It didn't take too long for me to get caught up in the bullet journal hype. After seeing a couple of pictures pass by on Instagram and looking up some videos on YouTube, I knew I needed to give this bujo (short for bullet journal) thing a try. I am not a very artsy person, but after seeing some very creative bullet journal featuring lots of colours, drawings, sketches and washi tape I decided I wanted to see where my bullet journal could take me and my creativity. And of course it's not only about creativity, but mostly about planning and productivity. If you feel like a regular planner doesn't hold enough space for you, or perhaps even gives too much space to some compartments, this planner is for you. What you put in your bullet journal, and how you put it in there, is 100% your choice. And that's what makes it as awesome as it is!
I decided to start off with a lined Moleskine notebook, simply because I still had an unused one laying around and I didn't want it to go to waste. If you don't have any notebooks at home though and you're contemplating which notebook to buy for bullet journaling I would strongly suggest to get a dotted or squared notebook, like the Leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal or the Moleskine squared notebook. Also give some thought to how large you'd like your bullet journal to be. I might size up for my next notebook, as I think an A4 might allow me to be more creative in my spreads. Next to a notebook, you'll also need to figure out how creative you want to be and how many pens and markers you'll need to achieve that. I got a few nice black brush pens at a local art supply store as I wanted to give faux calligraphy a try, but remember: there are no rules or musts for bullet journals.
The first pages you'll want to reserve for your index: this is super important as it'll be your guide throughout your bullet journal. I messed up my index so I glued some white paper & washi in there, which brings me to another advice: it really is okay to make mistakes. I am quite the perfectionist so it was hard to let go of the idea that I could just glue some paper in ("but it doesn't look the same as my other pages!" or "I can just buy a new notebook!"), but after a while it's actually quite therapeutic to deal with whatever mistake you make and be okay with the solution.
Your next page will be your key. Your key will be especially important if you'll mostly be using your bullet journal for planning, as it'll make it easier to move tasks around and to recognise what exactly you have to do with it. You can personalise your key however you see fit - I used the key that the creator of the bullet journal proposes, but you can add or change what you like. The full system is explained here in detail.
After those first pages I took some time to figure out which yearly overviews I wanted to add to my bullet journal before starting my monthly segments. I added a future log which gives me a nice overview of the year and allows me to highlight some important events in the future so I won't forget to add them to my monthly planner, and I also reserved a bunch of pages to plan my blog content. This gives me a good overview of how much I post and hopefully in the future will be used to plan posts ahead - if I ever find the time again to consistently post several times a week. With a larger notebook I would have been able to give each day its own line - one of the reasons why I am probably going bigger next journal. You can as many overviews as you like, a few other ideas are a budget sheet, saving plans, book reading goals, travel goals, new year resolutions, and more.
Then it's time to get to the monthly segments. I like to start of each month with an illustrated title page. I am not an illustrator and can't really draw, but I love exploring what I can put on paper and how. In February I loved drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, in March I bought my first tulips of the year and in April I bought beautiful green hydrangeas that turn pink as they bloom, together with pink daisies and pink peonies. I am not a great illustrator and I am sure many of you could do a better job, but it's the process that counts!
Next you can add a monthly calendar where you can add your appointments, so you have an overview of what your month looks like. You can also skip this and only add weekly planners that give you more space for more details, or you can do both. I don't do weekly planners as I use my phone calendar for weekly planning, but you can do whatever you think works best for you! Some people add their to-do lists to their weekly spreads, while I have separate to-do lists. You can find a lot of inspiration for weekly planners on Pinterest, like for example here, here, here or here.
And finally, now's the time to add whatever else you might like to add to your bullet journal. This can be random lists just like the list I made about what I love about bullet journaling, but you can also add other handy things such as a habit tracker, a sleep log, goal trackers, inspirational quotes, wishlists, other lists and much more.
For more bullet journal inspiration, check out "plan with me" videos on YouTube. I like AmandaRachLee's channel for example, but there are many great videos to browse through that'll give you plenty of ideas and tips. Remember that it's supposed to be something fun and that there is no right or wrong way to bullet journal - you can adapt the system to your liking as much as you want! You'll notice that the more time you spend on your journal, the more confident you'll get and the more relaxing it'll become. Have fun!
Check our the official bullet journal website here