Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
— Annie Dillard

I’ve always written loosely in a Moleskine for over 10 years now. No expectations or organization. It works great for writing, my morning pages, and doodles but makes organization difficult.

For January, I vowed to try out my bullet journal I bought last year. Rather than buying a planner, I wanted something that would last longer and be a worthy investment and allow me creativity. I’ll admit, these blank, bulleted pages were slightly intimidating. I’ve followed accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube that simply get it. Their designs, the way they organize everything, how they use it seem flawless. I don’t expect perfection out of my journals but I was worried I would mess up my pages before I even began.

Let me tell you - I started this around January 1st and I’m obsessed and slightly mortified I haven’t done this sooner. I love that I can make each month unique and design it how I want to. There’s so much more freedom and what I once found intimidating, I love using.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

The first thing I created in the index page was a key. It’s unfinished in case I create more symbols. This is my first time bullet journaling so I’m not 100% sure what I’ll use and what I wont’t use.

Not pictured: the cover page says “no eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.” I’ve written this down in my journal since I got my first Moleskine 11 years ago. It has always served as a reminder that wasting time is truly a waste.

Minimal Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I created a yearly overview page. As you can see, the color scheme changes from here on out. The browns and pinks were pretty but I felt like too much for me. I decided to go with gray and black for the following pages and I’m so happy I did. I thrive in simplicity and being organized also means being minimal and colors can, on occasion, feel too busy. I may experiment in later months but I’m loving the freshness for a new year and new journal.

A monthly overview then goes into a weekly overview. Both are roughly blank right now because I wanted to take pictures before filling it up with personal information.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

Again, I have more to write for these but I created a spread where I can look back on 2018 and plan for 2019. I’m excited to see the growth year to year and see what changed from 2018-2019.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

I pulled a yearly Tarot card to see what my year will represent. I find myself always pulling the Fool card during times of new beginnings (i.e. summer solstice, easter, etc). I really love the free-spirited nature of the Fool and hope to embody that this year.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

This is absolutely one of my favorite spreads and I’m so happy I did it. The moon means the world to me and creating this spread gave me a sense of peace. Tedious to design having to figure out what the moon phases were going to be, write it in pencil, then go over it in black ink, drawn the moons, and write it out in such small numbers but being able to glance at this rather than my phone to keep up with the upcoming lunar phases makes it so much more meaningful.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A habit tracker! Ironically, I need to make checking these off daily a habit but I chose reading, learning French, writing, blogging, yoga, using social media less, and I have a bad habit of picking skin around my nails.

Minimal January Bullet Journal Spreads & Yearly Lunar Calendar
Minimal January Bullet Journal Spread & Yearly Lunar Calendar

A little cleaning spread to organize my days better. I also started a series tracker for television shows I want to watch. I can highlight whenever I finish an episode and cross it out when I finished the season. I want to make sure I’m not being repetitive with what I watch (i.e. Star Trek & The Office). I’m working on a more comprehensive book & film list I can check off when I finish them.

So that’s it! I’m looking forward to my experience with bullet journaling. It’s very different from what I’m accustomed to and I’ll definitely be keeping another one for when I just want to chicken scratch out ideas. However, this is perfect for organization.

Do you like seeing my bullet journal spreads? Let me know if you want to see more spreads and bullet journal ideas.

Do you have one yourself?

Journaling to Ease Anxiety, Boost Productivity, and Create A Clearer Mind

Journaling to Ease Anxiety

When I was younger, I received a Lisa Frank journal. Bright colors of blues and pinks and greens and yellows splashed over three ballerina bunnies. It came complete with my own lock and key so I could keep my 7-year-old thoughts a secret. The first page of it asked things like my favorite color, movie, sports, cartoon, etc. and the rest of it were lined, allowing me to confess how much I loved spaghetti and hated lobster. 

Since then, I've owned countless amounts of journals. Composition notebooks, moleskines, locked diaries, lined, plain, etc. I've saved so many of them and even have my old Harry Potter journal. Journaling is a calming, self-care ritual. It's a place I can make my thoughts more tangible, more fluid. I write poems, I doodle, I do stream-of-consciousness writing, I write down my dreams, my tarot readings, my hopes, my goals, I write letters to my son, I write weekly activities and things that need to get done. It's my way of organizing my thoughts and my way of creating. 

What It Helps

Productivity

Starting mornings by writing in a journal can boost your productivity. Instead of waking up and opening your phone, you start the day by refreshing and clearing your mind and it will increase your focus for the rest of the day. 

Creativity

If you feel you don't have creativity, you do. You just have to find it. One way to do that is by writing out your thoughts, reaching into your subconscious, and pulling out who you are. It helps you put ideas onto paper without worry of repercussions and it helps you become more in tune with yourself.

Organization

Keeping track of to-do lists, goal-setting, and forming good habits can all be achieved with a bullet journal. A cluttered, disorganized life puts more stress on us. Reduce it by organizing your life and your mind with a journal. 

Analyzation

Most of the time I write and never return to reread it. However, there are times when I'm in a rush and I write down my tarot spread or my dreams or an emotional issue I'm dealing with. I can return to it at a later date and analyze what's going on in my subconscious mind and look at it with new eyes. It gives you the opportunity to examine yourself, your mind, your emotions, and your current or previous experiences. 

Clarity

Pulling your thoughts from your mind and placing them onto paper helps you sort out and understand them. 

Anxiety

The stroke of pen on paper is soothing and the idea of writing is similar to meditation. Expressive journaling allows you to explore your feelings and gives you the tools to help you process them. 

Journaling to Ease Anxiety, Boost Productivity, and Create A Clearer Mind

Ideas 

Dreams

Dreams tell us more than we give them credit for. By writing down our dreams, we allow ourselves to become more aware of our subconscious minds. They are often representative of how a person is feeling in that particular time frame. It's also interesting to see, on paper, the stories and visuals our minds create. And writing them down daily can help exercise your brain in remembering them with more vivid detail. You can also go back later on in that day or week and analyze what it's trying to tell you. 

Bullet Journal

Mix up a diary, a planner, and a to-do list all in one with this trend. Here are some hacks to help you dive into the world of bullet journaling. 

Morning Pages

Author Julia Cameron suggests everyone start their day with stream-of-consciousness writing that fills three pages. I don't disagree. It's an amazing ritual. Whatever crosses your mind, jot it down. Don't judge yourself, don't shame yourself, don't question yourself - just have at it. Starting your morning with a release will help you feel lighter for the rest of the day. 

Stream-of-Consciousness

Similar to morning pages except stream-of-consciousness writing does not have to be dedicated to only mornings. It's therapeutic at any time of the day: in the morning, before bed, when you're anxious, when you're happy. The purpose of this is to have no guidelines, you simply write whatever comes to mind. No matter how silly it may seem or disorganized. Just write and let go of your thoughts. 

How Long Should I Write For?

Honestly, that's up to what you're comfortable with. I write for as long as I feel like it which lasts anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour. Anywhere from 3 pages to 6 pages. If you feel like you need a push, start with 15 minutes or set a goal of 3 pages. Once you get started, you'll find you can't help but keep going. Don't feel like you have to rush -- it's all up to you and meant to relax you. 

Best Journals

Moleskine

Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook
Field Notes

Journaling is truly a transformative journey. Pick one up along with some pens and start diving into your subconscious mind. You'll be surprised at what you find.