After writing an ultimate bullet journal setup guide, now I’d like to share with you how I start my brand new year bujo for 2020.
Undoubtedly, setting up a bullet journal for 2019 helped me to achieve my goals, encourage personal growth, and fulfill a dream about being a full-time blogger.
Today you’re going to see the whole process of setting up a 2020 bullet journal from scratch. I’ll show you:
- what is my main bullet journal goal
- my bullet journal supplies for 2020
- the thinking process behind choosing the right bujo spreads
- what worked what didn’t in 2019 bujo
- how does my 2020 bullet journal setup look like
Let’s dive right in.
Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
In order to avoid such comments like “meh, I wouldn’t do that way” or “how could you use this spread instead this one” I have to put a short disclaimer before I start creating 2020 bullet journal setup.
A bullet journal is a tool that enables you to create a free-flowing schedule tailored to your personal needs, lifestyle and other preferences. For this reason, you can consider some of my 2020 bullet journal pages unnecessary. And that’s ok.
However, below you can find a short description of who I am. It explains my bujo spread choices for a new year.
Who I Am
I’m in the middle of my mid-thirties. I’ve just said goodbye to my corporate job and started to work from home as a full-time blogger. For that reason, I wear many different hats. I’m a copywriter, marketing manager, photographer, content creator, a graphic designer in one humble person.
Besides, I’m a happy wife and mom to 5-year-old. I work at home. My son goes to kindergarten.
In my free time, I enjoy listening to podcasts, reading personal development books and practicing hand lettering art.
What Is My Main Bullet Journal Goal
Every single time, before I start a new bullet journal, I ask myself why I want to do it.
It allows me to remind myself what actually bullet journaling is.
Unfortunately, a lot of us thinks that bullet journal is an art journal. And while you can use bujo for art journaling, it’s only one of several options to choose from.
Last year I caught myself to feel discouraged, intimidated and even anxious with my notebook. I focused so strongly on creating artsy pages that I hadn’t time to learn how to use it as my main time management tool.
Clearly, being an artistic perfectionist had a negative impact on my productivity.
For this reason, finding your “why” is so crucial in order to be successful with the bullet journal planning system.
In this case, my main bullet journal goal is to have one notebook where I:
- keep all important dates, projects, appointments, events I want to remember
- write down my life goals
- create schedules, to-do lists
- put trackers to change or improve my bad habits
- can release my creativity
Bullet Journal Supplies for 2020
As I mentioned before, I don’t intend to keep a super artistic bullet journal. As you’ll see at the moment, this years’ spreads (maybe except from intentional quotes pages) are simple.
However, I truly believe that using comfortable tools can really motivate you to bullet journaling every day.
Of course, keeping it budget-friendly is reasonable. But in my case, when I’m a bullet journal blogger, I like to test out different notebooks, pens, and other products. Therefore I can write an honest review and help you to make the best decision as possible for yourself.
Although I’m a regularly stationery freak, this year I chose my bujo supplies wisely.
Here are my 2020 bullet journal supplies:
- Notebook: Leichtturm 1917
- Pens: Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment, Sakura Micron Pens
- Color markers: Zebra Mildliner, Tombow Dual Brush Pens
2020 Bullet Journal Setup – My Thinking Process Behind Choosing the Right Bujo Spreads
There are so many bullet journal ideas you may want to try out that it’s easy to feel daunted.
First of all, remember that the best bullet journal is the one that works for you.
With this in mind, I open my bujo from 2019. Looking back on what worked and what didn’t tell me how I can improve the setup.
2019 Bullet Journal – What Didn’t Worked
Let’s begin with what didn’t work.
Future Log (12 months)
Althoug creating a full year future log was a nightmare, it’s not the only reason why I don’t make this spread for 2020.
Don’t get me wrong – bullet journal future log in one of the basic layouts you should have in your notebook. But when it comes to my lifestyle, I don’t need these 12 months in one bujo.
Furthermore, my bullet journal lasts 6 months. Even if I have some appointments for the second part of the year, I create a specific place (usually small box within future log) where I write them down.
For the same reason, I didn’t use a quarterly future log at all. Besides, it turned out that I don’t need future log and quarterly log as separate spreads.
