12 easy and aesthetic bullet journal spread ideas to plan for the new year

With the start of the new year, I had to set up a new bullet journal. I just filled my second journal that’s a time capsule for the second half of 2020. It’s a great way to keep everything organized in my life between personal events, blog content planning, and work deadlines. It’s also a great way to have a creative outlet by planning and creating unique themes and layouts that suit my needs at any time of the year. 

To see how to create easy yearly spreads step by step, watch my 2021 bullet journal setup video to see easy, aesthetic and minimal spreads for beginners to get ideas to plan for the new year! 

Here are inspiring bullet journal layout ideas that I’m using to set goals and to get organized for the new year.  I kept the same neutral tone and brown color palette to keep it simple since my themes and color palettes will change every month.

THE NOTEBOOK

This is the journal that I’m using for 2021. It’s a classic flat lay notebook from Denik. For each purchase, proceeds go towards building schools around the world and they also use independent artists’ work for the artwork on the notebook covers. I bought a bundle of notebooks during a sale, and this was one of the ones I chose. My morning coffee has been one of the things I look forward to while having to stay at home during the pandemic, so I thought it was fitting for this new year.

COVER PAGE

For the first time, I included a key guide alongside my cover page. I kept my cover page minimal and used a classic looking serif font for inspiration. Since I wanted to use kraft paper and washi tapes on the other pages, I wanted to keep the cover clean. This is the first year I’m using a dotted notebook and I’m so happy I finally made the switch! It makes it so much easier to divide pages into thirds, fourths, etc. and how to plan layouts. I created the key, which is done by a lot of folks in the bullet journal community, so I could reference it whenever I create a new spread since it’s on the left-side at the beginning of the notebook. I included my bullet journal code key here as well for reference.

2020 IN REVIEW

I had planned to journal thoughts during this past year, but like with many of my projects I planned during quarantine, it just didn’t happen. I wanted a place to capture some of the highlights and memorable moments of the past year. I’m going to draw arrows to point to things I want to note down, similar to a brainstorm or mind map.

FUTURE LOG

Many bullet journalers have a future log and often put it all on one spread to write down dates they may know in advance. I didn’t like the small spaces because things would end up out of chronological order, so I really liked this spread I saw that included each day for the month to write down the corresponding event. One spread covers the first half of the year and the second half is on the next two pages.

GOALS

Last year, I broke down my goals into different categories and made some of them quantifiable. I actually did accomplish a few of my work and personal goals this year, so I’m hoping to spread the motivation into the other categories. We’ll see about travel. 😉

SAVINGS AND BLOG TRACKERS

I create a savings tracker to help me see how I’m progressing my savings goal. I created blog trackers last year but didn’t really keep track, so I’m hoping to get back into it. Each box corresponds to a different social media network to keep track of followers that I gain (hopefully not lose!) each month. I made one for my blog views, one for Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

BRAIN DUMP

I really liked the way a bullet journaler divided a spread up to keep track of content ideas, so I adopted it for myself. I’ll randomly think of ideas, put them in my notes app, and then lose track of things. This way, I can keep it all in one spot. I have a column for YouTube/full length videos, Tik Tok/Reels, Bullet Journal theme ideas (because I forget the themes I want to do!), and then blog post ideas.

BLOG CONTENT PLANS

I created two spreads of this layout in order to try start plotting things into different quarters for the year. It’s. a good way to get an overview of the year and what content I want to share in what month. It also helps me to think of different holidays, seasonal things, or other food days like National Taco Day. I used to create an editorial calendar in a google doc, but I think writing it down will help me better commit things to memory and hopefully hold myself accountable.

VIDEO TRACKER

I’m a fan of spreadsheets after using them at work, so I created a physical version for videos. This will help me keep track of which videos I want to create and what step it is in the production process.

THINGS TO CHECK OUT / BOOKS I READ + SHOWS I WATCHED

I created separate spreads for TV shows and books I wanted to read last year, so I decided to consolidate it into one page instead. The “Things to check out” spread covers books, TV shows, movies, and podcasts I want to check out. On the right side, I want to track book and shows I’ve watched as well as my rating to see if I enjoyed that piece of media and I could potentially recommend it to friends. I used to try to do a Favorites spread each month with these kinds of things, but it got time consuming and I’d forget to fill it out so I think this will be a better way to do it!

I hope this jumpstarted you to put together your new (or first!) bullet journal to stay organized and keep track of things in 2021! You can also Pin this blog post for safekeeping. 🙂 Be sure to check out my other blog post for fun and easy ideas for bullet journal themes!

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