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

Bullet Journal Comparison #2: Book Trackers

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Here we are again with another post about my Bullet Journals, I will be doing comparison posts about once a month for the rest of the year because I can! 

            Last month I did the yearly covers from 2018-2021. I have not done my 2022 yearly cover yet. I have finished all of my layout pages for 2022 and that is a huge weight off my shoulders when it comes to Bullet Jounraling. I also have figured out the themes for 2023 and I am already looking forward to it! So excited for two years in the future, I’m excited for next year but I still have some planning to do with the monthly themes. That is not what this post is about though so I am going to roll into that. 

            Today’s post is my book case comparison. Every year I put in a book case to track all the books that I read each year. I have actually marked more space out for next year because I am reading more books next year than I am planning to this year and this year I pretty much ran out of room. 

            I am also doing a book bullet journal next year, thanks TikTok. So I will do an introduction to that later in the year. It’s pretty much done which is nice because then I don’t have to worry about working on it later in the year in prep for what I plan on reading. 

            These posts might spoil some of my favorite pages for this year, but I don’t really know exactly what my favorite pages this year will be. 

            2018: My 2018 Bullet Journal was really just a mismatch of things, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing and I also read like six books in 2018 so my bookcase is incredibly empty. Also, unlike the rest of the years I did after 2018 the book case is at the front. In 2018 it was on the page before I started March. 2018 was really a year where I was learning how to Bullet Journal and a lot of it was a mess. 

            2019: My goal for 2019 was 35, I read 32 and 12 of those were in December. This bookcase I really tried to do something different form the year before. I also was only doing one book case at the time and I changed that in the coming years because this was just not a sustainable design for me moving forward. This one is for sure not my favorite because the bookcase is just a little too fussy for me. The front pages of 2019 before I got to January was what I have taken from that year into last year, this year, and next year. 

            2020: 2020 was a mess all over, we can all agree on that. This BuJo was kind of the BuJo that helped me figure out what exact system in my BuJo works for me. This bookcase isn’t full, I read 40 books last year and that was a lot of fun and I still had space. I like the little shelf decorations that I have in this one and again, I have copied this page to a certain extent for the last two years and next year as well. 

            2021: I am still working on this one because we still have like 4 months until we hit 2022 and I am still reading books. I switched the bookcases in this one from last year and I really like this style. I kept the ‘God Bless this Hot Mess’ sign because that is me as a person and I need that on at least one page in my Bullet Journal. I now regret making the M as large as I did because I needed more space for books this year and I don’t have the space now, oops. I have had to add books to this page since the beginning of the year because I decided to do Book of The Month and that means I needed more space. I also read books with my sixth graders last spring so I put them in a well, I probably shouldn’t have because I do not have a lot of room, but it’s okay. 

I like reading and seeing a filling book case in my Bullet Journal is really cool. This is one of my favorite pages to do every year because it’s progressive. I go back to it all the time when I finish another book and I love that feeling. I am so excited to do my Book Bullet Journal in the new year. 

Alright, there is post number two in the BuJo comparison posts, I will be back next month with the third installment.

I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone is safe, happy, and healthy!

-MJ

Bullet Journal Comparison #1: Yearly Cover

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            This is going to be a series, I plan on having one post like this for the next several months because I need a little bit more to write about and maybe this series can help someone who is embarking on the Bullet Journal trend like I did in 2018. I blame Pinterest for a lot of things in my tactile creative arsenal and Bullet Journaling is one of them. I could link all of my Bullet Journal posts here, but that would be in a word; excessive. I will link a few important ones though, like my updates so far this year, (they are linked near the top of the linked post) my Bullet Journal supplies post, and my 2020 Bullet Journal. (again the links for all of those updates are at the top pf the linked post) 

            I don’t expect these posts to be long and rambling, I just want to talk about how much my creative process for these have changed over the years. 

            I started Bullet Journaling in 2018 because I was moving and I could never find a planner that was exactly what I wanted, Pinterest turned me on to this mythical and magical thing called Bullet Journaling. It was such a concept to me, buy a blank journal and then make it what you wanted, creating hundreds of pages out of thin air and I was up for the challenge. 

            This first post I figured could focus on one page, all of them will focus on a singular page in my journals for the last four years. My methods might be different than other Bullet Journalers, (I don’t know what to call it) but that’s alright we can all have a different method to journaling. That is the intense beauty of a Bullet Journal; it can be whatever you want it to be. 

