Staying organized: 10 bullet journal spread ideas for book bloggers!

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. 🙂Read More »

YAY Organization! // How I use my bullet journal for book blogging

I can be an organization freak.

Just sometimes. Like, in shifts, you know? Monday’s my off day, Tuesday is like 10AM-6PM, Friday is 3PM onwards, etc. This is totally normal, is it not???

This means, I love using planners and things to keep organized! (Also the bookstores, Indigo or Chapters, have such beautiful planners and notebooks and stationary; I AM IN LOVE so basically in addition to the books I walk out with, I usually also have some sort of stationary item. Forgetting the fact that the stuff there are typically quite expensive. Hush.) The problem is, as much as I love staying organized (especially when there are so many things I have to do for uni, etc.) I never find myself being able to stick with those planners for long. They get so repetitive, and I just get bored of using them and they end up sitting on my table unused and just there as eye candy. Totally a good use, in my opinion, but not great for the whole “planning” part of the planner (or my wallet)???

And so I found my solution in the form of bullet journals!! (if you have no idea what bullet journals are about, I recommend checking out that link) This was a pretty recent-ish discovery, and I only actively searched up more about it in April (also spending a whole lot of time looking at others’ gorgeous bullet journals via Youtube and Pinterest #priorities). I loved the freedom it offers, and seeing other spreads and designs (that were all SO GORGEOUS) made me want to try it out for myself! So I went out to Indigo, bought myself a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook that was actually made for bullet journaling* and got started! I would list my supplies but literally that’s it plus, like, a black ball pen, Papermate highlighters and a pack of coloured pens I got from Walmart or Staples. (I really really want more fancier supplies (I’ve seen everyone use Tombow pens and such and I WANT. But like money??? #struggles)

Anyway, so I got the notebook, and after hours upon hours of me scrolling through inspiration and beauuuuuuuuutiful spreads, I did finally start and since then I am in LOVE with the whole thing. I love making my spreads even though my handwriting has so many issues and I kind of suck at art?? The whole point is to personalize it so it fits how you want it to be, which is so freeing and exactly what I’m doing. 😉

I just wanted to share what my bullet journal kind of looks like and also talk about how I use my bullet journal for book-and-blog-related things! Because yay for organization and bullet journaling!

*But any notebook can work!! I’d recommend getting a dotted one, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this one. (This one’s also more expensive than most notebooks! I think it was around 30-ish dollars? I was really unsure if I wanted to get it at first haha but I’m glad I did. But again, any notebook can work perfectly fine!

I’m terrible at actually explaining how the whole system works, but if you click the link for bullet journals here, you’ll be taken to the website and there’s a video you can watch if you’re not sure how the whole thing works! All of these pictures in this post were taken by me, by the way, in case that wasn’t clear ahah which is why they’re super low quality.

That’s just kind of a glance into how April looked like for my journal! I am so not artistic and wanted my April cover to look nice ahah so I decided to go with this printed watercolor-type flower wreath thingy that I found on Freepik, just edited it to have April written on it. Again, can I just say I love how much freedom a bullet journal offers; you can literally do anything, put anything you want. If you can draw, great. If you want to design a graphic online, great. If you don’t want to do anything at all, great. SO MUCH FREEDOM. I love it.

But moving on! My theme for April was very green, very leafy, don’t know what exactly inspired that, but yeah. I do love the designs I have on the side, which were for the weekly/daily logs (to-do lists, basically), the first one has like a wreath thing I found online, and underneath it I just kind of drew a mason jar to decorate the page and fill in the empty space. The second one was on the page I had dedicated for my trip to Toronto! I went with a simple “fun” in the center and tried to make it look artsy by drawing some sort of wreath-but-not-really-a-wreath thingy plus ribbons and hearts and I don’t know. I do like how it turned out though!!

