You’ve probably already heard of: the bullet journal, a fast growing hobby that has gained the dedication of the organized (and trying to be organized) all over the world. The concept of the bullet journal was created by Ryder Carroll when he was looking for a way to organize various parts of his life more efficiently (you can watch his TED talk about it and leading a more intentional life here).
But what actually is a bullet journal?
Basically, it’s a fully customized notebook that can serve as a day planner, workout journal, and your standard place for notes all-in-one. If you’re like me and keep track of everything in your life, it’s a must-have.
There are a ton of misconceptions around bullet journaling. Most people think that bullet journals are super high-maintenance and hard to keep up with, but in reality it’s all about your setup and how you choose to organize your pages. Plus, it’s way cheaper than more traditional planners: a planner can run as high as $60, while you can get all of your bullet journaling supplies for $20. Many also assume that bullet journals are more of a time-waster than a time-saver. This couldn't be farther from the truth! After creating my first journal, I’ll never go back. I’ve never been more organized and productive in my life.
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty: what you need to get started and what goes into a bullet journal. Starting your own journal can be a little overwhelming, so here are a few of our suggestions to get going.
As your bullet journal skills grow, your list of supplies will, too. Below are just a few things to get you started.
- Notebook (one with dots is recommended)
- Pencil and eraser
- Thin markers (that don't bleed)
- Thick markers (that don’t bleed)
Now that you have your supplies, let’s move on to the actual content of your journal. Everyone's bullet journal is set up differently, but here are some basics that you might want to add to yours!
If you haven't gotten it by now, bullet journals are all about customization. The first few pages of your journal are going to be full of your Collections. These pages are totally up to you, but some of mine include: wish-list, travel log, recipes to try, shows/movies I want to watch, and a workout log. I find it best to not over-do it with adding collections. I know it can be exciting, but only add what you think you are going to need!
Future Log and Monthly Calendar:
After you fill in all of your Collections, you can move on to the actual planner portion of the journal. This includes your Future Log and Monthly Calendar. While they may sound similar, they actually have very different functions and I find having both very helpful. In my Future Log, I write down everything that I know is coming up in the next few months, from doctors appointments to vacations. Having all future events written down is great because when I make my Monthly Calendars at the beginning of each month, I refer back to my Future Log. On the pages with my Monthly Calendar, I like to keep track of my goals and tasks, as well.
This is by far my favorite part of my bullet journal. It’s where I write down everything I need to do in the week, as well as other notes that I don’t want to forget. A lot of people make their daily logs day-by-day, but I like to make my daily logs for the whole week at once. Another trick I like to do is color code different events: work is blue and personal is black.
Now that you have a basic idea of how to start your own bullet journal, go out there and get to it! Experiment and see what style you like. Don’t worry if the set up you did for one week isn’t your favorite, because you can always change it next week. That’s the benefit of customization!