How to Start a Bullet Journal

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Table of Contents

If you are constantly feeling like you are in a state of confusion and chaos, then there is an easy solution that will help you be a more organised and productive person.

How do I know?

Because that was me, before starting a Bullet Journal.

It can be considered that to stay on top of things is hard. I thought that way too.

Let me tell you, it is not.

You just never had an easy to follow system that you can actually enjoy doing.

Let’s get started!

What is a Bullet Journal?

bullet journal

Bullet journal (a.k.a. BuJo) is a planner, to-do list, journal, and note-taking system.

It is designed to make you:

  • More productive
  • Lead a more intentional life
  • Organise your mind
  • Plan for the future
  • Reflect on your past 

With Bullet Journal you will be able to learn a lot of things about yourself.

I set mine up with the Brainbook. It is an ebook all about how to set up Bullet Journal. 

Key Terms to Remember:

This is a short glossary of words that are very popular in the Bullet Journaling world.

The Brainbook really helped me to understand those terms – so here I am sharing them with you! (It’s an ebook about Bullet Journaling and how to do it the correct way.) 

Make sure you understand them. 

Index
@northernplanner

It serves as your table of contents and is placed at the start of your bullet journal.

Read more here on how to set it up.

Key

key bullet journal
wellella

 A place where you keep track of all your symbols that you use and what they mean. 

Read more here for inspiration. 

Future Log

future log
@mashaplans

This is where you plan for things in the future, such as birthdays, exam deadlines or important appointments. 

spreads bullet journal
@jade_journals

Every kind of page within your journal will be considered to be a spread.

You might find this interesting:
190+ page ideas for your Bullet Journal
20+ Mood tracker Ideas
50 Sleep Tracker Ideas

April Bullet Journal
@letteringwithleni

 It usually a place where you create a title page for the month, with a calendar and just an overview of the coming month. 

Find inspiration for your next Monthly:
20+ June Monthly Ideas
15+ May Monthly Ideas 
20+ April Monthly ideas

It is an overview for next 7 days, usually takes 2 pages to create this page.

I have written an article of 50+ ideas for weekly layouts ( they are sooo pretty!)

Daily:

daily bullet journal
@pinterest

This is what you set up everyday and write you to-do lists, appointments and more. 

Migration:

A crucial step, if task is not completed, it gets moved to the next day/week/month so you will stay on top of things. 

Did you manage to start your Bullet Journal? If not, then look no further.

There’s a LOT of information on the internet about bullet journaling, but Brainbook breaks down the core elements of what you need to know in a way that’s easy to understand and relevant to your life…all in one convenient place.

With this comprehensive bullet journaling roadmap by your side, you’ll know exactly how to set up your journal for success from start to finish!

Gather Necessary Supplies :

All that you really need is pen and notebook.

Supplies below are my personal favourites and think they make Bullet Journaling a lot more fun and creative, that will make you stick to this practice.

Notebook:

Make sure to take your time when picking the one notebook that you will love.

If you are not going to love it, you ain’t gonnna use it. 🙂 

It can be any notebook with dots, squares and lines.

Start with the most appealing one and then you can try another. 

My top 3 favorite Notebooks are:

This is the one that I use personally. I think it is great as it is super convinient to use and lasts a very long time. 

The simple design and timeless style make this notebook perfect for note-taking, sketching, writing thoughts and ideas or musing in classes or meetings.

I love their colors and it is a cheaper alternative. Great for beginners!

The Lemome Notebook is awesome because it has a pen holder and the design is very chic. I think it is perfect for taking to work. 

In school we all had that one, special favorite pen.

You will need to decide what you like to write with, wether that is ink or simple ballpoint. And how thin or thick you like it to be. 

Everyone has different handwriting and size that they prefer to use but they play a huge role when it comes to creating cool bullet journal fonts. 

