I’ve been bullet journaling for over three years now, and have gone through waves of sticking to it for everything, and then not using it at all. Like many others, I’ve fallen in love with how I can keep everything in one space, how I’m not confined to a specific layout, and most of all, how it allows me to use my creative juices while staying productive and organized. Over the years, I’ve amassed a hoard of supplies – washi tapes, blank notebooks that I’ve purchased “for next year”, brush pens, markers, stickers, stamps… you name it. With the pandemic, and not being able to leave my house aside from going to the grocery store, I’ve found my motivation to bullet journal has waned significantly. After all, there’s only so many things I can keep track of there. I’m pretty known for being incredibly Type A, and for my love of organizational methods. Since I’m trying some new ways of keeping track of my reading journey in 2021, I figured I’d share them with you! This post gets a little lengthy, so grab yourself a cup of tea (or whatever warm beverage you’d like), and settle in!
Early on in the pandemic, I was introduced to notion, which has quickly become one of my favorite organizational tools. It’s become my digital bullet journal of sorts; a place where I can have separate “hubs” and dashboards, where I can easily keep track of things that I wouldn’t necessarily have time to on paper.
One of my favorite things about Notion is how accessible it is — In addition to having the app downloaded on my laptop, I also have the iPhone app installed, and can access it anywhere by going to https://www.notion.so/ and logging in. I figured I’d show a couple of my notion pages here with you today!
This is the first part of my homepage! As you can see, I’ve gone with a pink theme for my homepage, and used one of my favorite quotes from Red, White & Royal Blue – sharper head, wilder heart. I also wrote out my 2021 goals, but I’ve covered it up for this photo!
This is the second part of my homepage, where you can see my calendar, links to my other pages, my to do list, and notes! Again, I’ve put boxes over some of my links, my to do & notes, but you get the gist of what this is supposed to represent!
In a similar style to my homepage, the first part of my teatimelit page is also set up with one of my favorite quotes (this one is from Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea), and then my 2021 reading goals. I’ll get into my reading goals more a little later.
As you can see below, I’m using the calendar to notate all my planned blog posts for this month, when I’m hoping to start a certain book, as well as what I’m buddy reading. On the left, I’ve got my TBR list for the month – which will probably change over the course of this month, as well as my anticipated releases, what blog posts I’m planning on writing, my to do list for all things teatimelit related, and links to other pages. While I won’t share screenshots of all my other pages, I do have a page to keep track of the 2021 ARCs I’ve requested and those that I’ve received, what books I’ve preordered, as well as a separate page for teatimereads! One of my favorite things about having my TBR on Notion, instead of writing it down is that I can freely move it from month to month, and adjust it based on how I’m feeling!
The headers (“2021 reads”, “reading goals”, “2021 goals”, “to do”, “notes”, “professional”, and “personal”) were made using codes from this page .
This is also my first year of doing a reading journal! I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I should do one for a while, but finally decided to do it this year, thanks to the lovely Quinn @pagesofquinn! Quinn wrote a really lovely post on her 2021 Reading Journal Set-Up, which I highly recommend to anyone who is considering starting one! Since I had another Archer & Olive journal lying around, I decided to use it for my reading journal. The one I’m using is the Floral Details Dot Grid notebook in A5! I’ve been a big fan of Archer & Olive journals for ages, especially since they have a wonderful GSM, and they’re vegan with eco-friendly packaging!
I decided to go with a more simple, minimalistic approach to my reading journal, as my bullet journal (which I’m hoping to pick back up) tends to be a little more busy! For my cover page, I used some alphabet stamps of mine to stamp out “we are the / we are all / and / 2021” and then wrote “stars”, “stardust” and “stories”. The quote is from The Starless Sea, which is a book I associate deeply with reading.
Some of my favorite things to use to decorate bullet journals include washi tapes, stickers, and paint chips! As you can see, I’ve used a lot of those here. When teatimelit was first starting out, I made Caitlyn, Mary and myself matching stickers — the teatimelit banner with our names on them — as you can see, I’ve decided to place mine in my reading journal! On the other side, we have my grid spacing guide, which I like to put in every bullet journal. I just find it really handy to be able to go back and refer back to it!
