If you follow me over on my Instagram, then you know I’m a huge bullet journal fan! I started bullet journaling in early 2017 and have been loving it ever since.
Just a heads up, bullet journaling (or “bujo” for short) looks different for everyone, which is part of the amazingness of it! I am going to be showing you what I do in my bullet journal, but keep in mind this will probably look different for everyone.
Let’s take a quick crash course in bullet journaling 101…
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Bullet Journaling 101
Where did it all start?
Ryder Carroll is credited as being the “father” of the bullet journal movement. You can read more about his traditional methods of bullet journaling on his website here.
Since Ryder’s bullet journal methods took off, a lot of people have taken his basic methods and developed them as their own. This is why bullet journaling can look different for everyone.
Ryder also wrote a book called The Bullet Journal Method which lays out the basics of bullet journaling and teaches how to follow his bullet journal methods.
What is it for?
Bullet journaling is designed by you, for you. Use it to help you in life however you need it to!
It is fully customized to meet your needs whether that be tracking exercising, keeping your schedule more organized, meal planning, travel planning, tracking spending, or 1,627 other things you might need it for.
My spreads might look totally different than yours because my needs might be different. Find what works for you and stick to that.
What do you need to be able to bullet journal?
You can bullet journal with just a basic notebook and pen although a lot of people (myself included) prefer to use a few specifics!
Personally, I like to use a dot grid journal. This allows lots of freedom for creating spreads but still provides enough guidelines that everything can be precise.
Boxes are common in my spreads and they’re easy to make uniform with the dot grid to guide me. You can use any journal you have though.
I always keep a pencil and eraser handy as well…more on that later! Some people also like using extras like watercolor, washi tape, and stickers in their bullet journals.
You can shop some of my favorite bullet journaling accessories on my Amazon store here.
Does it have to be perfect?
That would be a huge NO! You need to accept ahead of time that you are going to make mistakes in your journal from time to time and that is 100% ok!
I have made plenty of mistakes myself and speaking from personal experience, the sooner you learn to embrace those mistakes, the more you will enjoy bullet journaling.
How to set up your bullet journal
Planning out your bullet journal pages
I recommend starting with a scrap piece of paper and making a list of the pages you want to create in your new bullet journal.
Here is a list of some ideas:
- Cover page
- Future log
- Highlights of the year
- Finances overview
- 21 in 2021
- Pet tracker
- Cleaning tracker
- When did I last…
- Monthly covers
- Monthly calendar
- Content planning
- Social media/blog/work tracker
- Health tracker
- Exercise tracker
- Spending tracker
- Gratitude log
- Journal pages
- Weekly spread
- Daily spreads
- Packing lists
- Art pages
These are just a few ideas. The sky is the limit on what spreads you can create in your bullet journal. If you need more ideas, Pinterest is a great resource!
Pencil everything out
I highly recommend penciling everything out before you put ink onto the paper!
This has saved me many times from making mistakes by counting out spaces or even helps me to catch any simple spelling errors before they become permanent.
I don’t pencil out every single detail, but I do enough to guide me for the rest of the page.
Put it in pen
After you’ve sketched your bullet journaling pages in pencil, you can use a pen to make it permanent. You can either draw directly over the pencil, or you can erase the pencil marks a section at a time as you’re going.
I usually erase a section at a time so I don’t end up with leftover pencil marks. It helps everything look cleaner that way. If I am adding any color or lettering to my pages with my Tombow dual brush pens then I will add that here as well.
Daily bullet journaling
Now that your bullet journal is set up you’re ready to use it daily! I take my bullet journal with me everywhere! That way if I have an appointment I need to write down or think of something I need to remember, I can write it all down and have everything in one place.
Bullet journaling helped me get my life organized wayyyy better than before!
Bullet journal art
If you are an artistic person or even if you just like to doodle, you might want to add some fun art to your bullet journal!
I like to make my monthly cover pages a little more artsy than the rest of my bullet journal. This allows me some fun pages but doesn’t take up too much time.
Some people even like to do a different theme each month. The most elaborate theme I ever did was Monopoly in June of 2019. I will share some pages from that month below.
As much fun as it was to create, it took me hours and hours! I definitely don’t have time for elaborate themes every month but it’s fun to do every once in a while.
A look inside my 2021 bullet journal
Now that you understand what bullet journaling is and how to do it, here is a look at my bullet journal setup for 2021!
When Did I Last…
Growth At A Glance
January Cover Page
And that’s a wrap!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that if you haven’t ever done any bullet journaling you will give it a try!
If you have any questions about bullet journaling or my setup, please let me know in the comments below or message me on Instagram!
Happy bullet journaling!