A bullet journal is an amazing thing once you know what you’re doing. It’s basically a planner with all different elements, but one that you create yourself. You can include whatever you like to make it the most functional for you. You can use it to plan your days, weeks and months, track your habits and goals, organise your life, and so much more!
If you haven’t already, it’s definitely worth starting one. There are lots of things you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to creating a bullet journal, but this is mostly for ease. Mostly it’s a personal process, and down to what works for you. However, as I’ve had my bullet journal for around two years now, I’ve learnt quite a lot from trial and error! And I want to share it with you to make your start in bullet journalling so much easier.
The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of notebook you are going to use. I started off using the black A5 Moleskine notebook, and then I transitioned across to the Leuchtturm1917. Of course, you can use any notebook which is the joy of creating a bullet journal!
The Moleskine is lined, and doesn’t have any page numbers or index in it. The Leuchtturm is slightly more advanced! It’s got a built-in index, although it’s only a couple of pages. If you want to use an index, you’ll need to save some pages to further it. It also has page numbers, which means you don’t have to number them yourself!
I use Amazon to get all my bullet journal notebooks, pens and decoration because they have everything for such good prices!
You can have a look at the Leuchtturm below:
Whilst it doesn’t sound that important, choosing the right pen to begin with is crucial! You don’t want to get halfway through your bullet journal and then decide you want to change! I currently use a black Triplus Fineliner in 0.3m, which you can also get online from Amazon. I bought a large set, and then I pick the ones that I am going to use. I try to keep a colour theme going and for my most recent journal, I have gone for a lovely pastel theme.
I bought some amazing pastel highlighters, which are so easy to use, and they make my journal look so pretty. I obsess over people’s bullet journals on Pinterest; they are just stunning. Using a combination of these pens makes for some really beautiful pages.
Once you have the notebook and some pens, you can pretty much get started! This is where the fun comes in!!
This is the best bit! You can get started on actually writing things now. Like I said before, it’s totally up to you which order you put things in. Bullet journals are there to make your life more organised and productive, and if they aren’t doing that for you, then it’s not doing its job. So I would advise just putting in what you need, and what you think you’ll use, and leave anything else out.
I usually start with a ‘Year Ahead’ page. I do a small calendar for the next four months, and then highlight any important dates. This page is something I use for reference, but don’t really add too much information in, and just use my monthly pages. I don’t like to get to far ahead of myself, as it actually makes me feel more stressed!
The next step is to create your monthly planner. I use a two page spread, and I tend to make sure I have an area for goals, and main to-dos, and then use the other page for each day, and write down brief appointment reminders and dates to remember. See below for my monthly spread for May.
After you have completed the monthly planner spread, you can then do the same for a weekly spread, using the same kind of format. I created a full guide for weekly spreads, which will help with this step.
The great thing about it is that you can mix it up and use what ever styles you like. There’s limitless options, and you can make it as minimalistic as you like or as detailed as you like.
Once you have created the monthly and weekly planner pages, you can then incorporate some collections into your journal. These are pages that you use for lists, things you want to try, things you want to track, and things you want to plan that don’t have a time frame.
Some examples of pages I have in my journal are:
Again, you can do whatever you want, and write about whatever you like, and it makes it so personal to you. It stops you needing five different journals for all different topics, and lets you be as creative as you want to be!
Now, I’m not particularly artistic, but it’s certainly helping me get better! I really enjoy learning new handwriting techniques. You can check this out for more help with collections and get some ideas and inspiration.
The best thing I’ve learnt from doing different journals and getting things wrong, is that if I am going to do any kind of drawing, or header that is more detailed, then I’ll draw it on another piece of paper, and then stick it in to my journal. It saves me so much hassle, because if I make a mistake in my journal, I get pretty annoyed with myself, and want to throw it out of the window!
If I do make a mistake, a perfect way to sort it out is to use washi tape, or a sticker, and cover the mistake up! It’s quite an obvious way to do it, and you can’t always do it anywhere within the pages, but it’s really useful!
So, there you have it, my ideas on how I set up my bullet journal. Does anyone reading this use a bullet journal? I’d love to hear how you get on, and where you get inspiration from!
Come and have a read of my other bullet journal articles for more.
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