With December 2019 in the past, I thought it was the perfect time to share my first BuJo design!
In November 2019, I saw so many beautiful BuJos but I never really wanted to make one. They seemed perfect and complicated and my anxiety piqued every time I thought, Hey, why don't you give it a crack?!
After my prior planning system failed and didn't offer much in the way of tracking anything, I decided December would be the month I would try it out. If it didn't work, the world needn't know about it. Except it did work. And it looks horrible!
I had no idea of brush pens or GSM to ink ratio and the only thing I had handy was a Quill Sketch Pad.
So, I relented. I pulled out every page and stuck the book together with clips! I'm proud to say that this did the job.
Without further ado, let's take a look at this ghosting, bleeding, delightful mess!
Through my countless hours spent on YouTube checking out BuJo spreads in my spare time, I came across the concept for the "theme" page. Though I cannot remember who I took the idea from!
Unfortunately, I forgot to use this with my January BuJo spread, but I don't think it is overly necessary.
Then I created a legend, you might know this better as a key.
This legend worked for me to some degree. I like to strikethrough when the task is completed, but I haven't found another option for the cancelled task, so it has stayed the same for January's spread. Next to this spread a lot of people draw something or write a quote, so I did both!
I wrote one of the most famous, contradicting lines from Animal Farm and drew Napoleon with a whip (not an original image, but I forgot to note down who drew it originally!). This was fun because I once had the idea to get the pigs tattooed on me—this could still happen—but haven't finished the design. If you aren't familiar with Animal Farm, I highly recommend the read! (And the study that follows it.)
I loved the heading style and it seemed to be the most common at the time. I decided to stick to the basics just so I wouldn't stress out if a complicated design turned out horribly.
January's spread is rather different and I definitely prefer it over December's spread...
The quote under the calendar reads let the ruling class tremble at a communist revolution.
Okay, confession time...
I really loved the habit and wellbeing trackers, they were the best part about this spread! I loved seeing my progress and bad habits throughout the month, but I didn't like how I didn't know why I felt a certain way. I could see that I was stressed, particularly on the 21st of December, but I can't tell you why.
The problem with the wellbeing tracker is that I wasn't supposed to draw lines. Yup, it was supposed to be a graph and I drew all those nasty lines for no reason. Eesh. It was rough when I realised I had already started drawing the lines and would have to continue. I contemplated throwing the entire thing out. A deep breath and some wine helped to soothe those thoughts.
Over the page, I wrote another quote—not the best looking one, I'll admit. This one is from 1984 by George Orwell: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.
This is also where I attempted to write a monthly TBR. Except through house inspections, moving, and crazy deadlines, I read a whopping three books throughout the month. I have to admit, my goal was rather ambitious.
The books I wanted to read are:
Even though I was never going to read this many books, it pushed me to read more than I ordinarily would have! And the bookstack image I drew is rather cute. It is my favourite part about my December BuJo.
To fix this issue, in my January spread the days are labelled to compare with my habit and wellbeing trackers and I write notes on the weekly spread. So far this is working!
Photos above are the quotes and images I made throughout the weekly spreads.
After each weekly spread, I had a two page weekly review section where I would note:
I found the accomplishments inspiring and the earnings motivating. One month I was able to earn over what I needed for the month and that was a great feeling!
But I didn't particularly care for the word of the week. When writing it, I was in the zone, ready to apply it to my week. Then, as time moved on (as in, when I flipped the page), I forgot I even had a weekly word. This was something else I didn't continue in my January spread.
After reviewing my December spread, I realised it wasn't too bad for a first attempt. I didn't really know what I was doing but I did it anyway. If not for some amazing Instagram and YouTube photos and videos, I would have stuck with my same old planning system—one that didn't work for me.
While my January spread is far superior, I'm more excited for the theme of February's spread (teasers on my Instagram!). I chose Call of the Wild as the theme for January before I realised I cannot draw moons or wolves and dogs, so...yikes. Thank God for printers, am I right?!
Do you use the bullet journalling system to plan? If so, follow me on Instagram, I would love to see your spread!
Freelance Editor, Mentor, Author.