Today’s post will not have much to do with books – not in the usual way, anyway. Now that I’m going back to work starting on January 3rd, I decided it was time to go back to having a bullet journal again in 2022. I didn’t have one this year as I was stuck at home and I moved a lot of things to spreadsheets anyway, so I had everything at hand. Although it’s still true I’ll have all those sheets and I have handy phone apps, but it’s just not quite the same. I was still missing having a journal, and so I sat down this December to plan it all out.
Back in 2020 when I last had a bullet journal, I had a post showing off all the cool things I did – although I had a lot of fancy ideas I wanted to do throughout the year, my laziness kicked in, and my resolve mostly lasted for a month or two. Some of the features I kept for most of the year, but eventually, I got bored. The series (A Week In My Head) which I kicked off with my bullet journal post back then didn’t last long either, so…
The good thing about bullet journals is that there are no rules whatsoever. You can include anything you want, make it as fancy as you want, or keep it very simple. If you make a search for ideas you’ll get several lists and tips and good luck for picking the one that’s perfect for you, lol. As I know myself I opted for simple ideas and design. I got rid of a few things I know I wouldn’t keep up with and included a few new things to try out. For instance, I have no habit trackers because I know those don’t work for me, although I might add something as I go ahead. There are a lot of changes in my personal life at the moment, so it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. I also got rid of my finances pages, because I have a cool spreadsheet for that now where it’s easier to keep track of my incomes and spending and I didn’t see a reason why I should do it manually too.
For 2022 I picked up a hardcover bullet journal with a motivational cover. I quite liked it and it wasn’t all that expensive and also it has just enough pages for me to use.
However, as it was packed I couldn’t check the paper itself which is quite thin, so I had to be careful what pens I use for coloring as marker pens can easily bleed through. Lucky for me, I have absolutely stunning coloring pencils from Staedtler. I got them for my birthday back in 2019 and it was easily the best purchase I ever made. I’m absolutely in love with them. I really should color more. On the negative side, I wish I could use some water on them – they are the karat aquarell ones – to make those colors pop even more, but…as I said, thin paper, and I’d rather not ruin it. And just to show how much of a Stadtler junky I am, I also use the triplus fineliner pens from them for outlines and such.
I need to make another note before we get to the pretty pages: being true to myself, my bullet journal for 2022 is pretty much a mix of Hungarian and English, because…well…reasons. If you don’t recognize a word don’t panic, it’s just probably something in Hungarian.
Since I was to use a lot of coloring pencils this year, why not show them all the colors off? I started off my journal with a 2-page spread of the year. I originally planned to use a similar design for the headers throughout the journal (using the dedicated colors), but eventually decided against it as it would be more time-consuming to set up. Anyway, look at the pretty:
Pages 1-2: Calendar
As it’s my custom, the first two pages are dedicated to a yearly calendar, where I’m going to note all the important stuff to keep track of them. I have it color-coded. Right now I have public holidays, birthdays, name days (it’s a Hungarian thing), day-offs, events and concerts (yes, I’m being very optimistic). This spread is what I use when setting up each month, but a bit more about that later. And as you can see, for the “general” sections I picked black as a main color and went with gray as a counter color.
Pages 3-4: Memories
This is a double-page spread for memories. I aimed to have 1 page for this each month in 2020, but…laziness got me again. This time I simplified and I’ll try to add a few lines each month as the year goes. Maybe a picture or two. Surely there will have to be something each month to remember…
Pages 5-6: Level 10 Life
The Level 10 Life double-page spread is something I never tried before. I usually have a goals page where I just bullet-pointed some stuff. As I hunted for ideas, this was something that come up a lot. As with everything regarding bullet journals, there are countless options on how to do it. Originally this was a circle with 10 areas of your life you’d like to improve. But that’s a pain in the ass to draw and I opted for a lazy option using the grid already existing. I also decided to go with 8 areas instead of 10: health, fun/recreation, environment, career, finances, mental health/personal development, family/friends, creativity. This is usually done once a year or maybe twice depending on how closely you want to track your progress. I plan to do this spread again at the half-year mark, just to see where I am. For now, I’ll just rate on a scale of 1-10 these areas, and write down some goals that I want to achieve there. Then we’ll see how I’ll be doing.
Pages 7-8: Happiness and Bingo
The Happiness page was supposed to be ‘Things That Make Me Happy’ but my choice of header font didn’t allow me to draw out such a long title so I opted for simple Happiness. I intend to put things there through the year. Probably a lot of panda doodles and stickers. Still. This will be a good page to go to if I’ll need some cheering up on bad days.
