Bullet journals are beautiful and fun to keep, and they also keep you organized, and can put much-needed calm into your life.
A bullet journal is essentially a journal where you *hand write* your to do list, a planner, notes, a habit tracker, lists, tracking things, and a journal – all in one.
Starting with a blank notebook you start out writing in your journal, and it quickly becomes your go to little book. If you don’t have time to keep up with a To Do list, no time to actually keep a diary or journal, then a bullet journal may be just what you are looking for!
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There are so many reasons why are these types of journals are considered so lovely, and are now so popular.
We are going back to our roots getting back to the lost art of hand writing again. Bullet journals look really pretty – writing in our own handwriting again is so satisfying and you can try out all kinds of lettering variations and colors.
You can also combine a lot of notebooks into just one, which can get us much more organized. You can doodle and draw in your journal, which can really bring out your artistic side too.
Trying to keep a bullet journal will not only put something artistic and lovely back into your life, but it will also get you more organized and on track.
Bullet journals were first created by a designer from Brooklyn, NY, Ryder Carroll. He created a bullet journal because he had so many problems focusing on tasks.
What does your bullet journal need to contain?
A bullet journal, because it is a collection of many different things, really needs an index to keep you on track.
With an index you can easily find something you need to look up inside your journal. The index can be at the front or the back, it is really just a personal choice. I place mine at the front, so it is easily found and consulted.
You need a very simple key in your journal. For instance a square could mean a task that needs to be done, a circle for an event, a heart for something that you want.
Project planning pages
These are great to have for any projects you may have ongoing. They can be concise plans of everything needed for a particular project, with deadlines, to do lists, steps for success, and more.
Monthly Calendar and Monthly goals.
These are great for knowing what has to be done, and when it has to be done. These can really keep you on track.
These can set out what you need to do every day, with to do lists, notes and more.
You can keep all kinds of lists in your journal, for just about anything. A list of birthdays and special occasions. A list of what you have spent, lists of your savings balance, basically a list of just about anything you want.
Watch this You Tube video for information on Bullet Journaling 101.
Steps to starting your bullet journal:
1. Purchase a notebook
This really doesn’t need to be an expensive notebook. You may want to consider heavier page stock so that your coloring and writing doesn’t seep through the page. Size is also a consideration if you want to carry your journal around with you.
Basically any notebook can work for a bullet journal, as long as it has the right number of pages you need, the paper is good quality enough to write on, constantly, and it is the size you want.
You should decide if you want lined paper, plain paper, grid paper etc in your journal. Just remember that whatever notebook you choose, you will probably want to keep all your old bullet journals. They are lovely things to go back through for memories and information.
2. Get some nice pens
You probably want to use a variety of colors to really make things stand out. Gel pens that glide more easily across the paper are more pleasant and easier to use.
But really you don’t have to buy a lot of different pens if you have pens at home you could use. Colored pens just make your journal look nicer and you can color code certain things also for reference.
You may also want a set of highlighters to highlight certain things in your journal. If you do want to purchase some nice pens, fineliner pens are a really nice choice. A lot of bullet journalers feel that 003 to 005mm fineliner pens are good sized pens to use.
3. Think about what you want to put in your journal
It is good to do some prep first before you actually start your journal. Consider the types of pages that you would like in your journal. Check out inspiration online on Pinterest, Instagram etc.
When you first start a bullet journal you will be finding your way with how you want to record things in it, and how you want it to look. Your first journal may well be a trial for later journals. So don’t expect perfection the first time. Just remember how much fun you are having with it!
You may want to first write out your layouts in pencil. That way you can erase something you don’t like before you finalize it in pen. One of the really great things about keeping a bullet journal is that you can make it your own in how you design it.
4. Consider Tabs
For pages that you use frequently, you may want to put tabs on those pages for easy reference. You want your bullet journal to be easy to use and to find information fast.
5. Set up a Key for your journal
Set up a key for your journal, so that you can track progress on things. For instance, a check mark for when you have completed something, a circle for something in progress, a hash tag for something postponed. You can come up with your own reference list.
6. Set up a Color code system for your journal.
Assign different colors to all different things you record in your journal. For instance, anything to do with food is perhaps green, anything to do with crafts is pink. You can choose your topics and colors accordingly.
7. Look up how others keep their bullet journals
Take a look at what others journals feature, how they plan out their journals. There are many sources for inspiration for creating your own bullet journal. Get inspiration and ideas from Pinterest, Instagram and other places.
8. Decorate your bullet journal.
Use stickers or washi tape to decorate your journal and make your pages unique. You can purchase calendar stickers for quick calendar page insertions.
What can you track in your bullet journal?
Actually anything at all! Here are some suggestions for pages you may want to create:
Healthy habit tracking
Birthday party planning
Daily, Weekly and Monthly To Do lists
Thoughts & dreams
Skills to learn
Movies to watch
Places you want to visit/places you have visited
Take a look at these Instagram accounts for ideas and inspiration:
Plan to succeed. Kate is a bullet journalist and a stationery addict! You will love her examples of her bullet journal pages.
boho.Berry. Kate is a bullet ‘journalist’ who creates great entries in her bullet journal. Check out her Instagram for her ideas such as a sleep tracker, mood tracker etc.
Ryder Carroll. Official bullet journal page. The official Instagram page from the guy who created it all!
Here are some great bullet journal ideas from Pinterest:
Hannah Emily Lane: 5 Daily Log Layouts.
The Petite Planner: Creative Habit Trackers for your Bullet Journal
Sublime Reflection: Bullet Journal Weekly Layout Ideas
Some Instagram accounts to follow:
I would love to see your bullet journal page ideas!
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Bullet Journals are a great project to start, both for calm and organization!