Minimalist Bullet Journal Monthly Setup: December

The holidays are easily my favourite time of year, and although I can imagine we’re all collectively hoping next year’s festive season will be different than this one is going to be, I’m grateful to be happy and healthy, and I’m actually really looking forward to the month of December.

There was a part of 2020 where I didn’t touch my planner — mostly the part that coincided with my first trimester — but I picked it back up as soon as I started feeling better, and noticed an immediate difference in how much smoother my weeks unfold. Below, I’m sharing how I set up my bullet journal for the month of December.

Monthly Log

Sarahboparah - December Minimalist Bullet Journal Setup

Supplies: NoteBook Therapy dot-grid journal // Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen // Tombow Dual Brush Pen in ‘Asparagus’ // Muji 0.38 black gel pen // Uni-Ball Jetstream 0.7 pen

I’ve reverted to the standard version of the monthly log — the one bullet journal creator Ryder Carroll advises in The Bullet Journal Method — because these last few months, I’m honestly in need of nothing more.

At the top of the page, I hand-lettered the December title for the month using a black marker pen, and then used a green brush pen to draw thick lines on the side to accentuate it.

I use that same green brush pen whenever I have something to add to my log: circles stand for appointments or events, gift-boxes for birthdays I need to remember.

Monthly Trackers

Sarahboparah - December Minimalist Bullet Journal Setup

Supplies: NoteBook Therapy dot-grid journal // Tombow Dual Brush Pen in ‘Asparagus’ // Muji 0.38 black gel pen // Uni-Ball Jetstream 0.7 pen // similar ruler

On the right side of the page, I drew two trackers: the first is for “Mindful Spending”, the second for my “Waiting For” list.

“Mindful Spending” is a tracker that was inspired by a similar one in studyquill’s January + February bullet journal setup video. It’s a small table that I use to keep track of the items I want to buy and how much they cost. By leaving the item on the list for a few days, you give yourself time to reevaluate the often emotional impulse to purchase something, and it ultimately leads you to be more mindful about your spending. I’ve been using it for two months now, and I’ve actually found that just having that tracker there, even if I didn’t use it per se, helped, so I like the addition so far.

Besides that table is my trusty “Waiting For” list, which I use to keep track of everything I am currently waiting for: replies to important emails, online orders, delegated tasks, reimbursements, and so on. It’s doesn’t take up a lot of space, but it’s a very handy list to have. In my planner for work, my “Waiting For” list is far more expansive (containing due dates, for example), but I don’t need it to be that comprehensive in my personal bullet journal.

I initially imaged I’d use the space below the trackers for my monthly goals, but I didn’t end up filling it in, so I’m still trying to think of something functional to fill the space with.

Weekly and Daily Logs

Sarahboparah - December Minimalist Bullet Journal Setup

Supplies: NoteBook Therapy dot-grid journal // Tombow Dual Brush Pen in ‘Wine Red’ // Uni-Ball Jetstream 0.7 pen // similar ruler

Whilst I didn’t really use weekly logs before, this hybrid mix of a weekly and daily log has become the standard since I started my new bullet journal in October.

I put the number of the week and the dates spanning it at the top of the page and normally leave it at that, but for December, I’ve decided to get extra festive and drew a candy cane that has, admittedly, seen better days.

I then divide the page with a sidebar, and in that sidebar add a quote to serve as inspiration for the upcoming week. The quote is followed by a list of action items, which are all the projects I plan to complete that week.

On the other side, I start by listing the day of the week and the date, and then simply write out my log for the day, making sure to include, alongside my tasks, any appointments, events and birthdays.

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Supplies: NoteBook Therapy dot-grid journal // Tombow Dual Brush Pen in ‘Asparagus’ // Tombow Dual Brush Pen in ‘Wine Red’ // Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen // Muji 0.38 black gel pen // Uni-Ball Jetstream 0.7 pen // similar ruler // The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

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Minimalist Bullet Journal Monthly Setup: December