Bullet Journaling for Beginners
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a planner. I find joy and take pride in my ability to plan. And I LOVE a good planner. Give me the stickers, each different section, and the color coating! I loved it all so much that my sophomore year, I decided to try my hand at bullet journaling, and I loved it! What is a bullet journal (or “bujo”) you ask? A bullet journal is a journal based on a system that utilizes key points or bullet points. That is the simple, perhaps self-explanatory answer. For me, a bullet journal is how I keep my physical and mental health on track, and the perfect place to record my personal “trends” on a month to month basis.
The possibilities of what you can track and create with your bullet journal are ENDLESS. Because the possibilities are endless, starting your bujo journey can feel a little overwhelming. Here are my tips on how to start your journal and make it your own!
- Grab Your Materials!– The first thing you will need is…a journal, duh! You can really use any journal you would like, but for the purpose of creating symmetrical boxes for all your trackers and such, I would recommend getting a dotted journal. I used a dotted journal, and I love how easy it makes my page set-up! Mine is Artist’s Loft from Michael’s, and it was SUPER affordable (and a pretty pink)! You could also use a journal with blank pages, or a lined journal if that’s your jam. Pens and markers are also bullet journal staples! How else are you going to create to your heart’s content? I use simple black pens to do my basic writing/ outlining, and TomBow Dual Brush Pens for my hand lettering and pops of color (one end is a fine tip and the other is a brush tip)!
- Pin! Pin! Pin!– Before diving right in, it will be important for you to know to establish your journal’s set up and how often you want to update your journal. I like to create a new layout for my journal every month, I find that to be the easiest for me! (Once, I made a bullet journal planner for a while year in advance. I wouldn’t recommend, it didn’t allow enough room for additions/edits). Pinterest is FULL of different ideas for layouts, trackers, and themes. It is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole looking for ideas on Pinterest, but it is more than likely that you will end your search with a boat load of inspiration! Check out my journaling Pinterest board for some added inspo!
- Take Stock– This is what I like to call “Page Planning.” Now it’s time to think about what kind of things you would like to measure/keep track of in your journal! I think this is one of the most fun parts of creating a bullet journal because it is tailored to YOU! Think about the things you would like to do more consistently in your life, or the things you would have a better grasp on if you measured them day to day. I like to have some “reflection pages” where I keep track of things I am doing/watching/reading in a month. Here are some page/tracker examples:
- Sleep Tracker
- Mood Tracker
- Spending Tracker
- Period Tracker
- Reading/TV/Movie List
- Weekly Planner Pages
- Full Calendar Pages
- Password Log
- Food/Water Log
- Monthly Memories Page
- Dream Log
- Brain Dump Page
- To-Do Lists
- Get Creative!– Make this journal your own! Something that I love about having a bullet journal is that is also acts as a creative outlet for me rather than just this book full of personal stats and information. When I create my monthly layouts, I find it so relaxing. It is my own little private space to decorate as my own and take pride in- so dress yours up however you’d like. You do NOT need to be great drawer! You do NOT need to be a master at hand lettering! All you need is a little creative energy, and a desire to keep better track of your life and habits! P.S.- I have recently started giving each month a theme/color scheme!
- Keep Track and Plan Ahead– Once you’ve got your layout set up and your trackers created, you’ve reached the hardest part of having a bullet journal- keeping up with it. It is one thing to make the journal pages, but it is TOTALLY another thing keeping up with what you have set out to measure every day/week/month. But if you put the time and work into creating this journal for yourself, you would want to do your best to be consistent right? Right! Personally, knowing that I have this little book often makes me stay on track because I know I have something keeping me accountable! It is also essential to plan ahead. Make a Pinterest board of your own so you can that inspiration at your fingertips when it’s time to create something new! Since I make new layouts monthly, I usually start page planning the last week of the month.
The best thing about creating this journal is that your creations can constantly be changing! You can switch up your page and tracker layouts as often as you’d like AND you can always add/subtract things! If there are new things you want to keep track of, add them! If there are things you find aren’t useful to measure anymore, or you aren’t liking them in your journal, you don’t have to include them in your next layout! What is important is that you are taking control of your life and habits!
What’s In My Journal!
Here is a look into what I currently include in my pages and what I like to keep track of on a monthly basis!
- A cover page for the month
- Sleep tracker (Hint: if you have a Fitbit or Apple Watch, I use my insights to get my hours!)
- Mood tracker
- Log of the books I read, movies I watch, and TV shows I watch every month
- Monthly memories page
- One line a day page (write down the highlight of my day)
- Dream log (I was just curious to see how often I could recall my dreams!)
- Yoga and exercise videos/classes log
- Extra doodle pages (i.e. boxes of the things I can control, doodle of the chakras and what they represent, etc.)
- Habit trackers:
- skin care routine
- gratitude journal
- blog writing
- up by 9
- drink at least 3 bottles of water a day
I’m excited to include some new things as I start a new month and keep myself accountable with each new goal I set! Are you ready to start your bujo journey? Grab your materials, gather your inspiration, and take the leap!
Feel free to share your journal creations with me on Instagram by tagging @ang_larose1 <3