After my last post I had quite a few people tell me that they’re ready to make their own journal. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this community, and bringing new people into it is such a great feeling. In this post I wanted to go over step by step, how I set my BuJo up, as well as share some of the wonderful resources I’ve used along the way.
1. Get a Notebook
This can be any notebook your heart desires. The brave may choose a blank-paged notebook which allows for ultimate customization. My personal favorite is either the grid or dot style notebook. Lines are also great and obviously, the most easy to find, however they can limit some of your layout choices.
2. Learn about the 4 Modules.
I would definitely recommend perusing the official Bullet Journal website to see what this thing is all about. Ryder Carroll is the guy who started it all. His version of the Bullet Journal is a no frills system that, in its purest form, works because of its customization and simplicity. It’s easy to get sucked into the internet rabbit hole of beautiful page layouts and pretty colored pens — and while all of those are great, they can be very intimidating. Not to mention, they can be extremely time consuming. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep track of your life and what you need to do for the day, spending four hours per page isn’t quite ideal. The journal in its most basic form has four modules to get your life organized: The Index, The Future Log, The Monthly Log, and The Daily Log.
- The Index:
- This is going to be the first page you come to when opening your journal. This page is instrumental in staying organized and of all the modules, it is the most important. This is just going to be a running list of your pages and what’s on them. Simple enough. It might not seem important when you only have six or seven pages, but once you hit page 100, you’ll be wishing your index was nice and organized from the beginning.
- The Future Log
- This page is for logging things that will happen in the distant future. The bullet journal website recommends a two-page spread with 6 months (3 on each page). This can be for things that happen beyond the month you’re currently on or things you just want to get done at some point in the 6 months/year.
- The Monthly Log
- This spread is for a more detailed view of the month you’re currently on. This is where your month’s goals, appointments, assignments, etc… will live. It’s where you can go for a quick glance of what needs to be added to your daily log and what you need to accomplish for the month.
- The Daily Log
- This is your every day, go-to page. This has your daily tasks and appointments. The traditional rapid logging method is a quick and easy way to plan your day. Eventually you may find that this section is the easiest to customize and every person has their own way of making it work for them. This is where I will stress the importance of keeping it simple at the beginning. Sit down and think about your day to day organization needs and go from there. Meanwhile, even though it’s tempting to lay out your daily logs a month in advance, I would advise going day-to-day.
3. Just get started
The hardest part of starting your Bullet Journal is just sitting down and getting started. It’s easy to get sucked into the thousands of posts about bullet journaling on the internet, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. If you’re determined to start off pretty, find a couple of layouts that interest you and try them out, but stick to the basics at the beginning. Below is the order of spreads I plan on starting my next journal out with, which may help you decide how to get yours started:
- DO THIS ONE FIRST ALL OF THE TIME
- Key / Staedtlr Pen Color Reference
- I like to keep mine simple. I would recommend starting with a few and then add more down the road if you find you need them. Some of my trackers also have their own keys on the specific page.
- Morning Routine and Night Routine
- This is one of my favorite spreads I currently have, but I often have problems referencing it because I currently have it buried in the middle of my BuJo.
- My most used lists/trackers.
- I’d like to have my “Books to Read,” “Books Read,” “Banner/Header Inspiration,” and “Migraine Tracker” a little closer to the front of my next one. Take a few minutes to decide what you want to focus on over the next couple months of your life and start your lists!
- Future Log
- Not sure what this will look like in my next one yet. This is where my useless Calendex currently sits.
- Month Highlights
- This is actually a spread I stole from Instagram user @my.life.in.a.bullet. Her journal is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity and I loved this spread. It felt like the perfect solution to my not wanting to keep up with dailies but still wanting a spot to jot down a few sentences about my day.
- Weekly Log
- And here begins the weeklies. You could opt for a monthly log here if you felt like you would use that more, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I prefer all of my weeklies for the month to be laid out in advance.
And with those you’re pretty much all set! If you get yours started, take some pictures and send them my way. I would love to see what you come up with!
As promised, here is a list of some of the many places I’ve pulled inspiration from:
- The Bullet Journal Website
- This one is pretty self explanatory. I linked this one in my last post, but if you try and get started without watching at least the intro video, I’ll be impressed.
- Kara has one of the best BuJo blogs I’ve come across, which is probably why it’s one of the first ones that pop up when you Google “Bullet Journal.”
- I don’t post anything to my boards very often, but I can happily scroll through the Bullet Journal tags on Pinterest for hours.
- This Google Search
- This pulls together the best of everyone’s borders and headers and puts them into one nice, neat, little space. My inspiration page with headers and borders was supplied with a lot of things from here.
- The Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook Group
- I just found out about this one after someone recommended it in the Facebook comments on my last post. I honestly don’t even know what I did on the internet before this group was in my life, but I’m thoroughly enjoying looking at everyone’s notebooks. I did have to turn off general post notifications for it though.