How To Start A Bullet Journal

Are you stressed by your schedule and struggling to stay organized?  Then a bullet journal may be just what you need!  The bullet journal, also called a “BuJo” for short, was created by Ryder Carroll and has become a huge help for people to take control of their lives.  As a beginner, it is easy for you to start a bullet journal to organize your work, home, hobbies, and any other areas that matter to you.  One journal can be used for everything!  Stay flexible and customize the journal to fit your unique needs. 

Starting a bullet journal will help you to be organized in every part of your life.  It will serve as your planner and your journal.  Having a bullet journal will reduce your stress and anxiety and help you to create achievable goals with action steps to reach them.  It also provides you a creative outlet, as you can decorate your journal as much as you like, and it can become a pretty keepsake for years to come.  The best part is that it does not take much to get started, just a notebook and pen!

The Notebook

You can use any notebook or journal, but I would suggest a larger notebook with heavier paper to avoid bleeding and ghosting.  You also will want one that is easy to open and write in.  The good thing is that almost anything will work, depending on your preferences!  One popular journal is the Lechtturn 1917 which has numbered pages, a built-in index, two ribbons, excellent paper to use with watercolors, brush pens, and fountain pens, and a variety of colors and grid versions (plain, ruled, graph paper or dot grid). 

The Pen

Like the notebook, any type of pens or markers will work to begin your bullet journal depending on what works for you.   You should strive to find a good nice quality pen or set of pens that you can write with comfortably on a daily basis.  It is also nice to have a variety of colors.  A favorite option of many is using a fountain pen.  There are many great fountain pens that are extremely fun to write with as the ink glides effortlessly over the page with less pressure.  Fountain pens provide a more unique writing style that can be changed by the type of nib, hold, and angle of the pen.  A good pen can be the motivation you need to start writing in your journal every day!

Getting Started With Your Bullet Journal

Now that you have all that you need to get going, here are a few basic things to consider when getting started.

  1. Create an index where you can keep track of all of your pages.  You can use any format, but an easy one is just to have two columns: one for the page content and one for the page numbers.  Remember to keep your index updated as you create new pages.
  2. Create a key for all of the symbols that you want to use in your bullet journal, making it easier to keep your entries and to-do lists brief.  You can be as creative or as simple as you want.  For example, you can use happy and sad faces to represent your mood on that day, checkmarks for accomplished tasks, and stars for very important events. 
  3. Create your first monthly page.  This is a wide view of the month.  Typical formats include some sort of calendar or lists of dates.  I also suggest having a place to write out your monthly goals.
  4. Create your weekly and daily logs.  These sections are where you put all of your regular daily notes, your schedule and to-do lists of tasks to be accomplished.
  5. Decide on additional sections (collection) that you want to have in your bullet journal that are important to you.  Some examples include future goals, finances, savings plan, diet and fitness, meal planning, date night ideas, a mood tracker, and a gratitude log.  There are endless possibilities for what you can include.
  6. Decorate your bullet journal and make it your own.  Let your creative side show by jazzing up your journal with watercolors, hand lettering, modern or traditional calligraphy, original artwork, doodles, stamps, and stickers.

Now it is time to start your own bullet journal.  Remember to have fun and make it your own! 


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