Setting Up My 2020 Bullet Journal

I’ve been keeping a bullet journal for a long time; I believe I started my first bullet journal when I was 15. I’m 20 now, so that’s 5 years of bullet journaling. I’m starting my 4th book now, and I've really been thinking about my 2020 bullet journal ideas. I've come up with a few that I would love to share with you guys! I kept my last journal through all of 2019. I’ve always found that when I’m keeping up with my journal, my life runs a lot more smoothly.

The use of my bullet journal varies; sometimes it is more of a journal while other times it’s mostly a planner. I don’t think either is better. I do what works best for me at the time and is most sustainable. There’s no one way to bullet journal: the most important thing is to do it often.

The Journal

I treated myself to a pretty emerald Leuchtturm1917 for my bullet journal. I almost got black, but my boyfriend likes pretty notebooks and convinced me.

Features of Leuchtturm1917:

  • Dotted pages. I have a preference for dotted pages, but I’ve used grid and lined notebooks before.

  • Pocket. For storing stuff.

  • Elastic band for keeping the journal closed.

  • 2 ribbon page markers.

  • "Ink proof" paper. (Note: I put this to the test with a few pens and it didn’t really hold up.)

  • 249 numbered pages and a blank index. A nice feature to help with being organized. I’ve numbered pages before and it sucks!

  • Expensive. I paid $24 CDN which was the full price in-store.

I talk more about the supplies I use and have tried in my post about supplies for bullet journaling.

Looking Back at the Past

  • I forgot the yearly overview in 2019. I’ve had one before and I recall it being really useful.

  • Jan-Aug I did 1 week per 2 pages, and then, from Sep-Dec, I switched to 1 week per page which I liked a lot more.

  • I’ve kept a tracker of my expenses and income on and off and I usually am conscientious about my spending when I’m keeping one.

  • I find it really useful to have several months' worth of weekly spreads ahead of me.


  • To help me plan how I'll set up my planner, I used little pieces of paper as bookmarks for different sections of my planner.

  • I like leaving a few blank pages to fill with titles, quotes, and what-not. It lets me flex my creativity. I'm leaving the awkward space before the index blank for an inspirational quote, and I'm leaving the page 1 blank to write the year (see the top of post).

  • I did two spreads (ie. 4 pages) for the yearly overview (4 months per page + 1st 4 months of 2021). Using two spreads gives me more room to write down events and deadlines. I put in holidays right away, but I'll add birthday and school stuff later on. (If you look at the little bookmark and compare it to what I actually did, you'll see I was originally only going to do 3 months per page and only do 2020. I also made a mistake and laid it out the way I didn't want.)

  • I put in the first 4 months' weekly spreads - so I can add important dates in advance. I divide the year into thirds instead of quarters since it makes more sense with my school schedule.

  • I will probably add the May-to-August section in March when I need to start planning ahead more in-depth. Until then, I have blank pages after April for me to fill in with stuff.

  • I left a spread upfront for goals I want to work on from January to April. My plan is to write down my goals on the right side.

  • I also put in a few pages for tracking my spending. The first column is the date, second is the amount I spent or received, third is the total balance of my chequing account, and fourth is for describing what the money was spent on or where it came from.

  • I want to be more consistent with tracking my mood in 2020 as I've done it before and found it useful, but I can't decide how I want to do it.

Final Thoughts

Of course, this isn't the prettiest bullet journal in the whole world, but it works just as well! Let me know if this has helped or inspired your own bullet journal!



Hello hi! You can call me Elisha. I founded Tenacious Thinker to create a center for helpful information and actionable plans to help everyone change their lives. I believe focusing on our wellness is crucial as we journey through life. This means taking care of our mental and physical wellbeing, cultivating social relationships, and finding a sense of meaning.

I believe that we can all find purpose and meaning by dedicating ourselves to living more sustainably and improving our communities. I believe all these areas overlap, and as I learn more I hope to document all my discoveries. I believe in drawing ideas from science, literature, and media to draw new understandings.

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