My January 2018 Set Up

It’s about time I shared what I’m doing these days for a bullet journal set up! As with most processes, the beginning is full of rapid experimentation and figuring out what works. Once you find those pieces, they become more consistent and you move into a more refining and tweaking process. So now that I’ve been using the bullet journal system for nearly 3 years, I have been tweaking rather than making huge changes to get this system perfect for my needs (at the moment) – so here’s a quick update of where I’m at.

I’d love to hear what you think and how it contrasts with what you’re doing this month!

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means if you happen to purchase something I make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for your support!

My Bullet Journal Setup

January bullet journal set up - some of my favorite supplies!

The idea of starting with a fresh page is so exciting! So much possibility – and it’s all up to you how it takes form which seems like a lot of pressure to get it right. But let’s just say I had to do two takes of my opening page – and I’m still doin’ alright.

I still had a good amount left in my Rhodia so I decided to continue using it rather than starting a brand new one – I don’t do the extensive number of collections that others seem to do, so it’s not as daunting for me to keep going.

Featuring: a Rhodia webnotebook hardcover in silver, a bomb-ass Beyonce penbag from I Like You (thanks Maggie!), a book pen bag from Michael’s, and Tombow Twin Tones

January bullet journal set up

Inspired by the incomparable Tracee Ellis Ross and her empowering speech at Glamour, I wanted a simple but powerful quote to ground my focus for the year. (Or at least this month lol)

January bullet journal set up - an overview of your annual goals and plans

I always like to look at the bird’s eye view of things before zooming in and getting lost in the weeds. (Because frankly, it can feel pretty annoying if you dive into doing stuff and realize that you’ve been doing the wrong stuff!!)

By looking at the overall flow of my life in the year, I can see where my heartbeats are at and when. What are the big “rocks” in my jar? Before I add the pebbles and the sand, I need to make sure I know what the big anchors of my time will be – big trips, notable events, other commitments I’ve made.

Not only does this help me know what I’m ramping up to or down from in my effort, but also my MONEY! Nothing helps curb a bad pen habit like knowing I have to pay for a plane ticket.

January bullet journal set up - an overview of the month with a time ladder

From the year, I can then zoom into the month. Since I use the Google Calendar to manage my time, I just like to have a visual of what my month looks like. And, rainbow.

The right side is featuring 3 focus words. Doing some faux calligraphy, I wanted to highlight these intentions. Continuing with the rainbow theme – I actually really do not like how this turned out. BUT, friends, I am working on embracing the stuff that I try and don’t quite like. I am working on embracing the experiments and risks – that I should not punish myself for the things that didn’t quite work, but celebrating that I took the risk.

Featuring Tombow colored pencils and one of my favorite pens, Pilot V5 Retractable.

Two collections I’m trying are hopefully going to help me keep track of stuff I’ve used and need to use! On the left I’m tracking the different classes I have left on my various fitness class packs so I stop wasting my money on classes I don’t use!

The backstory is that I created the trackers but didn’t know what to name it – so I took to the Bullet Journal Junkies for the answer… and we agreed on calling the page “Steve” LOL

Want to get the most out of habit tracking?

On the right I have a cleaning tracker. This may be the first draft, but it’s very functional for now for the things I want to do weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, etc. Looking at it now I should have had a monthly option too! Live and learn, friends.

January bullet journal set up - some colorful weekly layouts

January bullet journal set up - adding some color with Tombow colored pencils

Then of course I have my weekly spreads – which I flex with how many work-days there are that week. Sometimes it’s 4, sometimes it’s 5 days. These days I’m rediscovering my love for colored pencils – their softness, subtlety and ease of blending.

These categories are pretty consistent, though I do change them based on what is pertinent to my life at the time!

Along with these, I use dailies – because a girl’s got shit to do! So it allows me to get present to the week as I create the weekly, but then transfer alllllll the to-dos out of my brain.

Want to see more set ups? Check out my setups here, here, here, here

What are you doing these days?


11 thoughts on “My January 2018 Set Up

  1. Hello,It’s really to bad that people need to put all those ads on their sites. They are annoying prevents people from truly enjoying what they have to say.That is why they will never find them on my site. I do know many of us leave just because of that. I have left yours as well have a commercial go off at me is not what I’m looking for when visiting sites. I do know your simply trying to make money as we all are. But just a heads up in many of the chats the sites that load up with all the ads loose more people then you know. This was meant to b friendly info. Not hostile in any way.Good luck


  2. Thanks so much for sharing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the possibilities of bullet journaling that I forget the point: creating a sustainable system for getting stuff done. Your posts always bring me back to the essential.

    Quick question: do you keep your dailies in the same Rhodia as your monthly and weekly pages, or do you maintain dailies in a separate notebook?


    1. I just watched the video – you keep your dailies in the same notebook. I should have watched before asking – sorry! I do love how you balance pretty aesthetics (monthly and weekly pages) with raw brain-dumps (daily pages).


  3. I love how you keep it simple yet still include colour 🙂
    It’s the 20th of January and I’ve still not done my 2018 set up… the first part of the month was taken over by jetlag, flu and trying desperately to catch up with work that wasn’t done because of vacation and being sick.

    I’m hoping this weekend to get my 2018 and Feb set ups done… and looking forward to sitting down with pen and notebook, to be quite honest 🙂


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