My 2016 Planner

My planning history has been long and wonderful: I have posts on my planning system at 11 years old, my hand-written journal used during my hiatus from busyness, my Erin Condren Life Planner, and finally, my new bullet journal for 2016, featured on this page. When I switched to the bullet journal, I achieved that elusive “planner peace” and I can’t help but share my progress.

The Bullet Journal is the brain child of Ryder Carol. His setup video is all you need to get started. The purpose of the bullet journal is to simplify your life. I was apprehensive at first to adopt such a vastly different setup, and I watched the setup video many times and only after two of my favorite people adopted the bullet journal system did I give it a try.

While maintaining the overarching simplicity, I’ve focused my bullet journal on “collections,” weekly spreads, and monthly calendars, leaving out some of the original spreads of Ryder Carol’s bullet journal. It has had a pervasive impact on my life and below I have posted the best place to start learning about my bullet journal.

I filmed a flip-through of my bullet journal setup for 2016 in January, so check it out and subscribe to catch all the updates!

My Bullet Journal (An Online Index):

1. Key

Synonymous with a legend, a key is a simple page that denotes the icons used throughout the journal.

2.-3. Index

On this spread, I keep track of all collections that have been made and on which page they live. This can be as fancy or a simple as you like.

4. Craft Projects

5. Music / Million Dollar Ideas

I have a short to-do list of music that is in the editing process here and a much longer list of songs I’d like to learn how to play.

6. Blessings / Gifts

A gift spread is essential to any planner or journal I keep as I think many times during the year, “Oh, so-and-so would love that!” and typically forget about it altogether come their birthday, a holiday, or a get-together. The value of this page lies in how often it is referenced and updated.

7. The NOT To-Do List

Inspired by my bestie, this is an anti-priority list. This is a list of goals from which I am completely freed. It might sound silly with its first impression, but we spend so much time thinking about what our goals are, we assume that the things that aren’t our goals are implied. It’s powerful to explicitly remove a task, goal, or priority from your life. Writing it down on your NOT to-do list cements in your subconscious your full intent and it clears the path to your chosen goals.

8. Blog To-Write (old)

9. Academic Plan

If you’re in school, it’s important to keep track of how many classes you have, how many you need, and what to take next. I keep all of this information in one place: my academic plan page. Extra items needed in addition to graduation? I make a note of them here. Scholarship opportunities? Jot it down. Program requirements change? Keep a record of it.

10. Career Goals

11. Passion Tree

“Tree”-mapping is unendingly useful. It combines the need to brain-dump and the need to visualize. Instead of a static 1, 2, 3, list of things, you can connect things in a two-dimensional way. This tree is just an artistic representation of the things I enjoy.

12. Household Projects

13.-14. Dailies

13 pages in and I finally get to my regular tasks! On the “dailies” pages are my ongoing tasks and events. These are items that don’t belong in any of the collections I’ve made and things that I am actively working on during the week. If you’re interested in seeing how I write out these weekly spreads, visit my YouTube plan-with-me playlist.

15. Goals for 2016 (old)

Oops page! They happen.

16. Notes & Quotes

Migration is important for the bullet journal. When I migrate from journal to journal, I like to keep a “permanent” list of notes. These are the notes & quotes that are more than just passing.

17. Themes for 2016 / Path to the Compendium

Do you choose a theme for each year?

The second half of this page is a brain-dump for a set of books I’d like to write one day.

18. My Favorite Songs

19. My Music Library & Wishlist

20.-21. 10×0

When I began 2016, I wrote down ten areas of my life and made ten goals for each area. Read the whole series here.

22. 2015 in Review / Date Night Wishlist

23. Blog To-Do (old)

24. Gift Ideas for 2016

25. January Gratitude Log

Gratitude changes your heart. This year, to incorporate gratitude more regularly, I will create a spread each month where I jot down all the things that spark gratitude.


26. Wish list / Unwish list

27. Dailies

28.-30. Affirmations

This is part of my morning routine… Stay tuned for explanation!

31. Team Contacts

I used one page to write down my teammates’ emails and phone calls for quick reference. Yes, I should use a computer to keep track of this, but I like paper–shut up!

32. Dailies

33. My Morning Routine

34. January Habit Tracking

35. Seasonal Living

36. Training Log

This is where I keep track of my gym routine, how I’m progressing with my weights, and a record of what I did.

37.-39. Dailies

I filmed my creation of this weekly spread for your viewing pleasure.

40. My Highest Values

41. Letters to Send

Many times a week, I think, “oh, it’s been a long time since I talked to so-and-so,” and I write their name down quickly to keep me from forgetting. It reminds me to whom and when I sent letters.

42.-43. Blog To-Write

44.-45. Blog To-Do

46.-47. Dailies

48.-50. A Semester on One Page: Spring 2016

You can see how I made these three pages by watching my video on academic spreads.

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