I have used a bullet journal (or “dot diary”, as my dad likes to call it) for about a year. Since I started, I have realized a whole new level of organization and experienced peace in an area of life that used to be stressful.
To be clear, I was skeptical of the bullet journal system before I started because it looked like a HUGE time commitment, and like it would take way more artsy skills than I possess. But I had been so frustrated with my messy planner the year before that I was willing to try almost anything.
As I was researching this idea, I saw tons of YouTube videos and pictures on Pinterest of all these cute spreads and flip-throughs, and frankly, it stressed me out. I thought it had to be perfect. And… I admit, I really like things to be perfect.
After a while, I came across a YouTube video of Ryder Carroll, the guy who originally created the Bullet Journal, explaining the whole concept. And guess what! He made it so dang simple. After that, I was in. (You can find the video here.)
I’m so excited to share some photos from my first bullet journal and from my current one, as well as some tips and tricks for how to start. I hope this helps you out. 🙂
I bought a fairly cheap moleskine blank journal for my first BuJo. Before I committed to something with a little higher quality, I thought I should give it a trial run.
For my current notebook, I’m using a Leuchterm 1917 hardcover. And I LOVE it.
The black pen I use is the Micron 02. I bought this set of them and they have lasted so long!
Start simple. Don’t pressure yourself to make ornate, detailed pages right away. Focus on what you’re trying to accomplish with your bullet journal pages. Work on perfecting the function and usability before adding the fun stuff. You can always go back and add more detail! And, as you do, keep some white-out on hand so you’re not afraid to make mistakes.
Be original. Make your bullet journal do what you need it to do. This will become more clear after some use. If you have a page that you simply don’t use, don’t keep putting it in your BuJo just because you saw it in some YouTuber’s video. I think the most helpful thing I heard often across the videos and pins I looked at was “your bullet journal is about what works for you.” Don’t try to copy someone else’s style or layout to the T. However, this can go both ways. If you’re lacking ideas, find inspiration! A lot of times, I combine a few ideas I find on Pinterest.
Always update your index! I can’t even describe how indexing has saved my life. I think that it makes me feel more complete and organized about the way I’m laying out the pages of my BuJo. Plus it helps me find things really fast!
My fellow bullet journaling friend told me to remind new Bullet Journalers that everyone else’s BuJo will seem way cooler than yours. And that’s exactly how I felt when I started. Remember: Everyone has their own style and unique twist on Ryder’s original intent for the bullet journal. Your bullet journal will be a representation of the things you need to keep track of in your life, and you will have your own style while putting it together.
I hope this helps you and perhaps inspires you to try my favorite way of organizing my life.