            I am not a professional, I make mistakes in every journal, no matter how many times I have worked on them, I am working on my 2022 BuJo already and I have already made mistakes even though it is almost a carbon copy to my 2020 and 2021 BuJo in regard to the layout. 

            So my page for this post is the yearly cover. These posts are going to give some spoilers for my favorite pages this year but at the moment, I don’t care; just roll with it. 

            2018: I have no idea what I was doing when I threw this page in, I really didn’t. I remember sitting at my desk when I was still in Indiana and staring at the page hoping that it would just tell me how to make a good cover. I went with Hello in over a dozen languages and just ran with it. It was the not the most creative and at the time I will say, my 2018 Bullet Journal was very much a prototype to see if I could sustain actually doing something like this.

            2019: Who doesn’t love balloons, I wish I would have done more with them. Shading or something to make them look more like balloons and not made a few mistakes in them. It was just as simple as my 2018 yearly cover and this is honestly a page I rarely look at throughout the year, but still, I could have done better with this one. 

2020: After what we all went through in 2020 I never want to hear the phrases ‘2020 vision’, or ‘hindsight is 2020’ ever again. I was so optimist at the beginning of last year and then it was a dumpster fire. I wish that I could have seen the future and made this a dumpster instead, but we can’t see the future and that is not a super power that I would want. I loved this cover though, I loved the sunglasses and if I wasn’t a glasses human who has really poor vision I would for sure have about six pairs of sunglasses that looked exactly like these ones. 

            2021: if you were around last year and were following my BuJo posts then you will remember this castle from my October BuJo Disney spread last year. I did all Disney this year and my 2021 Bullet Journal is actually fully complete. I traced the castle, I am not going to lie, I traced it because I am not great at free-handing anything. I didn’t go for the ombre that I tried last year, with this cover I went with more of a stained glass look because I love stained glass. There is no secret there, stained glass is beautiful and scary; too many sharp edges for me to try and make. I think that last year and this year have stretched my creative vision for my Bullet Journals and this cover is my favorite so far. 

            So there it is, one page over four years. I don’t know what 2022’s cover is going to look like; I have not decided that yet. I know what my theming is next year but I have figured out very little when it comes to the actual creative part of all of it. I still have some time to figure that out before I start. I am getting all of the basic pages in as well as the monthly days because I know if I don’t I will fall behind and it won’t be fun. It will be a slog to get through like I did for all of 2018, 2019, and the beginning of 2020 and now I am ahead and I want to be. 

            Covers are just the beginning, I will be comparing a lot of pages and some will look really similar because I have found that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I have certain pages that I love and have the same year after year because that is what makes sense to me. You may think it’s lazy to copy a page year after year, I don’t see it that way. I see it as finding something that works for you and sticking with it until something better comes along. 

            Alright, I will see everyone mid-week with another post, I hope that everyone out there is staying safe, happy, and healthy. Have a good start to 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

My Favorite Pages from My 2020 Bullet Journal

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            If you want to see a lot of pages from my 2020 Bullet Journal you can I wrote three posts about it this year one for January-April, one for May-August, and the last from September-December. I don’t really have much of a lead up to this post it’s just going to be some of my absolute favorite pages, some will be repeats from those aforementioned posts and some will be pages that I didn’t show so here we go.

I am going to start with just my random lead up pages that I really enjoyed: 

            My cover for 2020 was so hopeful, here we are with 2020 vision and man did this year suck so I guess now we can say hindsight is 2020 or something. I just like simple yearly covers because my monthly covers are so involved.

            My bookcases with all of the books that I read this year and I hit my goal of 40, you can read about all the books that I read (1,2,3, & 4) because why not. I really enjoy seeing these shelves fill up as the year goes on because that just means that I read another book. 

            My self-care page is a little better than last year’s and I really liked it, my page this year is different so that is something that evolves every year and last year was one of those years where we all needed to think about good ways to practice self-care and these were some of the things that work for me. 

On to monthly pages (again all of these have been featured on the blog before so just roll with me): 

Don’t judge my kanji and stuff, it’s been like a decade since I have actually written much in Japanese.

            My January mood tracker, I love Studio Ghibli and have for years and the soot sprites from Spirited Away and I wanted to have them in my bullet journal, they are super cute and fun. 

