In a nutshell, bullet journaling is a customizable organizing solution. It can be a planner, a calendar, a place for your notes and thoughts, a journal, a sketchbook, or all of the above! There are essentially no rules and you can do whatever you want with your journal to make it work for you! No more buying multiple planners, if you have a thought, add it to your bullet journal! If you need to keep track of something, put it in your bullet journal! Complete freedom! Take a minute and pin this post on your planning board!
Bullet Journaling was first introduced by Ryder Carroll and you can find all of his intro posts here or watch his quick intro video. This will help you understand at least the philosophy behind the bullet journal. It is meant to be a way to organize your thoughts however works for you and easily find them by indexing them at the beginning. I finally understand why no other planner has worked for me in the past. Check this out!
What do you need to Bullet Journal?
All you need to start bullet journaling is a pen (see my top recommendation here) and paper! I have seen people use just lined notebooks from the dollar store, so again, there are absolutely no rules for this. My personal preference is a grid notebook or “squared” but many people prefer using dot notebooks. The benefit of using a grid or dot is that you have some structure to draw your lines and boxes and do your doodles or whatever you are doing, but you still have the flexibility to use whatever part of the page you would like. It takes a bit of getting used to but now that I use the grid, I’d never go back.
My personal FAVORITE notebook is the Leuchtturm1917 (vs. the Moleskine). Mainly because it has more pages, an index already built into the front, and the pages are a heavier weight so your pen doesn’t bleed through. Because you are using both sides of your paper, depending on how much coloring and writing and such you are doing, this is a HUGE benefit.
I actually have two Leuchtturm notebooks, one for business and one for personal. I keep them together in a homemade leather Traveler’s Notebook that is custom cut to be extra wide, it fits both my notebooks as well as a pouch with 6 of my favorite pens and a ruler. You can get a DIY leather Traveler’s Notebook kit with everything (your elastics, leather, etc.) on the Etsy shop AltGuild and use coupon code: hiphome2 for 10% off your order!
How to Set up Your Bullet Journal.
The video above will tell you the basic set up of a Bullet Journal, though you can set it up however you’d like. In my personal Leuchtturm I have no future log but instead work from month to month. I have tried a few different systems and my journal is always evolving as I learn new things, but my first page is my year at a glance page pictured here.
I then go directly into my monthly tracker page. This is a way of me tracking regular activities such as daily habits or weekly tasks without writing them every day in my daily pages. It saves me time in the long run and is well worth the 5 minutes of set up time, though I think I need to add in “Mark off your daily tracker” to the list because I seem to forget to keep up with it each day!
Next I have my weekly pages, though intermingled with more collections as inspiration hits. Do I have spelling errors? Yes! Do I make mistakes in my printing, yes! You will never learn if you don’t do it and though it can be scary filling up your beautiful new notebook and worrying you will mess it up, that is the beauty of bullet journaling… there’s always tomorrow. Just turn the page and you have a fresh spread to fill up. I don’t ever scrap my pages, at least not yet, I refer to them, laugh at them and I know one day I will want to look back and see how I have grown through the months/years.
What are the benefits of Bullet Journaling?
The main benefit for me is flexibility. I love how I can use a page for planning and then do a brain dump to organize my goals for the week. Then I can use the next page for journaling or sketching or lettering practise and then back to a daily spread page. I am learning new things about hand lettering and doodling and growing and changing every day! I add new ideas and inspiration to my Pinterest boards below every day, so check them out and make sure you are following me for more ideas!
Bullet journaling has become a place for me to just dump every aspect of my life in one spot. To organize it in a way that I can reference and find. To be creative and free and find the joy in each moment! It is the perfect planning system for this busy mom of 5 and I am so excited to share it with you! I post my daily spreads on my Instagram so if you want to see what I do and how I make bullet journaling work for me as a working homeschool mom, head on over to Instagram.com/planninginspiration4u for some inspiration! Also, I feature a new planning spread every afternoon and want to feature you! So use #planninginspiration4u in your daily spread pics on Instagram and you may be featured!