Beginners Guide to Bullet Journaling

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘bullet journal’ circulated on Pinterest and social media- you may have even seen photos of beautifully designed spreads and pages. ‘But’, you may be asking yourself, ‘what actually is a bullet journal?’

In this post, I am going to answer that question AND give you the basics you need to get started!

Essentially, a bullet journal is a form of journal created to encourage productivity and organisation. It is hand-designed by the user and can be adapted to meet their specific needs. It contains a range of lists and trackers which are normally designed by the journaler to quite a basic template but then made to look quite glamorous by adding colour, mixed media and a range of designs and doodles.

Bullet journals can be used to meet a range of needs. They can contain to-do lists, important dates, mini diary entries, scrapbook-like pages, task organisers, and trackers of absolutely everything ranging from mood and sleep to habits and savings.

But where do you even begin?

Well, if you’re planning to start a bullet journal, there are a small handful of basic resources that you will need before starting:

  • A journal/notebook: a bullet journal is most commonly laid out in an A5 dot-grid notebook; however any size or paper will work. In fact, one of the best bullet journals I know of is designed in a lined notebook! So, the first thing you will need is a notebook to journal in.
  • A pencil, eraser, ruler, writing pen, outliner pen: These are the second most essential pieces of equipment and you will find yourself using them on practically every single page you design!
  • Colours: (my favourite!!!) This could be marker pens, gel pens, colouring pencils, highlighters brush pens, watercolour paints or oil pastels- absolutely anything you want so long as it will not bleed through the page or rub of on the other pages.
  • Additional resources: A few things that are popular and helpful to have to hand include stencils, washi tapes, stickers, bulldog clips to keep your journal open, a white gel pen and paper/mixed media that you can use for more artsy pages.

Once you have gathered your resources, you can begin to journal!

There are lots of different ways to lay out a bullet journal, but personally, I like to separate mine into months and have similar pages for each month, and then have a handful of general pages that apply to the whole year at the beginning.

The pages I like to include at the beginning of my journal are:

  • Cover page
  • Year overview/calendar
  • Important dates
  • Birthdays tracker
  • Yearly goals
  • Books to read, movies to watch
  • Bucket list for the year

Then I move on to my monthly ‘chapters’ where I lay out each month as below:

  • Title page
  • Monthly overview/look ahead
  • Quote page
  • Mood Tracker
  • Habit Tracker
  • In-depth weekly pages

But- what actually are each of these pages?

In bullet journaling, there are three main types of pages: planners, trackers and weeklies.

  1. Planners: Planners are a look ahead at the next period of time- yearly planners, termly planners for an academic journal, monthly planners, or weekly planners. There is a variety of different uses, but I tend to use my monthly ones like a calendar for the month- writing in everything I have to remember. However, you can use your planners for all sorts of things- meal planning, chore planning, work planning or whatever you like.
  2. Trackers: Trackers are, put most simply, pages that can track anything you want. People create trackers for all sorts of things- mood, habits, sleep, exercise, work, savings, dieting- the list is practically endless! They can be laid out in a variety of ways, however, normally it is in some form of a table with the days of the month (or period of time) shown clearly and a way of marking off whatever you are tracking.
  3. Weeklies: Weeklies, or weekly spreads, are a spread of only one week. They are normally laid out with all seven days on one page and are used for either writing a task list each day or writing a short diary entry of the day. Some people will often choose to incorporate other features onto their weekly spreads- for example, mood trackers and habit trackers.

So now you have the basic resources and pages that you need to begin a bullet journal, you’re ready to start!

Good luck and happy bullet journaling!

Published by Megan

Hey there! I'm Megan, creative lifestyle blogger. I love Jesus, frappuccinos, Pinterest, and all things creative! My message is that there is no such thing as perfect and that we can't live our lives chasing perfection because we will never find something that satisfies us as much as life in Jesus does. I aim to inspire people to find their own not-so-perfect and embrace who they are. I blog at notsoperfectblog.com where I share my ideas for creative, free living! Feel free to visit my blog and have a look around!

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