            My April cover, again I chose themes of series that I love and so putting the Avengers tower in on my April cover was really awesome and this one was one that took me such a long time to color but I am really proud of it. 

            My May cover, it’s Star Wars because Star Wars, I didn’t hate the new trilogy and let’s be real the porg’s are my favorite (if you search porg on Pinterest it gets mad and thinks you are searching up something that starts with por and ends with n, I’m not a promise I am just looking for CGI puffins.)

            My last page of May, I just really liked drawing Baby Yoda, one of my goals this year is to actually get Disney+ and actually watch the show because it’s such a phenomenon. I just love the character of The Child and how cute he is. 

            My August cover, Tolkien’s Middle Earth is one of those universe’s that I grew up in. I was in fourth grade when the Fellowship of the Ring came out and that was my first PG-13 movies that I ever saw. The Hobbit came out when I was in college and those movies were cinematically amazing. I still want to go to New Zealand and actually go see the beautiful landscape that is immortalized in those films. 

            Random pages because I messed up, I did a worry tree which I will probably put at the very back of my current year bullet journal as well as well as an inspirational quote page. I just needed a break in my months I guess even subconsciously because I missed some pages. I like quote breaks and sometimes you just need a little quote that lifts you up.

            My November cover, I love Doctor Who and this one took me a long time as well but I wanted to put the TARDIS in my bullet journal. There isn’t much else besides the fact that the oil paint pen I used bled through to both of the pages on either side but it’s fine because the dots look pretty cool.

            So those are some of my favorite pages, I really enjoyed my bullet journal last year and my goal again this year is to bullet journal for the whole year and this year is Disney themed which is difficult but guess what, I’m doing it. 

            I’ll see everyone later in the week with another post, I hope everyone has a great couple of days! 

            -MJ 

2020 Bullet Journal Update #3

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

         I cannot believe that I am writing my last bullet journal update of the year. ( you can read the first and the second if you want) In truth I have been done with my bullet journal since about August, I had a lot of time and I am already almost done with January of next year because again; I had the time this week.

         Actually all of the non-creative pages for next year are done because then I can focus on the fun stuff instead of the weekly and monthly layouts. I know I mentioned that in post #2 this year but I felt like it’s been a while since then. 

         This post will look about the same as that one actually, month by month because that just makes sense to me at the moment and it’s a really organized why to put my thoughts down on paper. I know we aren’t really into December yet but bear with me. 

September Theme: 

         I grew up on Harry Potter, it came out when I was in like second or third grade and then the first movie came out when I was in fourth grade; I know because we went as a class to go see it after our teacher read it to us. (My fourth grade teacher was the best.) I love the world and the characters but I have had to separate myself from liking the author after recent comments. 

Cover: The Hogwarts crest and Hedwig wearing the sorting hat, I took a ridiculous amount of time on the crest and it’s still not perfect but that’s totally cool because I don’t want it to be perfect. 

Habit Tracker Drawing: I had to have a nod to the Marauders Map in here somewhere and putting it at the bottom of this tracker was a great choice if I do say so myself. I would love to have a map like the Marauders Map in my life, I would also love to have magic but you know. 

Mood Tracker: I got this idea from Pinterest and I ran with it, I had other ideas but none of them were as cool as this one so roll with me on it. 

The Last Page: Again, Pinterest. I have never really seen the spells like this and some of them could be wrong, I was not going to go and watch all eight films to find out. I didn’t want to do a quote page or a movie check list for this month and I really liked this idea when I saw it. 

October Theme: 

         Disney, because, duh. Next year everything is Disney; it’s a full year of different movies and characters next year. This month however is just general Disney no specific theme.

Cover: Well I wanted a double page like last month, I found the castle and traced it because art is hard, I did the same with Steamboat Willy but that one printed out funny so I had quite a time with it. I liked the idea of having a lot of color on one side and black and white on the other it just made so much sense to me and made me really happy while I was working on it no matter the frustration or blending or trying to get the character correct. 

Mood Tracker: I have seen Up a total of once and I know that Up is Pixar but it’s still Disney in my mind, it’s really cute and I know that the house isn’t colored in this picture, I didn’t realize it wasn’t until halfway through October and I just never retook the picture because I kind of like having the mood trackers blank. 

