Bullet Journals & Planners

Bullet Journal Essentials: I have a BuJo, now what?

Congratulations on taking your first step into the magnificent world of the Bullet Journal!

bullet journal

From here you can only go forward… or backwards, or to the left a little bit. That’s the glory of Bujos, it’s entirely up to you which way you go!
If you’re unsure about what a BuJo is, you can read my blog post “What on earth is a BuJo

This post will be following the same route as my previous Bullet Journal Essentials (BJE) post (A starter guide), however, we are now going even deeper down the rabbit hole!

Now that you have a bullet journal, you might be wondering where to start!

During this instalment of my BJE series, we will be looking at my personal BuJo and hopefully, that will help you to develop your journal, your way!

What can you use your Bullet Journal for?

Your Bullet Journal can be used for just about anything, that is why BuJos are so popular – their versatility.
A common use of them is to schedule and use it within your day-to-day life. This is done through the use of what is known as “weekly spreads”
You can also set goals, track those goals and make notes of absolutely anything and everything.
Here are the key sections of a Bullet Journal, and alternative ideas on what you can use them for.

How I use my Bullet Journal

I have two bullet journals. One contains all of my day-to-day and some personal essentials, such as my mood tracker
The other is for health (mental and physical), finances and ideas/diary.

In this post, we will be looking at my personal BuJos, and what I use to keep myself on track.

Quick side note – All of the absolutely gorgeous artwork I see in Bullet Journals on the internet is so intimidating.

My Bullet Journal isn’t even remotely close to artistic and gorgeous, I felt self-conscious and a little bit embarrassed!
Then I remembered that there are plenty of people who don’t have the skills or time to decorate their Bujos so elaborately, and that is fine!

I needed to remind myself that my Bullet Journal is my story, my life, and my journey.

So let me remind you (and myself) again that bullet journals are your own and it doesn’t matter if that’s for an artistic outlet or to scribble some lists.
There is no wrong, only right!

So let me remind you (and myself) again that bullet journals are your own and it doesn’t matter if that’s for an artistic outlet or to scribble some lists.
There is no wrong, only right!

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Future log

Your future log is normally at the front of your BuJo.

This is where I write down things that are occurring in the future, as well as birthdays. Here we can write down key dates and add them to the weeklies when they arrive.

As you can see it is quite bare at the moment. I won’t lie, this is one of my less successful spreads. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t work amazingly for you!

Future logs generally consist of smaller versions of the yearly calendar, with space next to it to write down any and all dates that you want to add once you get to that point of the year.

This works for anything, not just birthdays. It can be meetings, deadlines or even a movie you want to see.

bullet journal future log

Other Future Log ideas

  • Public holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays
  • Marathons
  • Festivals

Weekly and monthly spreads

bullet journal weekly spread inspiratio

The soul of my bujo.

Every weekly spread has a different look, feel and layout. Writing these out gives me an outlet for all my built-up stress as well as letting me try new things without having to commit to looking at the same thing for more than a week.

Some spreads work, some spreads don’t. Some have a lot of effort put into them, others are simply messy lists. This is the beauty of the BuJo, it is so versatile!

bullet journal weekly spread flowers

My weeklies did consist of habit tracking but you will see soon that I’ve swapped that to a spread that works better for me.

Other ideas for your weekly/monthly spreads

  • Meals
  • Habits
  • Water tracker
  • Exercise tracker
  • Small goals

Schedules and routines

bullet journal block schedule routines

I am under no illusion that these are the most realistic of spreads.
Things change, all the time. This is especially true when you’re a parent.
If Luna is sick that throws off my whole day or week. If a public holiday falls on a daycare day then cleaning is easily replaced by a day at the beach.

However, this spread helps me to keep on top of my routines, as well as working as a reminder of everything I may have forgotten (ie stretches)

There are heaps of different ways you can layout your routines, it doesn’t have to be a block schedule. You can write a list or draw it in the petals of flowers. Whatever you choose works best for you!

Other schedule ideas

  • Sports
  • School timetable
  • Meetings

Lists

Oh, how I love lists. I have lists for everything. My lists aren’t all posted up (I’d break the internet) but here are some of the lists that can be found throughout my journals.

