Bullet Journal Comparison #3: Monthly Covers

Hey, hey it’s MJ,

            Back again with another Bullet Journal comparison. If you want to check out the other two I have done, you totally can and I would appreciate it. I have done posts on my Yearly Covers and my Book Trackers so far and now here we are with my Monthly Covers. 

            A lot has changed with my monthly covers since I started, I mean what we are learning with this post series is that a lot has changed over all with my Bullet Journal as I have learned my own style. That’s the thing about Bullet Journaling, you can experiment and see what your style is without the restraints of the standard day planner. It is not for everyone, it is a time commitment, but it is worth it for me. I like the control and the creativity that I can express while I work on my Bullet Journal each year. 

            So let’s start with the oldest one first, my experimental year. 2018, where I wasn’t all that sure what I was doing but I figured I wanted to do it anyway. 

            I am showing the April cover for the last four years. 

            2018: It’s an umbrella and I liked the lettering, it’s super simple, but all of my covers for 2018 were really simple. I was still really learning at that point and I didn’t really know what I wanted in a bullet journal at that point. I have said this before and I will say it again and again with this post series, 2018 was my experimental year to see if this was a hobby that I could sustain long term. 2018 was not the best year in general so there are a lot of qualities that I didn’t keep from this journal to my next journals and I don’t regret leaving some things in the past.

            2019: Another umbrella and I just realized that. I didn’t even think about it before today that April for two years in a row had an umbrella featured in it. 2019 I tried harder at my covers and I also added in a calendar that I never used, I like the bunny that I drew. This one for sure was an upgrade from 2018 but not even my best cover for 2019. I have a post on my fave BuJo pages from 2019 and you can see some of my better covers there. 

            2020: Two page covers became a thing last year and I don’t regret them one bit. This is probably one of my favorite covers from last year because I love the Avengers, my 2022 themes will all be Marvel. I am just not sure exactly what I am going to do yet which is weird but I’m working on it. I tried so hard on this one and it took me hours to do the building with any kind of accuracy to the movies and I love it. If you want to see the rest of April you can check out my 2020 Bullet Journal #1 Update.

            2021: Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite movies and this one took me hours upon hours. That is the real difference between 2018 and today, the theming and also how long it takes me to actually do the covers and the final pages of the month. I was really proud of this one to be honest because I am trying to make better art. I could have colored in the sand below Stitch but I didn’t want to. You can see the rest of the month if you want to in my 2021 Bullet Journal Update #2.

            Well there it is, four years represented in under 1,000 words and I am only like half way done with this series. I have a few more comparisons I want to make. I have for sure changed my style with my Bullet Journals over the years and I love growing and learning as a creative minded human with projects like this. 

            Like I said, it’s not for everyone and I think you can buy premade Bullet Journals online, but that takes the fun out of it for me. I want to look at a blank journal and create my own thing on it’s pages. It gives you room to add other things to it and change and adapt to your style as time goes on. I actually used all of my pages in my Bullet Journal this year, that’s 251 pages all told and that’s crazy to me especially since in 2018 I only used 184. I missed two months, but still, I am learning and adding more things that I want in each journal. It’s fun. 

            Well I hope that everyone has a good start to the week and I will be back on Wednesday another post. (I am writing this at the end of August and this doesn’t come out until October so you can see that I am planning ahead!)

            Until then, I hope that every stays safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ 

MJ’s 2021 Bullet Journal Update #3

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            I am prepping posts because we are back to school and that means that I come home and just want to hang out so I am trying to get posts written on the weekend. I am sitting right now on the 22nd of August and this post doesn’t come out until the end of September so roll with me (roll even further with me because it’s the second week of October…oops). The more I can get done now means that I will have posts even when I don’t have the physical or creative energy to write a blog post. I am trying to force 1,000 words out a day and most days that works, but some days there is just a whistling or the dial up noise in my brain and nothing comes out. 

            On to what this post is actually about though! My 2021 Bullet Journal, if you want to read Part 1 or Part 2 to see what else I have done this year, you totally can. I already have my layout pages for 2022 done and that’s so exciting. I also know all of my themes and pages for my 2023 bullet journal which is crazy because usually I don’t even start thinking about the next year’s journal until about July. Well now I am two years ahead. I know my themes for next year I just have to figure out how to implement them on the pages. That’s going to be fun…hint hint: next year’s theme is Marvel. 

