Bullet Journal · Pen & Paper

Bullet Journal: Lessons Learned

I’ve done a couple of bullet journal posts before, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see a lot of bullet journaling posts.

I’ve been using a bullet journal consistently for about two years.  I’m not really a neatly organized person.  I live and thrive in organized chaos.  That made it tough to find a planner system that really worked for me.

I wasn’t busy enough for an hourly layout.  I ended up hating vertical layouts.  I wanted to have Saturday and Sunday listed separately – not just as “weekend,” with the same amount of space the rest of the days had.  Ii wanted to track aspects of my heath and track habits as I worked on building new ones.  I wanted a bigger notes section.

Pretty picky when it comes to traditional planners.  I was better off designing my own planner from scratch.  That’s when I learned about the bullet journal.  It’s exactly what you want it to be.  You can change it based on your needs and preferences week-to-week, or even day-to-day.

Bullet journals vary person to person, and the reality of how flexible the system really is came in focus for me when I met up with two friends, Jess and Kayla, a few weekends ago.  They are both fairly new to bullet journaling and wanted to pull ideas from my experiences, past spreads, and favorite tools.  I also was very interested in seeing what spreads and tools they used.

We all tracked some habits and/or health-related things in our bullet journals.  Jess sets her tracker up next to her monthly layout, like I do, but I moved my health tracker to my weekly spreads.  Kayla struggled with marking her tracker consistently.  She said she felt that she had too many things she wanted to track and felt overwhelmed.  The biggest thing Kayla wanted to track was moods, though.  She had started a Year In Pixels spread that she fell off of pretty quickly.  So I shared how my mood tracking evolved.

When I first started tracking my moods, I loved the way I would see themed drawings that people colored in little sections of on Instagram and Pinterest.  I tried my hand at it for a few months, using stamps instead of drawings.  Then I came across a post on Instagram that I adored.  So I stole it, as you do in the bullet journal community.

Kayla liked the idea, too.  For me, being able to note a couple of events during the day or thoughts that might be making me feel a certain way is very helpful, especially since I suffer from depression.  I think it ends up being more accurate when you look back and say “Well, I can see it was a stressful time at work, since that’s what I noted the most.”  It gives me more insight into my moods and what really affects them.

Something I took from Kayla is that she has a section in her weekly spread dedicated to tracking tasks related to her craft projects.  Since I am also a crafter, and I have a hard time keeping up with projects I’m working on.  So I’m going to work something like that in my weeklies.

Jess had a handle on what she wanted to get out of her bullet journal.  She’s trying different things on a weekly basis.  But she art journals and we shared some ideas on that topic.  Jess is a very artistic person.  She uses watercolors and markers and doodles all over her spreads.

Anyway, check out the pictures below for your own inspiration!  And if you’re new to bullet journaling, check out what the creator of the system has to say.

The way I’m currently setting up my monthlies.


One of my old weekly spreads that I used for about 3 months.


An old weekly spread that I used for about a month. I liked the minimal set up.


This is the weekly spread is what I rounded off 2017 with. I did something similar without the washi tape to start 2018.


This is the setup I’m currently using for my weeklies. The stickers make for an easy setup!

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