I’ve been looking forward to posting this for quite a while! I recently used up my second bullet journal and bought a new one, which I absolutely LOVE so far! Today I’ll show you how I set it up, as well as some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
For those of you who don’t know, bullet journaling is kind of like a planner, but it’s more of a system than a certain notebook you buy. Part of its appeal is the limitless options for customization, which makes the system pretty hard to define. But basically it’s a way to keep all your lists and notes and journals in one notebook. Click here to see the BuJo website for more information. And reading the rest of this post might help too. 😉
To begin with: the actual journal itself. I got this Essentials grid dot journal from Amazon, and it’s my favorite bullet journal I’ve owned so far!
Its features include…
- a hardcover, easy-to-manage size of 8 1/4″ X 5 3/4″
- light, evenly spaced grid dots for writing/drawing guidelines
- decently thick paper
- an elastic strap to keep the notebook closed
- a ribbon bookmark
- a paper pocket on the inside back cover
The cover is kind of a boring black, but you can decorate it with washi tape, metallic Sharpies, paint pens, etc. So far I just put a strip of washi tape down the spine and wrote a title with a white gel pen.
SETTING IT UP
My supply list for setting up my bujo includes the following:
- Essentials grid dot journal
- washi tape
- micron pens (sizes 04 & 08)
- regular pencil
- Pilot G-2 07 black ballpoint pen
Here’s my simple cover page. I’ve always kept my bullet journals pretty simple because I do most of my journaling in the evening before bed, when I don’t have a lot of time to make it fancy. This BuJo is very minimalistic, but I still think it’s pretty. 🙂
On the first spread I have a “Fonts” page on the left and a “Quotes” page on the right. (Well obviously. XD)
I do my Bible journal in the evening as well, where I copy down my favorite verse from the chapter I read. I added the “Fonts” page because I often run out of interesting font ideas. 😛 Do you guys have any handwritten font suggestions? I also like having a place to put quotes I find in the books I’m reading, hymns I’m singing, songs I’m listening to, etc.
I love this page! Maybe because it took forever. XD Seriously though, it was one of my most time-consuming spreads. : I allowed myself space to fill in 17 books each month, but sadly I don’t think I’ll fill them all up. In my last journal I did read 17 books in a month (in May), but I only read 4 books in January and March. *ashamed look*
Here we have “Birthdays” on the left and combination of a wishlist and prayer list on the right. I was so happy I thought of this 12-layer cake for the birthday page format, but… it didn’t turn out quite as cake-like as I’d hoped. XD Oh well, it still works fine. For the opposite page, I divided the page in two because in my past bullet journals I didn’t use a whole page for either subjects.
I kept this whole spread blank for writing down notes – ideas I thought of, questions to ask pen pals, blog posts I want to make… anything else that doesn’t fit in my other pages.
The left page is available for either more notes or a new list. The right page is a place for my goals, whether unrealistic or practical. 😉 It’s pretty much a long-term to-do list.
Now for my monthly set-up! I used my 08 micron to write the name of the month in a font that’s both simple and pretty (are you starting to see a theme here? XD). I’m also going to use the gorgeous navy washi tape for each new month. I thought about adding doodles of important happenings on each month’s cover page as I go along, but I’m not sure I want to ruin the nice clean page now. XD Maybe I can use the blank page to the left?
On the left I have a sort of monthly overview, and on the right I start in with my daily journaling. I’ve never used a calendar before, but I think it will be nice to see at a glance what important events are coming up. Monthly goals are pretty self explanatory, so…
The right page is the part of my bujo I use the most, and the only daily section I have. I don’t have habit trackers for everyday chores and such because, well, I do them every day anyway. 😛 Instead, I just write a few sentences about what I did/what happened that day, and then make a short to-do list for tomorrow.
And that about wraps it up! Before you go, here are a few things I’ve learned from bullet journaling so far:
TIPS & TRICKS
- If you make your BuJo too complicated, chances are you just won’t use it. (Or if you’re like me you’ll still use it and just be frustrated. XD) The time it takes to set up a page should correspond with how long it will last. Time-consuming pages are just fine for spreads that will last all bullet journal long (like my “birthdays” page, for instance), but don’t go as all-out for pages you’ll have to remake each month. For daily things, I like to keep it as simple and easy as possible.
- Make a halfway mark in pencil for ease-of-use. It’s nice to have things centered, but it’s sooo tedious to count the dots and divide them up each time you make a new page. Instead, do that just once, and mark the center on the edges of the pages for a great shortcut. Now you can check the mark before centering your titles.
- Use washi tape for easy pops of color, and to mark important pages. Washi tape is a nearly fool-proof way to add color and interest to your bujo. If you wrap the tape over the edge of the page like I did with my “June” page, you can see it even when you close the journal.
- Get a bullet grid journal and one with a pocket for random lists. I suppose I’m a bit biased since I’ve only used a bullet grid journal, but I HIGHLY recommend them over just a regular lined notebook. It makes measuring and writing things a whole lot easier, plus it looks prettier! I’m also really enjoying the paper pocket at the back of the Essentials journal. It’s great for holding lists that I thought of after I already set everything up, or temporary lists that I don’t need to put in the BuJo anyway.
Hopefully this post was enjoyable and helpful! Do you have a bullet journal, and if so, do you have any tips for me? What lists/page is your favorite in YOUR BuJo? What was your favorite of my pages?
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day!