Plan With Me: My 2021 Bullet Journal Setup
It’s time to set up my brand new Bullet Journal, and I’m so excited!
I don’t think I have a special Bullet Journal theme for this setup; maybe I could call it blobs of color. I’m really not so good at naming my designs.
It’s been a very long time since I had to set up a new journal! I started my current BuJo in June 2019, and it lasted me all the way until November 2020.
I’m feeling sad moving to a new notebook after all my current journal was with me during some fantastic and very hard times.
I got a dreamy job, we moved to a new country, I started working on Masha Plans full time and the pandemic hit, and I was stuck in the USA for 3 months
A great thing about Bullet Journaling is that all these moments won’t be lost in time like tears in the rain; they will stay forever remembered in my journal.
Well, now It’s time to move on and start a new adventure! And I’m personally very excited about it since I will be trying so so many new things this year!
Oh and of course, there is a Plan With Me video at the end of the post, so be sure to scroll down for that.
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First of all, I have a big announcement – I finally decided to say goodbye to my Nuuna journal and use an Archer and Olive notebook as my main BuJo.
I’m really worried about it since it’s so different. But also excited, with 160 GSM paper, I’ll be able to do so much more in my journal!
The breaking point for me to switch was when I got a white rainbow journal, which is the most beautiful notebook I’ve ever seen. I just had to start using it!
Speaking of Archer and Olive, if you ever decide to get some of their goodies be sure to use my code MASHA10 to get 10% off your order.
All the other supplies I used for my setup are very me, these are my go-to: Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners, Pitt Artist Pens, and of course Zebra Mildliner Highlighters.
Usually, I go pretty neutral with my setups, keeping them black and white. But this time, I decided to go crazy.
Still now sure I love it, but we’ll see how I feel when it’s time to migrate again.
Planning The Setup
Since it’s been a while for me to set up a brand new Bullet Journal I decided to follow my own advice on How To Migrate To A New Bullet Journal and plan things out.
First came the pages I decided to keep, then some new pages I wanted to try.
I love trying out new pages in my yearly setups; this is how I ended up with awesome spreads like a year in photos and about me pages, which I’m absolutely keeping for all my next setups.
Not all extra pages work, but it’s worth trying anyway. How will you make your journal better if you keep only what you already used before?!
Afterward, I added some notes on what are some design ideas I have, how I want to change up the style a little bit, or what I have to add to the pages I chose to have.
Finally, I created a few outlines of my Bullet Journal to plan out the pages – where I want them to be, in which order, and so on.
This really helped me during my setup, it made sure that I didn’t forget anything and it’s all organized logically as I wanted.
It helped me so much that I actually created a printable version so you can print it out and plan your pages. Since it’s US Letter size, you might also have enough space to sketch the decoration ideas there as well.
The printable is available in our Resources Vault, so head there to download it.
If you’re not part of Planning Mashers yet, be sure to join us in the signup form below. It will give you access to the Resources Vault and so many more cool things.
Key and Name
Usually, I don’t really add my name to the journal, and I don’t really need a key since I already know all my signifiers.
But there is space there so I thought I might also just use it, especially if I decide to add a new signifier during the year – who knows what can happen!
So with the key, you kind of can see the vibe I was going for. As I mentioned before, my yearly pages are usually pretty monochrome and minimal, so they don’t really stand out.
This year I decided to go bold and add some lines and shapes to my pages. And then I thought – why not make them colorful and now just black and white? And this is how the madness started and I decided to just roll with it.
I’m not loving it, but honestly, it might be because it’s very different, so I’m giving myself some time to fall in love with the colorful beginning of a journal.
Don’t know if you can see it here, but I actually used an Archer and Olive notepad to create the key and attached it to the journal with my Tombow adhesive. I need some kind of grid otherwise all my letters would’ve been all over the place.
And with the name I didn’t do anything special, just added some washi tape.
Word Of The Year
I love this practice because it helps you to create the right mindset for whatever you want to achieve in the upcoming year.
Be sure to check my post Why You Need A Person Word Of The Year And How To Choose One if you want to learn more about it.
For 2021 my word is “persist”. There will be a lot of challenges that I know of, and probably many more unpredictable ones. But this is another year I’ll be moving closer to my dream so the word “persist” is perfect.
Yeah, it took a few pages before I actually got to the cover of my journal, but here it is, finally!
As you can see, I went really really crazy with all the lines and colors. But the more I look at it, the more I like it, especially how the black of the numbers stands out.
I’ve been using the same format for my future log for the longest time, so this year I decided to change it up a little bit.
This time, the future log is two pages with a year at a glance on one and a list of important days on the other.
One thing that I forgot to do and actually did it now that I remember is adding a washi tape on the edge of the right page.
