Now it’s time for the fun stuff! Over the past two blogs, we’ve learned what bullet journaling is, how it works, and what supplies you can use to start your own.
Making your first set of monthly spreads can be very intimidating. There’s so many possibilities out there! What should you pick? What colors should you use? Do you need a theme? What if you’re not artistic?
The quick answer to these questions is: there is no right, or wrong, way to bujo. Do whatever makes you happy. Try not to compare what you are doing to others. As long as your journal helps you keep your life organized, and you like how working on it makes you feel, that’s all that matters!
With that being said, I wanted to show you how I set up my bullet journal every month. This is what works the best for me. You don’t need to copy what I do exactly! I’m hoping to help break this large task into a series of smaller things that’s easier to follow.
Before I set up my monthly spreads, I always love going on Pinterest for inspiration. Here’s my board of things that have caught my eye.
April is the month where spring usually starts to show itself, so I wanted to incorporate floral and botanical ideas without it being too time consuming. I searched a few things on Pinterest to find some inspiration.
“Bullet Journal April”
“Bullet Journal Weekly”
“Bullet Journal Floral”
“Bullet Journal Spring”
It gave me these ideas to start working with:
After looking at these, and looking at the available space in my journal, I decided that I wanted to make a “cover” page that showed the month at a glance. I only needed a one page spread. COVID-19 has made planning ahead a lot more touch and go, so I don’t need a lot of calendar space to write in shifts at work, doctors appointments, etc. It’s easier to put those in my weekly spread.
Here is what I started with:
When I plan out a new month, I use post-it notes to mark off what each page should cover. “April Month” stands for my monthly cover page. The notes behind it are dedicated to each week in April that I’ll be making a weekly spread. I’ll talk more about that in my next blog post!
From the inspiration I found on Pinterest, I decided to use a simple calendar view with a few flowers. I planned out the general layout in pencil before committing to anything in pen.
After this, I began to put a few things in with a pen. I use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens since they are pretty waterproof and lovely to write with. I looked in Pinterest to find this great inspiration image with different header ideas. I chose to use one of them for my fun “April” title.
As you can see, I drew a few circles in pencil where I wanted to draw the flowers. I’m already an artist when I’m not at the library. Instead of following Pinterest doodles, I wanted to make flowers more in “my” style by looking at pictures of roses and drawing from there. If you’re just starting out, search something like “how to doodle flowers” and you’ll come across plenty of fantastic tutorials!
Once I had my pen drawing done, it was time to color it in! I used my Tombow Brush pens. I wanted to keep the colors fun, but also simple. Less is usually more when you’re shading things in.
There you have it! That is how I came up with my April 2020 bullet journal cover page. I like to use the same theme throughout the entire month, but you don’t need to do the same. If you’d like to mix it up every month, go for it!
In my next blog post, you’ll see how I came up with my weekly spread layout and theme.