Quotes Page: All of the quotes on this page are from movies I am not using next year and I do like doing quotes when it’s a big universe that I am working on. 

November Theme:

         Doctor Who, because November. I have watched most of new Who, everything but 13 because I don’t have BBC America, I’ll watch it eventually. I love Doctor Who though, my graduation caps from college were two halves an 11thDoctor quote and it was one of those shows that I can watch over and over again because I love the stories and the characters. 

Cover: The TARDIS in the time stream or just floating through the galaxy, I tried really hard on the galaxy so work with me on it, I have drawn the TARDIS more than I would like to admit also so there’s that. 

Mood Tracker: In reality I am writing this before the end of November but the scarf looks nothing like Tom Baker’s iconic 4th Doctor scarf because of the colors that I use for my mood tracker but it’s the spirit that counts right? This was the only thing I thought of for the mood tracker because this scarf lends itself to a mood tracker and it’s just so iconic. 

Quotes Page: All new Who I think and one from Torchwood because that was a great show, well most of it. I picked my favorite quotes from the show that I quote every once in a while. Attack eyebrows is one of my favorite funny Doctor Who quotes and a few that made me cry when I watched them. 

December Theme: 

         I love the character of Sherlock Holmes, book version, Disney version, RDJ version, and the BBC version. I watched it over the summer again and if you forget about the last episode it’s fine. 

Cover: The left is hand drawn from a reference picture and the right, I cheated on. I printed it off the internet and drew some stuff on it because I could not draw that brocade. 

Mood Tracker: I like this one but it’s not my favorite, I messed up on some of the pods and I should have made them the days of the month but I am an idiot so roll with me again. The London Eye is so iconic just because it’s London and if I ever make it there I want to at least go see it. 

Quotes Page: I did limit this to the BBC version of Sherlock because there are some really good lines in the show and everything that Moriarty says is iconic so many of them are from him. 

         2020 has been insane and I am looking forward to what my Bullet Journal will look like next year, I don’t even really know yet but I am working on it. This year was a lot of fun to do and even though this year has been trial after trial I found myself with the time and the focus to get this year finished and even start on next year so I am not spending the year playing catch up each month.

         I will do a favorite pages post but not a what I am doing different post because I’m pretty much doing the same layout that I did this year because it worked really well for me and why ruin a good thing?

         I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and I will see you over the weekend with another post! 

         -MJ 

What do I use in My Bullet Journal?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I have been Bullet journaling to various degrees of success since 2018, that doesn’t feel like it’s been that long ago but it also feels like it’s been about 30 years since then. What I would give to go back to early 2018 and warn myself of what was to come and hope that somehow my timeline wouldn’t still shift into this hellscape we are currently in, I try not to swear but man y’all 2020 has just taken me by the front of my shirt and punched me in the face; repeatedly. 

            That is not the point of this post though but I like my stream of consciousness moments on my blog because it gives all of you reading this a view into my brain, it’s a scary place sometimes. I also just had my first Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks of the season and I am jazzed up on caffeine! 

            I have been Bullet Journaling for almost three years now and that is so hard to believe but this year is the first year where I have actually done all 12 months and I am happy to say that my 2020 Bullet Journal (you can see it so far in updates 1 and 2) is complete.

            What supplies do I use for my bullet journal?

Medium (A5) Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted Journal:

            They make a “bullet journal” version now but I don’t like it so I just buy the normal journal they will run you like $20 at Barnes and Noble, that’s where I get mine. I have had various colors over the years my first was Berry, second was I think a shade called Nordic Blue which was a nice icy light blue, this year is green but it’s not on the Barnes and Noble website anymore so I had to look on the Lecuhtturm website and it’s called Fresh Green, and next year is Powder which is a baby pink. This was the one that was suggested to me by a number of blogs on the internet when I was considering Bullet Journaling at the end of 2017. Thank you Pinterest for getting me hooked on another thing.

Fine line Pens in Various colors:

            I bought mine at Michaels when I started and they don’t actually have them anymore but the brand doesn’t really matter as long as it is colors you like and will use in your journal. I use mine for my habit trackers, my mood tracker, and a whole bunch of various other things in my bullet journal because I love colored pens and these are fine line markers so they are great and they don’t bleed through the paper. Mine came in a set of 20 and I think they were under $10 so find ones that work for your purposes, you don’t have to buy the fancy ones to get good results. Store them tip down they least longer! Sharpie also makes a nice selection of colored Sharpie pens which I also use!

