Setting up my Bullet Journal every single month has become a great habit for me. It became a ritual. It turned into a sort of meditation. It grew something I am looking forward to every single month. And it also became a consistent video creation process for my YouTube channel. That’s why I want to share my personal process for setting up my Bullet Journal for 2021.
Good habits are worth being fanatical about.-John Irving
The setup for the year 2021
One of my favorite rituals I have at the beginning of a new year is to grab my newly bought Bullet Journal and plan and set up the whole year. This planning and setting up includes not only doing the setup itself. It includes a lot of preparation and brainstorming and surfing the web for inspiration and new ideas.
Which notebook should I get?
I always am looking for new Bullet Journals to use, but honestly, I always end up with my favorite one: the Leuchtturm 1917. The only issue every single year is to pick a new color for the upcoming 365 days that I won’t get sick of after the first two weeks.
For 2021 I definitely wanted to have something colorful, mood-boosting, and “sunny”. I decided on the new muted color “bellini”, which is something between pink, peach, orange, and rosé.
I have also decided to do a video for the 2021 year setup and for every single month of 2021 and to post it on my YouTube channel.
Looking for New Ideas
Although I definitely have my usual spreads and pages I am including every single year in my yearly setup. But I also try to integrate something new every single time. It always takes me like forever to search the web for new ideas and decide on what I should really include.
Most of the time I end up having tons of screenshots or pictures I’ve taken of things/topics/themes that looked nice. After that, I move on to sketching out pages of my yearly setup on several pieces of paper. Reordering and restructuring them. Adding and removing some. Trying to decide on an overall theme or style.
Take Your Time & Prepare
When the style, design, and content of the yearly setup are done, the exciting and fun part begins: creating the first pages of my new 2021 Bullet Journal. For this part, I always block one full day where I have no distractions.
I prepare some healthy and not-so-healthy snacks, some Chai Latte and fruits, and set up my video recording equipment. I light a nice candle; this year’s choice was one of the Ellipse candles by WoodWick.
Prepare all my pens, pencils and stationery. Grab my Bullet Journal. Fire up my MacBook and my iPad and get ready to dive into a full day of fun and meditation. Meditation?! Yes. That is the most beautiful side-effect of setting up my Bullet Journal. It is basically like meditation for me. This is the time when I can totally shut down and clear my head of anything that is normally bothering me 24/7.
Bullet Journal for 2021: intro pages
Next to several already approved pages and spreads for the year overview I always try to include or try out something new. Maybe a new style or design. Maybe some new spreads that could come in handy. Maybe some crazy colors.
Business as usual
But for sure I always include the following things in every single Bullet Journal – and btw. this is my 7th Bullet Journal 😉
- 1 page for the year and a quote
- the future log: which includes a monthly overview throughout the year
- 2021 goals
- things to check out:
- 100 things to do before 2021 ends
- places I went (let’s not talk about that one for 2021)
- the year in doodles
- birthday calendar
- 2021 highlights
New spreads/pages for my Bullet Journal for 2021
This year I included several new pages for the yearly setup.
- blog ideas
- crafting ideas
- restaurants to check out
- coffee shops to check out
- gift list
- Kathie’s Yoga
And also some work related stuff like …
- longterm todos
- tasks < 30′
In total, the 2021 year setup consists of 31 pages. Which when I think about it right now seems like a lot :-).
The Bullet Journal for 2021 Setup
This years theme had to be something colourful but also relaxing. After last years pandemic, having to leave Thailand earlier than planned and all the restrictions, I needed something that would calm me down but also cheer me up, every time I would look at it. I have bought some new pastel text markers, which seemed to be the perfect colour palette for this purpose.
Quote for my Bullet Journal for 2021
As quote for this year I decided to go for a simple and blunt “prayer”. Just a simple …
Dear 2021, please be marvelous!by me
The future log contains every month of the year and gives you the possibility to have a quick overview of the most important things, that will happen over the year on a monthly base.
2021 Goals & Things To Check out
Those two pages are a must-include, at least for me. It makes me think about the upcoming year. About the things I want to achieve and also about things that I want to tackle and experience.
Within the 2021 goals I focus on the following 6 topics:
- self dev
100 Things To Do Before 2021 Ends
This is one of my favourite spreads that I have included the first time in 2020. It is basically a list of all the things that I want to do before 2021 ends. Those things do not have to be always things like “Go Bungee Jumping” or “Invent the next iPhone”. They can and should also be small things like “Call this one friend you haven’t spoken in years” or “Treat yourself with a spa day”.