            Alright, I think that’s enough exposition and we are just going to move straight into the post. We are here covering the months July, August, and September. I cannot believe I am on the third post of four in this series for the year, it’s insane.

July: The Great Mouse Detective

Cover: This cover took me hours to finish, it was a lot of lines and drawing Big Ben was complicated. This for sure is one of my favorite covers of the year though. TGMD is so underrated and trying to get inspiration pictures for this was hard. I just watched it on Disney Plus because I needed to see certain scenes and I was unable to find the pictures online. I love this movie, it was one of my favorites as a kid and I still love it, the opening scene with Fidget still freaks me out and I am almost 30. I was going to draw the mice riding on Toby but I cannot draw that much small detail so I stuck with Toby. Who doesn’t love an animal retelling of a classic? Disney did a few of them and I love all of them. (The Great Mouse Detective and Robin Hood come to mind right away.)

Mood Tracker: Of course, it is lab equipment, I thought about doing something with Ratigan but I decided against it because there is a scene as the beginning where they are testing ink and I thought of all the chemistry equipment and ran with it. I like having fun with something I have to fill out every day and the mood tracker is one of those things and that means that I have like what I am coloring in on the daily.

Last Page: I love the invention of the flower to ballerina toy from the very beginning of the film so I drew it as best I could. I have wanted that toy since I was between four and six and saw the movie for the first time. It’s so graceful and beautiful so I had to put it in my Bullet Journal.

August: Winnie the Pooh

Cover: I think that most of us grew up on these characters, I had to watch a few of the movies on Disney Plus to make sure that I was getting things right, the one from the 70’s and the one from like 2011. I wanted the whole gang in the picture and some of the characters turned out better than others, that’s for sure. Eeyore has always been my favorite and I think that explains a lot about my personality. 

Mood Tracker: Of course, it’s honey comb, I love the Hunny pot at the bottom and I wanted something nice and simple yet effective for the mood tracker this month because I have been doing a lot with this journal. It’s fun, I love fun and the bee is dumb looking, but I love that too. 

Last Page: This is the one scene from the 1977 cartoon The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I grew up on that one and I watched it while I was working on this page. I think doing my BuJo this year Disney themed was just an excuse to get Disney Plus and rewatch all of my favorites. The scene in the movie Pooh eats too much honey at Rabbit’s house and gets stuck in the entrance. I could have drawn the view from inside Rabbit’s house where Rabbit draws on Pooh and uses him like a trophy mount and a shelf but this one was cuter. 

September: Big Hero Six

Cover: I love this movie, it was also kind of underrated, but it’s so good and so inclusive. I love Baymax so of course he had to be half of the cover. The quote is a little hard to read but it’s lines across because I love that quote. The other side is all of the character’s “battle suits” in minimalist, I guess. When I started working on this month, I actually wasn’t sure what I was going to put on this page and then this idea came to me because of a poster I saw. The movie is visually stunning and has a great story, if you have not seen it, go see it. 

Mood Tracker: Honey Lemon’s character is a bad ass (excuse the swearing, but she is) like she makes the chemical compounds without looking at the bag. It’s so cool! I ran with this one because I had no other idea, this was the idea that came to my brain and it was what I wanted to do, so I did it.

Last Page: I love “drunk” Baymax in the movie, when he starts to deflate and it’s so funny. I have a tank top that says “We jumped out a window!” and it is one of my favorites. The character of Baymax is so fun, all of the characters are so unique and it’s just one of those movies that sits with you. 

            So, there you have it, another three months in my Bullet Journal. One more of these posts and we will be heading toward my 2022 Bullet Journal. That’s still really crazy because 2021 has been a roller coaster. 

            In my last BuJo update post I talked about starting my comparison series, I did that you can check out the Yearly Covers post and my Book Case post because they are both out!

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post and I hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy rest of the week!

            -MJ

MJ’s 2021 Bullet Journal Update #2

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            How is it already the end of June. I cannot believe that. So here I am with my second Bullet Journal Update of the year, you can check out the first three months of the year in my 2021 Bullet Journal Update #1. I like doing it every three months, sheerly because that means that I don’t have to write longer posts and I can focus on a smaller section of the year.

