How to Make a Year in Pixels Bullet Journal Spread
Olivia Groves •
If you’ve dabbled in the bullet journaling world, you’ve probably seen a mood tracker page. Mood trackers are a widely-adopted BuJo spread idea for tracking your emotions, feelings and moods day-by-day. Most mood trackers are set up on a monthly basis. But a pixels bullet journal page is different.
The perk of any journaling is that you can do it however you want! This is how the new idea of the “year in pixel” pages was born.
A Year in Pixels: What is it & Why do it
Camille is a French bullet journaler and official community manager for the BuJo brand. She shares how she created the idea of a year in pixel to track a higher-level mood by day for an entire year.
Her approach isn’t as detailed or varied as some of the monthly mood tracker spreads you may have seen. Instead she says she perceives the mood of the entire day based on the collection of what happened and how it made her feel.
A completed Year In Pixels from Camille’s BuJo spread. Source: Bulletjournal.com
The profundity of this approach is that by the time you’ve sat and reflected on your day, you’ve had to rank or weigh the significance of things that have happened. It forces you to pause. It cultivates mindfulness. And to actually evaluate if that thing that peeved you so badly this morning really outweighs the good of what happened the rest of the afternoon. In doing so, she says, you’ve potentially rewired your thinking. And had a moment of self-reflection and self-discovery even. And then, by assigning a mood to it, you’ve been able to roll up the day and can start fresh tomorrow.
For example - is the cup of coffee I spilled this morning getting out the door (that set my day off on a chaotic and frustrating note) more important than (1) the fun lunch I shared with coworkers, (2) the meaningful conversation with a friend on the phone, and (3) an evening spent with my dog watching a great movie? No, probably not.
Pausing to reflect on the day (which may have felt more frustrating than it actually was) ends up being a super helpful exercise. This is the hidden value of the year in pixels exercise, in our opinion!
How to Create a Year in Pixels Bullet Journal Page
So if we’ve convinced you to try a year in pixels, then you’re probably wondering how exactly to go about it. Since it’s a year-long mood tracker represented by daily pixels, it’s actually quite simple and easy to create and use. Plus it doesn’t take up much space.
Essential year in pixel page elements and orientation
To get started with your year in pixels, there are just a few guidelines to follow. Here are the key elements:
- 12 columns = each column is a month of the year
- 28-31 rows = each row for the day of the month
- Color-coded mood key = representing the good, the meh!, and the bad
If you want to orient your grid the other way (columns are days of the week, and rows are months of the year), that’s fine! You can design it to fit your preferences perfectly. Other than the above bulleted essential pieces of information, you can structure your year in pixel spread however you like.
The overall shape of a year in pixel bullet journal pages ends up looking like a grid or a high-level calendar. Each pixel or box represents each day of the year. Once you’ve decided on how many moods you’re going to have in your color key, you can begin filling or coloring in each box every day.
The year in pixels is the ultimate mood tracker. Once complete, it gives you a yearly analysis based log of your moods and feelings. And you don’t have to start January 1st. Start today, whenever you want, and begin your journey.
Adding year in pixels page doodles and a theme
On the page where you create your year in pixels spread, you can add a theme or some additional details for a quote. This is going to be a spread you keep adding to for an entire year, so adding doodles, colors, theme elements that uplift and encourage you are a good idea. “Just remember: even your worst day is only 24 hours long” is just one example of a quote that can help you reframe a tough day. We’ll include more theme examples in our list down below!
Over the course of the year, the boxes will begin to fill up with color. And depending on how you oriented your spread, you’ll be able to complete a month and reflect on that individual month of moods.
- Was it a good month?
- Was it a tough or challenging month?
- Why did I have a certain amount of bad days or good days?
- What events influenced the way this month looks color-wise?
These are questions you can ask yourself at the beginning of each month. Use these questions as your very own journaling prompts for self-discovery and reflection. Another way to look at it, the year in pixels chart is basically a daily life log with data about your entire year - it can be used for mental health checks, journaling, and even habit formation for the year ahead.
13 Great Year in Pixel Page Examples
There are lots of pixel template ideas out there. A quick #yearinpixels Instagram hashtag check shows hundreds of results. Some of these year in pixels bullet journal pages may give you some ideas when it comes to designing your own spread
Example #1 - A year in pixels page that uses a horizontal orientation on a two-page spread.
Example #2 - A minimalist bullet journal with a year in pixels page.
Example #3 - If you can’t land on a single mood for a day, consider splitting the pixel in half and coloring in two moods.
Example #4 - If an outlined box for each pixel feels busy or visually chaotic, you can draw boxes for each week and then eyeball or free-hand individual pixels.
Example #5 - Another great example of how to split days into two moods if you need to!
Example #6 - A spread that keeps it simple and sticks with an overall pink/purple mood theme.
Example # 7 - This spread tallies up the total number of each mood experienced throughout the year. This is a great way to get an idea of how many days you felt certain ways!
Example #8 - If you’re someone that doesn’t love bright colors, then opt for pastels like this example! You don’t have to use a rainbow variation of color to create a year in pixel spread.
Example #9 - This example breaks apart the months into their own little calendars.
Example #10 - A beautiful spread with washi tape, stickers and colorful elements!
Example #11 - You can put your Year in Pixel page next to your yearly goals or intentions.
Example #12 - Try tracking other things like your cycle or sickness by adding symbols to your pixels.
Example #13 - A larger spread means bigger boxes. And they don't have to be square. These rectangular pixels are giving us all the mod brown vibes!
Let us know if you liked these ideas and what inspired you to add to your own year in pixels bullet journal page. Comment below!
Get Started with the Right Year in Pixels Supplies
Before you dive in, you’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to make the ultimate year in pixels spread. We’ve listed our favorite notebook, pens and colorful brush pens to get you started. Plus we’ve linked to our current favorite shop for washi tape and stickers to add doodles and page embellishments.
Our favorite BuJo notebook for year in pixels: Rhodia A5 Webnotebook (Amazon)
Best colorful brush pens: Tombow TwinTone Marker Set (Amazon)
Transparent rulers: Set of 4 (Amazon)
Our favorite fine tip black pens: Sakura Micron (Amazon)
Best stickers & washi tape: Kawaii Pen Shop
For more bullet journaling and other journaling tips and resources like...
Check out the Silk+Sonder blog!