It could be also something like …
- Go hiking
- Go on a city trip … in 2021 … hilarious !!!
- Buy yourself this jacket you have been dreaming of
- Finish a puzzle
- Learn Ukulele
- Play VitiCulture online
- Go on a Tinder date
- Buy a new Kindle
- Cook some Cheung Fun
I love this spread because it makes me remember all those things that I wish I could do. And having some ideas in a spread I can always come bak to those and check out what new adventures are awaiting me or which experiences I still have to take on during this year.
Btw. I don’t have all the 100 things figured out at the beginning of the year. It’s more likely that during the first 2 months I will have around 50 items on the list. The rest is being filled out during the year. You will always have some new ideas that will pop up – so don’t stress yourself to have to have a complete list at the beginning of the year. On the contrary! Leave yourself some space for things that you will come up with, while the year goes by.
Workouts for my Bullet Journal for 2021
This two-pager is my list of workouts that I will be coming back through the whole year. I track what kind of workouts I am doing, how long they take, how much kcal I burn on average while doing those, and what kind of workouts they are and what equipment I need.
Places I went
Well, this one seems kind of obsolete for 2021. But honestly. At the beginning of the year, I was still optimistic. I thought that I would at least be able to spend Easter in Poland. I was sure that I will go visit my godson for his Birthday end of April. I was 100% positive that I would go for my 40th birthday somewhere nice. And after figuring out or more likely accepting, that I wouldn’t be able to spend my usual “avoid winter in Vienna” time in Thailand, I at least was absolutely positively sure, that I would at least go in fall to Koh Lanta and catch up on my Lanta-time.
But you probably know how this story turns out. Now it is mid of April and I haven’t been to Thailand, I didn’t spend Easter in Warsaw and I won’t got for my godsons birthday to Poland, because of the current lockdown until 2nd of May.
After realizing that I wouldn’t be able to write down all those amazing trips I had on my mind at the beginning of the year, I decided to write down all the small trips instead of my big travel-around-the-world adventures.
The Year in Doodles
This is one of my favourite spreads for the yearly setup. Not only because it is, at least at the end of the year, a really nice graphical overview of what the year looked like in doodles. But also because it is a bit of a challenge for me to create some doodles by hand … challenge accepted!
Although I mainly depend on my Google Calendar and Facebook reminders (before my Facebook account has been hacked), to give me notice of my friends birthdays, I love this spread. It reminds me of all the people I have in my life and of all the opportunities to celebrate. Something we all need in 2021, I guess.
Blog & Crafting Ideas
As you probably can see, I am not the most consistent blogger on earth. I love writing. I lack time. Therefore I tend to write not as much as I would wish. But it is always good to have a place to collect ideas for new blog posts. And because I bought myself a sewing machine last year … say what?!?! Yes, indeed. A sewing machine! And because, if you know me just a little bit, you know that I love to create decorations, homemade presents, and handmade stuff, I decided to include a list of crafting ideas as well.
Restaurants & Coffee Shops
After having spent probably half of 2020 walking I noticed a lot of nice-looking restaurants and coffee shops spread all over Vienna. That’s when I decided to try out new places, new food, new coffee shops. What better way for remembering those places than creating an own spread to take notes. Notes for what restaurants and coffee shops I have been to, what I have consumed, and also a rating of the place, the food, and the drinks.
Wish list & Gift list
This one is an obvious one. What is better to be put into a list than your own wish list and a list of presents you want to surprise your friends with.
2021 Highlights for my Bullet Journal for 2021
This two-pager is definitely comparable with the “2021 in doodles”, but it is more of a monthly bullet-point list in comparison to the “doodle” view of the year.
Work related stuff
Those next three pages are work related and are first-timers in 2021. Let’s see if I will really use those during the year. As far as it goes there are only 3 items written down so far (April).
Bullet Journal 2021 — Flip Through
If you want to see the whole process on how my Bullet Journal year 2021 setup came together you can check it out on my YouTube channel.
Any Further Ideas I should Include
If you have any ideas on what I could include into my next yearly Bullet Journal setup, let me know in the comments. I would love to know what you are including in your Bullet Journal.