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My 2016 Planner Setup

It’s a big thing setting up a new years planning system. It took me a good 2 months to really decide what I wanted to do and even now I’m tweaking it!

I wanted to share my 2016 setup with you all so you can see what I’m using my various planners for – there may seem like a lot but it’s just what works for me – it might also give you some ideas or help you decide on what you need!

WARNING – this is a LONG post with lots of pictures, text and links so I’d suggest reading this one when your snuggled up in bed or if you’ve got your feet up with a cup of tea!

1 | Bullet Journal

Nuuna Notebook – Large (Amazon UK & Amazon US)

For my everyday planning and bullet journaling, I use my Nuuna notebook. This is the same method and notebook that I used last year, but I’ve refined what collections and spreads I need to have to make me more productive. I love the bullet journal method because its flexible enough for me to be able to add collections when they come to mind, but it’s also rigid enough through the use of the monthly overview and future log that I can plan ahead.

Here’s what I’ve got so far!


My index is the same as my old notebook bar the fact I’ve allowed a few more pages at the front and I’ve also reduced the size of my writing to hopefully fit more on one page.

Word of the Year

So, I heard about having a word for the year from the Facebook Bullet Journal Junkies group. I don’t know a whole lot about the idea behind it, but I liked the thought of having a word which represented everything I am trying to attain this year. I feel that it’s a nice motivation and it will also help me re-centre myself onto the right path when I’m in need of doing so!

Year at a Glance

This idea has really been brought to life by all the wonderful bullet journalists out there. Its a simple idea but it’s so helpful and has been decorated to make it much more. I just keep mine a simple as the rest of my planner and have the whole year over two pages.

In the next few days I might go through and circle dates for pay days and birthdays/anniversaries but even if I don’t, it’s a helpful thing to have at the front of my journal should I need it.

Future Log (Personal and Work)

One of the things I learnt last year was that I didn’t have anywhere to put my future work tasks. I knew I didn’t want to merge my personal future log with work dates, so this year I’ve made two future logs – one for personal, the other for work. Now I can add meetings, events and annual leave to the work log without worrying about messing the two up!

My personal future log has stayed the same and already has some sticky notes popped in there – it’ll fill up in the coming months but potentially changeable information always gets put on a sticky note until I’m sure!


Snowball Method

We’re taking a grown up step this year are we’re using the debt snowball method to pay off some big debts we’ve accrued. This is the same layout as my future log, but I’m just going to put the payment amounts and dates in here as and when I get them. This is pretty bare at the moment because we’re starting it at the end of this month!

Debt Tracker & House Savings

This links to the Snowball Method above. Every time we pay money off a debt, I want to track it and have a visual way of seeing how well we’re doing. I’ve drawn up three of our debts (as I’m most likely to finish this notebook before we’ll be able to pay off the others  – these three should be paid off though!) and when we pay money off them, I’ll fill in a section.

We’re also being double ambitious and we’re trying to save for a mortgage at the same time – I know how crazy and counterintuitive this sounds but we have a grand plan, just trust me! For this I’ve just drawn up a bar with the amount we need to save and just like the debt tracker, I’ll mark off sections as we save up!

50 Goals in 10 Years

I’ve seen lots of versions of this around and although I loved the idea, I tried and tried but I couldn’t think of 100 things I realistically thought I could achieve in 10 years so I just made a few changes and its now my 50 goals in 10 years! I think this number is more doable and I’m more likely to not get too overwhelmed at the amount I haven’t managed to complete when I look at it.

I haven’t quite finished adding all 50 goals in yet, but I’m getting there. I wanted to sit down with my partner and come up with a few joint ones we could both work towards!


Monthly Brain Sweep

This ones a new one for me. I’ve just started really getting into the GTD system and have realised how useful it is to have in place so it made sense to incorporate this into my bullet journal. I do have a separate planner with a more in-depth GTD system but for my bullet journal I’ve added a monthly brain sweep.

One thing I struggled with was moving tasks from a separate brain sweep list to my bullet journal as they would be in two different places. Now that I’ve put the brain sweep into my bullet journal, I can refer to this as the weeks go by and pull tasks off it to add to my month/week/daily to-do lists – it’s much simpler!

Month To-Do, Debt Snowball & Habit Tracker

This is the same as last years setup except for the addition of the debt snowball section. At the top are tasks to get completed this month e.g. pulled from the brain sweep, then below this is the debt snowball section. The debt snowball section just allows me to see the payments coming in and due to go out at a glance – it just saves me having to flick to the front of the book when I don’t need all of the nitty gritty information thats kept at the front.

The habit tracker is another keeper from last year! It’s nice to see the progress as the month progresses and I can easily add or remove any trackers, should I want too.

Work Month To-Do & Blog Schedule

This is another keeper and it does what it says on the tin! it’s to track my work to-do tasks and also track the blog schedule!

Monthly Memories & Monthly Gratitude

This spread is another one I’ve taken from the other fabulous bullet journalists. I’d like to use my journals as a way to remember nice and even not so nice events which happen in my life and one of the great ways I saw to do this, was by a memories page. I don’t intend on doing pages of memories or making fancy drawings, but even if it’s a few lines of what happened this month, it’ll be a nice capture!

The monthly gratitude is something that I’ve been trying to get in for a while. I was doing my thankful for pages but I never kept them up, so I’m hoping with this page right at the front of a month, it will give me some incentive to actually write down and appreciate the things that have happened.


My weeklies are more or less the same as last year. I keep the weeks dates on the top of the page then my must do tasks for that week e.g. birthday cards/presents, time related tasks. I then have my meal plan for the week. My meal plan keeps me organised by allowing me to base my grocery list of of this. It also makes sure that I use the food we have left in the cupboards and fridge so we don’t waste anything!

For my weekly tasks, I’ll pull tasks from the monthly to-do, and monthly brain sweep to make sure I’m slowly but surely working through them.


My daily pages have remained the same. I have my date at the top, my steps to the left and water tracker just below this. I then have my personal tasks followed by a header to denote my work tasks.

This layout just works for me. It allows me to optimise the space I have and should I need any more room for work tasks, I can always move the work header up. At some point I would like to start getting creative with my headers and the writing style but I like it for now and as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

 And that’s it for my bullet journal for now!

2 | EDC (Every Day Carry)

Chic Sparrow Creme Brulee – Field Notes Deluxe

My next planning tool that I’ll be using this year is my beautiful Chic Sparrow, Creme Brulee Field Notes Travellers Notebook. It’s such a beautifully made thing, which STILL smells amazing after owning it a goof few months!

I keep this beauty in my handbag as its the perfect size to just pull out, jot some notes down and then thrown back in. It doesn’t weigh my bag down and I can keep as many or as few inserts in it as I want. The inserts in there at the moment are a Leuchtturm1917 Dot Grid in A6 (I think!?), a field notes gridded notebook and a contacts notebook from Travelers Times. Theres also a kraft folder, for the passport sized Midori, which I sometimes put receipts in.

3 | Journaling

Chic Sparrow Creme Brulee – Extra Wide

Journaling is a whole new ball park to me but as I mentioned previously, I love keeping memories and having something to look back on. I think it would be interesting to see how my answers to journaling questions would change over the years!

I’m using the Journaling Sage prompts which are really nice and simple, but quite thought provoking. I feel that with these questions you could keep it to top level stuff or you could delve deep with them – it’s nice to have the option to do either.

My notebook of choice for this one is my extra wide Chic Sparrow in Creme Brulee. Again, it’s another beautiful piece of leather and work from the team at Chic Sparrow. The A5 size is nice because it give me the room to write a lot or write big, or even add images. I have 6 notebooks in this because I like to keep this notebook chunky – it just looks nice when it’s well padded out.

3 | Home & Wedding Planning

Midori – Regular (Amazon UK & Amazon US)

The Midori was the first travellers notebook I got and I love it very dearly. It’s got some scuffs and scrapes on it, but I think it adds to its wonderful charm!

I keep two things in this notebook, my home planning and my wedding planning. As you’ve seen we’re saving for a mortgage for our first house and I wanted a notebook to jot all the deals we see, quotes were offered, houses we like the look of etc. It’s pretty free hand on the inside so whenever I get a thought or see anything, it can go anywhere in the notebook! I jazzed it up a bit by writing the notebooks purpose on a project life card and paper clipping it to the front – I think it made it look cute and even if I finish the notebook, I can move the card over!

The second notebook is for wedding planning. This is a VERY slow burner as house savings come first, so really this is my dreams and desires notebook! One day I’ll get to properly use this section, but for now, it has some rough jot downs of venues, guests and potential food ideas! Again, I use a project life card to note its purpose, I’m just yet to go over it in pen!

5 | GTD (Getting Things Done) System & Debt Snowball

Filofax Lockwood Organiser – A5 (Amazon UK)

This is a new LOVE. As me and my sister grew up, our mum would always have a Filofax so it just seemed natural to get one too but I had so many issues with delivery and missing parcels that I really had to fight to get this Filofax to me! But it’s here and it really is something else!

It’s the Lockwood A5 Filofax in Cognac Leather – it smells lovely and looks great too. Its nice and firm and the rings aren’t too big so it doesn’t make it too much of an issue to carry around.

The setup in here is a modded idea from two wonderful YouTube sensations, Alexis aka MissTrenchcoat and Rachel Dunaway. Their videos were so helpful in me deciding what I wanted from my GTD system and the best way to get it – I think I’ve watched each video about 10 times.

Again, this isn’t fully setup yet  because I only got it yesterday and I’m waiting on my monthly calendars to be sent and then it will be ready! Despite that, I’ll give you a quick tour now!

I have 4 top tabs and 12 month tabs. The 4 top tabs are for inbox/action list, calendar, yearly and debt snowball. The 12 monthly tabs, of course, sit behind the calendar tab. Each month has a divider, a top envelope folder and will have the corresponding months overview with important dates written in.

The inbox/action list has a top open envelope and some note paper so I can easily pop things into this or even jot things down. The yearly section has a 2016 and 2017 yearly Filofax calendar which allow me to see any big things coming up which aren’t in their designated monthly spot.

Finally, the debt snowball holds our debt payment plan, savings plan and also has a credit card holder in the back with our two debit cards for payments and savings – they’re kept safe and secure all together this way.

6 | Accessories

Finally, my go to accessories this year are the following:

Faber Castell Pencils (Amazon UK & Amazon US)

Maped Ruler (Amazon UK & Amazon US)

Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (Amazon UK & Amazon US)

Sticky Tags (Paperchase)

I have shown all of these before in other blog posts so be sure to go check them out, but I mainly use simple items like the pencil and the kraft sticky tags. The fineliners are for pops of colour in my journal – and just because they’re so pretty!

Well thats it, thats the end of this LONG blog post and my 2016 planner setup. I’m going to do an in-depth GTD system setup, but if you’d like to see any of the others close up, then just let me know!

See you soon!


*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive some pocket-money (at no cost to yourself) if you purchase something through the links provided. I only ever post a link to a product that I use myself and would recommend!



  1. Steph, the leather goods are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I will be referring back to your post from time to time to try things out. Have a wonderful year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • steffflou

      They are aren’t they! I’m so glad it can be of help to you – I hope you have a great year too! 🙂


  2. Hello!!!

    I am new to your blog, found you via a Facebook group. I love Travelers Notebooks and I think they are amazing! I have several of my own. I really wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your Bullet Journal! I love how you have it set up and organized!! I wish I had come up with something like that myself.

    Love, Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Show & Tell Series: 01 | Bullet Journal | sosteffso

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