Today I’m going to show you to create your own bullet journal so you can start organizing your life!
This bullet journal setup guide is going to give you some cool ideas to use but also help you understand why you need this in your life.
Now I’m not saying you don’t have your life organized already, I’m sure you have your stuff together. What I’m saying is we could all use a little help from time to time keeping it all together.
This is a very popular method for keeping track of the 100 gazillion different things that we think about each day.
What Is Bullet Journal??
You might be sitting there thinking to yourself, what the heck is a bullet journal? You might have even heard it called a BuJo.
Don’t worry, chances are you’ve already used something like this before and you don’t even know it. Let’s jog your memory.
Have you ever made a list of items or tasks that you needed to complete throughout the day or week?
Did you put bullet points next to those tasks or maybe you used boxes or asterisk?
That is the very basic idea behind a bullet journal.
A bullet journal is a way for you to track your day to day life. It’s a running log of each day so you don’t forget things or lose track of things you need to accomplish.
I’ve been using a running task list at work for years. It wasn’t until recently that I realize everyone was calling it a bullet journal.
I find that creating a list of things to complete or ideas that come up throughout the day makes me way more effective.
I accomplish more tasks and I remember a lot more of what happens on a day to day basis.
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Why You Need A Bullet Journal
How many times during the day do you think of something you need to do later in the day, only to forget it when the time comes?? It happens all the time,
What about remembering to pick up supplies for your kids craft day at school? Or how about the time you went to a party and forgot to bring a dish to share?
Wouldn’t it be nice to remember all this stuff?
That’s what the Bullet Journal is going to do for you, help you remember everything!!
Not only that, it’s going to help you prioritize what’s truly important to you.
You’ll find that such a simple tool will make your life so much easier.
Bullet Journal Supplies
Before we can get into the bullet journal setup process, we have to make sure you have the supplies for a bullet journal.
You can go very basic or you can get as fancy as you want with your bullet journal.
Common Styles of Bullet Journals:
- Minimalist: Basic notebook with blank or lined pages. Used solely as a journal, may not be the prettiest one but it gets the job done.
- Artsy: This style sort of doubles as a journal and an art book. You spend a lot of time making it look pretty by coloring or drawing pictures in it.
- Super Organized: If you fall into this category, you are tracking every little detail. You have calendars, daily notes, action items, you name it, it’s in this style of BuJo.
Choosing Your Journal
My personal choice for my journal is the minimalist style. Like I said earlier, I use this at work to help me accomplish all my tasks each day.
I use a very basic notebook that I received from the company. It has lined pages and the company logo on the front. I don’t need something super fancy.
If you’re looking for a great notebook for the bullet journal setup portion of this post, check out the Dingbats Earth Notebook. It’s similar to the one that I use at work, only it looks much better, and it comes in a variety of colors that you can choose from.
One other really cool thing about the options for the Dingbat Earth Notebook is that you have options to choose a
They have one of the best choice options I’ve seen for bullet journals and it comes with rave reviews on Amazon. When my book at work runs out of pages, I’ll be ordering one of these to replace it.
Find A Good Pen
It’s critical to have a good pen to accompany your bullet journal. A good pen, that writes smoothly and consistently, will make your journal look much cleaner and more organized.
Right now I’m using the Pilot Acroball pens. I’ll be honest, it’s my personal favorite pen and has been for a while.
When I was in the Navy, having a good pen was very important. We had data logs to keep and they had to be flawless.
These Pilot Acroball Pens were the pen of choice and I still use them today. They write super smooth and I never have issues with smudges.
If you’re looking for a great pen to get your bullet journal going, you can’t go wrong with these pens. Not to mention they are a decent price for 5 of them here on Amazon.
If you want to get fancy with your BuJo, you can use colors to add extra emphasis to things. Get the Acroball Pens in a variety of colors here! My journal is pretty basic and I like it that way, but feel free to go as glamorous as you’d like!
Bullet Journal Setup: Learn How To Set Up Your Bullet Journal
We’re finally here, the point where we can start creating this tool that’s going to take you to the next level of organization!!
Step 1: Create An Index Page
The index page in your journal is going to be very important. This is where you are going to track everything that goes into your journal and the page it’s on.
You index page makes it easy to search for things inside your binder. If you talked about tips to potty train your 3 year old on page 56, write it on the index page so you can find it easy 2 months from now.
I like to use the first two full pages in the book for my index page. That will
Step 2: Number Your Pages
This is a very tedious task but it’s going to be crucial to your success with this. When you first get your notebook, you’ll want to start by numbering all the pages.
Start numbering after the index pages.
Make sure you number all the pages both front and back. You want to be as efficient as possible and use all the pages.
