My bullet journal setup for productivity in 2019!

My bullet journal setup for productivity in 2019!


– A new year means a new bullet journal. So, in this video I wanna walk you through the set up of my journal for 2019 and also share a few thoughts on what I like about the
bullet journal system and how it helps me stay productive. (energetic music) First off, if you have never heard of a bullet journal before, if this is somehow the first video you’re watching on this topic, then it’s essentially an
analog way of planning and writing to-do lists. At least that’s what I use it for, anyway. You an do it in any plain
notebook that you like, and what I love about it
is how customizable it is. So you make your own spreads. You’re not confined to like
the exact height of a day in a pre-made planner
or anything like that. It’s meant to be uncomplicated and easy to quickly help you note stuff down that you need to remember
or that you need to do, so that you can just like
get on with doing it. I will leave a link to the
video in the description. You should definitely
watch if you don’t know about bullet journals yet that’s by the creator of
the bullet journal method. It explains it much better than I do, and I think you’ll find
it really useful to watch. But, the cool thing about bullet journals is that everyone has their
own way of doing them and I know that I watched
a lot of videos like these when I was first getting started with using the bullet journal method just to get ideas for different spreads and how I might wanna use it. So yeah, I hope that this video is useful to you for that reason. So with that said, let’s get into it. I guess we should start
with the book itself. So the first year that I
started bullet journaling, I used the official Leuchtturm
bullet journal notebook. So it’s on that has bullet
journal on the cover and it’s got a guide to
stuff in it in the front. But essentially, it’s a dot grid notebook with numbers in the corner
and some page markers. Last year I used a Baron Fig Confidant for my bullet journal, and I loved the quality of the notebook. The paper quality was much better than the Leuchtturm, in my opinion. The cover was super nice
with its linen feel to it, and it was a really good size, too. But I did find that I really
missed having the page numbers and I missed having multiple page markers. So for that reason, I’ve gone back to Leuchtturm for this year. This time it’s not the official
bullet journal notebook, but it’s just one of
their dot grid notebooks with page numbers, which
is all your really need. And I’ve gon for it in
this bright yellow color because it’s my color of the moment and it just makes me happy. As you can see the pages
are a nice creamy color with nice, evenly spaced dots. The paper is on the thinner
side compared to the Baron Fig, so there is a bit of show-through, but overall it’s still
a pretty good notebook and I like that it has
two page markers here. I keep on in the month and one in the day, which I’ll explain that in a second. I write in my bullet journal
using a Muji gel pen. I just think these are really good pens. Someone recommended them to me when I first started bullet journaling, and I’ve not gone back. I’ve not tried anything else ’cause I just love them so much. They write really
smoothly, they don’t run. Like, I don’t think
they’d go through a line, and I get the 0.7 mm, in
case you’re interested. Alright, so let’s get into how I’ve set up this notebook itself. I’ll just like flip through my pages and show you what I’ve done so far. The first thing in my notebook, and the reason why I went
back to one with page numbers is the index. So this is where you
essentially note the page that each spread that you’ve used is on. I really like this,
because as I’ve set it up, as you’ll see, there is this chunk of not-time sensitive pages, I guess is the way to explain it. Like they could be used at any month at the very beginning of the book, but sometimes mid-way through the year I want to like do a
project plan or something, so I’ll take a page and do that. And I found that last year I couldn’t find those pages again. I did a lot of flipping through the book. Whereas this year, I can just
note down the page number that I did that on with a title and I’ll be able to go
and find it pretty easily. Th first spread when we
get into the notebook is the future log. So the future log is basically
an overview of the whole year and I do mine with six months to a spread just to give myself some room. I draw this little calendar at the side, and then note events and things that are happening in that month. So it’s a good way for me to check when trips are happening, when are my busy times, when are my, perhaps, a
little bit more available. A couple of things to note here, one is that I will put down trips that I’m taking in a month
with a little triangle. That just helps me keep
track of my busy months and when I’ve got a lot on. Then I’ll put important events happening that month with a star. In the calendar itself, I circle the days that are public holidays,
bank holidays in England. So the days that I have off work, and I’ll put a square around dates that I’m taking as a vacation day. As you can see here, there’s a lot of underlines
on all the dates in January, and continuing into February. And that is because I
