FACT OF THE
DAY YEAR: Bullet journals are awesome.
It’s a fact, okay. Proven by me, myself and I, which is obviously reliable and not at all biased.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, you can check out this link to learn a bit more, which is the creator’s site, and there are also tons of videos on YouTube, posts on Pinterest, about it as well! (How do I know this? Hahahaha I haven’t spent hours watching bullet journal videos on YouTube, what are you talking about? Though I’d recommend not going straight to YouTube if you’re new to bullet journaling because it can get quite overwhelming.)
To me, it’s basically a notebook you can design/customize to suit your needs. Whether that be a daily planner, a shopping list, or a thought-tracking journal (LOL aka a diary), doodle pad, whatever. ISN’T THAT GREAT? Any blank notebook (lined, grid, etc) works, though I personally use the Leuchtteurm 1917 dotted A5 journal*!
I’ve previously made a post on my bullet journal back in May last year talking about how I use my bullet journal for book blogging and I really loved writing it, and since my bullet journal has changed so much and it’s a new year, I thought I might share another (hopefully somewhat) helpful and more detailed post; 10 specific spreads (pages) you can use to keep your bookish and bloggish life organized!
SPOILER: Is this post my excuse to not-so-secretly rave about bullet journalling? Yes, yes it is. Am I also trying to convert you all to bullet journals? Yes, yes I am. I WILL SUCCEED. (Maybe. Possibly. A girl can try, okay.)
*Because I’m basic. But it’s not necessary at all! There are tons of alternative options that works just as well. 🙂
Books to be released
Purpose: keep track of the top upcoming releases you’re interested in throughout the year
I didn’t end up following many November or any December releases but I love the look of this spread! Simple, but functional. It also offers lots of space for titles, gives a visual of how spread apart different releases are, etc. It may have been a *slight* (hahahhaha understatement of the year) pain to draw the calendars out, but the end result is pretty great!
Another option, which I’ve decided to use this year, is combining the books to be released with this future log spread*! I’ve decided to split my vertical future log layout in half for each month, using the bottom half for book releases and the top for my personal events. I thought it would be easier to combine the two spreads rather than have to make the calendars twice for individual spreads, you know? Saves pages, too!
*inspired by Amandarachlee’s 2018 setup BECAUSE HER SPREADS ARE AMAZING AND I LOVE THEM
Purpose: Keep track of books you want/need to buy!
We all know bookworms are occasionally
greedy ambitious? as heck. And also that we (well, I) have extremely horrible memory, which is why I want to keep a list of the books (and overall things) I want and need to buy!
Pff, no, of course I’m not going to put all the books in the need section. Of course not.
You can make this as long or as short as you wish! Mine is only a page, though I think I’ll have to recreate it to add more space later
because I am a person who has no sense on saving money, apparently.
**I really hope to get better pens this year, because the one I’m using smudges quite a bit if I’m not patient (and I’m not patient hahah oops), so excuse the look of this spread!**
Reading challenge trackers
Purpose: Track reading challenge progress! (… Do I really need to elaborate???)
I myself don’t participate in many reading challenges, but there are endless ways you could use your bullet journal to keep track of reading challenges!
One example I can show you guys is the spread I did for Aentee’s Reading Quest challenge in August! I didn’t officially participate and so I didn’t count any points or anything like that (it was a super cool idea though!) and I ended up cheating and filling it in at the end of 2017 with books I read buuuut that’s besides the point, okay?
It’s a perfectly viable option for reading bingos, any challenge with prompts, etc. There are honestly so many different ways you could use your journal for reading challenges, like making a TBR for a challenge in your journal, or a sort of table with the title, date you want to finish your book by, etc. Or if it’s a daily thing you can track number of pages read per day, etc. All up to you!
Purpose: Track your ARCs and their review status.
Chances are, if you’re a book blogger, you’ve heard of ARCs (advanced reader copies)! I myself don’t request that many nowadays (and if I do I get rejected by Netgalley…… *sobs*) but I decided to make a spread for them in case I do request more throughout the year.
If you’re one to request or receive a lot of review copies you can of course increase the space for this spread, or if you want to be more specific and add more categories you can do that as well!