For the Bingo, this also was supposed to have a longer title, namely, ‘The Sound of Madness’ but alas. As I still had a page, and I wasn’t quite sure what to put there, I decided to keep track of my reading challenge here the next year. For those unfamiliar with this, check out my The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge post which I just updated with all my reads. I plan to have another round next year and I’m currently in the middle of narrowing down the song titles which I want to use as prompts. So there is not much to see here yet, but we’ll get there.
Pages 9-10: January and Notes
And now we came to my monthly set-ups. At least the setup I have in mind for the year now, but is subject to change if needed. I have January at a first glance page with a calendar where the important dates are highlighted with the same color code I used for the big calendar. There is also a box for events to make sure I know what I highlighted and why. What’s new is the releases box, where I’d like to note albums and books I’m looking forward to being released. In 2022 I want to go back to keeping a better track of all my favorite bands and be up to date on what they are up to. I missed way too fucking much in 2021 and I’m mad about it. I might be even back to doing blog updates, but that’s something I need to think on. I also decided to put the Notes page right at the start of the month to see what’s up. If I run out of space I can always just go to the end and add an extra page.
Pages 11-14: Weekly Agenda
And here, at the weekly agenda section where I fucked up, dear reader. I always have a set-up like this to keep track of both blog schedules and life stuff. I think this year I’ll divide the days to separate the blog stuff from the other stuff, or maybe not. I haven’t quite decided. I didn’t really leave much space to myself as I also want to try out something new. I’m thinking about picking a song of the week, maybe adding some lyrics as motivation or something. I don’t know yet how that will work out, so January will be a test run. As for the fuckup… well, I realized too late that I made a mistake at numbering the weeks. And that’s why you should never do stuff like this in the middle of the night while watching the darts world championship… Instead of starting with week 1, I started with week 2. I think I got it mixed up because January 1st falls on a weekend, and I started with January 3rd… anyway, my 2022 bullet journal will have two week 5s *shrug*. Also, note the same color code is being used in the weekly spread as I use for the calendars. I like to keep things consistent.
Pages 15-16: Books and Countdown
I had a similar page to Books before, but I just simplified it a bit. At the start of each month I’ll write up a list of books I’d like to get to, then I will keep track of what I actually read. I will also add ratings, format, which bingo prompts it fits to, and whether I reviewed it. If you noted at the Bingo page, I numbered the prompts so I can just add the numbers on the Books page, so as not to clutter it all. I used color-codes before and I also added genre to the mix, but I decided to go just with simple notes. For instance, the format I’ll note with either P(hysical), E(book), or A(udiobook). I might or might not change this system, but for now, it sounds good to me. The space I saved with the color code removal will be used to write some notes regarding the blog if I ever needed to do that.
The Days To Go page is also something new I’m going to try this year. I wanted to go with Countdown, but once again, space *sigh*. It won’t be part of every monthly setup, but I thought it would be fun to keep track of time before important stuff, such as traveling or a concert I’m especially looking forward to. As my birthday is coming up on February 6th, I decided to try it out at once. Every day I color a box, hopefully, my excitement will grow. As I didn’t have any plans this year, I neither have plans for 2022, and that’s quite annoying. I usually celebrate by gifting myself a trip – in 2017 it was Naples, in 2018 London, in 2019 a short weekend trip to the UK to visit friends. Then the pandemic happened. *sigh* So, traveling in early 2022 is still out of the question, but I might plan a nice day-off somewhere. Maybe go to the movies, eat out, or something else. Until then, I’ll have this nice colorful page to cheer me up. But as you see, I still have a long way to go with my doodling skills, because yikes.
Pages 17-18: Quotes
This is something I tried to do in 2020, but more times than not I forgot to write down the quotes I highlighted in books. I’ll attempt to try again, as I really want to keep a record of all the pretty/funny quotes. I could try keeping a notebook with them, but… let’s just see if I can keep this up and once I make a habit out of it, I might attempt to dedicate a full notebook to it.
And that’s it for my bullet journal. As I said, I tried to keep it easy and simple without any fancy fluff I wouldn’t be able to keep up with anyway. I’m not exactly the artistic type or one who needs a hundred trackers. This might change as time goes, though. As I have no kids, school, or other such obligations, I don’t need to juggle that many things. Besides, 2022 will be a new start for many reasons, and I like that my bullet journal represents that.
If you have a bullet journal or plan to have one, let me know in the comments! I’d like to know what else you are adding that I don’t and find new stuff to try.
As this is also my last post of the year, I’d like to have the chance and thank you for your support through 2021, apologize for my general lack of posts this year (it was a difficult year), and wish you a happy new year! I hope 2022 will bring you everything you want to achieve.