it down to keep track. This way I can notice if something I’ve ordered hasn’t turned up, or I can check when it’s due to arrive in one easily accessible place.
An important spread to always have in the front of your journal – a big wish list of things you want but can’t afford! But honestly, because I’m usually saving every penny for living costs/uni etc. when I do have some money left over at the end of the month it’s nice to treat myself, and this is a great way to remember the things I really want/need rather than impulse buying. Having the want/need section has been especially useful.
If you are at school or university, your bujo really can be the thing that keeps you on track of your classes/deadlines/social life. Three must have spreads for me is a timetable, deadline tracker and specific subject task lists.
If you have a side business that is not quite big enough to warrant it’s own journal, it’s great to include a spread in the front to keep on track of things. I like to track things like my monthly income, plans, goals and achievements.
I love collection list spreads! They’re basically lists of things you want to do/try etc. sorted into a theme with similar things.
Here are some Collection spread ideas you may want to include:
- Books to read
- Recipes to try
- Tv shows to watch
- Films to watch
- Places to visit
Other Placement Ideas
If after all this, you’re still panicked you’ll miss something out, there are a few things you can do!
1. Have your collections in a separate, dedicated bullet journal. This is also great if you use a lot of collections, you don’t want transfer them between journals each time or if you go through journals quite quickly. The only thing is you either have to carry around two journals, or keep the collections one at home. You could also use the Travel Notebook system so your not carrying as much bulk.
2. Put your collections in the back of your journal. This means you can keep adding things throughout your time using the journal without worrying about how it will fit in with your monthly planning, and they will all stay together without having to save pages in the front. This way you will have your collections in the same journal. I will say it is a bit weird to get used to everything being in the back, but honestly it’s not any different once you do.
Hopefully I’ve given you some motivation to start your new journal, and maybe even given you some ideas for spreads. If you have, I would love to see it, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your recreation featured in my stories!