First, grab a journal and a pen (or pencil)
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, I promise. I'm using my favorite journal, my Leuchtturm1917, but you can use anything from printer paper to loose leaf to a composition book, or even one of the many unused journals that may have been gifted to you over the years. Any paper, as long as you can keep them together.
1. Set aside a couple of pages for your index
The index is a table of contents. It keeps up with everything in your Bullet Journal, so you don't have to. Nah, just kidding. This is where you list what you've put into your journal. If you have a journal with numbered pages, this is incredibly helpful. If not, you'll have to number them yourself, and it doesn't have to be a chore. When you start a new page, just jot the number down in the lower or upper corner, then, just put the name of your page into the Index.
Because I use my journal for planning, I make sure to leave the months open ended. Even though I may have collections interspersed throughout the month, I always count the monthly page through to the next monthly page.
2. Future Log
Save two full spreads for this section. Divide each of the four pages into three sections. In each section, write the name of a month. Whenever you start your journal will dictate the month you start with, don't focus too much on that. Because you're listing all twelve months, it's fine.
This is where you'll place the events you know are coming up this year. Finals in April? Put the dates and times in the April section. I personally like to have the monthly calendar just so I can have an easy reference for dates.
3. Monthly Planning
Take a blank page and run the numbers of the days of the week down one side. How you do this is really up to you. Some choose traditional calendar layouts, but I love the look of this simple page. It's basically the exact same that used in the original Bullet Journal tutorials.
What I do then is list the days of the week next to the numbered day of the month. My "R" is for "Thursday" (you can thank my college experience for this. My university used "R" for Thursday on class schedules and it just stuck.)
Then, I split the page in half. On one half, my day job scedule. On the other, my events and appointments that I've migrated from the future log.
4. Weekly Planning
You can set up your weekly spread however you want, there are plenty of ideas online, but this is what works for me. Similar to my monthly layout, I use the left-hand side of the spread for my weekly schedule. Far left column for work and what was in my schedule in advance, mid-left column for things I come across during the day and week that needs to get done.
The right-hand side is for tasks I decide I need to complete. It's all very simple and easy to read and it definitely suits my style. I stole the layout almost exactly from Kara Benz of Boho Berry.
Collections can be anything. A list of household chores, a Christmas shopping list, books you'd like to read, methods of coping with anxiety, literally everything that isn't part of your planning pages is considered a collection. I always make sure to list my collections in my index, just so I can find them easily in the future, when I've moved into a new notebook.