Overall I really liked April’s design but I decided to go with a different style for May:

Okay, not really for the cover because it’s another watercolor flower wreath thingy from Freepik (love that site), except with a blue and purple focus this time! I love those colours together, I think they look super pretty, and bonus! Freepik also had a bouquet sort of thing made of the same flowers and also offers the individual flowers/feathers used in the wreath thing for download as well, and I definitely made use of that later on! (Freepik literally saves me from seeming like a failure at art, guys. SUCCESS.)

Now this is where things are changed up more! (You guys don’t understand how much the freedom of the bullet journal SPEAKS TO ME.) So, there are technically no rules to bullet journaling, but there are a few things that you’re recommended to have, one of the things being a future log. What you see in the above picture, is not my future log (that’s at the start of the journal), but it’s kind of based off the future log?

I love the future log for personal events, schoolwork, birthdays, etc. but I really thought it would be useful, being the bookworm I am, to have a calendar listing all (or at least some/most because all wouldn’t fit haha) the books to be released that I’m looking forward to. I’ve decided I need to get a better blue highlighter, but other than that I really love how this looks and May is SO FILLED with books right now haha. I’m not very artistic, again (*cries*) and I know there are people who could’ve probably made this look much better but it works! ❤

(Also I know most people use black pen to write in their bullet journals, and I do, but I started off with a blue pen for a lot of the titles before realizing a black one would’ve been more visible and appealing. Sorry if you can’t see the titles clearly!)

Again, I am so envious of people with art skills, I’ve seen different variations of this bookshelf idea created by some genius (which I am in love with) and there are some that look AMAZING and like actual bookshelves, but I did think it would look super cute and also kind of give an idea of the books I want to get to this year. I wish I had came across this idea earlier, when I was first setting up my bullet journal so I could put it at the start of my journal, but better late than never! I know I’ll be flipping back to this page A LOT haha.

I love this especially because I have so many books on Goodreads, it’s hard to pinpoint an immediate TBR. I’m a huge mood reader though so it might be possible I don’t read some of these titles at all this year?? But it’s a guide to the books I want to read sometime over the year. (We’re almost at halfway??!) I’ve also left spines empty so I can kind of fill them in as I go! And underneath I just have some space for the list of books read for this month. 🙂 I’m being way too generous with the space I have there, but I guess I could list some of my thoughts if needed? Haha. But I like how these parts look!

Now this is where we get to the BLOG PART! I am actually so excited to use this kind of set up, last month my reading and blog stuff were all on one page and looked very boring to me, so having just a whole page dedicated to blogging things I think will make things so much easier! I hope, anyway. So, just as a comparison, in April I had a calendar that took up half the page that I used as reference for my blogging schedule (You can see it back with the April layout pictures above!) but I realized it took up way more space than it was worth and opted for a small, cute, and concise little calendar for this month that I LOVE. So much more convenient! I haven’t planned out all the days for sure yet, hence only the second* is highlighted, and the rest of the possible dates are circled in pencil, but I’m really happy with how this works out.

*Okay, so funny story; I’m already kind of failing at following my schedule??? These photos were taken wayyyy in advance before I got around to actually writing this post, and I actually did not post this on the second, and instead had posted the day before my theme change! So yeah. White out is a lovely thing.

Right beside it, is the schedule! Again, goes unsaid, planning out what posts will (hopefully) go up on which day. I really love having a schedule for things, but for blogging though I have hardly been able to follow one?? And I really hope this will motivate me to have a more consistent schedule! Or y’all might forget me and we can’t have that. 😉 But really, I do love having a schedule, and I think this seems like a good setup (for now, anyway). I want to figure out what post goes up on which day, and having the calendar right next to it helps with that as well! I guess I’ll see how it works! ALSO this photo is not super great quality, oops. This is why I can’t do Instagram, guys. 😀 Also it reveals all the white out very very much, oopsies. But it still looks okay? I hope? lol.