Markers in Various Colors: 

            Again from Michaels in like late 2017 so they are old but they still work for what I need them to do, I use them for covers, for mood trackers, and for a lot of my large lettering. You do not want a large tipped marker though, medium tip at most and you may want to try them to make sure they don’t go through the paper and bleed onto the other side because that’s not fun. I store these tip down as well! 

Highlighters:

            I found pastel highlighters at Wal-Mart in 2018 and have not been able to find them there since which makes me upset because if I need more I will have to order them. I got a set of six from Mild Color and I really like them because I use them to highlight important things as well as making sure I know what week I am in. I use these for more than my bullet journal but they are used primarily there. When I replace them I will probably go with Zebra brand because they also have some really nice pastel highlighters. 

Colored Pencils:

            Does not matter the brand! I have a set that I got for Christmas a few years ago after salivating over it for years but I have a set of 150 Prismacolor colored pencils and I love them. I was so afraid to use them because they are very expensive but I used them for almost every cover if not every cover this year and a few last year and I love them so much! Crayola, RoseArt, any of the regular brands work just as well but I am going to use what I have because I love them so much. 

A straight edge: 

            I didn’t use a ruler until I started on working on my Bullet Journal for next year, I don’t even use a ruler I use the edge of the card that comes with my IPSY bags, it’s folded in half but it’s the perfect size for my Bullet Journal, it makes things look cleaner and I am kicking myself for not using one sooner because it made things SO MUCH easier! 

Washi Tape: 

            I have never bought a full priced tube or pack of Washi Tape I just wait for them to go on clearance and buy them then. I use it for mostly my habit trackers to make the pages look nice but I love the fun of washi tape. 

Stickers and Things: 

            There are a lot of premade journals out there, I love the versatility of a bullet journal because I can create as I go but I always have a bunch of stickers and things at my disposal, some come from those other planners, again clearance section! Why spend more than you have to, I mean really. I love stickers and tiny note pads, I don’t use them too frequently in my Bullet Journal but I have them so I can when I want.

A Good Black Fine Liner Pen:

            This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing for your Bullet Journal, you do a lot of outlining and all of the shapes are mostly a fine line black pen, all of the habit trackers, the weekly spreads, the daily tasks, the calendars that I do, and most of the covers have black outlines or sections and I use a black Sharpie Pen. I love this pen, it is the only one I use for my Bullet Journal and I have used about four since I started Bullet Journaling, I know the one I am using right now is already half gone because I already did the basic pages and layouts for next year so eventually I will have to get out another one. The tip does wear down on this one so the lines for written words sometimes get a little thick but you can always have a second one out just for lettering, which I should but don’t. 

            You don’t have to spend a bunch of money if you want to start Bullet Journaling, it’s supposed to be fun and creative instead of buying a planner that isn’t customizable to you, I love the freedom of a Bullet Journal because there is no set standard you can do whatever you want with it. I used to buy a planner every year because I needed it for school but now that I am out of school (I still have dreams about missing work during my master’s program and I have been out of it for over two years) I have the choice to allow my creativity one more outlet. In college I swore by the Lilly Pulitzer planners and I still would if I was in college because I loved them and they were what I needed at the time. Planners have become such a big craze in the last several years and I got caught up in it. You learn with every new planner, every new year brings new challenges and insights that you learn from years past.

            You can check out all of my other Bullet Journal related posts, I will list them so you can click at will! What I did Differently in my 2019 BuJo, Some of my fave 2018 pages, Some of my fave 2019 pages, and a random update from last year.

            Do you Bullet Journal? Any tips or tricks I am missing that you swear by? Let me know!

            Hope y’all have a great start to your week and I will see you with another post soon!

                        -MJ

2020 Bullet Journal Update 2

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So truth time, I am done with my 2020 bullet journal because I made a promise to myself this year that I would bullet journal the whole year not skip a single month and I didn’t so I am really proud of myself for that one. Quarantine really did allow me to spend some time on creative pursuits and that’s about the only upside to it.  I also have all of my “base pages” done for next year so all of my month things all I have to do next year is the pages at the front, the covers, the mood tracker, and the miscellaneous pages at the end of every month. So I really am going for it with this bullet journaling thing; only took three years to do every month, good job MJ. 

