This post is part of the series Bullet Journals

I’ve always been a list girl. To-do lists, shopping lists, routine lists, cleaning lists … if it’s something with steps, I’m all over it. David gave me my first “real planner” back in 1991. It was a Franklin Covey planner and it was awesome! I used Franklin planners for years after that. All the way until the iPhone, I think. I tried every app and system known to man, but there’s something about the writing of things that’s cathartic, revealing and informative. Electronic lists and planners simply wouldn’t cut it.

So back to paper planners, I went. I tried the Franklin planner again, the Happy Planner, and others. And then, back in April of 2016, I tried a bullet journal. And it was a game changer.

A bullet journal is a master-list keeper of sorts, that can be anything and everything you want it to be. Check out to learn more about the method as it was originally intended. I think the best approach is to study the method, and then allow yourself the freedom to discover your own method.

Once you get looking around, you’ll find a plethora of bullet journal examples, many with art that will blow your mind. I am not so crafty as all that. I like it, I just can’t do it. Plus, I don’t have the time. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll love seeing examples of other people’s journals because it will help you inform your own choices. Which brings me to today! I want to share with you my 2017 journal (at least the first one, I expect I’ll use two to three this year) and the method I’m currently enjoying.

When I started using a bullet journal, I bought a grid notebook for $5 at Office Max. It’s was a good journal, and a great first one as it helped me discover if the bullet journal (BuJo for short) method was going to be a good one for me.

Now I use a Leuchtturm1917, medium size hardcover A5 notebook with dotted pages and I LOVE it. The feel of the hardcover book, the weight of the pages, the quality of the binding–these are the reasons I love this notebook.

I don’t have favorite markers or anything like that, but I am absolutely addicted to the G2 Pen, 0.38 ultra fine point. and this handy caddy is perfect for mobility around the house. I also use the Leuchtturm pen loop so I can keep my pen with my book at all times. Last year I did whatever color notebooks I felt like at the time. This year, though, I think I’ll try to keep to one color (I already have two of the raspberry journals above, so raspberry it is!) I think it’ll help keep my storage uniform and well, the “order” of it appeals to me.

Okay! Pardon the poor picture qualities, but come take a look inside my BuJo!

My first attempt at art. And the quote to shape my purpose for the year.

I chose the word THRIVE as my focus word for 2017. I want to do more than just survive in my hurty body, ya know? If I can’t make IT do the things I want it to do, then by golly I’m going to do all I can to enjoy, love and succeed at my life despite it. I’m going to THRIVE.

In preparation for the new year, I worked through guided coursework created by Kim at Sublime Reflection. The life categories and top ten goals here are from that worksheet–though now I’ve refined them a bit. Mainly, my top TWO goals are to 1) Draw nearer to God and 2) Treat my writing like a full time job. (Which I should have been doing for a long time now but have always fallen short of.)

My master calendar (titled as a nod to the Doctor). It carries on over two more pages.
Master task list and a place to corral gift ideas.
A “Happy Home” spread to keep track of home cleaning routines. One of my goals this year is to discover “Me-Friendly” routines that I can stick to.
Movies, TV & Books tracker to give me a spot to jot down what’s coming out that I’d like to check out. I put “Favorites” on my list of pages I wanted to create but now I can’t remember what it was supposed to be for. Time will tell!

I’m the president of my sons’ lacrosse club, so I’ve included a place to track notes and spending. I wish I’d also included a schedule of games and such. The coolest part about BuJo’s is that I can add in a LaX calendar ANYWHERE. I’ll add it to my index (another reason to love the Leuchtturm because it comes with a built-in index and numbered pages – otherwise you have to create your own) and maybe even add a tab for easy access).

My writing spread is probably my favorite and the one I’m most eager to start using. It’s got a place to track the projects, their genre, series, projected and actual release dates. And it also has a pixel calendar to track my daily word counts throughout the year. This is purely for fun. I have a goal of writing four thousand words a day, which is totally do-able for me, I’m just bad at getting my butt in the chair and doing the work. So I want to track my progress in a pretty way just for kicks and giggles.

A place to collect blog ideas and categorize them – then schedule them. The calendar didn’t quite turn out as planned. Oh well. It’s all a work in progress and perfection is NOT the aim of the game.
A Book of Mormon reading map! You could easily do this for the Bible or any other scripture or text that you want to read this year! And of course my super simple January titlepage, with penguins I cut off a super cute Christmas card I got this year.

Weekly spread! It gives me an overview of what I can expect from my week and the tasks I must accomplish.

I made my January titlepage and calendar before I remembered that I really like to use Washi Tape to define the start of each month. I made little tabs (you can sort of see them on the left page in the image above) so the page is easy to grab. I do this on each month, seasonally color-coded to some extent for easy visibility. It’s very handy! Except when you put it on AFTER you’ve done your spread, it messes with your pretty text and what have-you. Note to Self: Remember to add the washi before creating the monthly layout.

An example of a daily spread with a place for scheduling on the left and journaling on the right.
An example of a Saturday/Sunday spread.

And there you have it! I hope some of these ideas help spark ideas of your own and they’re helpful to you. I highly recommend you check out #bulletjournal and #bulletjournaljunkies on Instagram – and then join the Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook group. Lots of super amazing help, support and ideas there.

So what about YOU? Do you keep a planner of any kind? Are you tempted by bullet journals? Do you have any questions? 

Oh, and let’s not forget …




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