If you want to start a bullet journal but don’t know how, you’re at the right place! Starting a bullet journal has become a popular alternative for those who like to write things down with personalized touches for creative flair. Your bullet journal will be as unique as you are which makes it fun. You’re not limited to one designer’s idea of what’s productive and what isn’t. (YOU get to choose).
It’s a great way to keep not only your lists but also your tasks, organized! As a busy mommy blogger, with three little kiddos, I need to have a dedicated place where I can brainstorm, jot down ideas to research, tips to try/share, as well as to-do lists to keep me working toward my goals. Maybe you have thought about starting a bullet journal but wasn’t sure where to begin. (It’s easy to get distracted by all the cute video tutorials!)
Today I’m going to share how to start a bullet journal to help you increase productivity and help free up your precious time!
Disclosure: *This post contains affiliate links.
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal (also knowns as BUJU journal) is an analog customizable and forgiving organizational system. Some may use it for to-do lists, planner, as a sketchbook or notebook or a combination of those elements. Simply put, it is a journal with dots rather than with lines which helps you to utilize it as you wish. (There are no rules here!) Ryder Carroll, a Brooklyn-based artistic director, is credited using this new way to jot down ideas and tasks with pen and paper. (Keeping it old school) Typically, notebooks have a ruling or page marking in either plain, ruled or grid. One alternative is a simple grid dot notebook which features pages with a series of dots in rows, usually faintly marked, suggesting a grid pattern for a minimalist approach to journaling.
Supplies you need to start a bullet journal
One of the best things about bullet journaling is you don’t need a lot of pricey supplies to get started. The whole idea behind bullet journaling is to keep things simple!
LET’S START THAT BULLET JOURNAL!
But where do you begin? What bullet journal supplies do you need? It’s not hard! You may already have a few of the supplies lying around your house – looking at you post it notes and stickers! 🙂
To get started you will need the following supplies!
THE FAVORITE JOURNAL OF ALL TIME
Seriously, this little red book goes with me everywhere!
- Notebook – One popular notebook for bullet journaling is the Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Notebook which comes in a multitude of colors. It is a durable, quality notebook, priced under $20, that will stand the test of time which is something I’m willing to splurge on.
DOODLE THE RAINBOW
A life without color is pretty gray.
- Colorful Pens – Colorful pens will bring life to your bullet journal. My favorite is Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen Assorted Colors 10-Color Set. If you like 5-star reviews like I do, you will love these!
BEST BASIC BLACK
Because you need the basics, and the basics need you.
- Black Pens – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a fine black ink pen. The Sakura Pigma 30061 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set is a bullet journalist favorite. With these Micron pens, you will enjoy skip-free writing with a fine 5-point ideal for both writing and drawing.
TRACE WITH STENCILS:
It’s not cheating – don’t worry – all the Instagramer’s use it.
- Stencils – Remember using these when you were a kid?! They were so much fun and you have the excuse to use them again to enhance your bullet journal layouts. It’s an inexpensive DIY way to decorate your journal!
Because you’ve loved stickers since you’ve been 5 years old.
- Stickers – Stickers are another way you can dress up your bullet journal. They make journaling reminiscent of scrapbooking but on a more manageable and inexpensive scale.
How to begin a bullet journal? FAQ
Where in your journal do you put your daily log?
I put my daily log right after my monthly log. You can see my exact daily log layout here.
Remember, your bullet journal is yours. You can follow a loosely advised system, but sometimes a bullet journal turns into a bit more of a doodle journal.
How would you recommend indexing collections when you start from the back of the journal?
I would skip a few pages and start 5 pages from the back of the journal. Or just work backwards.
What do you recommend as a beginner fountain pen?
Oh the pens! I do have my favorite – it’s the micron pens, you can find them here!
What Is Notebook Paper Made Of?
Approximately half of the fiber used to make paper comes from wood harvested for the purpose of paper-making. Remaining materials derive from wood fiber from sawmills, recycled newspaper, vegetable matter and recycled cloth.
How Big Is An A5 Notebook?
The A5 Notebook is standard North American letter-sized paper (8.3” x 11.7”) folded in half.
Are PaperMate Flair Pens Washable?
I have good news all mommies will like for this one! Ink stains from Papermate Flair pens are water-soluble! (Insert happy dance). It’s easier to remove Ink-stains from Flair Pens than with ball-point pens ink or permanent markers.
How to Treat PaperMate Flair Pens Ink-Stains
To treat clothing with a PaperMate Flair Pen ink-stain, it’s recommended to lay the stain face-down on either a clean, plain cloth or paper towel. Next, spray the back of the stain with hairspray until wet. Push the stain through the fabric and replace the cloth or paper towel underneath the stain as it absorbs the ink. Finally, wash the cloth as you normally would launder it or take to a dry cleaner.
Are Staedtler Fineliners Waterproof?
Staedtler Fineliner pens contain water-based ink and can be washed from many types of fabric. (Note: This does not mean that the ink is waterproof or water-resistant). One of the fun elements of bullet journaling is expressing your creative side when finding a layout that works for you. This is your place to experiment! You can explore bullet journal ideas in this super cool Buzzfeed post!
Essential layouts for your bullet journal
Now that you know what bullet journaling is and what supplied are needed to start your own bullet journal you will want to have layouts that will effectively organize your ideas and to-do lists.
The Calendex is a method for organizing events in your bullet journal allowing for the planning of future events and serves as an Index of page numbers with events.
Bullet Journal Logs
The Future Log in bullet journaling is a way to log future events in one location in your bullet journal. Anything occurring in the future, including birthdays, meetings, trips, etc. would be written in the Future Log.
The Monthly Log is a great way to keep a list of all the tasks you need to get done in a month at a glance.
Daily Log helps you to organize tasks that must get done each day. The best time to create your list is the night before so you know exactly what to do when you start your day and you don’t have to second guess yourself.
While I love my Post-It notes for time management, I love having a bullet journal that I can take with me anywhere to jot down ideas and to add to/check off items on my to-do lists.
43 Bullet Journal List Ideas
Unique examples like:
– In Laws Birthdays
– Honey To Dos
– School Supplies List
– Baby Name List
– and more!
Bullet journal for productivity
I used to journal a lot when I was younger. I would doodle and make lists and paste little stickers all over my planners.
But today, using a bullet journal is turning into a science. There are rules and templates and beautiful pages.
I wanted to see if my productivity methods can be adapted into a bullet journal. Everyone loves the magic that Post it notes can do to your life – but can a bullet journal provide the same results?
The No List
The Goal: When you have a standard list of declines, you can prevent yourself from over committing. Read the full post: Stop Wasting Time
The Super Simple Weekly Schedule
The Goal: Organize your week with Post-It notes in the Super Simple Weekly Schedule. Or do a simplified version in your bullet journal to keep up your productivity and get stuff done.
Prioritize Your List
The Goal: Stop becoming overwhelmed with your super long to do list. Prioritize your tasks so you can work on the right things! This productivity method to set your priorities is super adaptable to the bullet journal.
Bullet Journal Inspiration
The Goal: To be happy with the little things in life, like beautiful pens to use in my bullet journal!
Do you use a bullet journal?
Please share with me what you think of my beginning attempts. Even a one word comment would mean so much to me!
Additional resources for starting your bullet journal.