Bite The Bullet: Bullet Journaling With Piper

Stepping Into January With a Blue & Grey Theme


Clarion photo Piper Gillen

Opening page to January 2021, made to look like the song is playing as you flip through the spreads.

By Piper Gillen, Reporter

January might be one of my favorite themes so far. My past few themes I have done were pretty complicated and time-consuming, so I wanted to give myself a little bit of a break this month. When I was thinking of minimalistic themes the first thing that came to mind was not even having a theme and just using a few colors. While I loved the idea, I wanted to add another simple element to tie the spreads together a little bit more. I have been listening to the song ‘Blue & Grey’ by BTS on repeat a lot recently, so I figured it would be fun to do a theme around the song. When thinking about that, I also came up with the idea to do a ‘sister’ theme with a Stray Kids song (my other favorite group), so look out for that in April or May.

I decided to have the lyrics to the song be my design element for this theme. Throughout the six planning pages I wrote out the lyrics to the whole song, spread by spread. It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, and I ended up really loving how it looked.


Opening Page:

I like to do an ‘opening page’ type spread for all of my months to welcome in the new theme. This month, I wanted to have my title page look like I was playing the song, so as you flip through the pages and see the lyrics it’s almost as if the song is progressing. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I printed out the cover of the album to put on the top and wrote/drew out the title and control buttons. On the other page, I included the lyrics from one of my favorite parts of the song. The whole song is gorgeous, I highly recommend giving it a listen, but that part is definitely up there for me.


Calendar, Habit Tracker, and Mood Tracker:

My calendar looks mostly the same month-to-month. This system really works for me, so I rarely change it. I have a larger calendar that I write things happening that month and two smaller boxes off to the side. One of the boxes is for reminders where I write affirmations to myself to look back at when I need a boost of confidence or motivation. In the other box I write down dates that I think are more important and need to be highlighted. Everything about my theme this month was meant to be minimalist, so the only decoration I included was a verse of ‘Blue & Grey’ around the calendar.

Habit trackers can be a great way to start or break a habit and there are a few ways to use each one. One way is more of a daily reminder for something that should be done every day. I use things like the allergy tracker (to remember to take my allergy meds), and AM/PM skincare for that. I want to make sure those things are happening daily, and having somewhere I can mark that down makes it easier to remember. I use a tracker like the retainer and journaling trackers a little differently, though. Those ones are to see how often throughout a month I wear my retainer or I journal. I switch out those trackers a little bit more often than my daily trackers if there is something else I want to be aware of.

The mood tracker in my bullet journal has been very helpful so far and a lot of the time is one of my favorite things to do. I change how I do the mood tracker monthly, and finding a way to do it while fitting with my theme is a lot of fun for me. This month, I made it so that it will look a bit like a graph when I’m done. The higher up the dot is, the better I felt that day, the lower the worse. I connect the dots after I fill them in with a thin line to see the changes in my mood day-to-day.

The decoration for my trackers was the next verse of the song written around the whole spread.


Weekly Spreads:

Weekly spreads are the part of my bullet journal I interact with the most often. This is where I write down events and tasks that need to be done in a day or week. I like to have each spread look different for variety throughout the month, but I will say that it can be time-consuming coming up with a different spread for each week. If that seems too intense, I recommend finding one spread that works for you and reusing that for every week. Either system works, just make sure it is the best for you and you are getting the most from it.

In my weekly spreads, I also include more in-depth weekly trackers. Some of them are repeats of things on my overall tracker list, and others are different. I don’t always fill these in, but I like to have them for when I want to use them. 

Because each week is different, my decorations for each week also slightly differ. I think the first and third weeks in the month (the 4th-10th and the 18th-24th) are my favorites for this month. Dutch doors are one of my favorite ways to have a spread, and I really liked how the spiraling lyrics turned out. 

A dutch door is when you cut out part of the page so you have a smaller page somewhere. My dutch door is on the top, where the days of the week are. If you flip that section you can see the rest of the week and an area to keep track of homework throughout the week. 


Process and Materials:

My process was the same as it normally is this month. I started by finding a theme to know the general aesthetic of my spreads and then loosely outlined everything in pencil. After I had my outlines I inked everything and filled in the headers. My last step was writing out the lyrics. I did it in pencil first so that I would have the spacing correct and then went over it in a gel pen. 

The materials I used were similar, too. I used three colors of the Crayola Supertips, black, grey, and blue. I also used a Pigma Micron fine liner in 03 and a Muji gel pen in 0.38. When I was doing the outlines, I used a pencil.

This month has been the easiest so far in this bullet journal, but I also think it’s one of my favorites. I really like how subdued the colors and decorations are. Also, this song is a current favorite, so being able to make a theme around it was really fun. And listening to it on repeat while making the spreads was the cherry on top for me. Happy journaling, friends!