Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. When you purchase using them, I make a little bit. It helps support this blog, my family, and allows me to buy cool things to give away. . .keep reading to learn more about today’s bullet journaling giveaway!
Something didn’t fit, however. It’s not just that I chose a few oversized bound books. They just didn’t fit me.
Like many of you, I wear a lot of hats. I am a wife, a mom, a student, a teacher, and a freelance writer. Sometimes I even have time to be a friend and a
compulsive online shopper and ebook addict. The thing that the other planners missed out on was the ever fluid, constantly changing life. Sure, Happiness Planners will customize tons of inserts, but it can get quite pricy. What could I use to get my work, home, and school life organized?
Enter Bullet Journaling.
So. . .what is bullet journaling?
Essentially, bullet journaling is an organizational system that is customized for each individual user. Some bujoers use it as a daily calendar of tasks, events, and notes while many others add collections and additional features.
I first discovered bullet journaling online, and it looked so complicated that I almost gave up.
Then I discovered Facebook groups (like this one that I run now), and I realized that the only requirement for bullet journaling was to make it your own. Still, it helps to have some guidance to get started. Here are my 5 tips to start bullet journaling!
1. Don’t Worry About the Perfect Supply List
Here is what you need to start bullet journaling:
That’s really it.
Now, I spent time googling the best bullet journaling notebooks, pens, washi tape, markers, and a dozen other little things you can buy. What you really need, however, is a simple notebook that has pages that won’t bleed through with whatever writing utensil(s) you choose. Period.
Before you buy your notebook, decide if you want a dot grid, box grid, ruled, or blank notebook. It’s really a preference, but many people like the guidance of dots or boxes. Some appreciate the freedom of blank books while others stick with the writer’s fave ruled notebooks. Switch it up with each journal if you choose!
I went with the Essentials Grid-lined notebook from Peter Pauper Press, and I’ve been very happy. There’s no bleed through with the markers I use, and I have plenty of space. I also love the grid (like graph) paper since I don’t draw very straight lines. It’s less expensive than the two mentioned above, and the quality is great!
Many seasoned bujoers recommend Staedtler Fineliner Pens in a plethora of colors. Still, the Stabilos are also high on the wish list of many a journaler. I chose an inexpensive pack of Monami pens (fine line markers). The colors are limited (12), but they work fine for a beginning or minimalist journaler. For my money, however, my favorite pens are ones that I have used in my classroom for years. I love the Papermate Flairs! They are so easy to write, draw, and color with, and I don’t have any problems with bleeding. I even use them to grade multiple page papers! Love them! The price is right too. I also love, love, love Sharpie Pens. These are not the markers but the fine point pens that don’t bleed. Also a favorite school supply for me!
There are other things you can add to your bullet journal supply arsenal.
-Decorative tape, called washi tape, can come in handy and is really affordable. Find some good deals online or check out the One Spot at Target!
-a ruler is my best friend, even with the grid guide
–Organizers to keep your supplies together can come in handy.
2. Make a KEY.
Have a key for your bullet journal of the symbols (and possibly colors) you will use for different tasks.
Some bujoers write their key on one of the first pages. Others put it on a separate paper inside an envelope in the front or back cover. The journal I started with has an envelope in the back I use for my key and receipts.
Others, like Hillary Lynne (@thatgirlsparkkle) use a pop out key.
#handwriting #ecsimple #ecvertical #eclifeplanner #inkwellpress2016 #erincondrenlifeplanner #inkwellpressflex #planner #planneraddict #iwpa5inserts #erincondrenlove #erincondrenplanner #ecaddict #planning #iwpsetup #handlettering #weloveecsimple #myecsimple #filofax #weekataglance #iwpgoals #weeklyplannerpages #notebook #erincondrennotebook #bulletjournal #inkwellpressplanner #simpleplanning #inkwellpress #simpleplannerpages
Make a key that works for you. I like to use boxes and fill them in when I complete a task. I draw a right arrow to move a task forward to a different day or an X to cancel the task. Simple works!
3. Daily, Weekly, Monthly Spreads- Do What Works for You
The original method advises having an index (at the front) listing your sections and numbering your pages. I don’t do that. It doesn’t work for me. Instead, I keep my yearly calendar and weeklies up front. I flip it upside down and have my collections (we’ll get to those in a moment) starting from the back.
Most bujoers follow their index with a future log, a calendar for the year ahead. TIP: You do not have to start with January! I started my bujo in June, so my future log went from June-December.
Currently, I just keep weekly spreads. Summer is busy, but not as busy as when school starts when I will start implementing daily logs.
Here’s an example of a daily from bullet journaler Hillary Lynne at @thatgirlsparkkle.
Good morning my lovelies!! Is anyone else an early bird?? My internal clock has me getting up between 530 and 6am, even on my days off!! It's so unfair, I just want to sleep in!! However, the bright side is I've gotten nearly everything accomplished today that I wanted to and its not even 11am yet! Down side is I may definitely be in need of a nap before heading over to Megan's tonight. Oh, the anguish of being an adult. 😉 lol. The majority of the stickers are from the @joyfulplanner shop. #handwriting #ecsimple #ecvertical #eclifeplanner #inkwellpress2016 #erincondrenlifeplanner #inkwellpressflex #planner #iwpa5inserts #erincondrenplanner #planneraddict #planning #iwpsetup #handlettering #weloveecsimple #myecsimple #filofax #weekataglance #iwpgoals #weeklyplannerpages #notebook #erincondrennotebook #bulletjournal #inkwellpressplanner #simpleplanning #inkwellpress #simpleplannerpages #bujo #bulletjournaling
Don’t let the fancy lettering scare you! Bullet journaling can be very simple. I usually just write like I normally do but add some color or doodles when I have time. There are books and free online classes that can teach you more about creative lettering if you are so inclined. Pinterest is also a great source for creative lettering ideas!
4. Add Some Collections!
Collections are lists or pages that organize other aspects of your life that are not necessarily timely. As I mentioned, I flip the book over and start my collections from the back.
Here are some of my faves.
-Books to Read: It’s like my own analog GoodReads shelf, except I get to color in the book when I am finished! (I find lots of great book ideas and freebies from Kindle Unlimited!)
Gratitude/Happiness Lists: I have a monthly gratitude calendar. Blogger Jenniffer at Life is Messy & Brilliant created a spread to document 100 things that make her happy. Check out more of her bullet journaling spreads and posts here.
5. Make it Your Own, but Feel Free to Share with Others
Some of your friends are going to think your crazy for bullet journaling! Let them. If you enjoy it, do it! It relieves stress, keeps me organized, and bonus gives me another way to connect with Liv!
— Jen (@jenlivlaughlove) July 20, 2016
Are you ready to start your bullet journal? Ask your questions in the comments. Share your ideas if you’ve already started bullet journaling!
With Kindle Unlimited (get a free 30 day trial here), enjoy these and other free bullet journal related titles!
To help you start your bullet journal journey, I am giving away an Essentials Grid-lined notebook, the same one I use! Already bullet journaling? That’s OK! Bujo veterans are welcome!
There are so many ways to enter using the Rafflecopter below. Come back daily for additional chances to win with a tweet-a-day!
The winner will be contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to reply and claim their prize. U.S. residents only. Giveaway closes on August 19.