As usual, I am so behind on the latest trends of the internet, because I am just finding out how awesome bullet journals are! A few months ago, after seeing all of the super cute page layouts on Pinterest, I finally broke down and started a bullet journal.
Now, I have to be honest, it has sort of become an obsession of mine. And since I love my bullet journal so much, I’m going to share with you the steps on how to create your own bullet journal! Simple and inexpensive, it is a great hobby to take up!
What is a bullet journal?
If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, it is basically a journal of sorts that uses lists, tables, charts, etc. to diagram and track different aspects of your life! This can include anything from jotting down your day-to-day activities to keeping track of your mood each day for the whole year!
For a more in-depth (and probably a much better) explanation, watch this video below from the creator himself, Ryder Carroll!
Now that we know just exactly what a bullet journal is, let’s get into how you start one!
1. Decide on what style you want your bullet journal to be
So, you’ve decided you want to start a bullet journal. And…now what? It seems easy to say that you want to start a bullet journal, but there are so many different ways to use one that it can really be overwhelming.
First, you need to ask yourself, What do I want to use my bullet journal for?
There are so many things you can do with a bullet journal! You can use your journal to track your goals for the year. Or just use it to keep track of little reminders. Some people like to use it as a planner of sorts, logging daily and weekly activities.
What you want to use your bullet journal for will help determine what layout style you want to use. There are a few different ‘types’ of bullet journals out there. Some are laid out neat and orderly while others are more carefree and relaxed.
Take, for example, this lovely spread by @helen.c.stark:
I really enjoy the way she sets up her journal, as there is just such an effortless (and gorgeous!) look to every page!
This type of bullet journal reminds me more of a sketchbook rather than just a journal, so it is perfect for fueling your more artsy side. It would be good for someone who wants to draw more, and use their drawings to tell a story.
However, this setup by @thekiwirose, is much more orderly but still beautiful!
This type of bullet journal seems better for tracking events and keeping your thoughts and memories in a nice and neat spot.
Both setups are beautiful, it’s really just your personal preference on which one you choose! If you are big on drawing (or want to be) the first layout may be better for you, while the second is good for people who like lines and different fonts and are big on organization.
Either way, no matter how you choose to set up and use your bullet journal, though, remember to not stress too much about it! You can always have a journal that has a little bit of everything. Remember, this is for you, nobody else!
This is a pretty easy step, and it’s still something that you have a lot of options with!
Some things to consider when you’re gathering supplies:
- Brand of journal
- Size of journal
- style of paper
- Writing utensils
If you’ve already done a little bit of research on bullet journals, you’ll probably notice that some people like to use better-quality notebooks, such as a moleskine. Here are some examples of the different styles of moleskine journals below:
You can find this journal here!
And this one here!
And this one right here.
Not only do these journals differ in color (and size!) but there is ruled, plain, and dotted paper! That’s one thing I love about moleskine journals, is they have such variety.
Amazon has some of the cheapest prices that I’ve seen on moleskine journals, but in general moleskine journals can be a little expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. Here is a journal that is super cheap (and still does the job beautifully!)
Other factors to consider:
Also, you want to consider what size journal you’ll need. What purpose will your bullet journal serve? if you’re taking your bullet journal with you for on-the-go/traveling purposes, you may want to acquire a smaller notebook. However, if you want a lot of room to draw and include big charts, you may want to get something larger.
Another factor is the type of paper you want to use. If you look at the examples above again, you’ll notice that the first example doesn’t have any lines or dots, while the second one does. When picking out your journal you will definitely want to consider what ‘style’ of bullet journal you want to create, as that will help you determine whether or not you need lines on the paper.
Of course you’ll need something to write with! Personally, I like to use a 005 micron pen, it seems to work pretty well for me, as I like to do a lot of detailed drawings in my journal!
You can find these pens here!
There are so many decisions that have to be made regarding your bullet journal, it can seem overwhelming! But I promise once you get this part out of the way, you’ll be happy you did!
This is where places like Pinterest and Instagram come in handy! While this is definitely your own vision, it doesn’t hurt to get inspiration and ideas on what to put into your journal.
Just type in ‘bullet journal inspiration’ and you’ll be amazed at all the different types of bullet journals out there! There are tons of Pinterest Boards full of bullet journal pages, prompts, and inspiration to get you started. You can also view my board here.
Here are some pages by the lovely @helen.c.stark again because I think she truly encompasses a beautiful way to journal! Hopefully this can get the creative juices started on your own journal as well!
This also gives you an idea of the different ways you can layout your pages. You don’t have to do the same thing for every page, you an mix it up and add things as you need them!
Also, here are 50 Bullet Journal Page Ideas (With Examples!) to give you more ideas!
4. Create a test page!
Although this step is optional, if you are a perfectionist like me, you definitely don’t want to skip this one!
It’s very nerve-wracking opening up a new sketchbook or journal and creating that first page. I usually skip the first page and come back to it later, just because I hate messing up on the first page!
Having a test page will help you get an idea of what you want and practice before you start on your actually journal. Just take a sheet of paper and use it as your canvas.
Another option is to draw/layout everything in pencil in your journal before you start inking anything. This way, you can still see how it will look without having to redraw everything.
Some journalists use a test page before ever putting a new layout in their journal, while others are more ‘go with the flow’ about their journals and let mistakes happen. Either way is fine, just remember to have fun! Don’t overthink things!
5. Start your bullet journal!
Now that you’ve got everything together, you can finally start your bullet journal adventures!
Getting started may be one of the hardest parts. Hopefully these simple steps will help make the process a little easier.
I hope you enjoy your new bullet journal and remember: Have fun! Starting your bullet journal is a big step and I hope you stick with it!
Any questions? Just ask! If you have a bullet journal, let me know how you like it! I’d love to hear from you!
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