I use both ink and ballpoint. Really depends on my mood) 

My top 3 favorite pens are:

0.7mm fine point black, easy-glide ink for top of the line writing performance that will help you create cool bullet journal fonts

Perfect for minimalist bullet journal style for small handwriting size. 

This is a great Pilot Precise ink pen that you will love when you are writing and using your Bullet Journal. 

This is totally optional but if you are like me and like to be creative when it comes to your bullet journal, and decorate it with different doodles then I will suggest a few brands.

Doodles are great as they are so simple to do and design. Also if you wish to try some bullet journal fonts, they are perfect for that as well! 

My top 3 fine liners are:

The Brite Crown a perfect set for both doodling and calligraphy. t is perfect quality and will last you a very long time. I think the best on the market. 

These fine-liners are on much more affordable side. I like them as well as the grip is smaller so much more comfortable to doodle with. 

Many bullet journalers love this set. I will put it here, but above 2 are my personal favorite that I use daily. 

Wether or not your style is artistic or minimal, I think that a pair of pastel highlighters is a must. 

Without much effort you can add color and design to your spreads without much effort. 

If doodling is not for you, then this can help you with styling your bujo and falling in love with it! 

My favorites:

I am in love with those. I use them everyday just to add a bit of color to my journal. They look great! 

I think that this is a basic bujo supply, like a staple black t-shirt. Everyone loves them ( including me) and that tehy have double tip what makes them so so special. 

Those crispy white line and the secret behind those epic looking minimal spreads. I have ordered mine off Amazon, and have used it daily ever since. 

If you are not into markers or don’t want to spend a lot of time on your journal decor, then those washi-tapes is a perfect solution for anyone to do. 

Decide Your Style:

There are 2 main style routes that your journal can take:

Minimal Bullet Journal
source

Minimal:

They are usually just black ink on paper with 1 or 2 colours added when necessary.

If you are not artistic, or still testing the waters with the whole bullet journal then this is the most time efficient style. 

How to Start a Bullet Journal 60
@nicole.josephinee

Artistic:

This is the kind of bullet journal where you play around with different colors, as well as draw fun pictures and designs. 

In my opinion, it takes too much time. I prefer to draw in my sketchbook and keep bullet journal for business 🙂

How to set it up?

Now that you have all of the supplies you need to make your bullet journal, you can start designing it. 

In 6 steps you will be DONE!!!

Index Bullet Journal
@nicole.josephinee

Step 1: Set up Index

To create a simple index all you really need is to divide a page into 2 columns.

On the right write “page” and on the left write “page number”.

As you will start filling up your journal, you will come back here and fill it out.

How to Start a Bullet Journal 63
@nicole.josephinee

After Index, you will need to have a page where you will describe and create different symbols/ color codes in your journal.

It does not have to be anything fancy.

 Just something basic will be good enough especially at the very start.

Future Log Bullet Journal
@vk_bulletjournal

Step 3: Set up Future Log

1.) Think of all the things you want to remember such as assignment deadlines, birthdays, projects, dentist appointments.

2.) Create a list of those things. 

3.) Decide how many months ahead you want it to be:

  • for Birthdays, it will be 12 months
  • a 4 month project, create 4 months ahead.

As things start coming up, you will have a place to jot them down.

When you will be setting up your monthly, this is where you will refer just to stay on top of things.

How to Start a Bullet Journal 66
@studydrug

Step 4: Set up your first Monthly

Every person has got a different monthly page. It usually consists of Title page for the month ahead. 

Some people set up mood trackers, sleep trackers and habit trackers after their title page and look at their future log to note down their important dates.

I would suggest to start with as little trackers and pages can always be added later. 

We have plenty of inspiration here.

How to Start a Bullet Journal 68
@b.bulletjournal

Step 5 : Set up your Weekly Spread (Optional)

This is not something that I personally use. I like to use daily instead, but it is basically a 2 page spread for the week ahead. 

My Daily Plan
@creatrive

Step 6: Set Up Daily

This is now your daily chore (haha), as you will set yourself up for success with their help. Everyday write down your tasks. 