*Note: Again, yes, I realize my schedule is incorrect!! I took these pictures like, a week ago and back then my plan was to have this posted on Tuesday, not Thursday as it is now haha. I have now changed it but I’m too lazy to take a new picture. 😉

Below it, the last part which I am also super super excited about; the blogosphere! (You guys don’t know how horribly I messed up on writing that oh my gosh. Hence, the who-knows-how-many-layers of white out…) Any posts that I go through my Reader/email that I want to get back to later, list of blogs I discover and want to continue to visit, things like that.* I follow a LOAD of blogs, and am way too unwilling and short on time to go through the ones I actively follow, too, so this is an easier way to just keep a track of who I actively follow (like, comment, etc.), especially when I go blog-hopping!

*I’ve actually already almost filled this part up and May has just started??? OOPS. 

Beside that, to the left, there is also the ideas! As you can probably tell, this is basically my blogging brainstorming. I’m not entirely sold on the space I have**, but it looks aesthetically pleasing? It wouldn’t have been as aligned if I made the space for ideas larger, and that would have bothered me to no end (and I also didn’t want to go onto the next page because I like having ideas and schedule on the same page), but I think I’ll be able to adjust! I often have post ideas that I’m not exactly sure when I want to post/write, so this is perfect to make sure I don’t forget them. (Because I kind of have the worst memory ever.)

**Yeah, it’s not working AT ALL. I love how it looks but again, May just started and I pretty much filled up the whole thing. Now I don’t know what to do??!? Do I make a new page for the ideas?? But then the blogging stuff wouldn’t all be together and that would bother me??? STRUGGLES.

Lastly on this page: the stats! I don’t focus on stats very much anymore, but I do like to see follower growth (sadly this is going very slowly for me right now but whelp I’m grateful for the followers I have! <3) from the first day of the month to the last. And also track the total number of posts at the end of the month! (I’m aiming for around 8-10 for May! Let’s do this.)

So that concludes the bookish/bloggish part of my bullet journal! Basically I learned that I have waaaaay too many blogs I like to follow and although (I think, anyway) that this layout looks super aesthetic and cute, I need MORE SPACE, like ALL OF THE SPACE PLEASE. It’s only the fourth and I don’t have enough spaceeeeee #help.

Okay, so, seeing how it is unlikely I’ll be doing another bullet journal post this month, I just wanted to quickly show you guys how some of my personal pages looked, just in case you were interested! As if this post wasn’t already long enough.

Again, I have a mini calendar that I love! I kind of screwed up and put May at the bottom of the calendar instead the top, but that’s okay haha. This page is my monthly future log, that I plan on using for school, appointments, events, things like that! I really love how it looks, it’s similar to my previous pages in terms of the layout and font, etc. Aestheticssssss.

Speaking of aesthetics, remember Freepik and the bonus I was talking about?? Well, I used the bouquet I found that matched my May theme perfectly and I am in love with it, you can see it in the bottom and it was kind of a pain to cut out but so worth it haha. Above it, I just wrote some inspirational things I found on the Internet! I can be SUCH a perfectionist sometimes, so for the first one I wrote out “Strive for progress not perfection” because sometimes progress is the most important thing and I kind of lose focus of that! And because I still had space left over, I just wrote a simple “Focus on happy” which I think looks really cute.

Also, I APOLOGIZE FOR THE HORRIBLE QUALITY!! Oh my gosh. I am horrified but at the same time I have no better pictures and I’m unable to retake the picture (lighting problem) so I’m super sorry omg. 

Next page I have my trackers! (First photo is April’s, second is May’s) A common thing for bullet journals is to have a habit tracker. I did have one in April, you can see a part of it in the first photo, but I ended up not using it that much because I hardly succeeded in keeping those habits and it looked so ugly because all it had was one row that was filled and the others were practically empty. *shudder* Didn’t really help me at all to keep those habits, so I ditched it and instead kept my other tracker, the sleep tracker, which you see more in the photo! I LOVED this so much last month, I made a whole line graph thing with highlighters and it was colourful and also showed my sleep habits were very very unhealthy so I decided to include it again this month since it went so successfully!

