Welcome back to Part 2 of my Why should I Bullet Journal and how do I start one? If you missed part 1 on what a Bullet Journal is catch up here.
Well done for getting this far and deciding Bullet Journalling is for you. Your going to be part of a really cool club. There is nothing more joyous than meeting a fellow Bullet Journaller and comparing notebooks.
Any Notebook can become a Bullet Journal. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a fancy notebook. Find one you like. Ones with grids or dots are probably easier to work with, but I know these are more pricey. Mines is a Moleskin ruled notebook. It does mean you have to draw your own vertical lines but hey, I will survive!
I really fancy a Leuchtturm 1917 for my next journal, but they can be pricey. Get whatever you want and you think suits you, after all it will be with you at all times!
I am part of different groups where people spent hundreds on stuff for their Bullet Journal, others just have a black pen and are happy. I’m in the middle, I love Stationery but wouldn’t spend a lot on it. The essential items you need are a nice writing pen, a pencil, a ruler and if you want you can have coloured pens or pencils but you can add onto your collection as you go and decide what you want.
Firstly I would plan it out a little bit, think about what you want to include in your bullet journal. Have you seen any ideas you like, what would you like to get out of your journal? Part 3 will have some links to blogs and websites that will give you inspiration. Have a look at my own Pinterest board too.
Leave the first page blank for your Index, this is handy for easily finding pages. Another thing to do is to number your pages, you don’t need to number the whole book at once, just maybe 20 pages at a time.
The Set Up
Here’s an overview of how I set up mine, obviously it’s entirely up to you. Whatever makes sense to you. The first two pages in my Bullet Journal, I split up into 8 different sections for the remaining months of the year and one box for 2017. In retrospect I should have maybe had a monthly calendar, like this spread.
Thats the joy of a Bullet Journal is, every day is a school day. A learning path. On this page, I add in upcoming events for the year. In all honesty, I do also add dates into my iCloud Calendar. These will be added to my monthly spread when I come to it.
The next page, I have my first monthly spread. I have the month name at the top and the days down the side. I had all my appointments, events etc at the corresponding dates. On the opposite page I had a log, that I wrote what I did each day, but that didn’t really work for me.
Dailies vs. Weeklies
Now this is where you need to make the choice between whether you want to create dailies or weeklies. Here’s a post that sets out the pro’s and con’s of each. I started with a weekly but didn’t like it as there wasn’t much space and I liked writing a review of my day and maybe a doodle. But then I didn’t get round to doing it every day so I basically stick to a monthly and then if I need to take notes one day I will add these in.
What I sometimes do is rolling weeks. I draw a column down the left hand side of my page, I split this column into 5 or 6 boxes, in which I write the dates. Here I write events, appointments etc from my monthly calendar in the boxes. On the right hand side I have another column, here I write a To-Do list of things I have to do this week at some point. Now in the space in the middle, I have daily entries, adding as much or as little information as I need. Some days it may just be one event,a few tasks and a bullet pointed list of what I’ve done. Otherwise I may want to add a full journal entry. When I run out of space in the middle, or I run out of days down the left hand side (Whatever comes first), I would then create a new rolling week, with the next day starting the column.
You just need to work out what works for you, you can play about with layouts, styles, dailies, weeklies. The idea being if its not working move on, try something new. Whilst I am on the subject can I warn you you will make mistakes all the time with your bullet journal, don’t fret over them, mines is full of squint lines, misspelt words and rubbish drawings.
Once you get to grips with the basics you can start getting fancy, you can add in other pages here’s some ideas.
This is a favourite amongst Bullet Journalists Some add these to their daily or weekly pages or others may have it as a monthly thing. Some may think its stupid and not bother. I have a monthly habit tracker. This is basically a table with the dates along the top and things I should be doing every day or several times a week. I track things like Blog Posts, Instagram, Water Drinking, Reading, Eating Breakfast, Step Count, Exercise. It’s a good way of holding yourself accountable and tracking things you want to do. Its all about self improvement. As you can see from July’s habit tracker, I am amazing at Instagram but Exercise perhaps needs a little more work.
These are my favourite part of my Bullet Journal. These are your lists of things. There are endless things you can keep lists of. Movies you want to watch, Blog Post Ideas, books you’ve always meant to read endless opportunities.
Here’s a list of my collections.
- Blog Post Ideas and Hashtags to Use.
- Books to read
- Movies to see
- Podcasts to listen to
- Training Courses I’ve been on.
- Music to listen to.
- My Bucket List
- Gins to Try
- Date Ideas
- Packing Lists
- 101 Things That Make Me Happy
- Instagram Challenges to Try
- Things to buy
- Quotes I like
- Life Plans.
- A-Z of Happiness
- The Different Types of Sunbathers
- Meal Ideas
- Maps with Places I’ve been.
- My Family Tree
- Random Acts of Kindness
- Notes from the Miracle Morning Book.
- Diet Notes
- Weight Tracker
So you may notice some of these are silly, some are practical, some I no longer need but can use as reference points. Thats the joy of having a bullet journal. It’s your book. Add in any pages you want, if an idea pops in your head just write it. If you fancy a doodle just do it.
This may freak some people out that you may have one day, the next page is a list of books, your family tree and then the next day. You soon get used to it though. I have page markers for the pages I use frequently.
I made these out of envelopes, just cut the corner off an envelope, decorate it, I used coloured tape and then slip it on the corner of your book. Coloured tape or Washi tape is a dream! You can use it to add lines to pages, decorate pages, decorate your journal, split stuff up, the possibilities are limitless. I got mine from Amazon quite cheaply but I know in the UK shops like HobbyCraft and Tiger sell it.
So there’s my run down of how to start a Bullet Journal. Read a few different blogs or pins first to see the different styles and find one that you like. Remember you can always change it if you don’t like it or it’s not working. Also keep in the loop if you choose to start a Bullet Journal, share your planner with me, feel free to ask any questions. I’m no expert but there is a great community out there, I’ll share some of my favourite Bloggers and Bullet Journal Pages in Post 3.
See my Pinterest Board here.