After posting on instagram that I am getting back into my bullet journal after going a bit off track with everything trying to use apps instead, a few people messaged to say they had never heard of them and wanted to know more.
They are so simple but hard to explain but I shall give it a go!
For a bit of background, have a watch of this video by the created Ryder Carroll.
I’m a pen and paper kind of girl, and I don’t know about you, but I have bought so many planners over the last ten years hoping that each and every one of them would change my life, but nothing has worked. Some were okay, but they were not exactly what I needed, or they had too many boxes and I didn’t need all those boxes. Nothing was right.
Until I found the bullet journal.
If you feel that you are juggling way too many plates and trying to keep up with them all – then this is definitely for you! And if you feel like you have random pieces of paper scattered everywhere with information you need to remember this is definitely for you too!
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is basically a planner/calendar/task management system all rolled into one that you customise to meet your EXACT needs. You are the one who decides what goes in it and what goes where so that it suits you perfectly.
Things you can do in a bullet journal:
- Use it as a calendar
- Use it as a planner – plan your days, weeks, months etc
- Take notes in it
- Use it for lists
- Use it as a journal to track your thoughts
- Use it to keep track of your habits etc
- Doodle in it
- Basically – whatever you want.
What do I need to start?
A pen and a notebook.
That is it.
The majority of people use a Leuchtturm1917 A5 squared or dotted notebook (which is what I use) or a Moleskine A5 Squared or dotted notebook.
But, you don’t have to use any of them. You can use any notebook that you have got hanging around and it is EXACTLY the same.
Some people prefer lined paper, others prefer dots. I prefer squares.
What can I keep track of in it?
- Calendar. The future log and calendar pages let you keep track of appointments and events coming up.
- Habit tracker – You can track your habits that you want to keep up or habits you want to start. There is just something special about seeing a line of crosses.
- Cleaning tracker. Keep track of your cleaning so you can see what you cleaned last and when you need to do it next.
- Food diary.
- Mood tracker.
- Todo lists. Future todo lists.
- Lists. Book wishlists, Books on your shelf you want to read lists. Holiday packing lists. Wishlists. Present ideas lists. Grocery lists.
Literally, whatever you want.
Doesn’t it get messy?
It is personal preference how messy you let it get.
The first few pages of your bullet journal should be an index. You don’t have to do an index for every daily, but if you had a random list half way through the week, it can be useful to jot the page number down so you can find it quickly and easily.
I’m a bit type A, so I like to keep my planner things at the front, and at the back I keep all my random lists.
I found doodling in it too time consuming and it was putting me off using my bullet journal.
Do what works best for you.
A plain notebook is a bit boring.
I have to be honest, I like plain and boring. It works best for me.
But, I am in the minority, because most people doodle over the pages and use fancy letters and pictures or stickers to make their’s look pretty.
If you fancy falling down an #bujo rabbit hole – type it into instragram and you will see what I mean! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
How do I set it up?
The basic pages that you put in a bullet journal are:
This is the page that holds the entire bullet journal together. Number your pages and write down what is on each page in the index at the front. Then when you need to find a certain page you can do it in seconds.
- Monthly calendar/Future log
This is pretty self-explanatory. Just where you put all the future dates and appointments you need to remember. Some people put their monthly goals on these pages too. I like to have a separate page for them.
- Weekly planning page.
This is where you plan your week, anything you need to get done, anything coming up, if you want to get specific things done on specific days. Here is where you put that info.
- Daily Pages.
These are where you plan your days. Your todo list for the day, any appointments. If you want to write down a few sentences about how your day went, a grocery list, a note to remember – these go on the dailies.
- Habit tracker.
There are so many amazing looking habit trackers. This is where you write down and keep track of any habits you are trying to keep up with or want to start.
- Lists and collections.
This is personal choice. Whatever you want to keep track of.
– Bucket list
– Book wishlist.
– Books to be read.
– Places to visit.
– Films to watch.
– Packing lists
– Christmas planning
– Car maintenance
– Cleaning checklists
– Date ideas
– Spending tracker
– Literally, whatever you want to make a list about.
What if I get it wrong?
You honestly can’t. It is YOUR bullet journal.
If you don’t want certain pages don’t put them in, I personally don’t put a calendar in because we use a family calendar in our kitchen and I use google calendar too.
If there are pages I haven’t written about but you would like to have – add them in!
There is no right or wrong way of doing it.
The first few weeks are going to be messy while you get used to it and work out what works for you and what doesn’t.
That is the basics.
Let me know if there is anything else you want to know!