January Bullet Journal Setup

January Bullet Journal Setup


2020 is coming up quick and with it, my January Bullet Journal setup. I’m taking my layouts in a bit of a different direction this month as I work to improve my productivity. Don’t worry though! I have every intention to still incorporate colour and creativity!

So first off, let me begin with my shameless plug: email subscribers get this print (on the left) as a free download. If you’re interested in getting these dashboard prints (for free), make sure to subscribe to my newsletter.

And now onto the good stuff 🙂

January Bullet Journal Setup: Productivity 101

Here is a flip-through of my setup (you can also click here for the link to YouTube).

This month I have incorporated a content calendar as part of my monthly view. I have also kept the doodle challenge which you can download for free here.

But the biggest changes are the Kanban Board addition and the way I will be using my weekly layout.


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My supplies this month are very straightforward and fairly minimal:

January Bullet Journal: My Kanban Board

I am the most excited about this addition. If you haven’t heard about Kanban Boards yet, basically, they are productivity tools used to manage workflow. In the past, I created a weekly to do list which rarely got done so it just carried over into the next week. Using this “strategy” resulted in an almost paralysis of having too much to do and not knowing where to start.

My intention for the Kanban Board is to help chip away at my to do list one sticky note at a time. So the workflow goes like this: I pick an item on the to do list (written on a sticky note), move it to the “In Progress” column. Once I’ve completed the task, I move the stick note to the “Done” column. I have also included columns called “Ongoing”, “Expedited” and “On Hold”.

Now it’s important to note that size does matter when putting this board together. You don’t want to allow too much room for sticky notes under any of the in between columns (“In Progress”, “Ongoing”, “Expedited”, and “On Hold”). Reason being that you don’t want to take on too many new tasks without completing tasks you’ve already started. My “In Progress” column has room for 2 small sticky notes – same as my “Ongoing”. The “Expedited” and “On Hold” only have room for one.

The intention to use this monthly is to carry over as few tasks from one month to the next. I felt that had I done this as a yearly thing, I would be more inclined to leave sticky notes there longer than I should.

If you’re interested in trying this out, I’ve created a free downloadable template for you.

Weekly Layout: The Alastair Method

For January’s weekly layouts, I am actually heading back to Bullet Journal basics but with a twist. I’m still using a two page spread for the week but on the left, I am using a dashboard-style layout to capture my events (i.e. birthdays, meetings, appointments, etc.). On the right -hand side is where I will be using the Alastair Method.

The Alastair Method is the brainchild of a guy named Alastair (surprising I know :P). He found a different way of using a future log that worked for him. He lists out the starting letter of each month horizontally across his page and then starts rapid logging to-do lists and events vertically down the page. As you go through your list, you start adding bullet points under the months the task/event falls under. There is a key you can use when rescheduling, canceling, migrating, or completing the task/event.

My intention is to use this method but for weekly logs. So instead of months of the year, I’ll be using days of the week. In the past, I would write tasks under specific days and sometimes just hope they get done. This way, I have my list and I can allocate, reschedule, or migrate as I chose, without having to re-write the same item over and over again.

January Bullet Journal Setup

At the bottom of my rapid logging page, I included a box to capture any events for the following week (in case I don’t get my next layout done in time).

Overall, I am so excited to put this to the test! I’ve been thinking about this and working on this for the last couple months now and can’t wait to see how this new system works for me. Please let me know if you decide to follow along or try out any of these productivity tools. I’d love to see how you use them!

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