Simple Bullet Journal Setup

simple bullet journal monthly spread

Simple Bullet Journal Setup to Stay Organized

How you can use a simple bullet journal setup to stay organized. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

The BuJo basics

First of all you might be asking yourself what is a bullet journal (BuJo for short). If you have ever kept a planner or calendar but feel overwhelmed with pre-printed pages and agendas, then the bujo may be just the thing for you!

I discovered simple bullet journaling in 2016 through the OG bullet journaler, Ryder Carroll. I have since adapted from his original methods and have a simple bullet journal setup and spreads that have become a part of my personal and professional organization. 

Bullet Journals can look different for everyone. For me, I have stuck with a dot grid style Leuchtturm1917 book (pronounced ‘loy-sh-term’) and it goes everywhere with me now. 

Simple Bullet Journal Setup

However, you can use a spiral or plain composition notebook, or a fancy schmancy journal/planner if you want. 

The Leuchtturm is perfect for me and it withstands being thrown into my bag and stuffed with extras for well over a year. I love the bright colors and the page numbers, and the paper quality takes my pens and watercolors. 

Speaking of pens and watercolors, that is another whole thing I love about my simple bullet journal setup. I use a variety of pens but again that is what is so great about the bullet journal method. You can use whatever floats your boat.

(See my post about my favorite colorful pen sets – it’s a ROY G. BIV good time!) 

Here are some of my favorite picks: 

  • Sakura Pigma Micron – 3 pack set –  These pens are what I use to make my calendar grid each month and my tracker and small calendar each week. They don’t smear when you use other highlighters, pens, or paint over the top. This 3 pack set is a great starter pack.  
  • Zebra Mildliners – these are what I use to highlight. They are super pigmented, bright, but transparent. 
  • Tombow Dual Tip Markers – These markers are LIFE! I use these for my weekly/daily pages. This is what I write the days of the week in and they are so fun to write with. This is the full set, which I would have purchased had I known how much I love these. Here are a couple of starter sets: Primary set and Bright set 
  • Tim Holtz Water Brush fine tip – This is the best brush for water color lettering. I have used this forever and it has held up beautifully. 
  • Lamy Al Star Fountain Pen – I have three of these fountain pens and I use this every day in my bullet journal for lists, notes, and every day writing. If you ever use a good fountain pen to write daily you will love it! This Rose Gold one is going on my wish list!  
  • Jane Davenport water colors – This bright set is one of my faves. I also have this neutral set.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

So, how does the Simple Bullet Journal Setup work? 

Get over perfection and don’t worry about the time of year you begin. In fact, I have never started a BuJo in January. This is about making something work for you, not fitting into the time of year most planners tell you it’s time to be organized. 

Here are 5 quick tips to get started on simple bullet journal organization:

  1. Start with a six month future log. Divide a two page spread into six grids and label the next six months (start with the month after when you begin. So if it’s currently August, start with September.
    • This is where you will add the events, deadlines, or other things you don’t need to forget in the future months.
  2. Next I do my monthly spread. I make an actual calendar grid and have fun with watercolors and stickers.
    • It’s my monthly glance and where I add birthdays, larger events, holidays. I also have a goal list I keep for the month on this page.
  3. I then have a weekly spread. I do this day by day, but I have also done this a full week at a time.
    • I also have my trackers and keep up with life’s details on these pages.
  4. I also have my quarterly goals, planning pages for projects, menus, birthdays and gift ideas, a brain dump page, and any other items I need to keep track of or reference.
  5. Trackers can also be full pages for the month, but I find I do better with mine weekly. Experiment with what works for you. 

I hope my simple bullet journal setup will spark some ideas for you to try your own bullet journal. 

You can keep it as black & white, and simple as you want; or add stickers, washi tape, and paint to keep it creative. Mine tends to waver back-and-forth between the two extremes. It is ever changing to my needs and I would be lost without my bullet journal! 

My October monthly spread has changed quite a bit from 2016 to 2019. simple bullet journal monthly spread

Bullet Journal monthly spread

The possibilities are endless for bullet journal setup and making them as simple as you need them to get started. The key is letting them work for you and your organization needs. 

bullet journal setup

Simple Bullet Journal Setup to Stay Organized

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