Minimalist A6 Moleskine Pocket Bullet Journal Notebook for 2021.
Photoblog and set up walkthrough.
Another year another notebook.
Last years post is here.
For the third year in a row I’ve gone for the A6 Moleskine Classic Dotted Paper Notebook with a soft cover. It was really hard to get one this year as they were sold-out every everywhere I looked. But eBay saved the day.
I’ve seen some really good things in my RSS Reader from stationary blogs about the Traveler Pocket Journal from Pentalic and I’m intrigued. For another year maybe.
Apparently they will ‘archive’ better than Moleskine journals long term. But as all my notebooks end up with running repairs just to get though the year. How well they are holding up in 30 years time doesn’t concern me that much. As long as the pages aren’t falling out by October or November I’m all good.
Last Year’s Video
I put loads of effort in last year and made a flip through video of my 2020 Bullet Journal…
… for 2021 my set up is basically the same.
One question I did get asked last year was what does the notebook look like at the end of the year – with all the page folds?. Well my friends, it looks like this:
The year moves from bottom to top in the photo above.
The big chunk of folds at the beginning are the year log page folds and then you can see the month separators being in the main notebook section. As I use up varying numbers of pages per month though out the year.
I must admit, I stopped using my Bujo during the depths of lockdown 2020 for about 3 months. I stopped writing lists of things to do and fell into a fugue of undirected effort everyday with no real weekly direction or plans.
At the time I was involved in implementing Notion.so into two separate start ups. So I moved *everything* onto that app for the period my notebook sat idle. I’ve now found a happy medium where big projects that require some personal project management etc are in Notion and my day to day is managed on paper once again.
I make a spreadsheet layout plan every year before starting, as the full year planner pages can be quite tight space wise. I also love spreadsheets – who doesn’t?
Updated for 2023
Click and ‘make a copy’ from the File menu.
The as usual, I laid out the complicated pages with a grade H pencil which I find the best type of pencil (for me) to erase after using an Boldmere 0.5mm Artist Fineliner over top.
A diary at the end of the day is entirely ‘Clock Time’. A way of understanding the passing of time and the days of the year that you should drop into to interact with others in a sensible way.
For me, setting up a diary/notebook up from scratch helps me get my head around the year. The shape of the months fall in to place – when weeks and months begin and end in relation to the days of the week.
2021’s most pleasing months (to me) are February, March and November as they all begin on a Monday.
I went for less colour and even less hi-lights this year So the diary is even more minimal in appearance than last year.
I usually end up filling in the index page at the end of the year to be honest with you. I ended up filling in April though Dec in 2020’s notebook as I was setting up this one.
Right hand column is used for page numbers of notes from events/conferences, phone calls etc that I may need to refer back to one day.
Minimalist Year Planner
Year planner page for 2020. No space for notes, just days weeks and dates at a glance.
Goals & Month Log
Goals are goals. I wrote about mine for 2021 here.
My month log is very minimal. Space is at an absolute premium with an A6 BuJo. Morning and Afternoon activities fall either side of the vertical calendar.
Birthdays/Death Dates are marked with scribbles of colour in the calendar at the top left and entered at the bottom of the page.
Over the page the month continues. I have a space at the bottom of the month for notes or other things that needed documenting. Usually things that have/will happened that month, Hotel addresses, flight numbers etc.
Once the month is finished/over I’ll fold the page in half and forget about it. See the video or photo up top for how this works in practice.
Month Log + Future Log
When I was writing 2022 at the top of the Future Log, I said out loud to Eve ‘so fucking sci-fi‘.
The future log has the same layout as the Year planner but without dates detail. Leaving space for important things that are happening the following year.
Future Log + Projects Pages
I like to leave a full page for a ‘project’. Usually I do the initial brain storm on this page and then manage it either in a separate notebook or use the back of my notebook working forwards turned upside down. Theres 6 pages of projects (that I still need to decide on for 2021 and fill in). I’d like to do a ‘major thing’ every 2 months in 2021 I’ll ‘Plan to finish’ in Notion.so.
General Notebook Begins
At the beginning of every month I re-write in the calendar and then fold the page in half as a bookmark. Sometimes I write a Mini Index for the month on this half page if there’s been a lot of notes.
I don’t like to have a full year planned out like other Bullet Journallers do, as my BuJo practice evolved from daily/weekly list making practice. Because I don’t know how many pages any one month is going to need the utility of the month/page fold book mark only really becomes evident as the year progresses (see the photo at the top of this post)
Inside the folded page is a perfect place for a full page habit tracker. Or as a space for ‘moduels’.
I mentioned this last year too but its worth repeating I came across this cool minimal A6 Bullet Journal set up that introduces the concept of ‘Modules’ in small notebooks.
I only made one mistake this year during the set up. Behold my complete failure to count! In my defence I was vibing hard to that Tropical House track Vin Diesel put out last year at the time.
Share Your Photos!
A few people sent me notes to say they set up their A6 BuJo’s inspired by my layout. It might be fun to start a little gallery on this page.
I’ll share them in my weeknotes that at the time of writing are read by several 1000 people a month. I’ll also share them below with a link to your socials/blog/youtube/whatever.
PHOTOS WILL GO HERE IF ANYONE SENDS ME ANY THIS YEAR
UPDATE: My Girlfriend Eve / My Bullet Journal consultant wants me to include photos of her notebook here despite it being A5 and not a pocket journal. Because hers is apparently ‘better’ than mine.