underline all the days that I’m away from home. So I’m not going to be back
in London until February 10th. So that’s what all that’s about. If you watched my video about 2019 goals, you’ll know that this year I really wanna focus more on balance and being aware of how
much time and energy a trip can take up aside from
just the days that I’m away. So having this overview, seeing all these underlines together is a good way for me to be aware that this is a time when I’m perhaps not gonna be able to get as much done as if I was just at home in London in my usual space. Moving on, the next
spread is also something that you will have heard about if you watched my goals video. This is my quarterly goals, which really it probably should be called quarterly things I want to do. There’s a lot I wanna do this year and I’ve decided to
break it up into quarters just to make things easier to focus on and see where they fit in. So this is a spread where, as more things come up, I’ll see which quarter
is a little bit emptier and where I could fit them in. So that means that if I
get an idea now this month, my quarter one is pretty full already, so I’m gonna have to schedule
it either for Q3 or Q4 when things are looking
a little bit lighter. I haven’t done this yet because it’s still January, it’s not the end of a
quarter, that’s March. But at the end of each quarter I am planning on doing a spread that revisits these goals and noting down what went well, what I got achieved, what
perhaps didn’t go so well that I can work on for the next quarter. So doing those little
check-ins with myself, that I tend to do at the end of the year, but keeping them up throughout the year so that I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to do some self improvement, you know? Next I have a spread for my travel plans. This is something that I
had in my 2018 notebook and I really liked. I go on a lot of trips and I find organizing
trips really stressful. It’s hard to keep straight in my mind, like what have I booked, what haven’t I booked? So this is a spread for
all of that information. I can keep track of the things that I still need to do, and as I schedule more trips for my year, this spread will get
filled up with all of that. Another spread that I had
in my 2018 bullet journal that I haven’t put in this
one was a habit tracker. I wanted to have a spread
where I could track habits that I wanted to build and I
started off with skateboarding. That was something that I
wanted to work on last year. It turns out, I didn’t
really use the habit tracker. I found it difficult to
remember to flip back to it. I don’t know, it’s just
not the way I think and it’s not the way I work. This year I’m trying, I guess
it’s kind of a habit tracker? More of a content tracker. It’s this spread here
with the amount of videos that I wanna make for the year, the amount of vlogs and blog
posts, emails, et cetera that I wanna make sure I produce. So as the year goes on I think it’s gonna be pretty satisfying to tick all this stuff off. This spread here is not
really an active one. It’s not one I see myself adding to. It’s more of just a note
for me to have there to refer to and remind myself of. I’ve copied this out of my 2018 journal. Partway through the year, I sat down and had a good think about my career trajectory and what I wanted my career
as a whole to encompass. And this is what I came up with. So I’ve just put this in
here for prosperity, really. I like seeing it. I like seeing it all laid out. It reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing and how the little things that I do fit into the larger whole. Okay, so now as we hit this
first page marker here, we’re getting into the month of January. So I make a spread like this at the start of each month, and all of last year I was trying out something slightly different each month. And that’s what I like
about the bullet journal is that you create it as you go. So I haven’t set up
February, March, April, all the way through the
year yet looking like this. I’ll set it up on January 31st, I’ll set it up for February,
you know what I mean? So then I can make tweaks
to this as I go along and just continually refine it. Something I always do, though, ’cause I do quite like it is have the dates and the days of the week on the side here with things brought in from that future log. So this is my trips and
places that I’ll be, events that are happening, and again I’ve put a
square around the days I’m taking as vacation. This really helps to visualize when I’m coming in to planning what I’m gonna do each week. So as you can see here, this third week of January
is a really busy time, so I perhaps should make sure that I get the stuff done
that I want to this month before that happens or be aware that I’m gonna have to do it after. On this page next to it is where I plan what I’m gonna do in
each week of the month to, yeah, help me fit stuff in. So like I said, I can refer to this and make sure that I don’t
schedule too much for week three. This isn’t something
that I totally fill out at the start of a month. I sort of definitely fill out week one, but then will add to it as I go. You can also see up
