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What is a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal is an analog system created by Ryder Carroll, a Designer based in New York. According to Ryder, a Bullet Journal is meant “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

It is the perfect system for helping you to manage anything you like.

Many people use bullet journals today for very different reasons. Some use it to stay on top of tasks, others use theirs to stay organized, others to help increase their productivity and many just as a creative outlet. Most importantly, it is used to help you stay on top of many different areas in your life that are important to you.

So, you’ve tried using a planner before without success because that system and it’s layout was too rigid for you, a bullet journal may be your answer. It provides you with the opportunity to create a planning and organization system that is 100% tailored to you your needs without any restrictions.


Where Should You Start?

If you’re thinking of starting your own bullet journal, but don’t quite know where to start, this article should give you a nudge in the right direction. Many people feel quite intimidated with all the knowledge out there and don’t know how to just take the leap. This is a simplified guide of how you can start your bullet journal as early as today.

Bullet journaling is a fun way to start organized and productive throughout the year, so don’t pass up on this opportunity to have an awesome year!

Here are all the steps you should follow to learn exactly how to start a bullet journal. You’ll have everything you need set up in no time!

Step 1: Get good quality supplies


Start with a highly recommended and inexpensive notebook.  This will be your companion for the next few months, so make sure you get something that will hold up. Also, your bullet journal should ideally have dotted pages to make drawings, writing, and lettering much easier. This bullet journal has all of these features. 

Here are 5 other must-have bullet journal supplies you should get when starting out:


This is the standard bullet journal notebook. Here are some features of this bullet journal:

  • Numbered pages and blank table of contents for easy organization and notes
  • Thread-bound opens flat
  • Acid-free and ink proof paper, expandable pocket inside back cover, page marker and elastic closure
  • Stickers for labeling and archiving
  • 249 numbered pages, 8 perforated pages, 5.75 x 8.25 inches


Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Fine Point, Black

Here are some features of these pens:

  • Dries 3x faster* for reduced smearing
  • Smooth ink keeps the ideas flowing across the page
  • 0.5mm fine point keeps notes extra neat
  • Includes: 8 Jet Black gel pens

Tombow 66403 MONO Drawing Pen, 3-Pack

Features of these pens:

  • These water-based pigment ink drawing pens produce smooth skip-free drawing and writing with no smudging- ink dries instantly! Great for use with colored art markers and colored pencils.
  • Ideal for illustrations technical drawings manga anime lettering and journaling
  • This package contains three drawing pens with 0.1mm, 0.3mm and 0.5mm tip sizes


Fineliner Color Pens Set

  • 24 Vibrant Colors, No Duplicates, 0.38 mm Fine Point, perfect for drawing lines & details, painting, writing, sketch, marker, signing, manga, animation, graphic, design, planner, math book, homework, bills, calendar, illustration.
  • Water-based ink, Dry safe, Minimal bleed thru, Acid-free, Non-toxic Ink, these fiber-tipped pens create fine lines and intense water-based colors. Ideal for Coloring and Journal.


Step 2: Brainstorm


It is highly recommended that you find an old scrapbook somewhere to note the different spreads that you want to include in your bullet journal.

Also, find some bullet journals online that have inspired you thus far and keep them near.

Lastly, use this opportunity for brainstorming ideas and areas you need to improve in your life. These will become the spreads you track in your bullet journal. It may be your spending, health and fitness, daily tasks, habits you want o break and more.

Scribble down these ideas into your old scrap journal for reference for the next step.

Remember, in a bullet journal, there are no rules. This is all about bettering your life in a planning system that is completely customized for you.


Step 3: Ready to actually start!


You now have your tools, you’ve found a few spreads that inspire you and you’ve brainstormed and have written down bullet journal spread ideas that you want in your journal. The next steps include actually cracking your journal open designing your spreads.

 ***Note: If you’re using another journal other than the Leuchtturm, you will need to number all of your pages before you start.


Bullet Journal Index:


The index is one of the first pages of your journal, where you keep everything in order and organised. Having an index allows you yo quick flip through your bullet journal and find just about anything you want.

Via mochibujo




Step 4: Create your key


To avoid having your bullet journal cluttered and disorganized, you’ll need to create a key. A bullet journal key is a page in your journal where you keep track of all the icons and symbols that you plan to use in your journal and their meanings. It is meant to help you easily interpret the icons items in your bullet journal at a glance.

Here is an example of a bullet journal key:

Via willawatercolors



Step 5: Design your future spread


The future log is typically placed at the front of your journal is meant for writing down events or appointments that you need to get done in the future. 

Here are some ideas of what you can include in your future log.

  • Community activities
  • Baby showers, weddings, etc.
  • Child vaccination dates
  • Pet vaccination dates
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Holidays
  • Doctor/dentist/optometrist appointments
  • Important dates at kids’ school
  • Business meetings
  • Vacations


Future Log For Reference:




Step 6: Create Your Monthly Log


The Monthly Log, is where you map out specific events as well as write down the things you’d like to do over the course of the month. You can add just about anything you want here, but generally, this is where you will include important dates, appointments, birthdays, big to-do’s, a nice quote and more.

Here is a beautiful monthly log for reference:

Via saskolinas

Step 7: Create Your Weekly Log


The weekly log is where you keep things more organized for the week. It is very popular in the bullet journal space because it helps you see all the things that are important to you each week.

Weekly log example:

Step 8: Create Your Daily Journal


Daily spreads or daily logs are pages where you plan and record your tasks, events, and notes as they occur throughout the course of the day.

Step 9: Set up a few other spreads that are important to you


Finally, set up some other spreads in your bullet journal that you want to track.  To do this, flip to the back of your journal. Maybe 30 pages from the back (or whatever you consider the right number). This is where you will be creating topic pages for things that are important to YOU.
Here are a few examples to give you some ideas of what you can include on those pages:
  • Books to read
  • Vacation tracker
  • Mood tracker
  • Expense Tracker
  • Health log
  • Gratitude Log
  • Habit Tracker 
  • Gift lists
  • Cleaning schedule
  • Movies to watch
  • Expense Tracker
  • And so much more…

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