            Like I said in the first update of this year, my theme this year is Disney. It’s not hard to do Disney because it’s Disney. There is a lot of content with Disney and I am having fun with it. I am still on the fence about theming my journal for next year, but I still have a few months to figure that out. 

I am going to just jump straight into the content so bear with me, all of these are beach themed. I didn’t mean to have three beach or ocean themed months in a row; it just happened. 

April: Lilo and Stitch

Cover: Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite Disney animated films, my Godfather took me to see it when it came out and then took me to Hawaii. He passed away in 2019 and I miss him dearly, I cannot watch this or Moana without crying because Moana came out a few months after I lost my grandmother so while I love them, I still cry a little when I watch them. 

            That has nothing to do with the cover so I am moving on from it and talking about the cover. I decided that because I cannot draw people to save my life some days I was just going to draw Stitch in the sand on one page and surf boards on the other page. I was actually really proud of the sunset on this page and I really enjoyed working on this.

Mood Tracker: I love the plumeria, it’s a beautiful flower and it plays an important subtle role in the film so of course I decided to do a lei and make it plumeria flowers. I know that they are not the right color because each flower would be one color not multiple. If I would ever do flowers again I would make 30-31 flowers and just color in one each day. I still love how I colored the leaves in on this page though.

Last Page: In all honesty, I traced this. I am not going to lie because I could not free hand this to save my life but it still turned out cute and I wanted something happy from the end of the film as my last page. Is it perfect? No. Does that make it any less fun to have in my Bullet Journal? No. 

May: Moana

Cover: Look at me with beach and ocean themed months, oops my bad. I love Moana, it’s a phenomenal movie and I love the sidekicks. Hence why Puan ad Hei Hei got their own spot with the ocean kind of watching them. I think everyone is watching Hei Hei peck at the rock; that’s what I thought when I put it in here. I had to have the outrigger, it’s a big part of the film so of course it had to make an appearance somewhere in the theme. 

Mood Tracker: Of course it’s Maui’s hook, I had to have that somewhere in here as well. There was a brief consideration to make it something with Tamatoa because the song ‘Shiny’ made me laugh out loud in the theatre, my best friend and I would text each other SHhhhhhhIiiiNnnnnneyyyy every once in a while because it made me laugh so hard the first time I heard the song. 

Last Page: I loved the symbolism of making the island one rock higher with every chief and Moana putting her shell on it when they went back to voyaging. I really like doing more intricate and complicated pages even though this one for sure took me like two hours while I was watching The Great British Baking Show. I finished May in like April so I was catching up on things; at least I think that’s what I was watching, it was either that or The Repair Shop I don’t remember to be honest. 

June: The Little Mermaid

Cover: I wanted the beginning and the end of the film represented, the beginning with the fireworks and Ariel and the end with her leaving on the ship toward her happily ever after. This page alone took me probably 3-4 hours all told and I really like how it turned out.

Mood Tracker: Shells, of course it’s shells. It was going to be either that or the little slugs that Ursula turned the merpeople into, but I liked the shells better. I feel like this one is pretty straight forward so I don’t really have much to say about it. I like the colors, they were fun to draw, and if I did it again I would make individual ones for each day.

Last Page: I love the ‘Kiss the Girl’ scene from the film and I just love when they sail into the grotto and you see it for the first time, it’s magic. I wanted to feel that magic again even just for a brief moment because everyone deserves a little magic in their lives. I didn’t put any of the creatures in it or Ariel and Eric because again, I cannot draw people and I didn’t want to ruin this page. 

            Well there it is, three more months in my Bullet Journal. I love Bullet Journaling, I know that it is not for everyone, but I like the freedom of being able to start with a blank page and make it whatever I want to make it. Hopefully, I will be back at the end of September with the third installment, I am still really trying to Bullet Journal this whole year, I think I will be doing a comparison post for my last four years’ worth of Bullet Journals at least a few pages from each year just to see how much I have changed and grown since I started Bullet Journaling in 2018. I will probably do a few of those posts now that I have four years of material now, well three and a half minus a few months that I have missed over the years. 