            So let’s review my last four months May, June, July, and August. My art is still not all that great but I am trying and at the moment that’s all that matters because practice does make perfect and that’s all I can ask for at the moment. 

            This post will probably look different than my original bullet journal update this year because I want to organize my thoughts differently in this one.

May Theme: 

Like last year was Star Wars themed because May the Force Be With You is just fitting for May. I am not going to show my mood tracker because it’s all very fanciful lightsabers and I don’t want to deal with the inaccuracy of colors on here. 

Cover: It is a much more expanded version of last year and I found a cute porg drawing on Pinterest because I love the porgs and I wanted them in my bullet journal again this year. The Falcon is a little less detailed than last year but I have been doing more with my covers this year so having nods to the new trilogy and the original trilogy on this page was great. The Death Star up in the corner was a lot of fun to draw though it’s not perfect. 

Movie Checklist: I haven’t seen all of the Star Wars movies I am missing Episode III and the the stand alone films which I want to watch but it’s just sitting down and watching them when you know all of the spoilers because of the internet but I also haven’t see The Mandalorian but The Child had to be a part of my bullet journal and I was really proud of how it turned out after again a tutorial off Pinterest 

June Theme:

            I am a child of the 90’s so I remember the original Pokémon and how big of a deal it was when it came out; I still have my Pokémon cards but because of that Pokémon has been a part of my life for most of my life, it came out here in what the late nineties so I was in my very early elementary school years at that point. 

Cover: Eevee is my favorite Pokémon and I know how cliché that is  but it is, my buddy on Pokémon Go is an Eevee named Monet and I love him. So the Eevee-lutions became my cover and I had to draw about half of them twice because I put the originals on the wrong page like an idiot but it gave me a lot of practice drawing them. 

Mood Tracker: Poké Balls and I feel like that’s just an obvious choice and I was going to pattern them like all the Poké Balls but I figured just the standard would do best here. 

Final Page: I watched the original series as a kid and I loved the section of “who’s that Pokémon” and I chose another favorite which is Piplup the penguin Pokémon who was also one of my buddies on Pokémon Go and I named him Orwell.

July Theme: 

           Okay so video games have always been a part of my life I just don’t play many of them and I love watching gaming content on the internet but I pretty much have had mostly Nintendo systems from the Game Boy Advanced to the Switch so July’s theme was video games. 

Cover: Lots of Nintendo and from video games I have mostly played (have not played a Kirby game but he’s so iconic) but I took a lot of time on this cover and it’s not half bad in my opinion. 

Habit Tracker Drawing: It’s Pac-Man I have played my fair share of Pac-Man and I thought it would make a cute little drawing to go with my habit trackers. 

Mood Tracker: Also have played a lot of Tetris and I really messed up on some of the pieces because I am an idiot but it worked and it was Tetris themed. 

Final Page: I have been playing a lot of Animal Crossing, there is a whole post about my Animal Crossing New Horizons fun but this at the time was my house and my outfit and I figured why not wo a full page drawing of it because I had no idea what else to do. 

August Theme:

            I grew up on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, my fourth grade teacher read us The Hobbit and I have been a fan ever since so August was Tolkien themed and I have loved it since I came up with the concept.

Cover: Bilbo’s house in the Shire, the Lonely Mountain and a quote, I know the map on the side is not actually correct but it was most of the major locations from The Hobbit series and I really enjoyed doing this cover. 

Mood Tracker: Cartoonish Smaug because I wanted Smaug in my bullet journal but I didn’t want him to be menacing and this was something I found on the internet and again did my own rendition because there are a lot of people who are a whole heck of a lot more creative than me when it comes to art and I sometimes need help.

Final Page: Quotes from the world of Tolkien, it’s all The Hobbit and lord of The Rings because I have most of the things he wrote but I hadn’t read all of them and I could have had more quotes but I have a meme quote in there too which I kind of love. 

So there it is my second bullet journal update of the year and I cannot believe we are far enough into it that I have two updates because we are almost in month nine of the year which I am still processing March so I have no idea what day it is anymore. I cannot wait to show everyone the rest of the year in December because my late year themes are some of my faves so I am looking forward to sharing those. 

I will see y’all later in the week with another post so I hope it’s a good week!

-MJ