The Design Section

October’s Bullet Journal

“…the simple meditative art of writing word by hand ” Written by hand, Erica Tighe.

I love writing by hand. Always have ever since I was young. It started out with the alphabet letters and numbers gradually escalated to lists of television advertisements and cartoon shows that won me over. Years later, it was composition stories and lyrics of songs stuck in my head. Fast forward to today, it’s everything bullet journals can carry. On a daily average, I usually use 4 notebooks simultaneously. This is with the exception of a special string bound leather notebook and sketchbooks that I use for design projects and sketching practice. Of the 4 notebooks, the main is a bullet journal that I switch out monthly.

Over the past 13+ months I have taken to the bullet journal method gradually modifying the universal standard template to fit my needs and style. Apart from the same ruled notebook brand I use, what’s always different from month to month is the layout. For October 2018, I decided to design the preferred layout then print it out in place of buying the same ruled notebook.


Objective: The notebook should hold October’s bullet journal, sketching space for Inktober and space to write combined.

Step One: Layout Concept

A breakdown of what I need for October’s organization system:

  • Calendar Page : provides an overview of the entire month which I mainly use to record any events, project deadlines and meetings or appointment dates. In short, its the big picture.
  • Monthly Spread : containing physical health, personal, financial and design project goals along with the month’s purchase list.
  • Weekly Spread to hold an overview of the specific week along with projects and tasks for the said specific week.
  • Introducing a Taking Stock page preferably weekly and one for the month.
  • Daily Spread to hold the day’s big three tasks, any other tasks, the day’s highlights, the ideas section, food + exercise log section and the day’s color code that lays out the 24 hours of a day and against each hour a color corresponding to what I did in that hour, example, I use red for work, black for sleep, yellow for exercise, green for commute, blue for time spent with family and friends, empty for wasted time among others.
  • 2nd Calendar Page to map out 2018 Inktober prompt list and overall ideas. I decided to use the official prompt list from
  • Empty pages for sketching and all things art.

Am skipping on habit trackers which I had in the September’s bullet journal and failed to utilize.

Here are some of my idea sketches:


Step Two: Developing the Design Layouts

I prepared the layouts in ArchiCAD. In line with trying out something different, I decided on the landscape format since all past bullet journals have been on portrait format. Here are the final layouts;

  1. Basic Page – I decided to try out the dot grid style though I changed it up to a 2-line intersection grid style with 8 x 8 millimeters grid box.

2. Calendar Page. I chose two contrasting fonts, Blood Thirst ( for a Halloween theme)  and Print Clearly ( a simple, clean font).

3. Weekly Spread

4. Taking Stock. I decided to have one weekly and one at the end of the month, a total of five taking stock pages.

5. Daily Spread

Order of 3 represents the main 3 priorities of the day.

Log’d – contains logs; Zzz’s to record the sleeping time and hours, IF to record Intermittent Fasting period time and hours, BLDS to record recipe ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks, Water log for 8 glasses water intake and Tizi ; Kenyan slang for Exercise.

Task list for any other tasks or a schedule outline for the day, highlights of the day and ‘Eureka’ is a section of any ideas I have during that day, exactly like an idea dump.

The boxes at the bottom of the 2nd page below represent 6 am to 5 am for color coding according to which activity occurred within that specific hour.

Step Three: Printing and Binding.

The printing is single-sided leaving ample blank white space pages for sketching and all kinds of art. The binding is spiral binding. The design process took 3 hours 6 minutes while the printing and binding came to a total cost of Ksh 285 an equivalent of 2.83 USD.

The Printed Volume.
The Calendar Page.
The Weekly Spread.
White Space for all things art.
Daily Spread with Noted Section for Writing
Taking Stock Page
Of October’s joys

Step Four: Enjoying the bullet journal notebook.

On November 5th 2018, I’ll upload this bullet journal notebook post-October use.

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