How to Setup Your Bullet Journal in 2020: The Ultimate Guide | Nikki Kristol | Skillshare

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How to Setup Your Bullet Journal in 2020: The Ultimate Guide

teacher avatar Nikki Kristol, Content Creator, Teacher, 3K Students

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Key and Index


    • 4.

      Future Log


    • 5.

      Monthly Log


    • 6.

      Monthly Brainstorming


    • 7.

      Daily Log


    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.

      Habit Tracker


    • 11.

      Mood Tracker


    • 12.

      Savings Goal


    • 13.

      8 Helpful Tips


    • 14.

      Class Project


    • 15.

      Final Flipthrough


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About This Class

This class is jam packed with information on how to setup your bullet journal in 2020.  Follow me on this journey, as we set a foundation with the core bullet journal system, then depart into colorful weeklies and trackers.  

Supplies: See a list of supplies in the class outline under "Projects and Resources".

Resources: The Bullet Journal Method:

Inspired by: Elyse McKenna's Life Leverage, Dec 2017,

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nikki Kristol

Content Creator, Teacher, 3K Students


Hello everyone! Thank you for checking out my classes here on Skillshare.  I'm Nikki Kristol, a work-from-home mom, wife, and New Yorker.  I am excited about journaling, illustration, and would love to hear from you.  If there are any topics you'd like a class on, leave me a comment here on Skillshare, or just stop by to say hello.

As much as I love my urban life, I also crave serenity, and that's where my bullet journal comes into its own.  If you are on a journey to health, well-being, and productivity in this modern life, then you've come to the right place.  More than 2,500 students have taken my classes, and I'm so grateful for all of the support.

