I both can and can’t believe that we are already halfway through the year. That only means one thing: it’s time for my July-December 2022 bullet journal setup. My last journal served me well, but I did run out of pages before the last week of June. That just proves that a lot has happened, so no wonder time flew by. I love migrating into a new journal because it’s the perfect time to revisit goals, reflect, and reset—and boy, did I do all three. I have many thoughts about this journal’s setup, so let’s get into it.

First, the notebook

For the rest of this year, I’m back in a Dingbats notebook, kindly gifted to me by the Dingbats team. (Have you seen my Reel about how much I love their notebooks? No? Go check it out.) This eco-friendly notebook has 192 100gsm, micro-perforated silk cream pages—a real joy to write on, and is easy on the eyes. My favorite feature, though, is how this notebook lays perfectly flat, so I can keep it open beside me all day. Plus, the grained vegan leather cover is buttery soft and is debossed with a wildlife animal. This navy notebook in particular features a whale.

The Title Page

I love a good title page, and this one is purely aesthetic. I made it similar to my Jan-June setup because I wanted both notebooks to feel the same for the year. Then I just added a small quote for this journal that reads: Small everyday rituals are the heartbeat of your life, from the Co-Star app. I thought this was a great way to remind myself why I use my bullet journal in the first place.

The Key & Index

The Key is, at this point, a bullet journal staple and a reference for future me. (I also just realized now that I didn’t strike through the “Cancelled” bullet, but I have since shooting this!) I also added a couple of icons for birthdays, expenses, gratitude, and deadlines.

The Index is perhaps the most underrated spread I’ve seen in the bullet journal community. In my last journal, I took up 3 and a half pages for my index—something I’ve rarely seen done. Since this notebook has a few more lines and fewer pages than my last journal, and since I’ve gotten better at grouping and threading, I figured 3 pages should be enough. I index everything. I write notes about website ideas? Index. I write a short journal entry about therapy? Index. Then I thread recurring themes together. This way, when I revisit old journals, I don’t have to hunt for anything. I can just go right to the index and locate the page the topic occurs on. It’s one small extra step, but since we can’t hit Command+F on paper, it’s so worth it in the end.

For example, here’s what my index looked like for April 2022:

APRIL 2022: 118
Master tasks: 119
Habits: 120
Calendar: 121
Manuscript progress: 122-123
Weeklies: 124, 132, 138, 144
Feeling fulfilled + happy: 125, 128, 140
Family + friends: 126, 136, 141, 142
Being single: 126
Therapy: 127
Working through trauma: 126-127
Work: 128, 130, 133, 139

You get the idea.

The Future Log

For this notebook, I am continuing to group my Future Log by seasons. Since I typically do most event scheduling in iCalendar, this log is mostly for seasonal and monthly goals and projects. When the quarter changes, I write a list of all the things I’d like to get done over the next 3 months in the left column. Then I delegate tasks to the month I want to focus on them. Any leftover tasks can be done in any month.

Personally, I typically “think” in terms of seasons, so this works better for my brain when delegating projects. For example, in the summer I tend to prioritize rest, fun, and socializing. In the fall, I tend to prioritize writing projects, wardrobe flips, and holiday prep.

The Monthly Log

Cover page + Monthly task list
Since I don’t use a lot of collection pages (I save that for Notion!), I’d love to also share my typical monthly setup. I love starting with a collage on the left with room to adhere sticky notes and movable reminders. Then, on the right page, I have an easy, minimal header stamped with the month, two focus items, and a running task list. Here, I’m using the Alastair method, with a bullet for non-week tasks, followed by the week numbers and a right arrow for future tasks. I like to keep this page simple to set up and distraction-free.

Calendar view
Since I’m a pretty visual person, I love a good calendar view. I’m experimenting with a slightly different layout this time. Each box is 5×6 with plenty of room for stamps, stickers, and call-outs. Then, on the right, I have room to list events, hangouts, or anything worth remembering after they’ve happened. At the end of the month, I like to look back on this page to see how my month generally went at a glance, versus flipping back through all my logs. It’s a nice little snapshot!

Weekly dashboard + Running dailies
Finally, one of my favorite spreads: my weekly dashboard. I set up a new weekly dashboard every Sunday for the week ahead. Here, I stamp the week number in the top-left corner, add a Focus for the week, and then stamp out the Alastair method for my weekly running task list. Finally, I decorate it lightly with a sticker and note paper for reminders. This takes only minutes to set up and is so effective; I love it!

My running daily logs begin on the right page. I keep a six-box margin for the date and notes, then keep my running task list on the right of the margin. Typically, I don’t like to set up my pages in advance because I want to give myself all the room and freedom to take up as much or as little space as I need. I always feel boxed in when making pre-set layouts, which is why I stopped using planners in the first place. If I think of any tasks to do later in the week, I just add them to my weekly dashboard and put a dot in the day I want to do it. Done!

Things I Removed
  • Habit tracker. This became a tedious spread to set up, and then I barely referenced this after the month was over, only during. Plus, I found a lovely app that does even better, and even lets me set reminders. I also love having a place to add notes and explanations and see how my progress was over several months and not just the one.
Final Thoughts

After years of bullet journaling, I’ve come to realize what works best for me is keeping things simple. The more tedious a thing becomes, the less likely I am to enjoy doing it. Simplifying my life has done wonders for my focus, and so this setup is what currently works best for my lifestyle. However, my journal setup may not work for everyone. You have to get honest about your purpose for journaling and ask yourself what you need the most. What matters is doing what works best for you!

Previous Setups

Want some more ideas on how to set up your bullet journal? Check out my past setups:

Are you keeping a bullet journal for 2022? What does your setup look like? Leave a link in the comments, so I (and others!) can check it out!

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  1. Love your minimal setup! Mine is much more sticker-led and I’m continuing with fresh weekly log designs, but there’s always more to learn. Particularly love your monthly pages, Megan!

    1. Thank you, Mish! I love a weekly log too on particularly eventful weeks. Sometimes I’ll lead with a weekly view and then continue daily logs as needed. It’s a great tool 🙂

  2. I’ve also simplified my spreads a lot since starting. I occasionally add some things, but I feel like I’ve fallen back in love with bullet journaling after minimizing a bit. Love seeing other spreads though, and I think this calendar view might work better than what i currently have! Great post xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    1. Minimal spreads are the way to go sometimes! I think while elaborate spreads might motivate us to fill up pages, it could have the opposite effect and feel more like a hassle. A minimal setup really narrows our focus to what’s important and also gives us all the space and freedom we need. Glad this was helpful for you. xx