When Do I Finish One Volume And Start Another?

I’ve been using the bullet journal system for almost 3 years now and I’m putting an average of about 3 months into each volume. I like starting a new volume at the first of the month, so there are some volumes with blank pages at the end and one with a LOT of blank pages because I really wanted to start a new volume on January 1st of the new year.

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In a perfect world? I get within 10 pages of finishing one volume before starting another, but that rarely (never?) happens. I do spend too much time thinking about it, though. I’m constantly trying to decide which is worse: Start a new volume with too many extra pages at the end of the last one, or NOT HAVING ENOUGH PAGES TO FINISH A MONTH OUT. I have no idea why I’m compulsive about that, but the idea of being on – let’s say – August 20th and being on the LAST PAGE of my volume makes me TERRIFIED.

So, I always err on the side of caution and go with “too many blank pages in the previous volume” as the scenario I can handle the most.

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But! This volume and this month is going to be weird and maybe hitting that perfect sweet spot. I have about 90 pages left in the volume (there are approx 250 pages in a Leuchtturm1917) and we have a month and a half left to go. Previously I averaged 3 months a volume and that’s about 120 pages a month, so logic would say: NO WAY! Not Enough Room! START A NEW VOLUME!

HOWEVER, This is the volume where I switched from doing daily pages to 2-page weekly spreads, so I’m not using as many pages per month. So! I really think 90 pages is enough to get me through August. 4 months in a volume would be about 80 pages a month and I think I can do that and not run out. And at this point, I feel like that’s a better option than putting this volume on the shelf with 60+ blank pages at the end.

SO! As I gear up to start my August spread (I usually start in the middle of the previous month) I take a gamble and bank on this new 2-page weekly spread method giving me plenty of room to finish out August in this volume. Which would actually be perfect because August is my Bullet Journal Birthday month! September would be the start of YEAR FOUR of the bullet journal. [Sidenote: How I deal with planning future dates/months can be seen here.]

Let’s do it.

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What about you? How many months do you fit in a volume? Do you have the compulsive need to start a new volume on the first day of the month like I do or can you be casual and just start when you finish the previous volume?

Tools I Use:
Notebook: Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Hardcover Dotted
Cover: Custom cover with trail marker from my favorite local race. Made by Makers South
Pens: Currently loving the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pens, Fine Point


    Social(ly Awkward):

15 thoughts on “When Do I Finish One Volume And Start Another?

  • July 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm
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    I have that same exact fear! I’m almost counting pages and trying to estimate how many I’ll need. Ahh, the bujo life. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • July 20, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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    I’ve totally counted out my remaining pages and know how many misc pages (in addition to my weekly ones) I have until the end of August so I can finish and then start a new book on September 1st. The thought of having one entire month in one place makes my heart happy.

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    • July 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm
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      I have a “vague” count in my head and might be planning extra pages as filler ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • July 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm
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    My comment does not have to do with this post. I am wondering how working people use the bullet journal concept? I am having a difficult time adapting.

    Thank you.

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    • July 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm
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      My husband has a bullet journal for work he keeps on his desk and uses it for nothing else. Indexes project pages, has daily task lists etc. My job is not as “wide scope” it’s more “daily tasks” type stuff so I just put my work tasks on my daily pages and index pages with meeting notes and such. Does that make sense?

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    • July 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm
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      The Bullet Journal that I carry around in my purse is for personal things only. If I have a random thought about work things in the off hours, I’ll put it in my ‘notes’ section and migrate it when I get to work the next day (or Monday). At work, I have a OneNote file set up BuJo style with all my working tasks and check boxes. Every day, I’ll set up a “to do today” page, pulling in all of the day’s deadlines, migrating undone tasks and if it’s a light day, pulling tasks from a brain dump collection of “when I get time”. We are required to use the shared Outlook calendar for appointments, and vacation days, so time blocked items for work live there.

      Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    I must finish out a month, but i also don’t like blank pages. I will doodle, tape in coloring pages, & my favorite…I journal one final time reflecting on my time in the old journal before moving on to my new one.

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    • July 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm
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      OH! The “one final journal” idea is PERFECT. I love it!

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  • July 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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    Thank you so much for the reply. I believe I am overthinking and what you said about your husband makes perfect sense. Much appreciative.

    Judy

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  • July 23, 2016 at 5:48 pm
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    I am one that will just use it till it finished, write the date from and to on the cover and start a new one. My journal is a hot mess, to be honest. The tidiest pages are the printable calendars you designed. The rest, daily pages that are a hodge podge of to do lists, appointments, bills to pay, notes I’ve jotted down. My pages look like they were in a major battle and came out beaten and scarred. People that haven seen say it scares them because it’s a clue to what goes on in my mind. Clearly, I’m not an orderly and structured person. I try to be, but yeah, it never happens. I’ve given up on having one of the pretty journals you see on instagram or pinterest. Mine will be the weary looking one with the ragged edges. That said, I wouldn’t part with it, for without it, I would be lost and confused. (let’s not talk about the popcorn designed duct tape over the seam)

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  • July 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm
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    Holy cow, I only average about 20-22 pages per month (4 pp/day) and that includes a 2 page monthly spread. Only use for personal, not work. Usually I get two days on a page – probably because though I do pretty it up a bit with some hand lettering, I don’t do fancy doodles, mandalas, etc. I love that stuff but it’s very time consuming. But I am already thinking I can finish out August with my current journal (my first, I started in January so that’s 8 months – plus a few extra pages for different lists, etc.) with just a few blanks at the end – which bugs me just a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s an A5 size with grid lines I got at Office Max for less than $10 and it’s been great. But I was suffering mild BUJO envy and am starting with my new same size dot grid Leuchtturm 1917 on Sept 1. Looking forward to NOT numbering my pages by hand.

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    • July 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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      Sorry that should have read 2 DAYS per PAGE ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • August 29, 2016 at 4:05 am
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    So I just started mine, and I can tell I’ll probably run out of room in December. But I really want to start 2017 in a new book! What to doooooo?????

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  • August 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm
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    I am in a dilemma, I went and stocked up on Leuchtturm 1917’s because there were on sale for 30% off. And I love the army green one I am in right now, and I have half a journal to go through still…. But now I am obsessed over my new navy one. How to I stop myself from wasting half a journal and going into my new one. Also my army green that I am currently in is lined I thought I would switch it up and see how it works for me…. I hate it. I like to doodle in my journal and everything is not centered in this book and it drives me nuts, and my navy one is dotted (my tried and true)… should I just bite the bullet and go back to what I like?

    Reply

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