There are more and more people starting to talk about bullet journaling, and I’m loving the fact that it’s becoming a popular method of planning, but I feel like the basics of bullet journaling are getting lost in the shuffle.
So many people have different styles and create content in their bullet journals that encompasses who they are, both creatively and professionally: tons of color, washi tape and different layouts, just to name a few.
For a new bullet journaler, seeing all of this can become a little bit overwhelming.
So I’m here to talk basics: specifically, the basics of bullet journaling.
WHAT IS A BULLET JOURNAL?
I touched on this a little bit in my first post regarding the topic, but here it is again: a bullet journal is a planner, a to-do list, a journal, sketchbook, diary, an anything-you-want-it-to-be book. It doesn’t stop at just one thing, and it’s extremely customizable. Check out the official website to learn more about the Bullet Journal.
WHAT DO I NEED?
Here are the things I use to bullet journal:
- Moleskine notebook – hardcover, black, grid
- Papermate Flair pens
- Imagination and coffee
That’s seriously it. Well, the coffee is optional, but.. it’s my life source, so..
I bought washi tape but didn’t really find myself using it
much at all. I prefer to keep it colourful with doodles and tons of different colours.
Honestly, all you need is a notebook of your choosing (many people swear by the Leuchtermm1917* [which, if we’re being perfectly honest, I think I’m going to switch over to once my Moleskine is full] or the Moleskine), and some pens – preferably ones that don’t bleed through the page, since you’ll be using them a lot.
*Side note: I mentioned switching, but only because I like the wider notebook better. The Moleskine is a little bit narrower, and I personally think I can do more with a wider notebook. Again, personal preference.
I think this is where people are getting overwhelmed.
Your bullet journal is anything you want it to be, yes, but it’s also your planner/daily or weekly to-do list. This is 97% of what I use it for. The other 3% is doodles, lists (books to read, movies to watch, bucket list), notes on books I’m reading, or blog organization.
There are so many bullet journal Pinterest groups and pins, and so many Facebook groups that have people showcasing their bullet journals and everything they put into it, that if I was a newbie to the system I would for sure be overwhelmed.
But, if you take the time to go right down to the basics of what this system provides, you’ll find that it’s an effective way of organizing your day, planning your thoughts, and being able to express yourself creatively.
- Create a key for yourself and your journaling: this is going to help you quickly jot down and plan your days/activities. For example, I use a green triangle for school, and an upside down yellow triangle for work. If something is really important, I put three exclamation points beside it (!!!).
- Create a planning routine: I plan out my days the night before, so when I wake up I have a fresh day to look forward to.
- Keep it simple: When I first started, I had so many different symbols, and I kept confusing myself and having to look back at the key to remind myself what I was using. Simple can actually be your friend in this instance.
You don’t need fancy pens or tape or a super expensive notebook either, you can make due with what you have. Tons of journalers don’t even use colourful pens and stick to pure and simple black ink.
It’s so customizable.
It’s so you.
FELLOW BULLET JOURNALERS
Here’s a list of a few bullet journalers I love, and the blogs I frequent when I’m looking for inspiration:
These are just a few to get you started, but you’ll see that once you step into the bullet journal community, you’ll be surprised to find that there are so many more people out there who share your passion for it.
I hope this post helps declutter some of the bullet journal thoughts in your mind, and help bring you back to the basics of it.
Once you get the concept, it’s a great way to plan, and it’s not as confusing as it looks.