2021 Bullet Journal Setup [step by step]

This is the ultimate 2021 bullet journal setup guide.

And to be completely honest, I just can’t wait to show you how I start my bullet journal (third one!) for 2021.

Indeed, it’s unbelievable that third year in a row I set up new yearly planner pages.

For the reference, here you can find my:

So if you want to know 

  • what bullet journal notebook I bought for 2021
  • how the bullet journal works for me right now
  • how I use this personalized planner layouts and spreads to boost my productivity and, in general, life organization
  • what I put in a bujo notebook (hint: pretty cute journal ideas!)

Then keep reading!

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2021 Bullet Journal Setup: Notebook & Pens

Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook (Orange) - 249 Numbered Pages
524 Reviews
Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook (Orange) - 249 Numbered Pages
  • INKPROOF PAPER: Medium (A5) notebooks have 80 gsm paper, which is equatable to 60lb stock, and has 249 numbered pages
  • OPENS FLAT: This thread-bound notebook opens flat so you can write and draw at all angles without compromising the integrity of the spine
  • ELASTIC CLOSURE BAND: Secure your content with the elastic enclosure band and inner gusseted pocket. Page marker is included for easy access to a specific page

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

First and foremost, let’s begin with the planner notebook I chose for 2021.

After using Archer and Olive bullet journal for the last 6 months, I decided to come back to the Leuchtturm 1917 one.

And please, don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed Archer and Olive’s bullet journal mid-year setup.

However, keep in mind that my bujo goal was completely different. At that time bullet journaling was all about being creative and artistic for me. With this in mind, I simply needed a notebook with thicker pages to experiment with bullet journal watercolor pages, doodling, and drawings.

But, as usual, my creative enthusiasm lasted maybe 2 months, and again I used my bujo mostly as an organization, productivity tool.

For that reason, my 2021 bullet journal notebook is this cute, orange Leuchtturm 1917.

If you’re wondering what notebook is the best for bullet journaling, you may want to read:

Along with this, when it comes to other bullet journal supplies, nothing has changed.

Here are my top three bujo pens I’ve been using for two years:

Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set
10,677 Reviews
Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set
  • Experience smooth, skip-free writing in crisp, rich black ink to achieve consistent lettering and lines widths.
  • Professional inking pens used by comic artists, illustrators, watercolor artists, archivists, and laboratory professionals.
  • Pigma ink is archival quality on paper: waterproof, chemical resistant, fade resistant, bleed free, quick drying and pH neutral.
Sale
Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers (Bright)
5,329 Reviews
Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers (Bright)
  • Ideal for fine art, brush lettering, faux calligraphy, illustrations, water color illustrations, journaling and more!
  • Set of 9 colors and 1 blender pen, with flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker
  • BRUSH TIP: Durable and flexible nylon fiber brush tip, creates medium or bold strokes by changing brush pressure

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For more bujo tools and accessories ideas, check out this blog post:

2021 Bullet Journal Setup [step by step]

Before we start, I’d only like to mention that, after lots of trials and errors, I know what kind of bullet journal system I want to use in 2021.

However, if you’re a beginner, before getting started with a bullet journal, please read my 101 bullet journal guides on:

So now, without further ado, let’s get started.

How Bullet Journal Works For Me Right Now

First and foremost, the major difference when it comes to bullet journaling is the fact that  I’m slowly moving away from the classic approach with rapid logging and key symbols. 

Also, I think I’m not into creative spreads anymore. 

Basically, my current main organization tools are:

  • family command center (basic whiteboard) for daily planning
  • yearly wall calendar for future planning
  • monthly calendar with a habit tracker printable for cleaning schedule and healthy habits tracking
  • weekly meal planner template for a meal planning
  • bullet journal for monthly and weekly reviews, brain dump sessions, journaling, budgeting

In 2021 I want to create more meal planning, budgeting, and general planner printables to put in a home management binder, leaving a bullet journal for lists, brain dump pages, reviews, and journaling.

Planning 2021 Bullet Journal Setup Layouts and Spreads Ahead

As a rule, I started setting up my 2021 bullet journal pages from planning layouts and a planner organization in general.

Firstly, I wrote down all the bujo pages I created within 2020 (from both notebooks).  As you can see, I like to experiment with bullet journaling, but many pages often turn out to be unnecessary. For that reason, I always put down all previous pages and assess them. 

For example, I don’t need to create an index page only because this notebook includes two premade index pages. Or last year I tested my pens with the Leuchtturm 1917 so the pen test layout is needless.

bullet journal index setup
2021 index setup

Then I created the second list where I jot down all pages I want to put in my 2021 bullet journal setup. Definitely, it’s a lot shorter.

Secondly, I used sticky notes to plan page’ order in a planner notebook for the organization’s purpose.

Bullet Journal 2021 Cover

2021 bullet journal cover page
Bullet Journal 2021 Cover Page

My first bullet journal page is a cover. This year, again I chose my one little word (focus) and included it on the yearly cover page.

Year At A Glance

future log bullet journal 2021 setup
2021 Bullet Journal Future Log Setup

The next three pages include the 2021 bullet journal future log with a mini-calendar for each month and a place for notes. Along with this, I designated a little space for next year (2022) plans.

Level 10 Life Goals

bullet journal level 10 life
Level 10 Life Goals

In general, setting new years’ goals is a pretty common routine. Also this year I used the Level 10 Life exercise to set 2021 life goals.

