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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!