Mental Health

New year, new bullet journal

journal cover with tree of life

This is my new bullet journal to start off 2019.  It’s made from 100% recycled paper, so it’s nice and environmentally friendly.  It’s a soft-cover journal, although it’s fairly stiff.

Here’s what I’ve got laid out in it so far:

  • Each month gets two one-page monthly calendar overviews; one is for tracking mood/emotions, and the other to capture external events and some other factors.
  • Each month also has 2 pages devoted to tracking self-care activities and what’s happening in my body.  I’ll probably come up with some kind of colour-coding system for this, but I haven’t figured that part out yet.  Still, it’s already a lot more organized than what I was doing in 2018 with a lot of different things in a lot of different places
  • I also have weekly overview pages that include my goals for the week.  Doing the weekly goals was working well for me last year.  So far all of these things I’ve mentioned I was already doing in 2018 at least to some extent, but because I started doing them at different times they were scattered in multiple places throughout my journal.  Now they’re all clustered at the beginning.
  • I’ve written out the whole year worth of dates for my daily gratitude log.  I did this in 2018, and apart from missing a few days I was really consistent with it.
  • There’s a page to keep track of all my medical and any other health-related appointments.
  • I’ve got pages devoted to goals, accomplishments, things that make me smile, and inspirational quotes.  I found it useful in 2018 to set aside pages for positive things.

Pretty coloured pens and some cool stickers are the extent of my visual artistry, and I’m okay with that.  I’ve given up any pretence of being able to draw even simple geometric shapes.

I still have some room in my 2018 journal, and I plan to use that for free-form thought dumps and keep the 2019 journal quite structured.

Have you started a new journal for 2019?  How have you laid it out so far?

I was going to keep my lack of artistic talent to myself, but there have been some requests, so here goes…


The top half is my overview.  In case you doubted my evaluation of my artistic abilities, the purple alien claw in the lower left corner for the last few days is my version of a hand, which is my symbol for when my eczema is acting up.

The lower half is my mood and emotion tracker.  The number is a mood ranking and the colour-coded letters are emotions.  The code for that is on the colourful page shown below.



This is where I track some of the things I’m doing, both healthy and unhealthy, and what’s going on in my body.  I’m not thrilled with how I’ve organized it, so I think I’ll change it up for next month.


This is exactly how I did my weekly summaries and goals last year, and it worked well.





Creating a bullet journal to support mental health: A how-to guide


The MH@H Store has a free how-to guide on creating a bullet journal to support your mental health.  My approach isn’t about artistry; the key is functionality.

52 thoughts on “New year, new bullet journal”

  1. Stickers are brilliant, I have some I need to dig out that I bought last year so thanks for the reminder! I haven’t started a journal or even my calendar diary for this year… very far behind. You’re so organised, and you’ve put in a lot of effort to yours. Love the design of the journal too! 🙂
    Caz xx

  2. How creative!! I love it!! You can’t go wrong with pretty papers, colorful ink, and stickers. (I, too, have no artistic ability–I hear ya!)

    I love how you have positive pages set aside! That’s really awesome!! See? It’ll be a great year!!

  3. Wow that sounds amazing 😍 Are you going to show the bullet journal on your blog? I would love to do it but I have to admit that I would neglect it.

  4. Great post! I just started my first bullet journal today. I’ll be posting about it on the last Tuesday of the month. I have a calendar page, a finances page, and then a day-to-day overview page. It was very therapeutic creating the pages

  5. Your new journal is super pretty and you have great organisation. My new journal goes as far as two pages for logging my exercise this month! I want to journal, I really do, but I keep forgetting to do it and when I do remember I’ve forgotten what I was going to do!
    Your’s is definitely better, hope it helps you xx

  6. I am ordering my new journal for 2019 today (I just finished up my 2018 one), but I like to use only a black fountain pen. Good luck with your journal they are really good for your mental health!

  7. I don’t suppose you could share some photos of your layouts? 🙏🏻 😊

    I’m a list person by nature so when I read about this form of journaling it felt like a good fit … but the internet is sensory overload and I’ve over thought it. And thus not done it 🤷‍♀️🤪

  8. I knew it was as simple as I’d originally thought! Love how you’ve laid it out. Thank you SO much! 😊 all the glitter and gloss all over Pinterest had me intimidated, lol

      1. One more question (well, two actually) … do you format the year up in advance or do it monthly? About how long does it take you?

        I imagine this form of journaling has a bit of prep.

        Thanks again, I appreciate the up close more personal look. 😊

        1. I decided to do the whole year in advance because it was mostly based on stuff that worked for me in last year’s journal, although I kind of regret that now because I think I’m going to have to go back and change a few things.

  9. Way to go Ashley. Wish I could add this to the 3 or so I already got lol. Happy tracking and here’s to more happy thoughts especially from the guinea pigs of course hahahaha

  10. That’s so nice! I really like the things you’ve included. I don’t have a bullet journal, but I have my diary card for dbt that I (try to) fill out every day and a bunch of other checklist-y things that I sometimes fill out. Then I also have a planner for school stuff, and a journal. Maybe I’ll put it all together in a book eventually…

  11. It’s so simple yet so helpful for me! I’m trying to make my own bullet journal but some people in the web makes it overwhelming for me. Well, thank you for reminding me that being simple is actually beautiful.😆

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