Blog Post List
In this case, I prefer using Google Sheets. It’s a lot easier.
Maybe I’d used it if I set up this spread within each month. However, writing down all the Skillshare classes while I can do the same thing on the platform, doesn’t have any sense.
Budget Spreads (except saving tracker)
Making budget spreads could be beneficial for your personal finances. I created mine on the basis of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.
And yes, I built an emergency fund and pay off debts. But the third baby step (saving 3-6 months of expenses) is still in progress and it’ll be for the next months. Meanwhile, the rest budget spreads remained blank and I don’t like wasting any pages.
Weight Loss Tracker
I don’t know how about you, but tracking numbers related to weight loss like counting calories makes me anxious. This is why I stop focusing on numbers and now I want to be healthy for myself. I’ve just read that our bodies aren’t a math problem and I couldn’t agree more.
2019 Bullet Journal Ideas – What Worked
Here are the pages that worked extremely well for me in 2019. For this reason, I decided to set them up for 2020 as well. A little bit later I explain why they’re so beneficial for me so stay tuned.
- Bullet Journal Key
- Bullet Journal Index
- Quote Page
- Hello Page
- One Word Page
- Goals Page
- Blogging Spreads
- Level 10 Life
2020 Bullet Journal Set Up
Finally, it’s time to share with you my 2020 bullet journal setup. Again, please remember that choosing the bullet journal spreads depends entirely on your personal preferences.
Because of a brand new bullet journal notebook that I’ve never used before, I start setting up the 2020 bujo from the pen swatches page.
This page allows me to check if specific pens bleed through pages or damage the paper. Besides I can keep track of colors and use this page as a reference.
However, if I decide to use the same notebook as the next bullet journal, I think I won’t create this page. Again, for me personally, a bullet journal is more a productivity tool and less an art journal.
Bullet Journal Key & Index
Last year constant flipping to the front of the notebook and looking for the key was really annoying.
For the 2020 bullet journal, I make a fold-out key. This is one of my favorite bullet journal hacks. I love its simplicity. All you have to do is to grab a random piece of paper, cut it out and stick it to the page with washi tape.
When it comes to the signifiers, I modify my bullet journal key a little bit. I don’t really use the “in progress” status so I get rid of it. Besides, I add color-coding system, choose 4 categories and assign them to different colors:
- yellow – family
- green – personal growth
- pink – home
As well as that, I use pre-printed content pages like a bullet journal index. I want to tweak one little thing.
Because I have only two pre-printed index pages, I divide an index into two categories:
- monthlies (on the left side)
- collections (on the right side)
Only in that way, I think that I won’t be running out of space within the next 6 months.
One Little Word 2020 + Bullet Journal Quotes Page + Hello Page
Next, I combine my favorite spreads from 2019 into one hello page with an inspirational quote that includes word of the year. In addition, it looks really beautiful (hand-lettering style inspired by amazing @marijketekent )
But first things first.
What Is One Little Word Project
Just in case, you’ve never heard about One Little Word movement, you choose only one single word to be your guide for the whole year. Sometimes it’s a deliberate decision, sometimes all you have to do is to trust your intuition. In my opinion, this word should be meaningful to you.
And yes, I know it sounds a little bit like new age stuff, but it resonates with me and many other people.
My One Little Word for 2020 is “grow” (Here you can find a list of 150 other OLW ideas you may want to choose from).
Bullet Journal Quote Page
Believe me or not, but putting an inspirational quote in your bullet journal front pages motivates me. I repeat this quote as a mantra.
Sometimes I fall into a comparison trap. I start thinking negative about my growing path and achievements.
But I have to remind myself that I purposefully choose a work-family balanced healthy lifestyle.
For that reason, I’ll grow slower than someone who doesn’t have kids for example. And it’s ok for me. Because…..
“it’s ok to grow slow”.
As you can see, setting the bullet journal quote page can be really beneficial for keeping a positive mindset and attitude.
Bullet Journal Future Log
As I was saying, 12 months’ future log spread didn’t work for me. As a full-time blogger who works from home, I don’t have a lot of appointments, project deadlines to plan far ahead. With this in mind, I set up only 6 months future log for 2020.
