bullet journal

My 2020 Bullet Journal & Planner Set Up

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My planning system has changed a lot over time. You hear people talk a lot about finding planner peace and that has been a huge problem for me in the past. I’ve never been able to figure out a system which worked. This year is different because I’ve finally found a system I love. Even though it’s a little late I thought I would share my bullet journal and planner set up for 2020. 

Hopefully, this might give you a few ideas on how you could set up your planing system. I’ve started using a combined bullet journal and planner system. Something I’ve always wanted to try but could never get it figured out. Finding tools I love and want to use has helped me get my system worked out. 

I’ve tried many different planners over the years, but I’ve never been totally happy with them. The same could be said for notebooks. I think trying out different planning systems has been a good thing because I’m at the point now where I’m really happy with what I’m using. I love my Mossery Planner, I also love using the MD Paper notebooks for bullet journaling

I’ll talk a lot more about this in the post. So here is a look at my 2020 bullet journal and planner set up. 

My 2020 Bullet Journal & Planner Set Up

Google Calendar

I’m probably going to annoy some die-hard paper planner enthusiasts here. When it comes to future planning I love having a digital calendar. Planners are great, bullet journals have the future log system. But for planning out events months in advanced I love using a digital calendar. It’s so much more convenient. 

One of the main reasons I prefer a digital calendar is email reminders. I say this a lot but my memory is terrible. I’ve bought tickets for events and ended up not going simply because I got confused about what date they were on. There is nothing more depressing than getting an email from a theatre asking if I liked a show, only to realise that a show wasn’t in a week like I thought it was. 

The great thing about email reminders is that you can combine them with recurring events. I use this for things like birthdays. I’m not good at remembering birthdays, I’ll know the general time of the month, but there is no way I can remember the specific date. Email reminders are great because I can set it to get a reminder a week in advance. And of course, this is something which happens yearly so I set the reminder once and don’t have to worry about it. 

I use Google Calendar as my digital planner. There are other calendar tools available. But I just find Google Calendar simple to use. It also integrates well with my phone which makes it handy for planning while on the go. 

Traveller’s Journal

Last year I figured out a planner system which I was happy with. A big part of that came from buying a traveller’s journal to keep my planner and bullet journal in the same place. Some might say buying a traveller’s journal was unnecessary, and you would be right. But somehow having everything together in the same book was the thing which made me want to stick with this planning system. 

If you don’t know, the original traveller’s journals are made by Midori. They are made of leather and are essentially a thing which holds notebooks. The advantage of using this system is that the notebooks can be replaced as they are filled up. The Midori Traveller’s journal comes in two sizes, Passport and Original. 

I’ve been wanting to buy a Midori Traveller’s Journal for a long time but never quite found a good enough reason. Especially when Etsy exists with lots of makers who can create what is essentially a Traveller’s Journal in many other sizes. The advantage of buying a Traveller’s Journal from Etsy is that you have much more control over the size, colour and what your Traveller’s Journal is made out of.

MORE LIKE THIS: My 2019 Bullet Journal Set Up

Now, some Etsy sellers make better Traveller’s Journals than others. The Etsy seller I bought my journal from was called EternalLeatherGoods. As you may be able to tell from the name, this journal is made of leather. It is not vegan, but the advantage of this is that it will last for years if its taken care of. 

I mentioned previously in a post how the MD Paper notebooks don’t come with any sort of cover. So you need to buy paper or plastic cover. Having this traveller’s journal means I can keep my notebook together with my planner and I don’t need to buy a cover for it. 

The leather journal is much better than the plastic cover in some ways. I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my review but the plastic MD cover broke before I had even put it on my notebook. Fortunately, I won’t have to worry about this with the Traveller’s Journal. And it something does break it’s much easier to fix compared to a plastic cover. 

Mossery Academic Planner

I’ve moved from using just a bullet journal to a combined bullet journal and planner set up. There were a few reasons for this change. Setting up a bullet journal is a lot of work. Even something simple like my minimal bullet journal setups. When I’m really busy I don’t want to deal with doing a complicated bullet journal set up.

Sometimes it’s easier for me to use a planner. I’m quite picky when it comes to planners. I would love to try something like the Erin Condren or Happy Planner but I know I like minimal planners. This means I can just focus on using the planner to help me stay organised. 

When I can I will choose an undated planner. I much prefer undated planners because the planner doesn’t have some arbitrary time limit on it. Some weeks I just don’t use a planner, whether this is because I was ill or had nothing on. An undated planner means I still get full use out of it even though I skipped a week. 

MORE LIKE THIS: Mossery Academic Planner | Thoughs & Review

Currently, I’m using the Mossery Academic Planner. I really enjoy using this to plan my time at university. The weekly spreads have a really good balance between time planning for events, and space to note down tasks. 