Step 3: Create a Legend
When it comes to organzing the stuff you write in your journal, you’re going to want a legend. I like to put the legend on page 1, after the index, so it comes right at the front of the book.
That legend is a series of symbols you use to separate the notes you make. This is how you will differentiate tasks from ideas and things like that.
There are a couple different symbols in my work BuJo, a dot, a square, and an asterisk are some examples.
I use the dot for notes to myself. The notes could be anything that I think about, questions that come up or things I need to learn more about.
I use the square for anything that is a task I need to complete. Once I complete the task I cross out the box. That’s how I know I completed everything.
The asterisk comes in handy for marking anything that is very important. I use this very sparingly and put it next to urgent tasks.
Other Symbols To Use
The symbols I use are not the only ones available. It’s your journal, make it how you want it. Don’t be afraid to get creative, just make sure you understand it!
There are many different symbols you can use in your bullet journal legend. Feel free to use whatever symbols you like!
Step 4: Fill Out Your Bullet Journal
We’re finally to the point where you can start filling out your journal!! Let’s get to it!
I’ll tell you how I like to fill out my journal so that you can get some ideas. Remember, this is YOUR journal so make it work for you!
The first thing I like to do with my journal
I’ll end up using the calendar to mark any special days, appointments and meetings I have.
After the calendar page is created, it’s time to start doing the day to day journal part. I put the date at the top of each page for easier tracking.
On each day I write down thoughts, questions, or tasks that need to be completed. Everything goes in the journal.
If something doesn’t get completed on the current day or I didn’t get a question answered, I transfer it to the next day so that I don’t forget about it.
That’s how I make sure I never forget or miss anything. It’s also a good way to see how you prioritize things. I make sure to go over my BuJo at the end of every day and shift things as necessary.
If something gets pushed many days in a row and you still aren’t getting it done, is it really that important? Maybe you should put effort towards something else at that point.
A Simple Tool To Help Organize Your Life
There you have it. This is a quick introduction to creating your own bullet journal.
These are simple tools that can really help you organize your life. Once your bullet journal is set up, you’ll find that you become more organized with all the craziness that everyday life brings.
I use mine at work right now, but I am definitely looking to implement it into our day-to-day life at home. I find that it helps me organize my meetings and tasks but even more so, it helps me ensure I don’t miss the important things!
You’re going to look like an ALLSTAR once you start your bullet journal! Your friends will be wondering how you remember everything!
Frequently Asked Questions About Bullet Journals
If you’re sitting there ready to start your Bullet Journal, but still have a few questions. Here are some frequently asked questions that might help you out.
1. Do my bullet journal pages need to be perfect?
NO!!! The thing to remember with your bullet journal is that it’s your bullet journal! If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it. As long as you understand what’s going on in your journal, that’s what really matters.
2. Does A Bullet Journal Actually Help Organize Your Life?
Yes, when used properly a bullet journal will help organize and track things that happen in your life. You can create calendars to keep track of appointments or meetings. You can track workout routines or new recipes you try. The options are endless for keeping a journal of your life.
3. Can I Use Any Notebook Work For A Bullet Journal?
Technically, yes, but here’s my advice, no. If you really want to, you can use any type of notebook for a bullet journal. I would personally try to use a smaller notebook and not one you would see kids use to practice writing letters in grade school.
I like having a notebook that’s around the 6″ x 8″ dimensions. Also, you need to determine if you want blank pages, lined pages or dotted pages. I really like lined pages, it helps me keep things neat. Here’s a great notebook for a Bullet Journal.
4. Should I Write With A Pen Or A Pencil?
This one is really up to your preference. I write in my journal with these pens. I like to write with pens mostly out of habit but I also prefer the feel of writing with a pen versus a pencil. It just feels a little smoother.
The downside to writing with a pen is when you make mistakes, there isn’t a clean way to fix it. If you write with a pencil you’ll be able to correct any mistakes you make.
5. What Do I Do When I Run Out Of Pages In My Journal?
If you stick with your Bullet Journal long enough, eventually you’re going to run out of pages. When the time comes, it’s not that big of a problem.
What I suggest doing is getting a new notebook, and just carrying on in the new journal. Leave the first two pages for index work, make the same legend as your first notebook, and number all the pages. You’ll set it up just like the first one!
Once your new notebook is set up, you just start recording things in your new bullet journal like normal. Keep the old one somewhere you can reference it later if you need to.
6. I See Beautiful Bullet Journals On Pinterest That Make Mine Look Like A Mess! Am I Doing It Wrong?
NOOO!! The Answer is no. Every bullet journal is different, don’t compare yours to anyone else’s. If it works for you and you feel like it’s helping you stay organized, don’t worry about how it looks.
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