When I'm not journaling, my favorite places in New York City are Central Park... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome!: so Bullet darling is not as complicated as it seems. Perhaps you've seen images on Instagram or Pinterest, and you think I can't do this, but you can. And this class is going to show you how high I'm Nicky Crystal, and this class is how to set up your bullet journal in 2020 the ultimate guy. And this is the ultimate guy because we're going to cover so much information to help you bullet journal for this New Year and this new decade, we'll start off by talking about the core bullet journal method and then will depart from there into more creative, colorful weeklies. We'll talk about mood Trackers will talk about habit trackers, and we'll even do a little bit of budgeting for those who want a budget in the new year. When you take this class, there's a free printable in the resource is section that gives you an outline you can follow all along with all the information in this class. I'm confident that the end of this class you'll have the tools and confidence you need to start bullet early and continue Bulla journaling all year long with me. So let's get started 2. Supplies: Okay, guys here, the supplies and tools I used for this project. First up, I have a scruples that matter. A five Daughters journal Iconic. It has an elastic enclosure. There's a side loop for a pen, and the paper is 160 GSM, which means my favorite markers won't ghost through or bleed through. There's an expandable back pocket for a little calendar or whatever I need. I used to find liners to secure a pig Mom Micron in 01 and 03 for color, I use one goal uni ball gel pin and four Tom Bo brush pins. I use one shake stencil once dental for lettering and one ruler. And finally I use a pen. Tell mechanical pencil at a stent Lory Racer. 3. Key and Index: If we want to talk about the bullet journal system, let's start off by talking about bullets. So here are the bullets created by the bullet journal method off there. Each task has assembled by it, and this is sort of a legend. If it item in your journal is a note started off with a dash. If an item in your journal is an event started off with an open circle, if an item in your journal is a task, fill it in with a small circle. Once the task is complete, put an X through it. If you migrate attached to the next month, put a right arrow through it, showing that you couldn't complete the task this month. But next month you'll complete it. And then for any test that has to be scheduled further into the future into your future log , put a left arrow by that task. And finally, when a task becomes irrelevant when it no longer needs your attention, strike through that task. That task is irrelevant, and these symbols will become second nature to you as you use your burn bullet journal. And when you flip through what you'll know exactly what each insurer in your journal is, and after using them for a while, you won't even need to refer to this key after the key. The next pages, the index think of your index as your table of contents. Now, every good book should have a table of contents, and your bullet journal is gonna be a great book. So I highly recommend you using index. So don't skip this in the beginning. Create your index. It's an invaluable tool for staying. Organizing your journal is gonna reduce the amount of flipping back and forth that you doing your journal. Now, remember that these are not pre drawn planners. So when you draw your index, think of it as a helpful guide. And I received three pages of pre drawn index in this planner, but I felt I needed mawr. So I added two more. I took a letter stencil and a ruler, and I drew two more pages mimicking sort of their lettering in their design. And we will use this index throughout the class. So now the key and the index are set up. Let's talk about the next page. The future log 4. Future Log: The future log is a section of your bullet journal where you could do a lot of your big picture planning for the entire year. You can call it your year at a glance. You only have to set this up once, so let's do it. Divide two pages into six sections. These are for the 1st 6 months of the year. Turn the page and at the next six months of the year, having this much space is far superior to a traditional pre drawn planner. In a traditional planner, too much space is dedicated to each date of the year, leaving less room for long term planning. And what happens if you don't feel in a date? Do you feel that you've wasted space and paper? The bully journal understands that each day may not be recorded, so it lets you use that space for a big future. Log for more brainstorming for whatever you need. This kind of flexibility will personalize this planner and make a year old. Now, once you set up your future lock, go back to the index and know what pace the future log is on. Next up is the monthly logs 5. Monthly Log: for the monthly law. Let's set up the first month of the year. We'll use two pages on the left page. There'll be a linear calendar that's quick and easy to set up in one column. Just write down all the dates of the month and next to the date right the corresponding day of the week. On the right side is your monthly task lists, and your monthly task list is everything you need to do this, mom. Now those items on the right side can be tasks, notes or events categorized. Using the bullets we talked about in the first video of this course will be able to see all of our tests on the right side and on the left side. We'll see the day. Thes items can be done or need to be done, so this linear calendar is different from a traditional depth calendar because it lets you see all of your tests and days at once. This bird's eye view is immensely useful to help you allocate task evenly across each week of the month, So if a day is free, it can get a task. If you really don't like this calendar, guess what you can change it up and make it work for you. No matter what monthly log or counter you use. Make sure you go back to the index and know what page the monthly log is on. Now let's do some brainstorming for the month of January. 6. Monthly Brainstorming: here, you see me brainstorming to create my monthly task list. This is also called brain dumping. Basically, I'm just letting everything in my head land on this paper. And when I finished, I'm going to schedule these bullets to my monthly calendar. So now when I'm writing daily task list, I can flip back to this brainstorming to see what needs to be done on the present day. Let's see what Daily Journal looks like in the Bullet Journal. 