I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly how I like using this planner. I did say in my review that I probably should have bought the horizontal rather than vertical planner. I’ve been using the weekly planner spreads to note down events and when I want to work on certain projects. So if I want to split my day between two different projects. The task list at the bottom of the page is great for noting down information and the most important things I want to get done that week. 

I’ve then been using the note pages at the start of the planner as a bullet journal. The vertical weekly layouts don’t give me enough space to write down all the tasks I want to do in a single day. So I’ve moved all this over to the bullet journal section. This part is just a fancy daily to-do list

There isn’t a huge amount of note-paper in the Mossery planner. Around 20 sheets. So I’m not expecting it to last the full year I use the planner. But the advantage of the Traveller’s Journal system is that I can move this bullet journal part into a separate notebook and it will still stay together with the original planner. 

Art/ Business Bullet Journal

I have an entire bullet journal now which is dedicated to client work and other various projects I’m working on. There are a few reasons for this. Its easier on me not having it combined with all of my other work. It’s also handy for having all my notes and related stuff in one place which is easy for me to find. 

A little while ago I talked about how I read the Bullet Journal Method and how it sort of made me fall in love with bullet journaling again because I figured out a system which worked for me. I loved using that initial bullet journal and I think I love using this one even more. 

MORE LIKE THIS: I Tried Using A Sketchbook As A Bullet Journal

Most of what I keep in this bullet journal is notes or lists tracking expenses and other things. It’s not a place where I write down the stuff I have to do. You could almost think of it as a sketchbook but organised using the bullet journal system. If you’re a long time reader of my blog you will know that I don’t like using the bullet journal system in a sketchbook. But using a bullet journal as if it were a sketchbook is okay. No, I don’t understand it either. 

I love using this notebook. I have it set up how I like. It has a very minimal style which looks pleasing but also helps me stay organised. It is a combination of notes and sketches. It’s useful because I can even save paper samples and colour swatches in this bullet journal. Something I’ve never been able to find a good system for.

The other advantage is that I’m using an MD Paper Notebook. This notebook is not made to work with wet media. But it does hold up to light washes. This means I can even paint in this notebook, so the only time I need a sketchbook now is if I’m working in watercolour. 

University notebook/ bullet journal

I’ve never felt the need to have a notebook specifically for university before now. However, this is quite a big year because I have to start thinking about writing a dissertation. The idea of writing a dissertation is quite intimidating to me even though I’m used to long-form writing. 

Over the last few years at university, I have gotten by just taking lecture notes in my bullet journal. However, I only had a one hour lecture each week. This is going to change significantly when I start my dissertation. I haven’t got a finalised timetable yet but it seems like I will be in lectures or tutorials for around 6 hours a week, specifically for my dissertation module. 

MORE LIKE THIS: How To Set Up A Bullet Journal For The New Year

So I’ve decided to have a dedicated notebook. I’m going to be setting this up as a bullet journal, using some of the spreads I’ve mentioned in a previous post. I’ve used the bullet journal system previously when taking lecture notes and I think it works well. If I’m in a lecture and I decide I want to go look at a topic or have some other task I want to do, it’s really easy to note that down as a task. 

As I go through the lecture notes again I can easily complete those tasks and mark them off as I do so. I think because of the number of hours I’ll be in lectures I will use my laptop more for notes. But the bullet journal system will be really handy for helping me to keep everything organised. 

For this specific notebook, I’ve decided to try out one of the official Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal notebooks. I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a while and never quite found a good enough reason.  Especially after falling in love with the MD Paper notebooks. 

Maybe in the future, I will share how I use a bullet journal to keep myself organised with dissertation writing. I know this module is going to be full-on and that terrifies me a little bit. 


And there we have it. An in-depth look at my bullet journal and planner set up for 2020. Like I said at the start of this post. I’m really happy with my planner set up now. It has taken me quite a while to figure out a set up that I like. But I think I’ve finally got it sorted. 

Expanding different aspects of my life into separate notebooks has also really helped me. In the past, I didn’t understand why some people would have a planner just for work. But I love having somewhere that I can keep notes just for my art projects. This makes it so much easier to go back through the notebook and find old ideas. 

Let me know in the comments what your planner set up looks like for 2020. Are you using a weekly planner or a bullet journal? I’ve love to know. 


  • Tracey @PrintedWordsAnd

    This is a great post explaining what works best for you. I agree, I adore my planners but practicality wise, digital planners work great for instant reminders and quick month at a glance access. I do like that you’ve tried to stick to the creative task of bullet journalling in but in a structured format like a planner. Also your calligraphy is amazing! Would love to see more photos in future xx

    • BluChickenNinja

      Yeah, planners and bullet journaling can work really well together! You just need to figure out how you want to use it. I’m still learning with calligraphy but definitely planning on doing posts about the subject in the future!

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