  • Wedding – to do and buy
  • Boat mail – what i bought and the month It should arrive
  • Oils I own
  • Oils I want and what I want them for
  • Exercises to try
  • Yoga videos completed
  • Books to read
  • Movies to watch

.. I’m sure you get the gist. I love lists and I write lists for EVERYTHING.

This list is my affirmations. Every week I random a number and that is my affirmation for the week. I also do this with my Essential Oils list. Every week I random a number and that oil is the star of my week!

bullet journnal affirmations list

Other list ideas

  • Netflix – To watch/watched
  • Shopping lists
  • Restaurants to try
  • Upcoming movie releases

Crafts and hobbies

This is my crafts page. It’s a fairly new one.
I absolutely love to crochet and cross-stitch, so here I will track all of the crafts I want to complete, supplies I need, ideas for future crafts and techniques/crafts I want to learn.

I always have so many things on the go that this is already proving super useful!

bullet journal craft list

Other similar pages

  • Skills to learn
  • Home maintenance
  • School projects
  • Teacher activity planning

Trackers

A staple to every healthy bujo diet

bullet journal tracker

My main tracker is my mood tracker. It does what it says on the box.
But I will explain a bit deeper on how I use it personally, to manage my anxiety.

Basically, I track whether or not I’ve done exercise/yoga, how much I’ve cleaned and then how I’m feeling that day. It helps me identify patterns caused by my lifestyle (or lack thereof), which has been a huge help in getting control of my anxiety.

I’ve learned that my productivity that day greatly impacts my mood, sounds obvious but seeing it in front of me is so helpful.

bullet journal mood tracker. bullet journals for anxiety and mental health

Another great chart I have been tracking is my weight. Both measurements and those pesky numbers on the scales can be easily tracked with a similar graph!

Other things you can track

  • Daily steps
  • Hours slept per night
  • No spends
  • Weight loss / weight loss goals
  • Budget

Big goals

This is a subcategory of trackers, but bigger.
Sometimes in life, we have those BIG goals. My first one is to walk 500km in 6 months. This is a really recent one and with all that has gone on in the last 2 weeks I have failed to keep up. It looks really daunting but I can’t wait to have all of this filled in!

Tracking the big goals is what sets Bullet Journals apart from Planners.
Planners tend to be more focused on short term events and schedules, whereas BuJos is more aimed at the longterm. You can read more about Bullet Journals vs Planners here!

bullet journal tracking the big goals

Other big goal ideas

  • Saving – this could be for a holiday, car, house deposit… Anything!
  • Read (x) amount of books
  • Watch (x) amount of movies
  • 90 days without chocolate (even 9 days is a BIG goal!)

Journal – thoughts and ideas

This one is kinda self-explanatory. I write out my thoughts, ideas, plans, etc in a diary-like format at the back of my BuJo.

This is probably the messiest part of my whole BuJo, simply because my brain goes faster than my hands can write.
Using your BuJo as a diary has amazing benefits, such as being a great release for your built-up thoughts and getting your ideas out.

Bullet Journal as a diary

Other ideas for a Journal

  • Absolutely anything you can think of!
  • Moods
  • Events
  • Daily gratitude
  • Goals
  • Ideas
  • What you ate for dinner

Luna pages

These pages are completely unique to my BuJos, but bear with me!
My little girl is the reason I quickly stopped caring about how picture-perfect my Bujos are.

She loves to join in and be part of those around her. If my journals are within reach she will grab one, go find some pencils and bring them over to me so we can “draw” together.

At first, I was really upset and annoyed at her scribbling in my bullet journal, but now I love it.
It’s something I can share with her and when she is a bit older I will get her one of her own. In 10 years when I look back over these, I will know that it was something that not only kept me grounded, it was something I could share with my baby girl.

So, my point here is this – no matter how much you think your bullet journal could be made “better”, always remember that it is a representation of you and your life. Nothing can ever compare to that!


I hope this guide has been useful in getting you started on your BuJo-urney!
If there are any other types of spreads you’d love to see just let me know.

Jess is an aspiring blogger, born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. After relocating to remote Christmas Island, Australia, to be with her fiance, she became a mother for the first time. As a long-time sufferer of anxiety, Jess knew that as a mother she couldn't keep letting it take control of her life. Using the power of planning, Jess has learned how to use her passion for organisation to minimise anxiety and maximise her self-worth. Now she runs her blog, Mindful Galaxy, to bring all of these lessons straight to you so that you can live your best life.

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