Bullet Journal: Getting Started
It’s back to school time and for some of us that means the start of a new year. We love all of those shiny new day planners but they are never quite right. They don’t offer enough options for the things we need to keep in one place. The bullet journal offers the individualization and organization that sets the year off right. To be honest bullet journaling speaks to the inner nerd who loves lists and planning.
What is a bullet journal?
The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.
The bullet journal is really quite a creative and easy way to manage our lives, create goals, track habits, and even prioritize self care. It isn’t a one size fits all solution, rather it allows each person to incorporate what they need in their planner. You create the type of journal that fits your needs.
What we love the most is that it is forgiving and it evolves each week as we figure out what it is we need and what we really love.
What do I need to start?
Start with a notebook. If you aren’t sure if this is for you, start with an inexpensive notebook that you can try for a month to see if this is a system for you. I chose to jump in an make a commitment with a Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal. Inside you will find a key that is already started, pages that are numbered and have dot grids, index and future log pages and some instructions. Any notebook with dotted or lined grids will work.
Chapters Indigo has a bullet journal page with instructions and supply ideas. A ruler for creating your template, a good black fine marker pen and colored markers and pencils will help you get started. Extras include Washi tape, stickers and stencils to help create colorful layouts.
Bullet Journal Basics
There is a basic framework for the Bullet Journal or Bujo as some call it. The basics are:
- Future Log
- Monthly Log
- Weekly or Daily Log
- Collections which are really the extras that make it even more personal, lists, trackers, goals
The Index keeps track of what pages everything is on so you can find them at a glance. Keep your index clear and simple. The index grows as you add more things to your Bujo.
The future log helps you look ahead to things coming up in your life. It is where you can list birthdays, events and appointments so you can see them at a glance. There are a lot of options for how this section might look in the article Future Log Inspiration.
This is usually found at the beginning of each monthly section. This section is usually a 2 page spread and can be used to set and track short term goals. It is also one of the first places you can get creative and add personality to your journal. You can try a different layout each month.
There are lots of ideas to get you started on our Pinterest board Bullet Journals or in blog posts like 16 Bullet Journal Monthly Layouts.
This format is often the style of choice. If your life is very full and your schedule changes from day to day and hour to hour, you may then wish to use a Daily Log. For most of us however, a 2 page week will work. An option that some have used is a combination approach. If there are some days that need their own page, then give it to them but you don’t have to commit to one style on a regular basis. Try 25 Satisfying Bullet Journal Layouts to Sooth Your Soul for some inspiration.
Collections are exciting and fun and what makes the Bullet Journal your own. This is where you can create habit trackers, gratitude journals and anything else that helps keep you on track with your goals.
We have filled our Pinterest board with lots of ideas to get you started. Spend a rainy afternoon and set up your first Bujo and enjoy all of the options and freedom it has to offer.