That way, I can always easily find my future log, which I do consult a lot, to be honest. And on the other side, I have a grid guide which is also something very useful.
Grid guide if your cheat sheet of how to divide your Bullet Journal pages equally.
Let’s say you have to divide your page into four. You could spend time calculating how to do it evenly, or you can simply look back at your grid guide and have all this information ready for you.
You can create a grid guide in your new journal, or you can get a grid guide cheat sheet stencil, that will help you to easily divide any notebook!
This is a super helpful tool which so far is on my dream list, but I’ll definitely get one as soon as I can.
My Favorite Things
2020 has been a very very hard year for us all and I could definitely use some pick-me-up. That’s why I decided to create this spread.
This is a list of my favorite things, things that make me happy, make me smile, allow me to take a little happy break.
As the year goes, I’ll be looking back at this spread every time I’m having a hard time and allow myself to watch my favorite movie or have my favorite snack.
Here it’s all pretty clear, I’ll just be writing down the board for 2021 in four areas – health, Masha Plans, personal development, and a secretive little area called “dream”.
For me, this spread is not a must-achieve kind of thing though. As much as I want to get all my plans completed, I understand that as the year goes by, my goals might change, or my circumstances might make it impossible to reach some goals at that time.
So goals spread is the list of things to achieve, but I’m flexible with that and I allow myself to adjust to the changing circumstances about me.
For more on how to set up goals check my post How To Set and Achieve Goals In Your Bullet Journal.
Starting a new life in a new country hasn’t been easy and I was so concentrated on making Masha Plans work and building a business that I realized now I spent very little time on myself and my growth.
In some ways, I even digressed from the way I was before.
So this spread is more on how I want to change as a person vs things I want to achieve I had in my goals spread.
About Me Page
This is when I really missed my larger-sized Nuuna. I had so much information to put on this page that there was no space for doodles!
This is actually something I started in my last journal, and I’m really loving it.
The idea is I create an about me spread right now with the way I am now, and once the journal is over, I’ll be creating another about me page of me how I will be then.
It’s kind of a fun way to see how you’ve been doing and how far you came.
If you want to learn more about the About Me page and get inspirations from other creators check my post About Me Page In Your Bullet Journal And Why You Need One.
A Photo A Month
Pictures can tell such wonderful stories, and I really loved seeing how the story was unfolding in my last journal. So, of course, I had to keep this spread for 2021 as well.
It will also be a great excuse to first – take more pictures and secondly – to use my HP SProcket printer more.
I decided not to create any outlines because I never knew if the photo will be horizontal or vertical. I’ll just add them as they are and add a black outline to make them stand out.
Thankfully Archer and Olive journals have 160 GSM papers so they can stand through such abuse, unlike my poor old Nuuna.
Also, I expect this spread to only last me for 6 months, but I also think the entire journal will only last me for half a year, so it works out.
Of course, with the new year and the new journal, I had to create a new vision board. But it’s quite a lot of work and thinking through, so I decided I’ll set one up separately when I have more time.
Honestly, I completely forgot how much time it actually takes to create a full-on new Bullet Journal setup, I got pretty tired by the end of the process.
I usually do my finances digitally, but I thought I might try doing it in my journal as well. After all, writing it down in a journal is what works best for me.
This is just a spread with my income since I have a lot of income streams, and it might get confusing to figure out what’s actually the final sum for it.
There are some empty graphs there for a few new income streams I’m working on. Now that I look at it thought, I realize that one of them should probably say total….
Well, it will all be fixed in post-production!
For my big 2021 plans, I need a big savings account, so of course, my Bullet Journal comes to the rescue.
It’s still empty because well I’ll need to sit down, do all my calculations and see what my monthly savings goals should be.
But it has plenty of space for each month to add whatever sum it has to be.
It’s the first time I’m using my journal for bug financial plans, so I’m still figuring things out.
If you’re looking for more ideas, check my post Bullet Journal Pages To Manage Your Finances.
Finally, I wanted to finish up my yearly setup with a little motivational quote.
I love creating those and honestly, I need all the motivation I can get.
This quote fits perfectly since it really speaks to me. No matter how hard it might seem to achieve your dreams, or how comfortable and safe it is now – don’t stop dreaming and fighting for your goals!
If you want to create something like that in your journal, check my post How To Create Beautiful Quote Pages In Your Bullet Journal, it’s really very simple and super fun.
Plan With Me
And here it is! My Plan With Me video took me a day and a half to film and about the same time to edit.
So please do take a look and give it a thumbs up!
Have you started your 2021 setup yet?
Let us know in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.
Nice work and I like the idea of a grid guid. That will be a time saver.
It definitely is!