            I was finishing off this post and got distracted by the accursed clock app, I lose a lot of time on that place, when I was in high school the only Tik Tok we had was by Ke$ha. 

            Well I will be back at the end of the week with another post, it’s already scheduled because things came in later this month than planned so I had to move some things back and I took a week off so you will see another post from me on Sunday. 

            I hope that everyone has an amazing, healthy, and productive rest of the week and a safe, fun, and responsible Fourth of July weekend to my American friends. 

            -MJ

MJ’s 2021 Bullet Journal Update #1

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Last year I did this post every four months and I think it was just a lot so I am going to do three months this year and see how I feel about it. Maybe I am just grasping for content but I also want to do some different things this year. As I have said before this year, roll with me. 

            This year I themed my bullet journal like I did last year, (you can check those posts out if you want to 1,2,3) well not exactly the same this year is just straight up Disney things and maybe next year will be Marvel but I don’t know yet. I like theming but I also kind of want to go back to just making things that strike my fancy when it comes to my monthly journals but who knows. 

            I did all of my base pages for 2021 last year so all I have to do this year is the time consuming creative part and I have been meaning to do May since February but I just haven’t been in the mood, that is my goal for spring break; get May finished. 

            I am not going to show any of my lead up pages because those will end up in my ‘favorite pages of the year’ post. (you can see my faves from my 2018, 2019, and 2020 BuJo’s if you want to.) So I am just going to lead off with January. 

January: Alice in Wonderland

Cover: So I love the Cheshire Cat, I have a human in my life who I call the Cheshire Cat because of the grin so that will always have special significance to me. I feel like some of my covers are on the simple side and this for sure, while time consuming, is one of the more simple ones that I have done so far this year. (mind you I have only done until April so far)

Mood Tracker: Who doesn’t love the caterpillar and I was quite proud of the free hand I did to a reference photo of the caterpillar. I write a list out of themes for each month as well as what the habit tracker is going to be and I thought of about four for this month, originally it was going to be tea cups like the scene with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare but this made more sense in my brain. 

Last Page: I cannot draw people all that well, I really did try but Alice looks a little Tim Burton-esque if the live action movies would have been animated. I tried like really hard though and while it’s a lot I am still going to share it because there is a lot of art that isn’t great so I can add my depiction of Alice to it. 

February: Beauty and The Beast

Cover: It took me a good two and a half or three hours while watching old episodes of The Great British Baking Show to actually complete this and I did trace the figures because again, I am not good at drawing people, I try a lot but I have never gotten the hang of it. 

Mood Tracker: The rose, of course I had to do the iconic rose and as I turned it while I am writing this post I realized that I never filled in the 28th of the month so I had to do that real quick. I could not get though Beauty and The Beast month without putting the rose in multiple places and of course doing the mood tracker was right up my alley for this one. 

Last Page: It’s simple and I love the idea of just something really simple at the end of some of my months and I really like dandelions in the wind so I went with a really simple black ink drawing and a quote because the next pages are a lot so not having a bunch of colored pencil transfer was a goal of mine. 

March: Tangled

Cover: This took me forever to do but I am really happy with how it turned out, I tried y’all I tried but I am not great at depth perception in art, converging lines and all that. I love art, I am not half bad at it but I have been out of practice for a long time and my bullet journal proves that to me every month. 

Habit Tracker: The exploding sun is a theme throughout the movie and this was another tracker that I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. Originally it was going to be lanterns but with those on the cover I figured that I didn’t want to be repetitive and so I went with this instead. 

Last Page: The tower, the beginning of the film and I really enjoyed doing this page and even the background because I wanted to do something fun and something that I knew was iconic to this movie. I was going to have Rapunzel’s hair cascading out of the window but I changed my mind because I thought that just the tower was cool enough to hold its own in this drawing.

            So that’s my Bullet Journal so far this year, I know that I have more pages and eventually I will have more to show you as the year goes on. Hopefully in June I will be making the second installment in this post series because I made a promise to myself last year that I would bullet journal all year again this year and that is a promise that I plan on keeping. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post so until then, I hope everyone has a good, safe, and healthy week! 

            -MJ