Bullet Journaling has become very popular during the last few years and it is an amazing tool to organize your life. I love planning and buying cute planners but I never found the perfect one that was until last year when I discovered bullet journaling and started to use it as my daily planner and fell in love with it. That’s why I want to share a beginners guide with you and who knows maybe I can encourage you to start as well.
In this post I want to tell you what bullet journaling is, what you are going to need for it and how you can get started. It’s a summary of all the basic informations I wish I had in one place when I started. So here is all you need to know…
What is a Bullet journal?
The bullet journal is a notebook planning method invented by Ryder Carroll. The reason it has gained so much popularity is that it is customizable you are not restricted to a curtain template like with traditional planners where you have a fixed template and cant add anything new to it. You can design it as you like and add everything you need and want. It can be very simple or minimalistic with only the necessary information or you can make it complex and let your inner artist out and create beautiful artsy page designs. Everything and anything is possible.
That was the selling point for me as well. Whenever I used a traditional planners I always ended up being unhappy because I wished it had that and I could add this. And the bullet journal is everything I need and want in a planner.
What do you need?
First you are going to need a notebook. It can be any kind of notebook but it is recommended to use a A5 sized dotted journal with page numbers. It makes it easier to design the pages and keep it organized.
I have got mine from amazon. You just need to type dotted notebook or dotted journal or bullet journal and you will get a lot of different options to choose from.
You are going to need a ruler in order to make neat lines and give your journal a neat and crisp look. I would recommend getting a small 6 inch one because it’s easier to use in a small A5 sized notebook.
Pencil & eraser
I recommend having a pencil and an eraser as well. Because when you are starting out you are testing different layouts some you will like and other you might don’t like. That’s why it’s important to draw your lines with a pencil first so you can change it if needed and eares what you want to change.
Fineliner & Highlighter
Next you are going to need a fineliner and highlighter or if you are like me and like to add some colour you can get them in multiple colors. You are going to use fineliners for writing and to draw over the pencil lines to make it look better. And the highlighter to highlight important events, appointments or reminders.
Washi tape & stickers
Washi tape and stickers a optional you don’t have to get them if you don’t want to or are on a budget but I like to use them to make it look prettier.
How to set-up?
As I mentioned before you can make it as complex as you want but here I am going to show you the basics which you are going to need to get started. And the basics are …
The key or also called the legend is ideally the first page of your bullet journal. Here you are going to list all the symbols you will be using in the bullet journal and what they mean. For example a square for task or a circle for appointments or events.
The index is like the table of content of your bullet journal and makes it easier to find a curtain page. Here it is handy to have a journal with page numbers. It will make it easier for you to write them in the index otherwise you will have to number your pages as you go.
The future log is an overview over the whole year were you have all the months at a glance. I like to use the future log for birthdays and anniversaries but you can also use it for yearly appointments or other reminders.
The monthly spread is usually the classic table calendar on a double page. It has some space for goals and appointments. You can also customize it and add more pages to it like a habit or mood tracker or a finance page to track your spendings. As you can see the possibilities are endless.
The weekly spread gives you an overview of the week ahead and lets you plan ahead and add reminders of appointments and events ahead. You can also make To do lists or use it to do meal planning.
This is the spread I use the most. I just sit down on the weekend and plan the week ahead. It helps me remember appointments much better.
The daily log is for one day and has to be done daily. The advantage is that you can even more customize your daily planning page. Personally I don’t use the daily log because I like the weekly spread more. I just have to sit down once a week and plan it plus it saves space in my journal and I can use it longer.
Now after seeing some of the examples above you must be thinking OMG I am not that creative or I can not draw this well how can I do this. Well you don’t need to be an Artist or very creative to start a bullet journal all you need is to know what you are going to use it for.
For example for me my bullet journal is the following things:
- To do list
So please don’t discourage yourself and give it a go you might surprise yourself.
In case you want to try it but don’t want to buy a bullet journal right away I am leaving you with a weekly and daily planner you can print and use to get started and who knows maybe it will motivate you to start you own bullet journal.
I hope I could help you to get a better understanding of what bullet journaling is all about and maybe could motivate one or two of you to start one.