How To: Start a Bullet Journal

By Lauren Wood

It’s February! So you’ve had your free trial month and it’s time to really get serious with your New Year’s resolutions and goals for the year. It’s the perfect time to start a bullet journal to help keep track of everything. If you aren’t familiar with a bullet journal, it’s a cross between a journal, diary and to-do list that is completely customizable. If you are constantly searching for the perfect planner, you might want to try a bullet journal. You jot down things you need to do, while also writing down quick thoughts and upcoming events.

Here are some things you need to get started.

-Any journal will do, but one with dot grid paper helps if you aren’t very good at drawing straight lines 🙋

-Pen or pencil, and colored pens or markers for accents

-Ruler

-Washi tape if you want to get fancy

It may seem like a lot of set-up, but this is the fun customizing stage. The first page (or two) of your bullet journal should be your journal’s index. It will include important topics you talk about, and the pages you mentioned these things. It helps when you are looking back and are trying to figure out the name of the book you read last summer, for example. Also, be sure to remember to number your journal pages!

Another thing to include on your index page is you journal’s key, to keep track of what your symbols mean. If you don’t like these symbols or want to add your own, change it up!

The next few pages can be dedicated to a future log. It’s basically a monthly overview of the year, and you can fill it in as you journal. It’s a good place to write down birthdays, anniversaries, vacation dates, etc.

Each month gets it’s own page with a monthly calendar and a to-do list for the month. There are loads of different ways to do this, but I like to put the date on the far left to have room to write down things like birthdays, travel, meetings, etc. The monthly to-do list are things you want to complete that don’t have a date or timeline attached to them, like “narrow down clothes in closet” or “set up eye doctor appointment.”

You can also add another monthly page (or two) to keep track of anything else you want, like days you worked out or nights you got 8 hours of sleep.

Here are some examples of a daily entry, complete with symbols from your key.

It’s a great way to relax and unwind each night, going over the things that happened that day and building your to-do list for the next day. And like I said, you can make your journal as fancy or as functional as you’d like it to be. Check out the ‘#bulletjournal’ hashtag on Instagram for some beautiful inspiration and layout ideas!

Happy journaling!

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