For my next spread, I wrote out my reading goals, as well as my growth tracker. My reading goals this year were:
- Read at least two non-fiction books a month: While I really enjoy reading non-fiction, I haven’t really been doing that as much lately! I’m hoping to get back to that in 2021, and read some of the non-fiction books that have been sitting here on my shelf for ages!
- Read at least one book a month related to WIP research: Will 2021 finally be the year that I start working on my WIP? Who knows! But at least I’ll be getting closer to writing by doing some research for it!
- Read at least one book from your physical TBR a month: Like most other readers, I’m sure, I have a habit of buying books and then … not getting around to reading them! Well, in 2021, I’m hoping to break that habit a little and read at least one book from my physical TBR a month!
- Read over 100 books: I read 170 books in 2020, even though my original goal was 75! I don’t think I would’ve reached 170 books in 2020 if it wasn’t for the pandemic, and my inability to get enough sleep, and if we’re being realistic, I don’t see either of those things stopping anytime soon! Still, I’ve decided to set my goal at 100, especially given how one of the books I’m planning on (re)reading is Les Miserables.
- Read a book you’ve been putting off each month: Sometimes I feel like I’m simply buried under piles and piles of books — there’s my TBR, the ARCs that I’ve got, new releases, books I want to reread… Don’t get me wrong! I’m absolutely excited for all of them, but I’ve realized that with new releases, rereads and ARCs, I haven’t been reading books off of my TBR pile as much and I’m hoping to actively work towards knocking some of that off this year!
- Declutter/unhaul shelves every three months: As I continue to read books on my TBR, I’m hoping to also declutter my shelves so I’m really only keeping books that I love on my shelf! I did a big unhaul session in December to start my year off, and I’m excited to see what my shelves look like come December 2021. For now, all the books I’ve decluttered will hang tight in the garage until post-pandemic times, when it’s safe to donate books again!
- Remain above 80% on Netgalley each month: I’m incredibly competitive, and ever since I saw the “Suggested feedback ratio is 80%” on NetGalley, I’ve made it my own personal mission to remain above 80% each month. We’ll see how this goes, but I’m confident that I can do it! I’m hoping that this discourages me from mass requesting ARCs like I did when I first started using NetGalley, and will also prevent me from being overwhelmed with the amount of ARCs I have to read (again, like what happened after I mass requested ARCs on NetGalley). I’m starting 2021 with a NetGalley ratio of 84%!
On the right side, we have my growth tracker, where I’ll be tracking my follower counts on Instagram, as well as some statistics for the blog! Pretty self-explanatory stuff!
We’ve finally reached my January spread! I’ve decided to go with this winter-y, almost The Starless Sea vibe! While I don’t plan on rereading The Starless Sea this month, I absolutely love the aesthetic of it, and I think it’ll be really fun for my January theme to be something magical and mystical!
Next, we have my Days Read spread, which is only a calendar right now! I plan on marking down what I’ve read, and how much of it I’ve read each day, and I have different colors for physical books, ebooks, ARCs, and audiobooks! On the right is my bookshelf, where i’ll be tracking all the books I’ve read in January. Check back in on the 31st for our monthly wrap-up and to see what I’ve read!
As of right now, my last January spread is my spread for the Among Us readathon! I’ll be playing as a Pink Crewmate! You can find more information on their twitter page, @readamongus! I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy (December of last year was an exception), so I’ve loaded this entire readathon with fantasy books! In theory, I’ll be reading Shadow of the Fox, The Bird King, The Gilded Ones (an ARC), and These Violent Delights (since I have to read it for teatimereads anyways)! And yes, I’m aware that Shadow of the Fox is a series — Ideally, I’ll be reading all three books for the readathon (shoutout to Cindy, who has been telling me to read it forever) but if I don’t get to finishing the entire series in January, I’ll be reading enough other things in January that can count for that first task!
How do you keep track of what you’ve been reading? Do you also use a reading journal? Let me know in the comments below!