How to Set Up Your New Bullet Journal

How to Set Up Your New Bullet Journal

by Adorel Ng (@artbyadorel)


So, you’ve finally bought a bullet journal but don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you just need a refresher because it has been a while since you’ve had a new notebook in your hands!

We've already done a deep dive into bullet journaling in our comprehensive guide and outlined some of our top tips for bullet journal novices. This blog post will be covering some potential spreads you can include to set up your new bullet journal and how to go about recreating them yourself!

A Fresh New Start

I have been bullet journaling for over a year now and have finally reached the end of my first journal, which means it is time to make a fresh new start. I am delighted to say that my next chapter will take place in Notebook Therapy’s MoonFlower Bullet Journal! As someone who does a lot of painting in my spreads, I know that 160gsm bright white pages are going to be absolute heaven.

Tsuki ‘Moonflower’ Limited Edition Bullet Journal by Notebook Therapy

Tsuki ‘Moonflower’ Limited Edition Bullet Journal by Notebook Therapy

Credit: @artbyadorel

It is always exciting to start new things, but sometimes it is accompanied by some hesitance because of not knowing where to begin. Hopefully, after reading this, you will have a good idea of some pages you can include and will set you up with the confidence you need to start your new bullet journal journey. Let’s get started!

Index Page

Index pages are usually what you find first in a bullet journal. It is basically a contents page that helps you easily find specific spreads you’ve created.

Bullet Journal Index Page

An example of an Index Page created by Stina Skagert.

Credit: @supermassiveblackink

Here are a couple of reasons why Index pages are great:

  • It is versatile and can be personalised to suit your needs! While someone might use an Index Page to help them find where they started each month, you might prioritise your desire to access your habit trackers easily. It’s totally up to you!
  • When looking back at old bullet journals, an Index Page allows you to have an overview of the pages you’ve created with a single glance.

For me, I don’t use an Index page for my bullet journal as I can often skim through my pages and be able to identify all the different spreads I've painted from there. However, if your bullet journal is quite minimalist and each page looks relatively the same, I would recommend creating one to keep things organised!

Cover Page

While they are famously known for signalling the start of each month, cover pages can also be used at the very beginning of your new journal! When setting up my new Moonflower Bullet Journal by Notebook Therapy, I used watercolour as a way to replicate an embossing effect to make my lettering of ‘2020’ more interesting. I have always loved creating cover pages because it’s an opportunity to go all-out with decorations, new mediums and it encourages you to play around with different lettering techniques!

Bullet Journal Cover Page

Cover pages are a great way to signal the beginning of a new journey!

Credit: @artbyadorel

Goals Page

Even though I am starting a new bullet journal halfway through the year, there’s still room for making new goals or being reminded of existing ones. If you’re struggling to think of what kind of goals you can set for yourself, here is a list of different areas of your life that you can consider:

  • School
  • Career
  • Finances
  • Health and fitness
  • Social Life
Bullet Journal Goals Page

Making a vibrant goals page can remind you to check on your progress!

Credit: @artbyadorel

When creating my goals page, I wanted it to stand out so it will always catch my eyes when flipping through my bullet journal. My intention is to be constantly reminded to check on my progress of achieving the goals I’ve set for myself. Perhaps you might choose to do something similar!

Ultimately, having a goals page in your bullet journal has several advantages:

  • Make your goals concrete by writing them down
  • Reflect on what goals you have accomplished so far and motivate yourself to fulfil others
  • Allows you to continue adding new goals throughout the year
  • Gives you the opportunity to be reminded of goals you made at the start of the year but might have forgotten.

Future Log

A future log is extremely helpful for planning out the year ahead. While you will be creating weekly spreads and monthly calendars as you progress, it’s always good to be able to see what events are occurring very late into the year. For example, if you know you have a special event happening in December, you will probably want to have it recorded, rather than waiting until it’s close to December to write it in your monthly calendar.

Some events you can think about putting down in advance are:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • School dates
  • Travel Plans
  • Social Events
Bullet Journal Future Log Spread

A future log helps you plan out the year ahead.

Credit: @artbyadorel

Whatever works for you!

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide whether you include all these pages or leave some out. You can even come up with new spreads that cater to your needs! That is the beauty of bullet journaling; you get to make it work for you. With that in mind, you are all set! Pick up that pen and start creating.

About the author

Adorel Ng is a 19 year old painter and bullet journal artist who started her Instagram account, @ArtByAdorel, in January of 2019. Though she has been creating from a young age, she has recently discovered the power of sharing her art to inspire others.

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