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2021 Yearly Bujo Setup

It’s here, my 2021 bujo setup! Whether you are new to journaling or you’ve been doing it for years, I am taking you through every detail of my planner pages. This is one of my favorite and biggest videos of the year. It is my fourth year keeping a journal and I have really been looking forward to setting up my new journal.

It is a longer video, but it has been divided into chapters if you want to check out a particular section for more detailed instructions and to see my process:

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This year I have bought myself a new journal! So many of you have recommended the Archer & Olive notebooks, so I am trying it out - and so far, so good! I love the hard fabric cover, and the thick pages and paper quality which hopefully means no ghosting or bleeding or maybe some different mediums this year. The pages are also really bright white, which allows the markers to be really true to their colors.

I’ve also mixed in more Tombow brush pens with my Faber Castell markers to expand my color collection. With these I’ve already developed a palette for my journal so we are including color again for 2021! I’m looking forward to having more confidence with color this year but also to creating my journal without that challenge to include it. This year we’ll see how I can strike a balance and make the journal my perfect journal.

First up, on the inner front page, is a name plate. I’m using my brown marker to trace a circle and my fine liner pens to create a nice motif of flowers running through that circle. I’ve seen similar illustrations on pinterest and love the simplicity and symmetry of it. It’s easy to make your own with your florals, you can create it really quickly and write your name below.

For our title page I’m creating a mystical crescent moon with florals. I sketched in a number of different flowers in different sizes with big round flowers and placed a little ladder down below. Going over it all in fine liner I added some line shading and more detail to the flowers. With a brush pen I filled in the night sky behind and added more leaves and a starry night sky with my white gel pen. Of course, I turned this into my typical dutch door cover page to finish it off! My theme for the 2021 setup is all about magic and hope and sparkle. I think we all need a little of that going into the new year.

I’m using another moon for my journal key. I use my washing tapes or whatever I have on hand to trace for different sizes of circles. Little florals are growing up in front of the moon to keep the drawing vertical, growing up towards the sky. I am using the colors I chose for my general color palette in the journal for the florals and moon. There are very cool grays, blues, pinks and burgundies to add a hint of color. For my journal this year I want simple illustrations, a little bit of color, and a little bit of black and white.

Whether you have some New Years resolutions or want to start your year off with some goals or affirmations, next up is a two page spread full of color! I filled the space with a floral pattern, choosing one color and motif at a time until it's nicely balanced and full. I started with a dark gray leaf, added a burgundy and brown berry, a messy brown rose, and then dark green and warm gray for a white flower. I left quite a bit of negative space to create a nice balance. Using some ripped craft paper I glued it on over top to create a title on one side and a list of resolutions opposite. I decided afterwards to add some washi tape to help it pop. If you watched last year you may notice my resolutions are similar, but this year I will achieve them!

This spread is a ‘year at a glance’ and date book in one. I divided each page into four to block out the spacing with two months on each page. Altogether this spread will fill six pages but give us room below each calendar for planning out the year. Last year, I had all my little calendars on one page so you could see everything at a glance and followed it with a separate date book. This year I wanted to combine them since I don’t use my calendar that heavily for prospective dates. Filling up the bottom of the page with florals used my color palette, going from cooler colors in the winter months to warmer pinks and burgundies in the summer and adding more blue for the end of the year.

Last year my financial tracker was one of my favorite pages but I'm trying something new to track savings for 2021. Within a rectangular frame I'm sticking with my mystical moon and night sky theme. The tracker itself is really simple! It is just layers and layers of clouds that you can color in throughout the year, with purples and pinks or grays and blues. There is a layer for each month of the year and I'll put numbers going up the side with more specific goals. I was inspired by the simplicity of a thermometer savings tracker but wanted to keep it on theme. Along with my cover page the financial tracker is available on my Patreon page.

I am doing another dial style goals list this year. I think it's a great design, with a beautiful illustration in the center and lots of space for your lists around the edges. This will be my last moon for the setup, with the circle of sky and flowers bordering the bottom. My topics this year included purchases, lifestyle, health, and relationship; these can be anything you want though. I had started checking off goals in 2020, but it became increasingly hard during such a strange year to achieve them all. Hopefully in 2021 we are onto better and brighter!

I often like to incorporate a grid with a number of floral doodle ideas. It is a great place to come when you are creating some of your spreads and need a little inspiration. I'm going to include some of my most used florals, and then I'm going to try to think of some ones that don't come to mind as easily. I'm starting with the usuals - little leaves, a berry, and a chamomile are my first four. You don't need to do the same as me, just think about including variety. Some leaves can be a little larger, some finer and delicate, and the same with the flowers. This will be your reference page as you move through the year. For even more inspiration you can check out pinterest, some of my videos, or other blog posts on drawings florals and leaves. If you have 12 to 16 flowers you use regularly throughout your journal, this will create a really nice flow through the year.

On the opposite page I create a collaged look with some ripped paper and washi tape and did a floral illustration with the wax flowers. The eleventh flower in my reference grid - they are so cute and some of my favorite florals to doodle. It quickly fills the page and is a great example of how you can use these florals throughout the year. One little illustration in the margin can really bring a whole weekly spread to life.

This one is a two page spread dedicated to my work or to social media, since that is my work. If you are blogging or on instagram you could also use this to your advantage or adapt it for your work. It is all about planning! I titled the first page 'Social Media, Year at a Glance'. I have glued in a little envelope and incorporated some more washi tape; the monthly to do list uses a little post-it note so I can replace it. I got out my Dymo label maker for the 'notes' label. Basically I'm dividing the spread with little boxes and tape into great areas for ideas and lists.

The C.S. Lewis quote is what this whole journal is about, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." If you are doing social media or whatever career you are in, if you have to be self-driven, a page like this is a great space to write stuff down. I really believe in the power of writing things down!

I wanted to try something new for my new journal before I completed my setup! When I did the title page I left the space underneath the dutch door blank so this little experiment is tucked away there. With the thicker pages in my new Archer & Olive notebook, I am going to try watercolors! Even with all the black night skies I've done I haven't had any bleeding through the pages yet. I still went very light with the paint since it wasn't proper watercolor paper. The page buckled slightly but I did an entire wash as a background for another floral illustration.

An apple blossom for peace, a fern for magic, a snow drop for hope and a chamomile for adversity. I wanted to set my tone for 2021 using the Victorian language of flowers for this floral illustration. We faced a lot of adversity this year and in 2021 I want to move on from that, but taking all the best parts of it and incorporating them into my future.

I am almost ready for 2021! I'm going to do one more tracker and start my January set up next week. I feel confident with this set up, it is my perfect journal with lots of black and white, a little bit of color, lots of florals, and a bit of magic and hope for the new year. Don't rush to get it all done, enjoy starting your new journal, and have fun!

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TheNubian Review
TheNubian Review
Dec 18, 2020

Loved the bujo set up and would love to support your work. Is there anyway I can support your work without having to subscribe to other social media outlets?


Alice Andreotti
Alice Andreotti
Dec 14, 2020

Hi Shayda! I love your art and your videos are so useful! Which tombow brush pens did you use for this project? Do you know the code numbers? Thank you!

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