Level 10 Life + Level 10 Goals
If I had to pick only one bullet journal spread that completely changed my life, it’d be one with Level 10 Life exercise from Hal Elrod’s “The Miracle Morning”.
How does it work?
Basically, you divide your life into 10 categories. You can define your own categories or stick with these ones created by the author.
Next, you rate the level of satisfaction from 1 to 10 within each category. It allows you to see where you’re now and where you want to be in your life.
Last time I set my Level 10 goals for the whole year. And it didn’t work out as well as I thought.
First of all, life could really be unpredictable. My son’s three weeks of chickenpox were enough to fall behind on one of my yearly goals.
Besides, some of them simply expired or were irrelevant to the current situation.
Therefore, now I set my goals quarterly. Of course, I still have my long term goals in the back of my head.
But breaking them up into short-term goals and focusing on them only for the next three months allows me to:
- stay on track to achieving my long-term goals
- modify them accordingly
- get the end results faster
- celebrate small successes sooner
- stay motivated
Bullet Journal Blogging Spreads
These bullet journal blogging spreads are a great way to see my blog’s grow and keep track of blogging stats and income as well.
Bullet Journal Cleaning Schedule
Since I’ve worked from home, keeping my home clean and organized is one of my priorities. Having a cleaning schedule in my bullet journal helps me remember to do my homework. Besides, it’s so satisfying just to check things off.
I divided two pages into 6 columns (6 months). Each column consists of 4 columns (4 weeks). Next, I break the chore list into three sections: daily, bi-weekly and monthly chores. Additionally, I assigned three colors to each section:
- grey – monthly chores
- green – biweekly chores
- yellow-daily chores
Bullet Journal Books Tracker
Here I want to track my personal development book I intend to read throughout 6 months.
Bullet Journal Savings Tracker
As I mentioned before, using the bullet journal budget spreads helped me to build an emergency fund, pay off debts and start to save a fund worth 6 months of expenses.
This year I want to continue it with this savings tracker.
Bullet Journal January 2020
After setting up bullet journal front pages for 2020, it’s time to create bullet journal January spreads.
As always, I start from the cover page. If you like to input some artistic vibes to it, feel free to choose a bullet journal theme and decorate your pages with doodles, washi tape, stamps, etc.
This year I want to be more intentional with my life so I choose an inspirational quote as a kind of compass for a whole month.
For January it’s
trust the timing of your life
Bullet Journal Monthly Spread
Being an intentional person means also being intentional with your time. For this reason, before I set my monthly goals, I ask myself three questions:
- where do I want to be at the end of the month
- what would make this month satisfying
- what advice I would give to myself
Based on the answers and the Level 10 goals, I look at my quarterly goals and break them down into smaller steps aka monthly goals.
The first spread is a habit tracker. Basically, it’s a healthy tracker combined with a mood tracker.
The second tracker I’ll use in 2020 is a podcast tracker. Not only I’ll write down which podcast I’ve listened to, but also one new thing I’ve just learned from it.
Bujo Weekly Spread
Last but not least I create my first January bullet journal weekly spread. After a lot of ups and downs, finally, I’m in the right place with weekly setup.
First, I put in the left corner mini monthly calendar and mark the current week. Next, I check out the future log and put all appointments, events, etc in my mini calendar. Also, I use color-coding.
Secondly, I write my weekly goals. Yes, now I break my monthly goals into even smaller steps and set weekly goals. Based on these, I plan out my entire week, from Monday to Sunday.
2020 Bullet Journal Set Up – Final Thoughts
As you can see, my 2020 bullet journal setup is quite simplistic. This year, I want to come back to the bullet journaling method as close as possible to original Ryder Caroll’s one. In my opinion, getting rid off social media influence, an unnecessary distraction, and all the fluff will improve my overall productivity.
At the same time, I still like adding artsy stuff like hand-lettered quotes or fancy fonts heading. But it’s more self-care activity rather than planning element. Definitely, I don’t force myself to do it as before.
You may have a very different lifestyle than mine and what works for me doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll work for you. In order to make the most of bullet journaling, it has to be 100% suited to your needs, goals, and personal preferences.
Nevertheless, I hope you grab some awesome bullet journal inspiration for 2020 and give this system a try. Trust me – it’s so worth it.