Your Best Bullet Journal


Your best bullet journal

I set up my very first bullet journal in December of 2015, over two years ago, and I haven’t used a store bought agenda since. Bullet journals are fully customizable agendas. They can have monthly calendars, daily and weekly spreads, habit trackers, lists, and more. It seems really daunting at first, but once you start it doesn’t take much time or creativity at all.

Most of the bullet journals on Pinterest, tumblr, and Instagram are highly artistic, meticulously organized, and very detailed. Your’s doesn’t have to be! I can’t stress that enough. So many people look at my bujo (shorthand for bullet journal) and think that I spend hours each week decorating and planning each page. It may take me half an hour if I want to make it look artsy, but if I’m simply putting down what I need to do each day it takes all of five minutes. It can be messy, black and white, perfect, colorful, or anything in between.


I use a monthly agenda and weekly spreads. I set up all my months in December and then make each weekly spread on Sunday the week of.

For my monthly spreads, I start with a grid base. In a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 hardcover with a dot grid, each weekday of the month is eight grid spaces over and six down. Each weekend day is seven grid spaces over and six down. I do this part in pencil so I can count out how many days I need and make sure they’re in the right MTWTFSS spot.

step-by-step bullet journal creation

After I make the grid, I outline all the days I need in black pen. Then I decorate the black space. I try to do different designs for each month. I typically use stickers, washi tape, and doodles.


Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I’ve found that a lot of my friends are tentative to even start a bullet journal because they’re afraid it’ll look  messy or that they’ll somehow screw it up. There’s always white out, or some way to improvise. Even then, most people that look at my bullet journal don’t pay attention to the mistakes (and there are plenty of them).

April bullet journal monthly spread

Looking through my new bujo, this is my favorite month so far, as far as the art goes. Below is another I did for March. I erase all the pencil guide lines after I finish decorating (the final step when creating my monthly spreads).




My weekly spreads tend to look very different week to week. I typically write down the day and date and underneath it put down all the things I need to do, with an open circle for tasks/homework and an open square for events. When I begin the task I color the circle in half way, and once it’s complete I color it in fully.

Bullet journal set up - July

Recently I’ve been using Tracy from Shutterbean’s weekly layout.  It’s much simpler and usually leaves a big chunk of room for me to doodle on.


Another reason I love to bullet journal is because it can be turned into a scrapbook. I tape movie tickets, flowers, and other little memories in on the weeks I do those things. So not only do I have a physical thing to remind me of a happy time or event, I have the time, date, and name written down.


My sorority sister (and little) Rachel just started her bullet journal. Her tip for newbies is to experiment with different layouts and spreads to find what fits you best. She also highly recommends stickers and stencils for people that aren’t good at drawing. She got all of her’s off of Amazon!

Click on the links for these stickers, this washi tape, these markers/pens/brush pens, and this stencil set to view some of my favorites off Amazon. You can also get the Leuchtturm journal I’m using by clicking here.

As far as inspiration goes, I search tumblr for the hashtags bujo and studyblr. Pinterest has some good ideas as well. My bullet journal Pinterest board is always evolving. Tracy from Shutterbean is also a big source of bujo inspiration for me.

If you’re interested in seeing how I organize my busy life, check out this post: The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break.


Playlists Based Off My Summer Reads

Sadly summer is drawing to a close. I’m packing up all my things and getting ready to move into a new house in Athens. I’m really excited about starting back to school again this August, but I’m even more excited to finally get to see all my friends again!

The only way I manage to make it through the three hour drive from Asheville to Athens is either listening to music or podcasts. Luckily I’ve made three in anticipation of next week’s travels, and they’re all based off books I read this summer.

To check out each playlist, click on the title of each book and you’ll be linked directly to my playlist on Spotify.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (check out my book review HERE)

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Here’s my running list of books read this summer:

Brisinger by Christopher Paolini

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [Blade Runner] by Philip K. Dick

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

The Great Passage by Shion Miura

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

1984 by George Orwell

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Currently reading The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

For more updates on the books I read check out my Goodreads account right HERE. I don’t read as much during the school year, but I do leave ratings on all the books I read and if they’re really great (or really, really terrible) I leave a review.

What are your favorite songs of the summer? Have you read anything good?

xo Bailey

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Whenever I go to the beach I make sure to bring enough books to read. This summer, however, I knew I had a goal of twelve books as well as the May, June, and July books for the bookclub I’m in. That’s fifteen books for an entire summer, over half of what I usually read per year! Usually I have a daunting to-read list, but I didn’t know where to start this time.

I started off the summer with The Goldfinch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and the Inheritance Cycle. After that, I hit a wall. I spent a lot of my downtime at work surfing through Twitter instead of reading. Politics, even though I dislike them, have been interesting this year. Its like reality tv with all the drama and he-said-she-said gossip going on. That’s when I decided a book on small town politics might not be such a bad thing to read at the beach. I picked up The Casual Vacancy the day before we left for Topsail and didn’t put it down until I’d finished it three days after.


