You’ve heard about the game-changer called the Bullet Journal. You either have one or are planning on purchasing one. But after receiving a basically blank notebook with a dot grid, what the heck are you supposed to do with it? We’ll cover the 101 of how to start a bullet journal, along with some great tips from the pros. You will be a BuJo Ninja in no time!
Before we even get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s first address the elephant in the room. Because I know what you are thinking.
But What About…
Second only to “How do I start using a Bullet Journal?” the question I hear the most is, “Do I have to be creative to have a Bullet Journal?” Of course not! If you are the creative type, then BuJo is your jam. But if you are like me and your idea of creativity is a stick figure, then I promise you that you can still Bullet Journal. I don’t engage in the creative drawings, I focus mine on lists, goals, intentions, and the like.
Someone said to me recently, “Isn’t journaling so last year?” NOOOOO!!!!! Oh my goodness, this cult movement is growing bigger and bigger by the minute! Search “bullet journal” or “#bujo” on Facebook or Instagram and you will see the explosion.
I’ve also heard – “It’s so confusing!” It isn’t confusing. Trust me. What you need to do is learn a few basics and then it’s up to you. Again, we have tons of resources both in this article and also in other articles!
What is a Bullet Journal?
In a nutshell, it’s a method, a system, a notebook, a planner, a tracker, a to-do list, a life-hack, and a way to keep track of pretty much everything in your life. Except for that missing sock, your toddler’s other shoe, or where you put your glasses. It can’t help you there. Oh wait… maybe it can!
Ryder Carroll is the brainchild creator of the Bullet Journal system. His book, The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future, explains the methodology, and quickly became a New York Times Bestseller.
Technically, you can BuJo with a cheap notebook and a pen. Technically. But the system is so much more! Think of a to-do list and then amp it up on steroids.
How to Start a Bullet Journal
1. Set up a key. You will want circles, check boxes, and various signifiers to associate with your tasks and lists. Make a key to keep them all straight. Check out this Huge List of Bullet Journal Symbols and Icons from Paperly People.
2. Make an index. Some bullet journals are numbered. Some you have to add in your own numbers. You will want an index at the beginning of your journal so you know what information is on which page.
3. The world is your oyster! Use your journal for whatever your heart’s desire! If you’re not sure where to get started, check out the article: 50+ Ideas for Your Bullet Journal.
4. Stay committed. Stick with it and don’t be afraid to course-correct if something isn’t working for you. This system is designed to make your life easier and give you resources, not to be an additional headache in your life.
Resources for Your Bullet Journal
A Bullet Journal
Captain Obvious here. But you will need a journal to begin your Bullet Journal. You will want a journal that lays flat. Super important. The method is used on a dot grid format. But hey, if you grab a cheap 88 cent school notebook, that’s awesome! Just start – that’s all that matters! The BuJo purists use the Leuchtturm1917 and we have our own Pink Fortitude Signature Bullet Journal Style Notebooks that are stylish and gorgeous!
Pens and/or Pencils
You can use that 5-year old pen you found at the bottom of your purse. Or you can make it creative and colorful. Some like to use colored pens, and some pencils. Depending on the weight of the paper, the pen may bleed through. Colored pencils may fade. So the choice is yours.
For those who are the creatives or want to make their BuJo more artistic, you can add this hardware to your arsenal.
Stickers and Tape
Hello colorful and fun! Add some flair to your BuJo with stickers and Washi tape.
BuJo 101 from the Bloggers
Remember what I said above about not being super creative with my Bullet Journal? Life isn’t about having all of the answers. It’s about having the experts to turn to for the best advice. If I were to show you mine, you would be bored to tears at how unimaginative it is. BUT… that’s where my superstar blogger friends come in. This tribe is crazy creative and will give you lots of additional ideas to get started!
Bullet Journal Essentials for the Beginner by Organized 31
How to Start a Bullet Journal Like a Pro by Mainly Homemade
How to Use a Bullet Journal: Tips and Tricks by DIY Candy
Setting Up Your First Bullet Journal: Organise Your Life! by The Purple Pumpkin Blog
Bullet Journal Setup: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Set Up a Bullet Journal by Diary of a Journal Planner
Bullet Journal: How to Make It Work for You by Organized 31
A Simple Bullet Journal Guide to Answer All Your Questions About BuJo by Diary of a Journal Planner
Additional Bullet Journal Resources
So that’s it, my friends! All you need to begin! Enjoy your Bullet Journal journey!
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and getting my BuJo Mojo.HERE.