I’m an organized person. Like, really organized. From my morning routine to my sleep schedule, I feel there’s a certain sense of zen that comes with having everything in its place (and matching). Throw in my love for stickers, glitter, and all things colorful, and it was no surprise that my heart skipped a beat when I saw my first bullet journal.
After all, I was running myself ragged with all the other organizational tools I had – a wall calendar, Google calendar, and sticky notes on just about every surface. Finally – something to keep it all in place and do it beautifully.
I’d always been on the picky side. Some pre-made planners were too big, too small, didn’t have enough space, had too much space, or just plain didn’t vibe with me. Thankfully, a bullet journal can be truly handmade, filled with as much or as little of anything you want. And while you will primarily use it as a planner, you can really make it your own with beautiful tapes, images, quotes, ideas, or anything else that suits your liking. So with it being so personal, what exactly is a bullet journal?
What Is a Bullet Journal?
Part diary, part journal, part planner, and part scrapbook, a bullet journal is anything you want it to be. Some choose to keep them somewhat minimalist and clean, including just the date and to-dos for the day. Others turn them into full-on works of art, expressing and taking note of their day-to-day life through the pages of their bullet journal.
Take a look at this cute and simple weekly spread from Boho Berry:
Or there are some that go all-out, like this comic-style one from this lovely artist:
For me personally, it can be one of the most relaxing to-dos of my week, allowing me to express my creativity and keep important things at the top of my mind. And while I’m not naturally a creative person, bullet journaling has given me a good framework to build off for doodling and scrapbooking.
What Do You Need?
To really get the most out of your new journal, it helps to have all the tools on hand that you need. But of course, this is your own special journal so use it as you would wish. Feel free to grab more or different things if you would like!
For starters, consider grabbing these.
- An unused journal. Grid or dot-grid pages are usually preferable to lined or unlined, although you can keep straight lines if you whip out a ruler.
- Tape or washi tape
- Printed photos from the web or Pinterest
- Cute text messages from loved ones
- Pictures of your pets
- Gel pens
- Colored pencils
- Post-it notes
What Pages Should I Include?
There’s something so exciting about the possibilities of a blank page! Still, to really get all the juice out of it, it helps to have a few ideas of what to do with them.
For the purposes of this post, I’m assuming that you’re using your bullet journal primarily as a replacement of a traditional planner, where you use it to track to-dos and dates. With that in mind, here are a few staple pages you’ll want to include, alongside some examples for inspiration.
Can’t get far without an index! This is a great place to mark where all your important pages are as well as any personal notes or markings about how you style your journal. Some inspiration:
Want to see your busy month from a bird’s eye view? Creating a monthly calendar will help you keep your schedule straight and stylish. Need ideas?
The most common and easy to use format, the weekly format helps you keep your ducks in a row for the upcoming week. Flexible enough to allow for spontaneous happenings and creativity but tight enough to keep things straight. There are a lot of effective ways to do this:
(different spread styles, hand-made by me)
If you really like to get granular, or if you maybe just need room to spread out, this is likely to be a favorite. Although not as common, here is some adorable inspiration:
Chances are that if you’re into bullet journaling, you’re also into self improvement. Luckily, bullet journals afford you the perfect place to keep track of those habits you’re trying to work on. Here is some inspiration!
Some of Mine!
Bullet journaling can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! You don’t have to be perfect. Just take a look at mine!
Need More Ideas?
Luckily for you, I have 75 juicy page ideas lined up for you that are sure to make your bullet journal an enviably organized and put-together place. Get your cheat sheet for free below! 🙂