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Bullet Journaling Tips + Free 2021 Calendar Download!

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Hello my friends. 2021 is going to be my fourth year using a bullet journal and I thought I would share some tips that I have picked up along the way. In this post I will be sharing my favorite supplies, things I have found useful, and a printable calendar for you to use in your 2021 setups.

 

What You Need...

Despite the photos on Pinterest and the elaborate setups online, that I myself like to do as well, the only things you actually need in order to make a bullet journal is a notebook and something to write with.


Choosing A Notebook

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a notebook including whether you want dotted, blank, or lined pages, what size notebook you want to use, and what kind of paper is right for the materials you want to use.

Most bullet journalers, including myself, prefer using a dot grid notebook because it allows for design flexibility while also providing enough structure to allow for things to be in line with each other. The A5 size is the most common, however, you can choose whatever size journal fits your needs. Think about what things you plan to keep in the notebook and where you plan to store the notebook. Perhaps you need it to fit in your pocket, or you want it to be larger so that you can also keep class notes in it. Choose the size that fits your needs, not the size that everyone is using.

I am using an A5 size Scrivwell dotted notebook for the second year in a row because I like that it has thick enough pages that none of my writing utensils bleed through and it has over 200 pages while many of the other brands do not offer that. Plus it is a much more affordable option than some of the top brands out there.


My Favorite Supplies

  • Pilot G-2 07 Pen - This is my all time favorite pen! It is a gel pen though, so beware, it takes a few seconds to dry!

  • Graphix Fineliners in 02, 04, and 08 - These are the best fineliners I have tried so far. The tips are sturdy enough to handle the hard pressure I put on them and they last a really long time

  • White Sakura Gelly Roll in 08, and 10 - These are the best white gel pens I have tried so far! These work great on dark paper and over dark markers.

  • Recollections Signature Metallic Gold - I love using this to add accents and this pen will write over just about anything, however, it is difficult to write over it.

  • Artist Loft Watercolors set - Cheap, easy, gets the job done!

  • Crayola Super Tips Markers - Again, cheap, does what I need it to do, and gets the job done! Great for adding pops of color to spreads. My biggest negative is that the colors do not have names so they can get mixed up.

  • Kingart Dual Tip Brush Pens - A higher quality marker option that is two in one! I love using the nib for writing and the brush for filling in larger areas or pretending that I know how to do calligraphy.

  • Washi Tape - Adds a nice accent to pages. Simple, but aesthetic.

  • Stickers! - No explanation needed.

 

Spreads to Include

One of the best things about bullet journaling is making the notebook fit your needs. You can include spreads for anything and everything your heart desires! However, it can be a little overwhelming when you first start and are trying to decide what to include in your notebook. There are several spreads and pages that I feel are a must when it comes to bullet journaling.


Index

This works best if the notebook is already numbered, but also works if you plan on numbering your notebook or just want to remember what order everything is in. I like to include an index for when I look back trying to find specific spreads. Some notebooks already include a section for an index or table of contents. Others do not and you'll have to make your own.


Dot Grid Cheat Sheet

Including a reference page for how many dots and squares are in the notebook is extremely useful. This page is a must if you plan on dividing up your dot grid pages often. I like to show halves, quarters, and thirds on my cheat sheet.


Yearly Calendar

You will likely want to include a yearly calendar of some kind in your notebook. This might be in the form of a yearly overview, a future log, a lunar calendar, or just a calendar page for each month. One of the most frustrating parts of bullet journaling for me was writing out my calendars, so I decided to make some that I could print and stick into my journal. And I included them here for you to download as png files as well! This way you can size them to your needs, print them on sticker paper if you like, and even upload them to the Cricut Design studio to cut for you! I wanted these calendars to look almost handwritten, but better, and as a result I have these that are not perfect, but something I am happy to share to make someone's life a little easier. An updated version that looks a bit neater might make an appearance on my Etsy shop in the future.

Downloadable 2021 Calendars
.zip
Download ZIP • 2.32MB

I also decided to include a lunar calendar this year and will be releasing these moon phase stickers on my Etsy shop very soon! This lunar calendar was inspired by this video by Darksunlight on YouTube. I chose colors that fit my theme and used the stickers that will be in my first Etsy launch!



Trackers

Some people like to track what chores need to be done, their mood, things they are saving for, or fitness goals. I like to track the number of books I've read, what games I've bought during the year, as well as movies and shows I want to watch. Whatever you want to track, having a spread for it is nice to keep everything related to it in one place.



If you liked this post, consider checking out my 2021 bullet journal setup on YouTube!

And if you found this post through the video, thanks for checking it out!


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