here, focus and success. So the monthly focus is something that I’ve been doing for a while. Every month I’ll write down what the main focus is of the month. What’s the number one thing, what’s the number one priority. Previously my monthly focus has always been side project related, but something I want
to try going into 2019 with my goal of having
more balance in my life is to have like a personal focus, as well as a side project focus. So this month the personal
focus is my sister’s wedding, because she’s getting married soon. In fact, by the time you see this video, she might already be married. So that’s exciting. And then the success part is a new one for this year that I’m trying. These four things here
are what it would take to call January a success in my eyes. So this is something that
I will make sure I do at the start of every month is write down what I think
success would look like, and then I can revisit
at the end of the month and see what I achieved
and feel good about myself if I have done them. And if I haven’t done them, then it’ll be a good
lesson for me in scoping and figuring out what’s
actually realistic to achieve. Then we get into the days, which is what the majority
of my bullet journal ends up looking like
by the end of the year. I just write the date and then I have two lists. The one on the left hand
side is my work tasks, and then on the right hand
side is my side project tasks, my life admin, like stuff I
need to do outside of work. I follow what I think is a pretty regular
bullet journal for this. I just put a dot for a task, and then I will cross off that
dot when the task is done. I draw a little circle for
an appointment or an event, and then if I’m gonna
write a note at that day, then I’ll just do a little
dash here, as you can see. As you can also see, I am not super neat when it comes to my bullet journal. I am not trying to make it the most beautiful thing in the world, I’m trying to make it functional. So sometimes I do end
up with little drawings just to remind myself of an idea I had or, I don’t know, my
handwriting is barely readable to anyone other than me. But that’s okay, ’cause
it’s my bullet journal. So essentially, I will continue doing this like writing the date and then my tasks for that say up until the next month. And then I will set up for February. In the middle of the month, sometimes I might wanna
create an extra spread. Like say I’m about to
ship a new web project and I just wanna make sure
I have one central checklist for my last things I need to do or the touch-ups I need to make. That’s a case when I might takeover a page and just do that. That’s why the page numbers
are important for me, because I can note what page that’s on, write it in the index, and
easily be able to find it to refer to a few days later. For being such a digital
person in general, I am still really
surprised that I have stuck with using the bullet
journal method for so long and that it’s actually been
working really well for me. And I think the reason why is that when I write down a task by hand, I’m just more likely to do it than if I type it into a to-do list app on a computer or on my phone. Part of the reason for that, I think, is that seeing a task
in my own handwriting and just the act of writing it down feels more like a commitment
that I’m making to myself, but also I think it’s the fact that I have my bullet journal sitting open on my desk next to me all day, every day, as opposed to a to-do list app where it might get hidden by
another window, in another tab. You have to actively go
into the app to see it. This is just always there and it’s always reminding
me what I need to get done. Also, you know, it’s just super satisfying to cross stuff off in a notebook. Much more satisfying than
checking something off digitally. And the reason I think the bullet journal works so well for me as
opposed to just getting like a regular pre-made planner or diary, is the customization that I can do with it with setting my focus for the month, breaking down weeks,
breaking down my quarters. That’s not stuff that necessarily comes in a regular planner or diary. So that’s where I really like that I can set up my own spreads and make it work exactly how I want. Alright, this has been a very long video. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you found it interesting seeing how I set up my bullet journal. It’s super not pretty and all these nice spreads that a lot of people do, but it’s really functional and it really is a set up that helps me work towards my goals. So hopefully maybe that
will help you out, as well. If you enjoyed this video, then please give it a thumbs up, share it around with a friend who is thinking of trying out
the bullet journal method. Maybe this will give them some ideas and show them that you
don’t need to be an artist to make your bullet journal happen and make it work for you. If you use the bullet
journal method, as well, I’d love to hear how
yours compares to mine, what are some different spreads that you really love and they’re essential
to you in your journal. Tell me about ’em below in the comments, because like I said, this is
a super customizable system and everyone does it differently. So I’d love to hear about it. Alright, I hope you have a good day. I will see you in my next video, and now I can go mark off
film bullet journal video on my to-do list. (upbeat music)