Did you manage to start your Bullet Journal? If not, then look no further.

There’s a LOT of information on the internet about bullet journaling, but Brainbook breaks down the core elements of what you need to know in a way that’s easy to understand and relevant to your life…all in one convenient place.

With this comprehensive bullet journaling roadmap by your side, you’ll know exactly how to set up your journal for success from start to finish!

Making the Most out of your new Friend:

bullet journal
@dorindraws
  • Use it every day, no exceptions!
  • Change the layouts when they are not making you as productive as you thought they would.
  • Go minimal with your style if you are getting overwhelmed
  • Be ok with starting very basic. 
  • Be ok with ugly pages
  • With time you will improve!
  • You will not use some pages that you have set up, and that is normal, because they are not as useful as you thought they would be. 
bullet journal ideas
@grace.journals

The Digital Bullet Journal:

If you read through this guide and feel like you are not ready to take on creating a bullet journal, or don’t like the idea of dealing with a physical productivity planner, there’s hope for you after all! 

You can have a digital bullet journal.

This is easy today, thanks to the magic of Photoshop or Canva, in which you can create a template that you would export to GoodNotes. 

This is pretty much the best digital bullet journal app you can get today:
– highly-customisable
– incredibly flexible
– it’s digital, which makes is convenient to use

digital bullet journal
@paperworkpassion

 Anything you can do in a physical bullet journal you can do in a digital one.

You can even create awesome covers and paper templates.

Digital Bullet Journal is not for me, as I prefer to think on paper but everyone is different. 

FAQ's about Bullet Journal:

November bullet journal
@grace.journals

Q: 
What Is a Bullet Journal?

A: It is an organizational system and method of journaling and note-taking that uses bullet points for tasks that need to be done and habits that you want to form.

Q: Who Invented the Bullet Journal?

A: Ryder Carroll, being diagnosed with learning disabilities when he was young, went out to design a working method for him to become focused and productive.

bullet journal
@grace.journals

Q: 
What Do I Need to Start Bullet Journaling?

A: You will be able to keep yourself in check and follow through with the good habits you want to have, as well as be more productive with your time and energy.

Q: What Are the Best Notebooks for Bullet Journaling?

A: The LEUCHTTURM1917 is a great notebook for bullet journaling. 

It has nearly 250 numbered pages that contain dotted lines, along with a blank table of contents. It also opens up flat, for ease of use.

Bullet Journal Inspiration
@kvscribbles

Q: 
What Are the Best Pens for Bullet Journaling?

A: You will definitely want to get yourself some Pilot G2 pens. 

They last a long time, are refillable and retractable, and have an extra fine point.

Q: 
Can I Bullet Journal Digitally?

A:  Absolutely! GoodNotes is probably the best app to use as a bullet journal. 

You will never have to deal with forgetting to take your BuJo with you somewhere.

bujo cover ideas
@journalsbyclara

Q: 
How Do You Bullet Journal for College?

A: You can make spreads for when you have tests, such as midterms and finals, to-do lists, as well as scheduling in a calendar you have in your BuJo, so you can keep track of due dates of papers, meetings with professors, and other important tasks. 

You can even map out ideas for papers you need to write in your bullet journal. 

bullet journal ideas
@jade_journals

Q: 
Can You Start a Bullet Journal in the Middle of the Year?

A: Of course! 

You can start a bullet journal at any time of the year.

 The most important thing is to start it and go from there. 

Once you keep yourself in check and follow through with tasks to set out for yourself, you will begin to start reaping the many benefits possible thanks to having a BuJo.

Did you manage to start your Bullet Journal? If not, then look no further.

There’s a LOT of information on the internet about bullet journaling, but Brainbook breaks down the core elements of what you need to know in a way that’s easy to understand and relevant to your life…all in one convenient place.

With this comprehensive bullet journaling roadmap by your side, you’ll know exactly how to set up your journal for success from start to finish!

how to set up a bullet journal checklist

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