Have you gone on Pinterest lately and seen all the pins of beautiful journal pages? Pin after pin contains images of monthly calendars, weekly spreads, and lists of all kinds. I kept seeing all of these journals on my Pinterest feed and was intrigued. What were these journals and how could I get into them? Well, my friends, these journals are called Bullet Journals, and you can definitely get into them!
When people ask me what a bullet journal is, I tell them it's a mix between a planner and a journal. You design every page to be exactly what you want it to be, and it's a great way to be creative and use your artistic skills while organizing your life. Before I started my bullet journal, I did a lot of research to figure out what I needed and how to get started. I quickly got overwhelmed by all the possibilities, and even more overwhelmed when I got my materials and started creating. I didn't want to mess up! Now that I've been journaling for a month, I realize that there was nothing to be overwhelmed about. So for those of you who want to start a bullet journal but are overwhelmed, here is a simple guide to get you started.
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Step 1: Buy Materials
When I was looking to buy materials, I quickly realized that Amazon was the way to go. Everything I wanted was cheaper there and I had a lot of choices to choose from. The first thing you need to purchase is your journal. I went with the Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook with dotted pages in navy blue. I found that this notebook had the best reviews and the most color options, and I am very pleased with it so far! You also want to make sure you have some pens to use. I purchased the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3 mm Porous Pen 10-Pack, which are great! They don't smear and look really bold on the pages. They are my go-to pens to write with in my bullet journal. I also purchased the Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers Bright 10-Pack to use for artistic details in my journal.
Step 2: Plan/Create Important Pages
Now the fun begins! Next you should think about some important pages you want to include in your bullet journal. For example, I knew I wanted yearly calendar and yearly goals pages at the beginning. I also knew I wanted pages devoted to tracking books I read during the year and TV shows I want to watch. I got all of these ideas by searching for ideas on Pinterest. This is when things got overwhelming for me because I wanted all of these pages at the beginning but also wanted to start doing some weekly planning. Then I got the genius idea to just reserve pages with post-it notes to go back to later, so that's just what I did! I still have post-its on some pages to create some financial goal setting pages and a workout tracking page. I made sure to leave lines blank on my index page to add those page titles later as well.
Step 3: Create Monthly/Weekly Pages
Now it's time to get to the planner part of your bullet journal. For each month, I like to start with a monthly calendar to write down any important dates, as well as set goals for the month and outline any important to-dos. Then I follow with weekly pages. For the month of May, I decided to do two days per page, because fitting a week on two pages during April didn't leave me with enough room. There are all sorts of details you can add to your weekly pages. For May, I included a spot on each day to write down what I'm having for dinner, as well as checkboxes to track posting on Instagram and meditating. What I love about these planning pages is you can make them have the exact layout you need! Last month, I didn't include checkboxes for Instagram or meditating, but since I made those items goals for the month, I wanted to include a way to track them. I like to leave open space on each day to write down my schedule and to-do list for the day, but I've seen some great weekly spreads where there are designated spots for those things. I tweak my design each month to fit my needs. To end the month, I do a Gratitude Log to track one thing I am grateful for each day. I just counted out how many pages I need for May and put the log after that.
Step 4: Don't Get Ahead of Yourself
This step is key to not getting overwhelmed. Don't get ahead of yourself! You don't need to create all of your important pages right away. Like I said before, post-it notes are your friend. Also, don't plan your entire month out at once. I only create pages for one week at a time. Each weekend, I take some time to plan the next week. That way, you don't spend days just creating pages without enjoying your bullet journal. Also, don't worry if you come up with an idea for an important page but don't have any more reserved pages at the beginning. I put new important pages after each month. For example, I thought to add a Blog Post Ideas page and just put it after my April Gratitude page.
In all of this, remember that your bullet journal is supposed to be a way to use your creativity and make your life more organized. It should not become a hassle! So hop on Pinterest, search Bullet Journals (or look at my board with the bullet journal pins I found helpful), and start journaling!