In this tutorial our journaling pro Carla Bagshaw takes you through setting up your New Year bullet journal, with inspirational page ideas and top tips for journaling your way to a fresh start! Bullet journaling is whatever you want it to be, but its roots lie in planning quickly and effectively, while still being able to be creative. Keep it super simple when you begin so that you don’t feel any kind of pressure… and remember, there are no mistakes!
Skill level: Absolute Beginner
You Will Need:
New Year Bullet Journal Tutorial:
Working out what it is that you want to plan out is always the first step in bullet journaling. As an example here, I wanted to look at fresh starts. Habits are something I like to be aware of, so habits I want to leave behind and new habits I want to pick up are a great way to effectively keep a note of my mental health.
Habit Tracker Page:
To create an easy-to-use habit tracker, simply use a page for each. On the first page, write out what it is that you would like to change: the things that are not necessarily healthy or conducive to your improved lifestyle going forward. On the opposite side, jot down the things you want to begin. New habits that you would like to form.
Decorating your pages can be as complex or simple as you wish. Line drawings of florals are quick and easy, this is not about masterpiece artwork. Doodles are a lovely way of meditating and they can look really effective, too.
I took my basic doodles, and to keep it super simple just coloured the leaves with crayon and did a watercolour wash with Gelatos to colour the petals.
You can add as much or as little detail as you wish, the main thing is to track your desires; the decorating gives you a chance to ruminate.
Simplified Year-to-View Page:
Year-to-view pages are not about mass details, it’s a quick snapshot of your big events.
In the centre of your page just jot down the monthly initials vertically. This allows room on either side to fill in details.
At the bottom of your page mark out a notes section so you can give yourself any major pointers that you will need to remember in the future.
You can decorate your next facing page with stamps to add a little creative flair!
I used a large Carnation Crafts floral stamp, and some Chameleon colouring pencils to add some colour.
Again, I painted a wash with Gelatos around the flower.
To both pages, I added stitch marks with a pen, so that the pages have a sense of cohesion.
Whatever you want your journal to be, it will always be a snapshot of your life. The way you choose to decorate (and you don’t need to decorate at all, if you don’t want to!) is just a way to express yourself.
The main focus of bullet journaling is to plan effectively, so that you can clearly see your way ahead.
If you’re keen to learn more about the art of journaling, and discover more page ideas, tutorials, and layout advice, as well as free printables you can add to your own journal, check out the rest of our journaling articles right here!