MH@H Mental Health

2020: New Year, New Bullet Journal

Autumn moon journal and guinea pig Peanut

Here’s my lovely little man Peanut alongside my 2020 bullet journal.  It’s hardcover, and quite a bit bigger than my 2019 journal.  It’s got lots of sparkle on the front, which is cool, particularly since I’m entirely unartistic and there’s nothing fancy about what I put inside (aside from stickers).

I’ve kept a lot of things the same from my layout from last year because it worked well for me.  For every month I have an overview calendar, a mood tracker, a habit and health tracker grid, space for daily gratitude entries, and weekly overviews.  I’ve also gfot my own little symbol/colour codes

One change I did make for this year was not to write out in advance the monthly habit and health trackers, because last year I found that I wasn’t necessarily wanting to pay attention to the same things each month.  Instead, I’ve prepared the grids ahead of time for each month (which is the pain in the butt part), and then I’ll fill in the tracking parameters one month at a time.

At the back of the journal I’ve got pages started for health stuff like doctor visits and lab test results, blogging goals, writing plans, accomplishments, inspirational quotes, and a few other things.  These I’ll add to throughout the year.

bullet journal pages for accomplishments and positivity, alongside Peanut the guinea pig

Positive-focused page headings and lists

  • things that make me smile
  • accomplishments
  • inspirational quotes
  • goals
  • affirmations
  • self-care favorites
  • the kindness of others
  • my values
  • favorite foods
  • places I want to travel to
  • great analogies
  • favorite words
  • things that make me feel beautiful/sexy/confident

Things to do with my illness

  • current treatment plan
  • treatment options to consider
  • my treatment history
  • my illness symptom history
  • treatment provider visits
  • essential elements that would be part of recovery
  • what I’ve learned/gained from my illness

Therapy-type stuff:

  • skills I’m working on and outcomes of practicing them
  • checking my misinterpretations
  • insights from meditating on various topics
  • recognizing the use of avoidance
  • identifying cognitive distortions

I’ve been bullet journalling for almost 2 years now, and as time has gone on I use my journal less and less for free-form writing.  The most valuable role it serves is allowing me to easily track things and see patterns, especially since my memory is crap.  If I wanted to know how often in 2019 I had a migraine on a Tuesday the week after my period, I could look that up.

I typically take 5 minutes every day to do my usual daily tracking and add in any new accomplishments, test results, blog goals, or what have you.  Occasionally I’ll spend more time with it, but usually that’s not necessary.  It’s very quick and easy.

It does take me a while to set up a new journal at the beginning of the year, but it doesn’t take much thought so it’s easy to do while I’m watching tv.

So, that’s my new bullet journal for 2020!

Do you bullet journal?  Have you made any changes to your setup for the new year?

And in case you’re interested, my journaling supplies are (these are affiliate links):

All photos by author.

Creating a bullet journal for mental health

This how-to guide on Creating a Bullet Journal to Support Mental Health is available free from the MH@H Download Centre. My approach isn’t about artistry; it’s all about functionality.

27 thoughts on “2020: New Year, New Bullet Journal”

  1. Great photos! What an adorable little photo bomber! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I bought a similar notebook yesterday at the bookstore. It’s rainbowy! I just haven’t figured out yet how I want to use it. A sticker for every daily accomplishment, like flossing, exercise, healthy eating? I’ve got to figure it out!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Ooh, I just noticed your free how-to guide! I need to download that!!

  2. Love your journal Ashley.

    As I blogged last year and shared, I now use a ring binder, rather than a notebook of some kind, as I feel when I change tjings around anytime, this will be more flexible for me. So it’s my diary, with a plans section, a to do section and a wellbeing section. Right at the back is a note section.
    In my wellbeing section I have a mood tracker in there, so you talking about tracker charts has reminded me I need to mark that accordingly for this year.

  3. I really wish I could do a bullet journal. Then again, itโ€™d probably be as hard to keep up with as all the tracking/journaling apps Iโ€™ve used in the past. The sparkly cover sounds cool.

  4. I love it ๐Ÿ˜ It’s beautiful! I wish to do the same but I guess I’m pretty lazy to do it ๐Ÿ˜‚ I have a bullet journal thought but it’s still blank haha

  5. I have a private diary to track things and make notes in. I deleted the old entries yesterday and began anew, vowing to be more consistent about recording my thoughts and daily doings. Itโ€™s important to track stuff because memory is tricky. I donโ€™t use stickers or anything like that. I just write down food, mood, exercise, and a bit about my day, including work and writing.

  6. That cover is very pretty! I’ve never been a journaler – guess it’s just not my personality type. And I’ve never had lots of things to keep track of – guess that makes me boring LOL

  7. Love your system! I read the bullet journal book but haven’t tried much of it; I use premade planners for the most part but I can use some of the bullet journal method like the different notation (circles and all that). I’ve gone with the Clever Fox journal this quarter just to try something new. It looks fairly similar to Full Focus Planner which is what I normally use, but it’s half the price which is pretty appealing, haha.

  8. Oh yes I bought a new calendar, not too big and not too small with 1 page a day. As I don’t have so many things to do in one day, I use it to keep all my appointments and so on organised and in overview (very important for me as the memory didn’t check back in yet). I write my knitting patterns down, my blog ideas, my mood changes and medication changes, everything. The best thing is to have it in one place because I tent to lose overview when it’s scattered around on small post its. And it makes me anxious too; one book I can hide easily ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I wish I was able to say I’ve made changes to my setup but right now, I’m not sure if I should. I only started blogging late August and am still learning about WordPress, still navigating the world of blogging and responding to other people’s blogs.

    The one thing I will definitely do this year is to respond to more blogs. I love reading them all but I’m not always au fait with the content so have been a bit nervous.

    I am going to make time to understand my fellow-bloggers’ posts and try to comment.

    1. That’s something I’d like to do more of as well. For me it’s not so much nervousness as it taking effort to come up with comments, but still a good goal.

  10. That’s so nice! I love the cover. Never officially have used a bullet journal but I do have a journal where I’ve compiled some different lists and such that are used to help build and maintain my mental health. I hope you enjoy using this one!

  11. It’s a great looking journal. Love the colour, nice vibrancy to it and a superb nature feel to the print to boot – it’s given me a great idea for my Redbubble store design – so thank you for that – however digressions aside – l don’t journal in the typical way [like what’s typical anyway, it’s what works for people]. But l keep three journals for new ideas.

    Rather shamefacedly l add that Suze is my journal for reminding me of things such as appointments, there is the calendar but l tend to forget to use that, then l have post it notes on my boards – write them out dilligently and with enthusiasm, stick them to the board then despite seeing them daily, forget about them lol!

  12. Have a wonderful New Year, Ashleyleia <3
    Your bullet journal looks lovely and sounds very well-organised and meaningful.
    Happy journaling!
    Writing is indeed a good expressive therapy.
    You remind me to keep track of my daily mental health.

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