Hey everyone! Today, I’m writing about my bullet journal for the first time ever! I’ve done lifestyle posts in the past, but I’ve never shared information about my journal or how I use it. I’m sharing my March Bullet Journal Setup today, and I couldn’t be more excited! Since my bullet journal is a huge part of my life and my main organizational system, I thought it was almost unnatural that I hadn’t written about it on the blog!
In today’s post, I’ll cover a variety of topics:
- A basic overview of bullet journalling
- My March theme & how I created my art
- Why I bullet journal
- My personal journalling system
I hope you’re ready to dive in, because I’m about to do just that! Let’s go!
Bullet Journalling: An Overview
So what is bullet journalling, exactly? The easy answer is “bullet journalling means different things to different people” — which is certainly correct, but not particularly helpful. I think of bullet journalling as a kind of DIY agenda system that the artist can alter to fit their needs. When I started bullet journalling almost two years, I thought I couldn’t use it for school. I set aside my journal for a few months and used a normal agenda to keep track of tests and assignments. Since then, however, I’ve figured out how to use bullet journalling to keep track of everything in my life. I even use it for blog purposes!
There are three main types of “spreads” in bullet journaling: monthly, weekly, and daily. Today, I’m sharing my monthly spreads and setup for March. My setup includes a title page, a calendar, tasks and goals for the month, trackers, a bit of journaling, and a “brain dump” page. Let’s take a look!
My March Theme
This is my calendar layout for March. My monthly theme is clovers, as you can see on the side of this page! I used watercolors to paint these clovers. Once the watercolor paint was dry, I added in black details for clarity and “flair.” I really liked the look of the hanging clovers tied with bows. You’ll see that I repeated this in my “brain dump” spread later on.
To enhance my clover-themed March Bullet Journal Setup, I added a few Irish proverbs. As I mentioned in this St. Patrick’s Day-inspired post, I am Irish and proud of it! This proverb says “It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” I thought it was a lovely reminder that we are all interdependent. I tend to be aloof and independent, and I have a hard time accepting help from others. Hopefully, this proverb will remind me to open up more to my family and friends.
I’ve used watercolors in my journal without much success in the past. Since I am an amateur watercolorer, my chance of making a mistake is rather higher than I’d like it to be — especially when I’m dealing with my precious journal. To combat that, I did a lot of extra practice in a separate notebook before I made a mark in my bullet journal. As you can see in the above photo (my cover page for March), I painted a wreath of clovers and clover flowers on separate paper and pasted it into my journal. This allowed me a little leeway for mistakes AND allowed me to use a little more water and paint; the pages of my journal are prone to warping and bleeding/ghosting with watercolors.
Later on in my March Bullet Journal Setup, I painted directly onto the paper. I didn’t have any problems with this, because I used the paint as an accent rather than the main focus, like the title page wreath. You can see the accents below!
Goals and Trackers
On these two pages, I drew my goals/tasks spread and my tracker spreads. I set up my goals/tasks spread by breaking up my goals into a few different categories: personal development, giving & contribution, fitness & health, spirituality, school, career & business (that’s my blog!), and family & friends. These categories change from month to month, depending on what I want to focus on. These categories are loosely based on the Level 10 Life categories, which you can read more about here! This March, I’m focusing on personal development and giving & contribution.
On the other page, I have my sleep and habit trackers. I drew a little line at the 8-hour mark on my sleep tracker, so I can see my “goal” mark for sleep. (Spoiler alert: I don’t really achieve this goal unless it’s the weekend!) I fill out this tracker as I would a bar graph, with a gray bar for each day.
I also track my habits in a graph format, and I use little icons for each habit, and I draw in a black dot every time I complete one of those habits. This tracker helps me be more accountable with things I don’t always get done (but should). A few of my habits are SAT practice, leg length exercises, and yoga.
For every monthly setup, I try not to deviate from my color scheme. This month, that was easy — I just used the same seven or eight watercolors! I also discovered that I had a Mildliner that was the perfect shade of magenta. I used that to highlight the weekends and titles in the spread above. I’m also using my gray Mildliner to fill out my sleep tracker. (Mildliners are dual-ended Japanese markers. One side is a highlighter, and one is a fineliner.)
I’ve never been big on journalling or keeping a diary, but I like to write a line or two per day so I have something to look back on. This March, I have a “one line a day” spread and an “I’m so lucky” spread. In the first spread, I’ll write one line per day (wow, you probably couldn’t figure that out) about whatever I get up to that day. In the second spread, I’ll write one thing that I’m lucky for each day . . . to go with the clover/Irish/St. Patrick’s Day theme!
I love how this spread turned out, which is hilarious because the original version was terrible. I made a big mistake on the titles, so I rewrote them, added a few extra clovers, and put the whole thing together with some washi tape. Now, this is one of my favorite pages in my journal!
I bought my watercolor brush pen at Paper Source in Washington, DC, and I love it! Although I’m still a watercolor amateur, this is the only brush I use, and it works beautifully. Click here to visit Paper Source’s website! Just a warning, you will probably drop a ton of money on them if you’re a stationery/journal/pen addict like me. I bought some beautiful journals there, too!
Bullet Journalling and Mental Health
Although I run a Paleo/gluten-free health food blog, I wanted to publish this because I think mental health is SO important. My bullet journal is directly related to my mental health and indirectly related to my physical health. To be happy and healthy, I have to stay organized. If I don’t have my affairs in order, I will panic and have a breakdown. Essentially, my bullet journal prevents that from happening, and it forces me to take time for myself. We often put our mental health on the back burner, but it really is crucial to our overall health.
One of the best spreads in my journal is my Brain Dump spread. This is a page (okay, two) where I have the freedom to write whatever I want – recipe ideas, tasks, random quotes or books to read, and so on. This really helps me clear my head when the voices won’t shut up — I mean, when I’m a little overwhelmed. 😉
In Conclusion . . .
I hope you all enjoyed this post! It is officially the longest blog post I’ve ever written, which is pretty ironic! If you’re interested in starting your own bullet journal, I would suggest these bloggers and YouTubers:
Bullet Journal Official (Website)
Bullet journaling is a wonderful way to center yourself, organize your life, and take control of your mental health. It has truly changed my life!
If you liked this post, I would love it if you leave a little comment below! You don’t have to say much — just leave a little emoji or message to show that you liked this post. This post is 1488 words long, and while I love my journal, I don’t want to waste anyone’s time by writing something that won’t be read. If you think this is a post worth reading, I will write another one next month!
Thank you so much for reading! If you made it to the end, I’m impressed! 😉
Until next time!