New Bullet Journal Setup – March 2021

Bullet Journal Vol.4

Setting up a new Bullet Journal is something I find very satisfying. After completing a journal and discovering a bit more about what works and what doesn’t, a fresh start is a great opportunity. With no further ado, let’s get onto my new Bullet Journal Setup for March 2021!

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For my fourth Bullet Journal, I’ve gone for another beauty from Archer & Olive {AF}. Unlike my third journal, this one is 160 pages for a less bulky option. While I loved the 190 pages, it was too big to cart around, which was a drawback. Plus, with fewer pages, I get to try out new designs quicker!

I do love the emerald green of this design, and I like that I’ve had four very different journals so far. But that’s enough about the cover; let’s get on to the fun bit, my set up!

New Bullet Journal Staples

At the heart of every Bullet Journal are a few essential pages. Several of these are generally found right at the start of a new Bullet Journal: the Key, the Index and the Future Log. Without these, a Bullet Journal loses some of it’s best features. In particular, the ability to add collections whenever you require them.

I won’t go into any more detail about what these pages do here, but if you’re still unsure, check out my guides to Bullet Journaling! What we’re focusing on here is my setup theme. If you remember my 2021 setup, this will be familiar to you.

I’ve talked a bit recently about how random my last journal’s setup was. The opening pages had nothing to unify them and, while practical, weren’t very interesting. After I came up with a theme for 2021, I decided that would be a perfect way to tie my new Bullet Journal setup together!

While my cover page, with it’s incorporated key, is the only full-page example of this theme, using the same colours and random idea for headers for my other pages has worked out well, as you can see from the examples here.

Keeping the theme the same on each page has worked well, and I’ve also been able to tie the same colours into subheadings. I’ve also stayed with the same angular writing for headings and subheadings. I’m not great at calligraphy, but I can do straight lines, so this was a fun way to spice things up!

New March Freebies Available Now!

Get Organised this year with these Posts:

  • June Bullet Journal Spread Cover
  • August 2020 Bullet Journal Setup Cover Page
  • September 2020 Bullet Journal Setup- Cover
  • October Bullet Journal Cover Page
  • November Bullet Journal Setup 2020 Cover
  • December Bullet Journal Setup Cover Page
  • February 2021 Bullet Journal Cover Page
  • January 2021 Bullet Journal Cover
  • Week Spread 31 2020
  • Week 36 2020 Spread
  • September 2020 Bullet Journal Setup- Mood and Habit Trackers
  • October Bullet Journal Monthly Log
  • November Bullet Journal Setup 2020 Trackers
  • Week 52 2020 Bullet Journal Spread
  • Week 5 2021 Bullet Journal Spread
  • February 2021 Bullet Journal Monthly Log

← DottedPages Vol.3 Highlights

Forward Planning

When I set up my future log in my third Bullet Journal, I included a double-page spread for 2020 and 2021. While I did have a few things to fill in for 2021, there aren’t many things planned that far in advance, and it wasn’t used much. As it’s unlikely that this journal will last me into 2022, I decided to include a single-page calendar for anything I did need to note down for the year ahead but kept the space minimal.

This worked very well, as I paired it with an identical calendar spread to use for birthdays. It’s always nice to have some symmetry when planning!
In the same vein, I included a five-year plan again in this journal. While it’s difficult to plan anything concrete at the moment, it’s great to have some long-term rough goals or ideas to give you something to aim for with shorter-term goals.

When I set up a five-year plan in my third Bullet Journal, I used a mind-map setup, which looked great but had a lot of waste space. This time I’ve elected for a much simpler layout, with my plan broken down to one, two and five year time periods. This way, you can set goals that work towards the same end.
To complete this, I then have my goals page for 2021. Some of these may overlap with my five-year plan; others may be different if they aren’t long-term.

Finally, I have a page to record my monthly statistics. I enjoy being able to look at how I’m tracking things like walking, sleep or blog views across the year. For me, these are helpful spreads that keep me organised and will hopefully help me set achievable goals throughout the year- and beyond

New & Old Collections in my Bullet Journal Setup

The collections we choose to include when setting up a new Bullet Journal can give a great insight into what we find most important. In this new journal, I’ve kept in some of the same and added some new ideas too.

We’ll start here with the new. I tracked my period in my last journal, but I’ve decided it took too much space. I’ve therefore borrowed from the year in pixels mood tracker to create a health tracker. I’m interested in completing it, to provide me with some insight into my health other than remembering I had a cold one month!

My other new collection here is a page for ‘When did I last?’ This is an idea I’ve seen around quite a lot recently and I like it. For things, you need to do irregularly, but don’t have on a set schedule, this is a great way of keeping track of both of the things you should be doing or things you enjoy doing but don’t get around to. I’ve tried to keep my list pretty balanced between the two. It’s not a must-do list, more of a gentle reminder, which I quite like!

Next up we have my read and watch list. While two pages may be slight overkill, I read and watched huge amounts in 2020, and once I’m living in my place my TV watching is going to go up quite a lot. I’d prefer to have one big page here than have to add one in later on.

Finally, we’ve got my money trackers. The first page details how my salary is split into different accounts when I’m paid. I love this budgeting method, and using washi tape for the amounts means I can update this as required.

My second money page will be really useful once I’m living in my own house, to track trends in my household spending. While I will stick with my excel spreadsheets, writing things down makes them feel real!

Staying on Theme

As I mentioned earlier, while I love my Bullet Journal for its practicality, I’ve also become proud of how it looks. There are some great pages for keeping your aesthetics up to scratch when you set up a new Bullet Journal.

A washi swatch is a great way to remind you of the washis you’ve been neglecting! I don’t have a big collection, but I’m still prone to forgetting what I have. If you create a swatch, you can review and figure out which tapes will work well with the theme you’re planning.

Speaking of themes, having somewhere to plan out your monthly themes can be useful. You can use this to jot down ideas throughout the year when inspiration strikes, so you don’t get to the end of a month still wondering how you’re going to plan the next!

I enjoy how this spread evolves throughout the year, gaining colour and character; and these spreads could also be helpful in later journals, to remind you of themes you loved and would repeat.

The keen-eyed will have spotted I also have a wishlist snuck in here. This is a spread I neglected in my last journal, but I think that with a house to buy for, this could become helpful this year!

Summarising my New Bullet Journal Setup

I find having a well set up Bullet Journal that’s ready to move into really important. While I know I could incorporate all of these collections as I go, the first couple of months would be disrupted. By having the start of my journals dedicated to my most-used collections, I don’t have to check the index every time I need to find one or disrupt a great monthly theme.

Finding your balance between flexibility and formatted in your Bullet Journal is so important. We all use them slightly differently, and what works for me may not work elsewhere. Do what works for you, and you’ll end up getting a lot more use out of your creations!

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this new Bullet Journal setup, I’d love to know what you thought of my setup theme. Do you use one? Or is it something you’ve not thought of? I’d also love to know how you set up in a new journal; do you dive straight in with your monthly, weekly or daily logs, or do you prepare your favourite collections first?

Let me know your answers or any comments, and if you loved my 2021 theme, sign up below to get access to my March freebies with the same design!

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