For me, I just decided to include the title, when I received it, the expected publishing date, when I need to review by and the status (aka did I get my life together and review it yet
hahaha probably not or if my request is pending, etc)! Other options include things like publisher, where you’re getting it from, etc.
Purpose: Tracking… books read (no duh)
Next to my ARC page I have my ‘books read’ tracker! In 2017 I didn’t include this spread, but I decided to add it this year because I really want to have all the books I read in one place (apart from Goodreads, which I don’t always use).
My goal is to read around 65 books this year? One page gives me space for around 33 titles, if I take one line per book and I’m counting correctly (I’m probably not), so I added another page on the other side for the remaining titles.
I’ll be adding to the list as I read each book, so that I won’t have to go back to each month to see my 2018 reads by the end because I’m a
lazy time-saving reader. 😉
Another way to track books read comes in the form of a monthly spread(though it could easily become a yearly spread as well if wanted)!
I’ve used this method twice so far, and it’s super handy for me because it lets me see very quickly thetitleof a book I read (no random “BR” or “BYLTHM” thank the potatoes) which is the box in the middle, as well as my rating (the 5 small boxes on the left) and when I read it (start date at the top, end date at the bottom). You can see pictures below!
This left spread is the one I used in November, and I love how it looks! Ignore though how I switched my titles from cursive to normal writing and the empty blog schedule and my horrible writing… THAT NEVER HAPPENED.
The January spread (right side) for this year is similar to the one I used in November, except I added more space to my blog section (I’m hoping to have more posts up this month!) and put the books on the bottom. And, obviously, the theme for this month is stars** which I’m loving as well! So excited to use this spread*. :)))
*Just a note/present day update: I actually have been using this spread already! I took these photos, like, at the start of January which is why they’re not filled out here, but I loooove using this spread.
**Inspired by Amanda’s April plan with me video last year; her bullet journal is honestly GOALS, okay.
“On the shelf”
Purpose: Create a bookshelf to keep track of books on your TBR you want to prioritize
The look of this spread is one that I got from this video here! It’s super cute. Though in the video, they used it as a books read tracker kind of thing? Where they’d write the title of a book they read and colour in a book on the shelf–which is a super good idea as well!
But for me, since I already have my books read tracker, I decided to make it a sort of priority TBR kind of thing! Being someone who has A LOT of books on their TBR (almost 2000!), I want this spread to keep track of the books I’m most interested in, because when you have almost 2000 books on your TBR (hahahaha definitely not me what???), or honestly even above 20, like how do you remember all the titles???
YEAH, YOU DON’T.
I previously did something like this back in May as well, which is another option if you want to set monthly TBRs if you want but I changed the look up to make it more of a yearly thing this year. I’m not one to set yearly TBRs very much, so there’s not going to be any pressure to read the titles I put on the shelf, just options for me to read!
because I have commitment issues.
Other variations of this spread could include making it your 2018 read shelf, if you’d like, or tracking purchased but unread books, or library books… all up to you!
Blog goals / Future posts
Purpose: make a list of posts you want to write throughout the year(but don’t know when you want to post them OR you know when you want to post them, but it’s not that time yet.
I GET VERY RANDOM IDEAS, RANDOMLY. If there’s one thing you should know about my blogging habits, is that my ideas can literally come from anywhere, at anytime and hence the need for this spread, because we all know if we don’t write the idea down when it happens, it’s gone forever.
On the left page, I also added a mini calendar as an example to visually represent my blog schedule, and beside that, a goals section! I used to keep track of monthly goals for my blog, but they ended up being pretty repetitive and so I just wanted to put them all together as a yearly kind of thing.
After that I just left some empty space, either to collect blog names, or, add the future posts section there as well to add more space. Not sure yet. 🙂
On the other page, is where I have my official future posts section!
If I don’t have my journal with me when I get an idea, of course, I use my phone, but I do want to keep a list of future post ideas that I can use whenever I’m stuck or want to remember an idea for later! I decided to make it a yearly collection so that I can have it all throughout the year, and it’s already been super helpful when deciding monthly posts.
I’ve organized it by having the post title, the type of post it will be (discussion, review, meme, list?) and the planned date, which can be left blank if I don’t know, or can be a month, or a very specific date. I’M FLEXIBLE. (Not physically though. Unfortunately.)