The Casual Vacancy is a book about Pagford, a small town in England. The story revolves around the death of Barry Fairbrother, a member of the Pagford Parish Council. Barry is loved by everyone and loves everyone in return. He has a big heart, but politically that’s what gets him into trouble. Many years ago, Pagford and Yarvil were friendly neighbor cities, Yarvil being the bigger of the two with a large estate sitting between them. The estate sold lands to Pagford to make cheap housing. Decades later, the cheap housing has become government housing, and is costing Pagford quite a bit of money in the end. Barry wants to keep “the Fields” and the addiction clinic as part of Pagford. The other half of the council does not. When there is a casual vacancy because of Barry’s death, the entire town splits between pro-fielders and anti-fielders and those running for council find themselves the topic of discriminatory posts on the Parish Council website.

What did I tell you, politics with a side of reality tv show worthy gossip! If you like Rowling’s writing style for Harry Potter (this isn’t exactly the same, but it’s not far off) and are interesting in small town politics then I’d definitely give this book a go!

Blind Date With a Book – Title Reveal

Back at the end of July I went shopping with my friend DeAnna in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina. We visited one of my favorite bookstores named Malaprops. They have an entire wall dedicated to “Blind Date” books. Each novel is wrapped in brown packaging paper and instead of having a title or author written on the front, each book is characterized by adjectives. I picked out a book with the words magical, original, timeless, tender, and the phrase “love letter to childhood” written on the front.

blind date with a book

I made a post about my bookstore adventures in August (which you can view right here), asking you all what the title of the book could be. No one guessed the correct title, but a friend of mine did get the author right!


The book is none other than…

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury!

There’s a certain quality about this book that makes me wish I’d read it before heading off to college for my freshman year. Douglas Spaulding, the main character, is a twelve year old boy living in Illinois. And as all twelve year old boys do, he wants the summer to last forever. More importantly, he wants to remember this particular summer for forever. He decides to catalog all the events that occur to him and his brother Tom. He makes a long list of “rituals” and “reflections.”

Everything is starting to change for Douglas. The one electric car the town has is put away in the garage for the last time. The trolley he loves to ride will soon be replaced by buses. His best friend moves away. Summer was supposed to be a time for living and running through tall grass and being happy, but Douglas runs headfirst into a wall of change and doesn’t want to accept it.

This was me my freshman year of college. I loved life because everything was bright and shiny and new, but I was terrified for the exact same reasons.

Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine is a masterpiece of intricately woven, stunningly beautiful phrases. While the story line kept me engaged and interested, the real charm to this work is in the words themselves.


Blind Date With a Book

Being the lovable bookworm that I am, I tend to indulge in bookstores way more than I should. Case in point: Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina.

Blind date with a bookseller - Malaprops, Asheville NC One shelf in Malaprop’s, an independent, quirky bookstore, is reserved for something called “Blind Date With a Bookseller.” The books are wrapped individually in brown packaging paper. The black writing on them is a list of adjectives, describing each one. The price and serial number are on the back. The rules are, you pick a book based off the adjectives. You’re allowed to guess what the title is, but you can’t unwrap the book until you’ve bought it. The best part is that if you’ve already read that title, or if you finish it and end up not liking it, you can return it for a refund or for another blind date book.

My friend DeAnna and I popped in here for a quick second and both ended up buying one of the mystery books! books wrapped as blind dates

I’ve done this one time before. I ended up picking out The Catcher in the Rye, which I’ve read nine times. I also have my own copy at home, and while it’s getting a bit worn I still wouldn’t ever replace it. The pages are covered in ballpoint pen sketches of scenes or iconic items from the book, like the red hunting cap, and all my notes from when I read this book with my AP Language class in junior year. Although The Catcher in the Rye is no longer my favorite book, it holds a special space in my heart. Part of me thinks that I picked it out during my search for the perfect “blind date” because I loved it so much.

So this time when picking out a mystery book I looked for characteristics I wanted in an actual date. Somebody I’d swipe right on Tinder to. Maybe Bumble too. An actual dream boy, ya feel? Because boys in books are just better.

I chose the adjectives: magical, original, timeless, tender, and the phrase “love letter to childhood

blind date with a book

So this month, instead of having a “Read This if You Liked…” post I’m going to go on my blind date with my book and let you all know how it goes. Get ready for an awesome surprise review at the end of August!

If you have any guesses as to what my book is, or who it could be by, let me know in the comments!

xo, Bailey

A Playlist for the Week

Sadly, I have but two meager weeks left of my summer. And guess what? I’m sick. Or, rather, I have some form of heat exhaustion that won’t go away. Being a lifeguard will do that to you, I suppose.

But the great thing about being sort-of sick during summer is that no one questions me when I lounge around reading after work. I actually made it though The Hunger Games yesterday (the first time I read it I fell asleep somewhere around page 18…)!

So here’s this week’s playlist, inspired by The Hunger Games series. Also, side note, I live in District 12 where the movie was filmed!


P.S. What book(s) should I read next? I’m thinking about Carry On or Me Before You