By the way, here you can read exactly what Level 10 Life is and how to use it with your bullet journal:

Side note: here’s how I messed up with my 2021 bullet journal setup. Basically, this page should have been created right after the calendar. Well, there’s something in the saying that the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot. Wink, wink.

Financial Goals

personalized planner financial goals page
Financial Goals Bujo Page

Then I created a 2021 bullet journal setup for personal finances and budgeting.

Obviously, it’s only a tool but in fact, it helped me tremendously to be completely debt-free last year.

First and foremost, I created a bujo page with my three most important financial goals.

Because of the fact that goals should be achieved in a timely manner, I included the start and due date.

Additionally, there are progress boxes – just imagine achieving your goals in 130%! Definitely, it motivates me to work towards them even smarter (not necessarily harder).

Also, I wrote down two inspirational quotes:

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself” W.Buffet

“A big part of financial freedom is having your head and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life” S. Orman

Savings Tracker

2021 saving tracker planner page
Minimalist Bullet Journal Savings Tracker

On the next page, I added a simple, minimalist savings tracker- both for my personal and business life.

Basically, it’s a chart with 12 columns (for each month) and 8 rows (for savings amount).

Net Worth Tracker

net worth tracker planner page
Net Worth Tracker for 2021

Then I created an easy net worth tracker. Definitely, it’s was so satisfying seeing how my liabilities were shrinking month after month. As I mentioned before, now I’m living debt free so in fact, I shouldn’t have created the liabilities column. However, putting there 0 will remind me how far I’ve gone and motivate me to build up my assets this year.

Long-Term Financial Goals

long term financial goals planner
Long Term Goals for Personal Finances

Also, I set up a page for long-term financial goals. Definitely, it’s always good to know the general direction you’re heading. With this in mind, I designed a simple three columns chart with 3,5,10 years goals, their description, and (the most important) an action plan. 

Sinking Fund

sinking fund planner pages
Sinking Fund Tracker

If you’re wondering what a sinking fund is, basically it’s a way to save money for a specific purpose.

In other words, you save money ahead not because you want to invest them but you already know you’ll need them in the future to pay for:

  • Christmas gifts
  • doctor’s visits
  • birthday party
  • school supplies
  • seasonal clothing, etc.

I’ve started having a sinking fund last year, but I easily lost control over it.

With this in mind, this year I want to control every single penny with my bullet journal sinking fund tracker.

For that reason, I created 12 pages for each month with 5 columns.

Definitely, I’ll put every single expense with date, description, amount, and track the balance of the sinking fund account and a cash envelope.

Weight Loss Tracker  

weight loss tracker bujo
Bullet Journal Weight Loss Tracker

Additionally, 2021 is the year when I focus on a weight loss journey as well so the next bujo layout is a weight loss tracker.

This one-page bullet journal layout includes:

  • the start and the due date 
  • progress tracker 
  • chart with 12 columns (for each month) and 8 columns (for weight unit)
  • a space for my “why”
  • a place for three actionable steps

Blog Stats

blog stats bujo
Bullet Journal Page for Blogging

Along with this, as a full-time blogger, I like to keep an eye on the blog’s stats to see some traffic patterns and tailor content or marketing strategy based on it.

Books Tracker

2021 books tracker
Reading Log

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. This page is designated for book logging with date, title, and rating.

Bullet Journal Lists

Recently, I’ve read a genius book about simplifying and organizing life with lists:

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L’art de la Liste: Simplify, organise and enrich your life
23 Reviews
L’art de la Liste: Simplify, organise and enrich your life
  • Loreau, Dominique (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 08/11/2020 (Publication Date) - Trapeze (Publisher)

Last update on 2020-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Definitely, this book inspired me to experiment with making lists as a crucial part of my future bullet journal routine.

Last but not least, the next bullet journal spreads will be lists. 

As I mentioned before, it’s a completely new way of bullet journaling for me. Indeed, I’m so excited to use my notebook in a new way.

Here is my list of lists I want to add to a 2021 bullet journal:

  • things I want to buy
  • things I need to buy
  • 100 things I like
  • 100 things I don’t like
  • things I need and use (according to a room -great for decluttering)
  • things I only own one off
  • what I’d pack for the van life
  • 50 things I’m proud of
  • favorite food memories 
  • diy cleaning products’ recipes
  • packing list
  • places where I want to live
  • the most satisfying simple pleasures
  • my dream house
  • things I like in my apartment
  • my dream life
  • the person I aspire to be
  • favorite YouTube channels
  • funny words
  • everyday thoughts
  • magic moments
  • what I like about…(winter, spring, summer, fall)

2021 Bullet Journal Setup – Final Thoughts

So this is my 2021 bullet journal setup. As you can see, one more time it’s been proved that there is no specific definition of what bullet journaling is.

However, most bullet journalists have one thing in common. Definitely, it’s a great combination of being creative and organized at the same time.

It’s amazing that one simple notebook can be a planner, sketchbook, art journal, diary, list collection, or a little bit of everything.

What’s Next? Check out how you can organize your entire life with a bullet journal:

Daily Routine: How To Create The One [with a Bullet Journal]

Brain Dump Bullet Journal Guide [step by step]

Create a Vision Board in 7 Simple Steps

2021 bullet joural setup

2021 Bullet Journal Setup