My 2017 Bullet Journal Setup (with step-by-step instructions)

Categories Bullet Journal

Why Bullet Journal?

For the past two years in a row, I’ve used the moleskin pocket planner. Its a little agenda with preset dates and calendars with only a few “extra” pages for my random lists. I found myself stapling in ticket stubs or filling up the back pocket with small memorabilia (think game cards or receipts from something interesting. Along with that, I also made daily to-do lists or lists of recommended books on separate lose leaf pages. This was needless to say a bit chaotic. My lose leaf lists were constantly getting lost and my planner was beginning to get super full of extra paper. This is why I thought bullet journaling would be a good idea for me. I enjoy making lists of my goals and keeping track of my weight and songs that people have recommended to me.

Bullet journaling gives me the freedom to do all of that and more in one notebook! I’ll admit that this is my very first bullet journal and those of you who are familiar with bullet journals may understand my hesitation to start one. I used to look at all these gorgeous bullet journals and just know that I wasn’t creative enough and that I
just didn’t have the time it would take to use a bullet journal. The thing I’ve learned though, is that thats totally not necessary. You don’t have to be creative or spend hours creating gorgeous layouts for your bullet journal. Your bullet journal can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be.



Keeping in mind that all you really need to bullet journal is a notebook and a pen, I had some supplies lying around that I decided to use for this.

  • Sharpie Pens
  • Glue Stick (I also used double sided tape because its a little less messy, but it obviously does the same thing)
  • Quad Ruled Hardcover notebook
  • Various Scrapbooking supplies (shape cutouts and scrapbooking
  • A pencil to outline before making my illustrations

The Cover

I didn’t buy any fancy notebook (okay thats a lie, I totally did and ruined it by the second page), Hiding in my room was a  plain black quad ruled notebook from my schools bookstore a few months ago and I finally had a good use for it.  I jazzed it up using some cutouts of flowers and a postcard that I picked up from the Kate Spade store a while ago (for free!). This is was the end result for the cover


The Key

For someone just starting out with bullet journaling I knew I’d be referring to this over and over again. It went on the inside of the back cover  so that the actual legend could be flipped out and visible. I glued this onto the inside of the back cover of the notebook. All I did after that was pretty up the front (when the card is closed). Voila, A key was made! My bullets were taken from random bullet journaling websites and I left some space for any extra ones I may need later on (for example I might need a blog related bullet). I’ve got bullets for the following:

  • Task
  • Task completed (which is the same as task but filled in)
  • Task in progress (also the same but half filled in)
  • Event
  • Migrated
  • Quote/Inspiration
  • Website
  • Deadline
  • Explore
  • Work out
  • Birthday
  • Note
  • Financial

I did leave some space in the bottom right for any other bullets I might create later on.

Contact Info

On the very first page before anything else, I got down my contact  information just incase I lose it. Obviously when you put in all this effort to create something, you don’t want to lose it. I also don’t think anyone else will really care about my daily planner and musings so I’m sure people would be kind enough to return it if lost. 

Frivolous 2017 Page

This one is fairly self explanatory. I wanted a whole page dedicated to the year 2017. This bullet journal is supposed to be a creative outlet as well as a functional planner so this worked out perfectly. I did wreaths to decorate some pages, the inspiration is from Surely Simple Blog on Instagram (She does a great job of showing how-to’s so if you’re interested, definitely check her out!).

Goals and Index

My gorgeous wreath managed to bleed over to the other side of the page so instead of just wasting the page, I glued on a piece of scrapbook paper. For a while I wasn’t really sure what to do with this page but I finally settled on jotting down my goals for the year. What better place for your goals than where you’ll see them often? Next to that I finally got down to real bullet journaling! I used two columns for my index since I didnt feel like I needed a whole line per entry since these pages are fairly wide.

Year at a Glance and Future log

For the year at a glance, I literally just copied a calendar for 2017 after rationing out my little squares. This totally isn’t necessary, I just like having it so I know what day a certain date falls on. Right next to it I began my future log. This will be used to record things way in advance. For example if I get invited to a concert in April, I would put that in my future log under “April” since I don’t have an actual April log yet.

January title page

I’ve got one more page for my future log and a January title page (similar to the 2017 page)


Most of these pages are embellished with cutouts or other scrapbooking supplies. I only used them because I had them at home. I wouldn’t go out and buy these supplies, I would instead print some images off the internet or drawn some doodles by hand.


These will come later. These will be my lists that I’m always making! I’ll create these as I go. Whenever someone recommends me a good book, I’ll create a page and get right on it! Some of the collections I plan on using are:

  • A brain dump page (or two)
  • Water intake log
  • Gratitude log
  • Study log
  • Books read (and want to read)
  • Music to listen to
  • A list of “favorite things” for every month or season

Since this is my first bullet journal I plan on having lots of trial and error. If you’d like to receive updates on how it’s going, feel free to sign up for my newsletter!
Happy Bullet Journaling!

OH and for my back cover (as well as the inside of my front cover), i glued on a Kate Spade post card. I’ve had these things forever with nothing to use them for!

*ftc disclaimer: some of the links to products are affiliate links (which means I get paid if you buy them), however all opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “My 2017 Bullet Journal Setup (with step-by-step instructions)

  1. Yea I just started a bullet journal at the beginning of this year, and even though I consider myself creative I was daunted with the idea of getting to make it pretty or decorative…I have kept it pretty simple, but it has been a really great organizational tool!

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