Bullet Journal Layouts, Pt. 1

As 2018 comes to a close, so does my first bullet journal. It lasted 1.5 years and served me well. So many horrible layouts were drawn, but they were all for good practice. Next year’s bujo is going to be great. Err—it will be, once I finally select a theme…

I’m super indecisive. There’s so many cool theme ideas but so little time to try them out. I decided to use the last 2 months of 2018 to test out a bunch of layouts. Most of them I ended up hating (mostly because of my horrible artistic/craft skills), but it was fun to try out so many different ones. I thought I’d share them here with you guys, so you can (hopefully) better appreciate my 2019 bujo.

I graded each layout based on the following:

Aesthetic: On a scale of 1 (unattractive) to 5 (pleasing)
Time: On a scale of short, average, and long
Difficulty: On a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (hard)


(1) Blocks

Aesthetic: 5 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 3 / 5

Okay, so I’m seriously considering this one. I love how it looks and I can think of so many was to change it up each month/week. I do have two downsides to it, though: 1) It takes so long to draw all those lines… and 2) It is more drawing than placing stickers, and we all know I can’t draw… Still up in the air about this one.

Inspiration: @marthasjournal

(2) Minimalist 

Aesthetic: 0 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 1 / 5 (unless you suck at drawing arrow, like me…)

I hated this one. Mostly because I can’t draw arrows. But also because I like a lot more color and design rather than just lines. I don’t know why I even tried this one.

Inspiration: @lookjournal

(3) Horizontal Dutch Door

Aesthetic: 2.5 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 3 / 5

Dutch doors always take forever. This one was a lot easier than the vertical dutch door layout I used earlier in the year, but not as aesthetically pleasing or functional. Too much space I don’t need. Kind of wonky. I don’t know. It’s okay, I guess.

(4) Highlighter

Aesthetic: 3 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 1 / 5 (depends on how well you can highlight in a straight line. I cannot.)

This one grew on me. When I was making it, I thought it was the worst thing I’d ever done. But as I started filling it in (and then realized I hadn’t snapped a photo yet—oops!), I started to like it more. I bet I could make it nicer once I get my Stabilo highlighters for Christmas…

Inspiration: @ifyoucoulddomagic

(5) Hexagons

Aesthetic: 3.5 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 3 / 5

I used to use these types of layouts a lot. Very structured. Very symmetrical. Everything nice and neat and tidy. And though it’s nice, I just feel like it’s very unoriginal and not as mature as I want it to be. If that makes sense. I know I should use these types of layouts, I just get bored of them. I want more.

Inspiration: @bulletwithchristine

(6) Circles

Aesthetic: 1.5 / 5
Time: Short | Average | Long
Difficulty: 1 / 5

As long as you have a good circle stencil, this one is a piece of cake. Of course, all my circle stencils were too small, so I had to spend 20 minutes scouring the apartment looking for a good-sized circle object. As you can see, it didn’t work out so well: my circles are wobbly. I also don’t really like the layout. Too simple. Not enough room to put all my events/tasks. 

Inspiration: @bumblebjujo

Out of all the layouts, the first one was my favorite. Though it’s definitely competing with the vertical dutch door layout I used for a while. I might bring that one back, just makes some tweaks… I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to find out in 2019 which layout I choose! 

Share some of your favorite layouts/themes with me! I’d love to try out some more for fun. And be sure to visit my Pinterest board for all my bujo inspo!

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My name is Alyssa and I am a bookworm. I have a degree in English and am the metadata support clerk at Junior Library Guild. I am also the Lead Proofreader for Flash Fiction Magazine. Other than that, I'm just a loser who loves books.

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