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A Peek into my 2014 Planner

Friday, January 3, 2014


Up until this week, I had my planner inside my household binder. It was really cute, but not at all portable, and just wasn't meeting my needs. (To clarify, just the planner part wasn't working for me... I am still in love with my household binder!) Right before the new year, some friends started talking about the Bullet Journal, and I knew I had to give it a try. If you've never heard of it, head on over to BulletJournal.com. There is a quick video and some other information that explains how to set one up. After I had thought about it for a few days (so I wouldn't act on impulse) my hubby was sweet enough to go to the bookstore to buy me a Moleskine notebook. I got the large black soft covered Classic Notebook with squared paper. Large enough to fit my needs, and small enough to fit in my purse. I will say, it was hard to find because I live in the middle of nowhere, but if you go to the Moleskine website, they can tell you where you can find their products. Or you can use any ol' notebook you like! 

We are only three days into the new year, so I don't have a whole lot in my journal yet, but I wanted to give you a quick peek. As you can see from the picture up at the top of the page, I had to add some color to that drab black cover. It was a quick 30 second fix, since I had some Martha Stewart Home Office stickers and elastic handy. Much better! 


The first page is an index, so I can easily find things. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Since I'm one of those people that writes things down in several different notebooks, and on little sheets of paper and sticky notes, having one place to deposit all my plans, ideas, and notes is awesome. 



I took the general Bullet Journal concept, and tweaked it to better fit my needs. On pages two and three, I drew some boxes for each month, and wrote down my family's birthdays, anniversaries, and  holidays. Then at the bottom of page three, I drew a key: a heart for anniversaries; a cross for anniversaries of deaths; a present for birthdays; and a dot for holidays. And because I like to doodle, each month has a little picture in its box.


Next, I made my January calendar. Overview on the left, and the month's tasks on the right. To give it some color, I used washi tape at the top of each calendar page. 


On the next several pages, I divided each page into three days. (A few ended up with four days so the new month would always begin with two pages.) This is where I will keep track of each day's events and tasks, and where I will jot down notes and write a little bit about my day.  I love that this acts as not only a planner, but as a journal and idea notebook, too. Because of that, this is something I will keep year after year. And don't you just love the satisfaction of coloring boxes in when you complete something? Or, maybe you prefer checkmarks, in which case, go ahead and check those boxes off to your heart's content.

I needed to be able to plan for future events, so after I finished making the monthly spread for January, followed by the daily pages, I kept going with February all the way through December. Monthly spread, dailies, and repeat. Yes, it took some time, but now I feel invested. Can't just throw it aside and forget about it when I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This thing is with me for life. Or at least the next 12 months. 


Right after the last page for December, I made a box for each month so I can write down appointments and other happenings that will take place in 2015.


Just to give you an idea of how I'm using the idea notebook part of the journal, the picture above shows some of the different projects I want to complete around our home, and below is a weight loss tracker I made to keep me motivated. I can't wait to color in all those little boxes!  


I am convinced this is going to work really well for me. It will free my mind of all the ideas I have floating around, and will act as my memory so I don't have to keep lying to myself when I think, "Oh, I don't have to write it down. I'll remember." So a big thanks to my friends for introducing me to this method. Love at first sight. 


Linked with:
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44 Responses to “A Peek into my 2014 Planner”

  1. I LOVE this!! It turned out beautifully!!

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  2. This is really great. I love how you have made lists, over views and index. Thanks for posting this in the blog hop.

    Handmade at Warratahstree

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! I love it so far :)

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  3. This is a great idea! I have the same problem of writing the same things down in different places. I also have a problem of collecting cute notebooks and planners! I had three for last year. Trying with a smaller blank notebook this time :)

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    1. Thanks :) I'm addicted to cute notebooks! Any cute office supplies, really. I'm hoping this channels my excitement into one notebook. LOL

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  4. one of the BEST posts I've seen on Bullet Journaling. Started mine this month as well. Just using a composition notebook I had on hand. Resisting the urge to go buy a nice Moleskin. Nice job!

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    1. Thank you SO much! :) Hey, a composition notebook will work just fine. If you find you love the method, give yourself permission to splurge on the Moleskine for next year. I hear they are coming out with a few new colors this spring. Of course, this was after I got the drab black one. LOL

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  5. Love Love LOVE this! I found this post searching for ways to decorate my bullet journal with washi tape. Your notebook/journal has definitely given me some ideas to implement with my own. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank you! :) I'm new to Washi, and was happy to have it on hand already so I could up the cute factor in my journal. Have fun with yours!

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  6. Shandy. Did you have enough pages in your moleskine for the whole year? How many days did you fit on 2 pages?

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    1. Yes, I had plenty of pages for the whole year! My 2014 calendar took me up to page 146. The first two pages are for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Then each month gets 2 pages for the overview and tasks, and then 10 pages for daily planning (fitting 3 days on one page, and 4 days on the tenth page for months with 31 days.) Pages 147-148 are for future planning, and that leaves 42 blank pages to use any ol' way.

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  7. I love how you have set this out. My Bullet journal is still evolving but yours is just perfect! How long did it take you to set it up for the year? I find all the initial writing and marking off months in advance too time consuming. Did you draw up all the months in advance or just one or two?