I also have a TV show tracker for this month! It’s based off of other bullet journals and I thought it would be super handy to have. Most shows I watch are on Netflix and obviously Netflix keeps track, but I thought this would be a fun way to just track which shows I’m watching and what episode when I’m not on Netflix. Because again, Miss Memory Problem here. Also I just like tracking things. Except my habits because I have horrible habits.* Ahem.

I haven’t finished (or started) writing a list of TV shows yet but I do plan on doing that asap! (Feel free to give me some suggestions for TV shows I should start watching!!) And obviously the sleep tracker will be filled as I go. 🙂

*I might have a habit tracker again someday?? If someone manages to convince me with some sort of superpower? Also because I am #rebel (not following the norm of having a habit tracker, you see!! Very rebellious) but also I can be brainwashed into being a follower?? SO WE SHALL SEE.:

Last, but not least I also have this whole week’s spread planned out in advance!! I tried out a new layout this week and I actually love it so much??? I can’t take full credit though haha, it was mostly inspired by Amanda’s May bullet journal video (her bullet journal is actually SO GORGEOUS omg I could look at her spreads all dayyyyy) that I loved. And again, Freepik came to my rescue! It’s the same bouquet thing as before that I used in my month spread, just smaller and more detailed in comparison. It actually looks perfect in the little makeshift sticky note-thing. This photo is really really bad, but in the actual journal itself it does look pretty good, if I do say so myself! Thank god for Freepik.

Aaaaaand, then that’s it, for my pre-planned pages! The next pages will be dedicated to my daily/weekly spreads which I set up either at the start of the week, or as each day goes, depending on how busy I am. (Aka I will also be spending too much time looking for new inspiration and ideas on designing new spreads for the week (#sorrynotsorry), and then getting super jealous over the amazing artsy things of other people…)

So overall, in case you couldn’t tell, I absolutely love bullet journaling! It is such a fun way to stay organized (and also procrastinate, if you’re like me) as well as be productive. (Or feel productive?) You don’t even have to be good at art to do it, there are no rules, nothing. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to work with the bullet journal system at all, which is why I put it off for so long, but I found that it’s one of the best choices I made! (Apart from the hours I spent on it lollll.) Don’t know how long that’ll last, but. It gives me so much freedom, flexibility, to do what I want, whatever I need and I love that aspect of it. I know I don’t ever have to stick to the same thing either like in a traditional journal or planner and I won’t get bored, which is important for me because that’s what caused me to abandon planners and such in the first place.

HAVE I SOLD BULLET JOURNALS TO YOU YET??

I swear this post isn’t sponsored.

I do understand though why bullet journals aren’t for everyone, they do take time if you’re aiming for the super artsy design, but really they don’t have to be complicated at all and you can even set things up in advance if that’ll help you in saving time. Who knows. Anyway. Whether or not you get a bullet journal (if you don’t have one already, that is) is totally up to you!

Right now though I am really looking forward to putting my pages I’ve set up to use! They were a lot of fun to create (read: caused much pain because #ihavenoskills but in the end they were worth it) and they look decent?? I think?*

*I mean, the photos were very very VERY bad, SO SORRY GUYS. And if you ignore my horrible attempts at fancy writing… I kind of failed multiple times hence white out. Also my pen is terrible and I need to get a better pen that doesn’t make my handwriting seem terrible haha. And I also want washi tape?? Okay I’ll stop rambling about my struggles now. I do like how they turned out, still!

How do you stay organized?? Do you use a bullet journal?? Have I convinced you to use one? (Of course, my persuasive skills are very very good?? *nods*) Do you have a blogging schedule? What do you think of my bullet journal so far? (Again, SO SORRY for the horrible pictures!) Any TV shows to recommend? Thoughts? Literally anything to say at all, I would love to talk to you! ❤