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How To Signify Time Away From Your Bullet Journal So You Can Get Started Again

by Content Team 14 Jul 2022 1 comment

Sometimes life happens and we just don’t get into our journals as much as we’d like to. Sometimes life REALLY happens, and we end up taking a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months off from journaling. Whatever the reason for taking time off, when it comes to getting back into journaling, a lot of people aren’t too sure approach the time they’ve missed. If you’re ready to get back into it though, and want something special to mark your time away, that’s what we’re looking at today!

unfinished gratitude spread

Getting back into it

Hi team! Jess or JashiiCorrin from YouTube / Instagram here talking about ways to signify time away from your journal. While I have another blog post about how to keep up with your journal (which you can read here) sometimes it just happens that we go a period of time without using our journals.

While it’s totally fine to just jump back in where you left off, turn to the next available page and set up for the month ahead, what can also be nice is to commemorate your time away with something a bit more fun.

spread saying welcome back


Supplies From Your Bullet Journal

Each of the examples that we discuss below can be set up just using your Archer and Olive notebook and pens of choice. Remember you can use my code JASHIICORRIN10 for 10% off your orders at Archer and Olive!


Several months later

The time cards used in SpongeBob SquarePants make for a fun and creative way to denote the passing of time since you last used your journal. These are used in the show to represent how much time has passed within an episode, with a wide range of different text and background combinations (a comprehensive list can be found here). To make a page like this in your journal, all you need to do is select a background pattern (whether that be one similar to the show or otherwise), and pair this with a caption that describes how much time you’ve taken off.

several months later spread


It’s been 84 years…

Honestly, I pretty much quote this on a weekly basis, but another fun way to signify time away from your journal is with this line from the Titanic movie. You can keep it as “84 years”, or change it to whatever time period you’ve spent away with your journal, and either use Rose’s face or anyone else’s.

it’s been 84 years spread


Error 404: Month not found

Error 404 is the one you get when a webpage or a file can’t be found. Maybe this is the case for a period of time in your journal! In making an Error 404 page, you can style this to be similar to the error box that would come up on a computer, or just use the text itself. The example we have below is from Hayley of @hayleyremdeart on Instagram; a super visually effective way to signify time off!

error 404 month not found spread

If you were looking to set up pages in your journal similar to the ones described so far, but wanted a quicker and easier way to do it, be sure to check out the printables we have below!

free bullet journal spread printables


The case of the missing month

A page styled in the form of a “missing month” poster is another fun way that you can commemorate the time you’ve spent away from your journal. The information you include on this one is totally up to you, but some common elements would be things like:

  • A full name (for the month)
  • A date of birth (the date you stopped using your journal)
  • Where it went missing from (your journal), and
  • A picture of the missing month

missing month poster spread

The setup of this one and our next layout idea are featured in the video that accompanies this blog post. Be sure to check out how I set these up if you wanted to recreate them!


Monthly mystery

Another cool idea for commemorating missed time in your journal is setting up a crime scene style page. This would also just make a great monthly theme in general, but you can make use of blackout paper and a white gel pen to draw an outline of your journal and label it with the missing month. I’ve also added some caution washi tape to mimic crime scene tape.

monthly crime scene spread


Where I’ve been

Rather than making a decorative page to commemorate your time away from your journal, it might be more suitable to do some journaling to explain where you’ve been. This can be helpful for any instances where you’re looking back on your journals in future and wondering why a span of time is missing. I’ve done similar things when, rather than missing a full month, I’ve neglected a particular spread or tracker. Rather than letting myself look back with guilt towards not using the pages I set up, I give my future-self some brief explanatory notes about why those pages didn’t get filled in


Welcome back, journal!

These are of course just some ideas for how you can signify time away from your journal, and we’d love to see any of the ways you’ve done this! Feel free to tag both @archerandolive and @jashiicorrin on social media to share your ideas; we can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

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1 comment

22 Aug 2022 Jamie-Lynn

Such great ideas! Saving this post!

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