bullet journal post #2: setup

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to set up your bullet journal.

Before we get started, a few things to remember:

  • You’ll figure out which spreads you need and like as you go.
  • Your bullet journal doesn’t have to follow the same spread layout throughout. For example, I’ll switch up my weekly spreads every week to best suit whatever I have going on that week.
  • Your bullet journal doesn’t have to be perfect. It should be functional, if nothing else. Pretty is a bonus. Only about 20 per cent of my pages are cute and those are the only ones I post publicly #itsallanillusion



Your key is the legend you use to track item status or progress. As with all things bullet journal, your key should be whatever you need it to be. Here’s what my key looks like. Pinterest has lots of other examples.



Collections are a group of spreads that you may continuously add to over time or that you might refer to regularly. For example, I have a collection for Small Blonde Blog that includes several pages of different planning, content and partnership lists and spreads. I have another collection of well-being spreads that include a long-term habit tracker, meal planning and anxiety coping ideas. Keep these items together and mark them with a sticky tab for easy reference.


Monthly/Weekly/Daily Spreads

These spreads help me plan my life and keep me organized. I put appointments, meetings, to-do items and some habit trackers in these spreads. I use a big binder clip to mark my weekly spreads for easy reference.

Check out some of my favourite spreads on Pinterest.



  1. Monthly calendar
  2. Monthly goals
  3. Monthly to-do items
  4. Weekly agenda
  5. Habits tracker
  6. Gratitude log
  7. Travel itinerary details
  8. Journaling
  9. Annual goals
  10. Birthdays77612D23-E716-4B6B-90BA-C83424ABF4E1
  11. Important dates
  12. Meal planner
  13. Fitness tracker
  14. TV shows and movies to watch
  15. Books to read
  16. Podcasts to listen to
  17. DIY project ideas
  18. Sleep habits
  19. Home project ideas
  20. Personal budget
  21. Savings goalsAC9BD0A0-B5AF-49F3-B54E-3088362E2889
  22. Clothing sizes at favourite stores
  23. Medical notes and prescription reminders
  24. Pet supplies tracker
  25. Cleaning schedule
  26. Household products inventory
  27. Grocery list
  28. Content ideas and planner
  29. Wardrobe inventory and planner
  30. Motivation/inspiration93DFB4DC-78C7-40C2-84AF-1D7023F4628C
  31. Funny moments to remember
  32. Gift ideas
  33. Businesses and brands to check out
  34. Career inspiration and planning
  35. Conversation starters
  36. Travel bucket list
  37. Mood tracker
  38. Savings tracker or debt payment tracker

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