27 thoughts on “My bullet journal setup for productivity in 2019!

  1. OMG I hate "premiere" feature with passion LOL
    For a moment I was so excited for this video (I also listen to your podcast and knew it was coming) but now I feel deceived and kinda don't want to see it at all…
    Although I'm not the kind of person that leaves comments usually, I really like your channel and felt like I need to say something.

  2. Thanks for the video Charli, I was binge watching videos on how to create your own bullet journal and I think I'm finally ready to start my own lol ๐Ÿ˜…Have an awesome day!

  3. Great video!!! I'm planning on making a bullet journal setup video on my channel as well. Love the way yours is set up. It's awesome that the bullet journal setup can be flexible to an indviduals optimal way to keep productive.

  4. I really like how real this is. Without all the colors and glam like how it is now. I've been thinking about getting back into it once I'm done with my other planner. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Yo… So I have this dilemma, I didn't finish my bullet journal from last year. There are so many pages left. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Should I start a new one ? I k ownit doesn't matter but…. Argggghhhhhh

  6. This is really cool! Do you still use a "traditional todo app" (i.e. Reminders) for things like food shopping lists? or do you put those as entries in your bullet journal?

  7. Hey Charlie awesome video. I started doing Bullet Journaling once you put up your first video on the subject. I have been following how you did yours and added a projects section , business , books I would like to read and a page to for reflection. Iโ€™m most def going to add the success to my monthly focus ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ

    Btw do you do you have a separate journal or book for project and notes or do you put it all in one journal … thanks

  8. If you like a thicker paper, you could try one from rhodia. You have soft and hardcovers. They are my favorite as I write mostly in fountain pen ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for your video, very inspiring!

  9. Honestly, I love Muji pens. I keep it on the top of my wishlist because I tried one Muji pen a few years ago and it just the most high-quality writing utensil I have ever used in my life. I just started my very first bullet journal at the beginning of this year and I really like it so far. I'm really only using it to keep track of videos I am making and the books I'm reading, but it is working out so far.

  10. I love this! I started following you for your design tutorials and just love the way you share life and what you learn <3

    I always thought bullet journals were for super artistic put together people, and never realized the true intention for functionality. I am not good at drawing (hence my love for web design!) and was super discouraged by the aforementioned beautified bullet journals I see on Pinterest all the time. I so want to try making one after your video! Lots of what you use it for are things I do on the daily, but currently just have a big blank notebook and make notes as I go – this is a great way to add some categorization to my notebooks! Thanks Charli ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I really need to get back into my bullet journal but I find it really difficult to stick to it, I keep forgetting about it lol

  12. Hey! Hi! Charli! can you share your itunes playlist! or make video about it! i guess you are best audiophile arround this freaking youtube!

  13. I'm definitely copying the sh****t out of your journal! So organised. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Thanks, Charli ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I like how simple you made your journal, no fancy spreads or super artsy pages. Just functionality. I think the bullet journal's aesthetic reputation scares a lot of people away so I'm glad you were able to offer this alternate perspective!

  15. I finally tried out a bullet journal for the last few months of 2018 and found it worked well for me. So I bought myself a Dingbats bullet journal (which I LOVE) for this year. Mine is very much like yours – nice and simple :-).

  16. I like to make lil.lists of things that I like buying in places I go, so I deff. preff. bujos that have a lil.pocket. Maybe that's tot.possible to stitch pages. The better pockets open on the inside along the pages and not on the top, f.course. Although all I need to write down is passwords, so, thats all I keep on the side of my desk, and stays the same for ages. Witch is cool, cause I like to tiny write every project or tiny draw it and I have diff. notebooks (all scrapped and mystic) for every type of activity (this should be so in high-school, any school). Apart from fancy laced-profile cute things that you can place in the library, I don't think that berrying your writing just for nothing is so smart. Cause never looking at it again, it like, dies, witch is just as funny as it gets.. I love the quarterly idea, loved it from the first time and I made myself try to adapt to it, so it was very useful getting reminded. (I personally think that everyone is kinda messed up the second.q, and, like, hibernating in hot cocoa the last.q.)

  17. Great video Charlie, thanks. Just starting a hand made Bullet Journal. Good to see what a fellow Wellingtonian is doing with it :). Super helpful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *