Spring is in Full Swing
April is on its way out the door and we are fast approaching the halfway point of the year. Isn’t it exciting? Winter is over and spring is fully here. May brings the promise of warmth, flowers, and the ability to step outside without a jacket. I always get a huge blast of inspiration and excitement during this change in the weather as I begin planning all the fun stuff I want to do. So what better way to channel that energy than with a fresh May bullet journal setup? Here you can see my most recent May setup as well as all of the past May bullet journal layouts I can dig up. It’s always interesting to see the progression of my style and form over several years, and monthly setups are the perfect way to take a peek at my growth.
May Bullet Journal – 2019
For the first time in a while, I finally feel like I am ready for the new month before it arrives. It’s been a rough few months of feeling lost, disoriented, and out of whack with my work. But the end of April has found me on top of my work, feeling like I’m being proactive instead of reactive. And part of what I’m doing to keep on top of my work is stepping back from my over-the-top spreads and going for something a bit more simple. For a while, I’ve felt like I needed to make my monthly setups exciting pieces of art in the need to top the previous month. I’ve felt a lot of pressure to be amazing with each spread.
With my May bullet journal setup, I let myself go a bit more simple. I used only a few pens, two colors, and a bit of minimalist artwork to pull the whole thing together. And despite not pulling out all the stops with this spread, I still think it looks pretty great.
- Leuchtturm1917 Journal
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen 1,5
- Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 03
- Sennelier Watercolors
- Grumbacher Paintbrush Round 4
The Complete Setup
May is going to bring some exciting new decisions for a huge change coming in June (watch the video to see what I’m talking about!) and I’m optimistic about what’s next. I feel clear, focused, and ready to tackle my goals and make this May a fantastic kickoff for one of the most challenging summers of my life. It’s all about planning ahead, and I am confident that my May bullet journal setup will help me conquer obstacles and be ready for what the future may hold.
May Bullet Journal – 2018
May is an exciting month because my husband Jon is finally graduating from law school! After three long, tough years, that rock star of a man is walking away with a law degree. He’ll have to take the Bar exam later this summer, of course, so he’s not entirely done. But he’s hitting a huge milestone by wrapping up law school! I’m so freaking proud of him. Besides my hubby’s achievements, May marks an achievement for me, too. I started my watercolor planner way back in October of 2017 (remember A Month in Color?). Now, after many months of working with this strange and sometimes tricky new planner, I have wrapped up my first full planner! April marked my final month, and I get to crack open a fresh new journal for my May Monthly Set Up.
- Moleskine Watercolor Album
- Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors
- Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens
- Tombow Mono Drawing Pens
- Darice Heat Tool
- Pink Masking Tape
- Westcott Ruler
- X-Acto Knife
- Spray Bottle
- Rose Gold Stationery Set
My May Monthly Set Up
Are you subscribed to my Youtube channel yet? You really ought to! I post some content over there that never makes it onto my site. Head here to subscribe and see what fun videos I keep stashed over there 🙂
Splashing into May
As you can see from the video above, my May monthly set up was a watery wild ride! I used a simple and vibrant technique that relies on the unpredictability of water. I explain the process in more detail in the video, but it’s basically just inviting chaos onto the page to create this super cool effect. Anyone with a spray bottle can do this, no skill required! My only advice is to keep lots of paper towels on hand.
May Bullet Journal – 2017
Over the years, my file organization system has changed multiple times. Unfortunately, I used to be terrible at organizing my files. Due to my awful organizing decisions from years ago, I can’t find any of the original files for my 2017 May bullet journal! Not photos, videos — nothing. However, we’re not entirely out of luck! I did post on my Instagram with videos of my setup, so the setup survives somewhere. Here are a few videos of my May 2017 setup!
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I'm a few days late, but I had a lot of fun with this one! I've been doing lots of florals and leafy themes lately, so I thought I'd switch it up.⠀ ⠀ If you're curious about what materials I used or how this doesn't obliterate my journal, head to LittleCoffeeFox.com and search "Bullet Journal Watercolor Test" to see exactly how I do it!⠀ ⠀ #wearebujo #bulletjournal #showmeyourplanner #leuchtturm1917 #bulletjournaljunkies #bujo #bujojunkies #planwithme #planner #plannergirl #plannercommunity #watercolorillustration #brushlettering #brushpen #paintings #waterblog #modernmaker #flatlayforever #watercolour #simplycooldesign #watercolorpainting #watercolor #bulletjournalmonthlylog
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Here's the calendar page! Mixing the gold and blue paints together on the page created a really stunning effect – better than I imagined! ⠀ ⠀ #watercolorillustration #brushlettering #brushpen #paintings #waterblog #modernmaker #flatlayforever #watercolour #simplycooldesign #watercolorpainting #watercolor #wearebujo #bulletjournal #showmeyourplanner #leuchtturm1917 #bulletjournaljunkies #bujo #bujojunkies #planwithme #planner #plannergirl #plannercommunity #bulletjournalmonthlylog
May Bullet Journal – 2016
I have finally grown out of my Ecosystem journal and into a shiny new Leuchtturm 1917. Both are worthy journals, but I was feeling like trying something new and the Leuchtturm fit the bill. I am excited about trying a dot grid journal instead of a graph paper grid.
All My Pages
First, I set up my calendar. Some people like to use the more simple, list-like monthly calendars, but I prefer to see the traditional layout. I write out my goals to the right, where I can look at my long-term plans. I migrate anything over from April that didn’t get done and write it out here. Below that, I like to have a little thumbnail of the next month. It is nice to have a quick reference of what dates land on which weekdays, especially when planning appointments. For drawing out my calendar, I used my Micron pens. They are incredibly handy for all the thick and thin lines needed for my spread.
On the next page, I have my gratitude log, which has become a wonderful addition to my daily routine. I love being able to take a minute to be mindful each and every day for the blessings in my life. By the way, I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners to achieve this neat stippled look.
After my gratitude log, I have my habit tracker set up on the next page. In my old journal, I didn’t have enough room on one page to have the tracker and all the labels, so I used two pages. Now I can use one page in my Leuchtturm to capture it all! Of course, it wouldn’t be a new spread without a goof. I forgot to label the page! Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it. Silly me!
So that is how I set up my monthly spread. It’s nothing super fancy, but it helps keep me on track and grateful for all the little things in my life that I would otherwise forget. I want to be better at so many things, and this helps me move inch bit by bit towards my goals. It’s so satisfying closing out a month and seeing how I’ve grown, and hopefully these new additions to my monthly spreads will make me grow in completely new ways!
The month of May will always bring the same nostalgic excitement of the beginning of summer. No matter how many years go by, I can’t help but feel like a kid again. The smell of the air changes and you can feel yourself yearning for school to end for the semester so you can be released into sweet summer bliss. There is nothing quite like it. So no matter what your May brings, I hope you head into it with enthusiasm and excitement. Bask in the sun, smell some flowers, and enjoy the season that blossoms before us.