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    1. Thank you :) I did the entire year in one night. I think it took 5 or 6 hours, but that included breaks, a lot of finger tapping while I decided what I wanted to put in it, doodling, washi taping, and fighting to keep my eyes open since I was up into the wee hours of the morning doing it. Hahaha A friend of mine got hers done in 4 hours. It's not mandatory that the whole year gets done at once. I just like to have everything done so I can plan far in advance.

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  8. I LOVE this Shandy!!! I've seen bullet planning before, and to be honest videos made it so darn complicated!!! This is nice and simple, very easy to keep up!!! I love the Weight Trakker sheet too!! Very creative!

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  9. Hi Shandy, I found this post on pinterest. I, too have started a bullet journal for the first time this year. I AM LOVING it! Your story sounds SOO much like mine... little notes all over, household binder, etc. I also have incorporated some art work in mine by following this blog: https://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/journal/2013/12/25/the-documented-life-project-11-challenge
    AND I started using washi tape for the first time! I LOVE my bullet journal and for the first time, I think I will stick with this one! Thanks for posting yours! I love it!

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    1. Hi Robin :) I enjoy doodling and sketching in mine as well. Glad to hear it's working for you. I think people like us need one place to channel everything. LOL Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by!

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  10. Sandy,
    I LOVE your ideas... What does your key code look like ( I see you color in boxes when complete) what do you do for the other things? Your bullet journal is so pretty and I am sure the rest of the key is as well.. Do you feel like you have had enough space (daily) to journal and such, since you completed the entire year? I want to do the same that is why I am asking.

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    1. Hi, Jenifer! Thank you so much :) I am working on a follow up blog post that will be published on Monday (March 3) that answers these questions and some others I have received from people. I'll be sure to include pictured showing my keys. I definitely have enough space. I have 42 blank pages, so plenty of room. If you have any further questions, let me know, and I'll cover those on Monday as well. Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to subscribe to be notified when it posts :)

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  11. Okay, so I'm now kinda, sorta COMPLETELY OBSESSED with this idea!!! You're a genius!!! I love love love this idea for a planner! THANK YOU for sharing this with all of us!!!

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    1. Hi, Nikki! Thanks so much :) :) :)

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  12. Hey I love the weight lose tracker could you email me a copy plz
    Lindafoltz86@yahoo.com
    I would love to have this by sat so I can start it on the day I start my diet plz
    Thank you so much I do love it

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  13. Hi! I didn't see this in your follow up post either- what size Moleskine are you using? Thanks for this post. :D

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    1. Hi there! I mentioned it in the first paragraph of this post :) I got the large black soft covered Classic Notebook with squared paper. Thanks for dropping by! Glad you liked the post!

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  14. Agree that this is one of the best posts on Bullet Journal(ing)--thank you! Can you tell us what pen set you are using? Beautiful colors.

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    1. Thanks so much! :) I use Paper Mate Flairs and Paper Mate Inkjoy Quatro. The Flairs do billed through a bit, so mostly I use the Quatro for everyday use. (But I do love my Flairs!)

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  15. I love your planner! And your blog! I've been looking for a blog planner that works for me! I'll have to try something like this! :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for the sweet comment and for stopping by :) The great thing about planning this way is that it is totally customizable.

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  16. Hi! I was wondering if you are going to be doing another planner like this for 2015? Have you enjoyed the bullet journaling or will you be going back to your previous method? Love this post! Beautiful journal also!

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    1. Hi, Chrysi! Thank you! Yes, I will definitely be doing another one of these planners for 2015. I can't see myself going back to a regular planner after using this one. I really like using it :) I'm sure I will blog about my new one in January.

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  17. Hi, I'm interested in doing one of these journals for '15, where did you get your journal at?

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    1. Hi, Annie! Mine is from Barnes and Noble, but if you don't have one near you, just check the Moleskine website for locations they're sold at. The link is in the blog post :)

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  18. Replies
    1. Yes, it still works great for my needs :) I will be posting my 2016 Bullet Journal soon!

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  19. I was wondering how you have tweaked this and what you like best about this

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    1. I will be posting my 2016 Bullet Journal soon, and will be sure to cover your question in my post! :)

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    2. Looking forward to it! Thanks for taking time to share what you have learned! Have you doe SketchNote with your kids? I'm thinking of making this a summer class for my middle/high school kids

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  20. I really like this Sandy, this is the best bullet journaling I've seen thus far. However, I've got a question, what happens though if you need more pages for your daily pages, you can't do it anymore as you've filled it out.

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    1. Thanks Angelica! :) I haven't run into that problem enough for it to be a concern for me. I have plenty of extra blank pages left at the back of my journal, should I need to use them. I'll be posting my 2016 journal soon! :)

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  21. Thanks for this. I love the idea of a Bullet Journal and have been checking them out on You Tube and Pinterest... Waaay to much time on both sites btw....
    This is the best layout I've seen and it is similar to the way I would want mine to work, with a few tweeks for me. I love the way you describe how to set the layout for each page.
    I bought a book yesterday, but dont want to mess it up yet, so I am starting in a cheap book, till it works. I will start properly in the New Year now in my good Notebook.

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    1. Thanks so much! :) I've made a couple of changes to mine and will be posting my 2016 journal soon. Hope you're liking yours so far!

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Thanks for taking the time to write a few kind words!