Monthly blog planner
Purpose:Keep track of your schedule, post ideas, goals, and books read
Or at least, that was the purpose of my planners! I varied my layouts from month to month, but the key elements usually stayed the same.
This horribly grainy photo is the setup I originally started out with, back in May! I used this page quite frequently in May, and recreated the basic elements of this later on as well!
(Also can we just admire my super fancy supplies, guys. But hey; if it works, it works!)
Over here I have my June and July spreads! For June, I used more of a boxed effect, with a calendar at the top left, stats box underneath, my schedule on the right, and then an ideas box below that. On the side I did the books I read as well as some goals.
For July, (second picture) I went for a more, I don’t know, open list-like style? I don’t know what to call it. I had my schedule at top, followed by post ideas, books, and stats and goals. I didn’t mind it, but I think I prefer it to be more sectioned off because for August I went to something more structured.
By the way, I blurred the images because there are posts I didn’t get to during those months but I’m still planning on writing/posting them, so I want to keep them a surprise. 😉
August is probably my favourite because I loved the theme for that month (and I was somewhat successful with my schedule!) but I didn’t like how I had so little space for book titles??
I mean, LOOK AT THOSE ACRONYMS. I can hardly remember my own name, okay how am I supposed to figure out what book I’m talking about when it’s called something like OOUIL*??? Or TGGVV**??? I don’t know what I was even thinking, tbh.
Of course, I changed my layout for November and this month as well, to better accommodate the titles! No one has time to decipher what IFNT*** stands for.
*One of Us is Lying. 😉 Great book, horrible memory!
**The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue. Whoops, completely forgot. Loved it though!
***If There’s No Tomorrow. Yes, I had to go and look through my weekly planners. DON’T JUDGE ME.
Purpose: A spread to plan out your posts in-depth throughout a month.
Another spread, is a Post Ideas, or Post Planner monthly spread! If you’re not one to plan out your posts very much, this may not be useful for you, (and even I have only added it for this month) BUT if you do like to have a little bit more preparation or space to brainstorm, you can easily make a planner/brain dump type of spread in your journal at the start of each month!
Ahem. Excuse my awful writing.
I’ve left this page pretty blank, just with a header at the top of the page that goes with my theme and the title of the page, leaving most of the space empty–allowing for it to become whatever I need it to be.
I feel so prepared what is this new and unfamiliar feeling????
What I love is that it’s super flexible (are you tired of me using that word yet)! If I have a lot to plan out for a certain post (like this one!) I can do that, if I don’t have much to write, that works too!
Purpose:a more detailed tracker for people who want to plan ahead
Another post for the planners, because that’s what bullet journals help with best (and because I’m trying to be more of a planner this month/year) is the monthly Post Tracker spread!
In the spread, I’ve organized the page in a chart/table/whatever they’re called with the post title, when I want it posted, when I want to have it written (look at me, trying to be so prepared), and the status.
The status, basically will be filled out with my progress using “written”, “edited”, and “posted” with empty bullet points and as I go through the stages of writing it, I’ll fill those bullets in. 🙂
(it’s really not)
In case you ever needed proof why bullet journals are AMAZING, well, here’s this post. (You’re welcome.) 😉
Honestly though, I’ve heard from a lot of people how it takes too much dedication, or too much time, or it’s too daunting to make a planner from scratch, and I get that!
But the thing is, how much time you spend on your bullet journal is completely up to you; you can spend as much or as little time as you want and there should honestly be NO PRESSURE, because it’s all customizable, all personalized to fit your needs.
Of course, if the planner you use works for you, that’s absolutely lovely and great! 🙂 But if you’re like me and want some more freedom to fit your planner around your lifestyles, the bullet journal is a perfect option.
I hope this post was at least somewhat helpful for anyone stuck on either different yearly spreads to add to their journal, or just on how to use different spreads for book blogging! Now tell me:
How do you stay organized? Have I convinced you of the magic of bullet journals?(I honestly just LOVE IT SO MUCH and I can’t help but try to mind-control you guys, okay)Do you have one/want one? Do you plan out your posts in advance, or do you prefer taking a more spontaneous approach? What’s your favourite spread? LET’S CHAT ORGANIZATION. (Even though I suck at it hahaha this entire post is a lie)