7. Daily Log: This is my daily law, and this is rapid logging on this day. Wednesday, January 1st I'm brainstorming task notes and events. I'm also flipping to the monthly lock to see if there any task in my monthly calendar that need to be done today. I'm also checking January in the future log for any open tasks. A big task like planning my vacation has many sub task and gets its own page, called a collection. Put daily logs and collections in your Buju as they occur and no thes pages back into your index. 8. Migration: So we've set up our key in our index. You set up the future log, we set up the monthly log and we've set up the daily long. Now let's see how all these parts work together. Let's say you reach the end of the week. You go through your open tax, you find tashfeen completed an X amount, then not only do you look for completed tasks, but you look for a relevant task and strike through them. Tax the day to be moved to the next month, give migrated within right arrow and then move that task to the next month. In this case, February, I moved the task of February, and this yellow flag simply did notes for illustration purposes that these two are the same task that's been moved from a daily long in January 2 monthly Long in February. Then let's say you have a task that you need to move farther into the future. Put a left arrow to that task, and then you're gonna move that task to your future log. Here you see the place, the left arrow, and then I move. Attest to April in the future log and again the purple flags just illustrate that these are the same task move from one month to a future log. This process of completing tasks of moving tasks or marking task as a relevant is called migration by writer Carol, the creator of the Bullet Journal system, and he says that this is the difference between being busy and being productive. So with that, we have covered the core elements of the bullet journal system. Now it's time to satisfy our inner creatives with some fun and colorful spreads. If you don't like too much structure in your bullet journal, the next part of this class is for you. 9. Weeklies: weeklies Welcome back to a lot of color. I'm creating a weekly spread for the second week of January. At this point, we've completely diverged from the original bullet journal method by setting up a week in advance. Remember, bullet journaling was intended to be a method whereby you de clutter and organized your thoughts through rapid logging. With rapid logging you take each day as it comes and recorded in your daily log. In contrast here, I'm planning in advance with the expectation that thes spaces will be filled in. Actually, what I'm doing is I'm setting up a more traditional planner in a non traditional space as faras, empty spaces or unfilled spaces. I've been bullet journaling for nearly two years, and empty spaces don't bother me. The opportunity to set up my own planner and Mary creativity with functionality is a reward in itself. I hope it will start to feel that way for you to now. This spread to me feels like a vertical spread, and as you write, you'll be writing vertically down columns. The next spread for the third week of January is a more horizontal spread, and I'll call it Ah, horizontal spread for January 13. This spread will give you more space to write left to right. If that's what you prefer, you can change the spread to suit all of your own personal needs. I chose these colors to represent the optimism I feel for this New Year, and this new decade is 2020. A milestone for you. Leave a comment in the discussion below week number four. The week of January 20th will be placed into a spread I call my productivity spread. I call it my productivity spread because it contains too long columns, Wallpher tasks and then the second column is we're following up on those tasks. That column is called notes. Now you can set this up anyway you like, but I think this spread would be useful for a meeting or any event that has follow up events. And for week number five, the week of January 27th I will call this my everything spread. You will see a lot of similar spreads. So this one on Instagram This bread is popular because you get a little bit of everything in one week. You have a calendar. You go right now, your task and your goals, you can plan meals. There's even a spot for have a tracker. We will talk about happy trackers more than next lesson. But that's my everything spread. And with that, I've set up all five weeks of January, my bullet journal, and I'm ready to be productive under the auspices of my own personal style. 10. Habit Tracker: Let's talk about habit trackers. Perhaps you're trying to lose, weigh in the new year or just eat healthy. Perhaps you're trying to save money or re more books. Happy trackers aren't excellent tool to help you accomplish your goals. Having trappers allow you to track your progress and see how things are going. Perhaps you go back to your data logs and you see a task written over and over again. Maybe throughout the weeks. You're always noting to yourself to go to the gym or to make your bid. If you're writing tasks like this every day, then maybe you need to move those tasks over to or have a tracker as well. CIA. Tracking those task and turn them into good habits One morning, though, I would advise you to not track more than six habits in the beginning. And I'll tell you why. Tracking more than six habits in the beginning can be overwhelming, and you could be setting yourself up for early failure and discouragement. Think about it. What could be more discouraging? At the end of the day, they having nine happens to check off before bedtime. You'll just end up saying, Oh, forget about it and you'll quit Habit tracking altogether. So start with six habits or less and build up from there. 11. Mood Tracker: Let's talk about mood trackers. Mood trackers are creative tools that help you monitor your health and well being. It's not all about aesthetics, though I will admit aesthetics are a big part of it. You can track your moods weekly, monthly, quarterly yearly or however you'd like. Usually the mood tracker comes with a key or a legend like a pictograph. Here, I'm setting up a mood tracker for January. The most important thing for me here is that the mood tracker is placed adjacent to the habit tracker with all 31 days alive. I'm doing this defined correlating data. So what data? I want to see what effect good habits have on my mood. Does getting enough sleep affect my mood? Is getting enough exercise affect my mood? Now you don't have to adopt this linear format. This is just my choice. The number of themes available is only limited by your imagination. As proof go to Pinterest and type in mood tracker. You will be overwhelmed by the number of examples. You see, I would like to show you two mood trackers. One is a month of wild mood swings and the other is a month of mostly contentment. Can you tell which month of September if you follow me on instagram? You probably already know, So leave a comment with your answer. 12. Savings Goal: monthly savings goal. Daily allowance. Let's sell up a daily savings goal. We're trying to stick to a budget in the new year. But how can we do that and still have a daily allowance for the things we enjoy Will do it by adopting a pay yourself first message. Now, this is not my idea. Every financial guru left, right, and centre has some version of this. The first thing we're gonna do is gonna add up all of our monthly income streams. Once we add up all of our monthly income streams, we're gonna add up all of our expenses, starting with our savings goal first. And here that's $100 per month. Then we're treating it as an expense. Just as we treat our rent and utilities as expenses, find the total and there's a track. Your total expenses from the income The remainder is how much you can spend it. A mom now divide that number by the number of days in a month for January. That's 31 days, and the result is your daily allowance. Here are daily allowance is $50 per day. This is the amount that we can spend each day and still meet our monthly savings goal of $100. And we found this by paying ourselves first. So here we could spend 50 bucks a day and still meet our monthly goal. But the beauty of this is, if we spend less than 50 bucks per day, we will meet our monthly savings goal faster. Now, are these numbers on realistic? Yes, they are. I got them from random financial sites on the Internet. But put this spread into your bullet journal, popping your own numbers, leave me some feedback and and even pop it into your habit tracker with, like a label that says spent 50 or less today and good luck saving in the new Year. 13. 8 Helpful Tips: If the whole idea of bullet journaling seems a bit daunting to you, here are some helpful tips. Tip number one. Start with the 160 GS and notebook. 160 grams per square meter indicates the thickness or density of the page. 160. GSM is high quality and will protect you from ghosting and bleeding with pens, watercolors or whatever you choose to put in your journal. Tip number two to a pen test before you start a new journal, Swatch your favorite pens and markers to test for ghosting and bleeding. Use the very last page of the journal If the markers ghost or bleed through the pages, stop and get a 160 GSM journal instead. Trust me, you don't want to start your creative journey on low quality paper that make your spreads looks sloppy. If you're going for no color, it doesn't matter, really. But if color is your thing, then 160 GSM is your safest bet. For now in this journal ACS, watch several pens and markers, and when the pages flat, there's no ghosting or bleeding at all. Tip number three having index if you haven't started pulling journaling because this all feels daunting to set up having Index to keep you more organized in your bullet journal. But I know that everything is organized in the index of my bully journal, and I could always find what I need. Tip number four You Sticky taps. Traditional planners have tabs along the side to help you stay organized in your planner. If you find that you need that, just put a sticky tab and your pages of your bullet journal one sticky tab for each month, all going down the side. It will feel just like a traditional planner, but with the flexibility of the bullet. Journal. Tip Number five Washington is your friend. If you don't like the look of sticky tabs, try washing. Take. You can use washing. Take to discreetly label any of the pages you use frequently, but she tape comes in thousands of styles and colors. Here I am using it to bookmark my January monthly log. When I close the book, I can still see the designated paid. Now finding my monthly log will be a breeze. Tip number six set up a great spacing guy. So you want to do gorgeous spreads in your bullet journal, but you don't want to count out the dots each time. Set up a good spacing guiding your bullet journal. A great spacing guy is one page that has all the dots counted out in boxes, squares, whatever shapes you need this way, you won't have to do the counting each time you set up a spread. One suggestion. Put the grid spacing sheet on the left side a left page in your bullet journal that will make it easier when you're flipping back and forth to create the spread. Here, you'll see that I even attached a 2020 calendar into my bullet journal that will come in handy when I'm setting up spreads and I need to count dates. Tip number seven You've stencils for lettering and shapes. If you are waiting until your calligraphy is beautiful and perfect to star bullet journaling, take my advice. Go by a stencil. Today, the central you see here cost less than a dollar and has been immensely helpful with the lettering I need for my bullet journal. I can create banners. I can create headers and titles, anything I want. I also have a shape stencil that allows me to make the perfect shapes. Squares, try and goes boxes, anything I want and it doesn't have to be perfect. So please use the tools that are available. Tip number 8/2 fun breaking the rules. Sometimes you have to know the rules before you can break them. Although I have given you the fundamentals of Bullet darling, it is important that you make your journal your own. If you are attracted to minimal pages, create minimal pages. If you are attracted to colorful pages, create vivid, beautiful, colorful pages. The important thing is to create pages you will want to return to. I firmly believe that creating pages you want to return to will keep you organized and keep your journaling. 14. Class Project: class project. Post your favorites watches as a stationary geek. I'm always on the lookout for the latest and greatest pens and markers, so do me a favor. Swatch your favorite pens and markers onto a piece of paper. Take a photo of the paper and posted in the class project section. There is a sample of these kinds of swatches in the project, and resource is section. Also there, you'll find a full outline of this class. Thanks so much. 15. Final Flipthrough: Congratulations. You've reached the end of this class. We talked about the basic bullet journaling system way added some color to personalize our journals, and we talked about some helpful tips to help you avoid John Lee Pitfalls. I hope I have given you a welcome information that you can now use to star Bullet darling in 2020. Remember the wash his video again to soak up the bits that you missed But I've also left on organizational outline in the class Partick section that you can use to follow everything we've learned Classified class Leave a comment below I will love to answer your questions in the discussion section, Remember to post your favors Watches in the class project section Follow me here on skill share for more bullet John Lee episodes Thank you so much for spending your time with me at happy journaling