How to Start a Bullet Journal and Finally Get Organized!

Are you looking to get more organized, develop a better daily routine, or just feel like you’re actually getting things done? If so, a Bullet Journal might be right for you. This system is currently trending as one of the best planning systems you can use! In my own personal experience, starting a Bullet Journal was life-changing! So if you’re looking to take the plunge, here’s my guide on how to start a Bullet Journal of your very own.

Getting control over your life is not easy in our fast-paced society, and there are a million planners, apps, and gurus that claim to have the answer.

As a control freak, I’ve field tested many of these options. Though parts of them worked well, I had a hard time sticking to one – until I discovered the Bullet Journal. Here, I’m going tell you about the system that changed me from a frazzled, stay-at-home mom to a slightly less frazzled, stay-at-home mom running her own business!

Inspiring, yes? I knew you’d be impressed. So, let’s dive in!

What is a Bullet Journal and how can it organize your entire life? Read on, my friend!

What Is a Bullet Journal?

While I am a huge fan of the Bullet Journal I did not invent it and I do not own it. The Bullet Journal is a system designed by Ryder Carroll. In this video, he explains the basic structure of a Bullet Journal and how it works.

A Bullet Journal is a simple, minimal system that doesn’t require a big investment of money or time and can help you plan for your future, record your past, and stay organized in your present. The video shows a bare bones, no frills version of what a Bullet Journal can do for you.

You can create your Bullet Journal out of any blank notebook and as long as it contains an Index, a Future Log, and whatever combination of Daily, Weekly, Monthly or collection pages you choose. It is completely customizable in every way, so you have all the power to make sure it works for you personally.

The more personalized a system is, the easier it is to stick with long-term.

Supplies You Need to Get Started

One of the great things about a Bullet Journal is it’s easy to get started. All you really need is a notebook and a pen. That being said, I have found that the more attractive your setup is, the more likely you are to use it every day.

You also want to make sure your notebook is high quality enough to not fall apart from frequent use. My first Bullet Journal had pages falling out of the spine by the time I got to the end of it. No one wants that.

After 3 years of Bullet Journaling every day, these are the supplies I recommend.

Notebooks

You don’t need to go all out but I do recommend something well made enough that it can withstand being opened and closed every day. These are notebooks I have personally used and loved.

For a full detailed review of all of these notebooks, click here.

Pens

Again, you can start as simple as you want. Any old pen can get you started on the road to greatness. But you do want to consider how long the ink of your pen will last, whether you are likely to lose it, etc. Here are pens I have used over the years that made a huge difference in my journaling experience.

  • Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen  – this is the brand that made me fall in love with fountain pens. These are high-quality, beautiful, easy to use, and very affordable. You can also replace the ink yourself with minimal effort, meaning this pen can last you a lifetime.
  • Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen  – these are easy to use and very affordable brush pens that make everyday handwriting look like professional calligraphy. So much fun.
  • Staedtler Fineliners  – these come in a variety of color packs so you can color-code your journal as well as make it pretty.

Setting up

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to start a Bullet Journal. Your notebook is opened to the first page and you’ve got a pen in hand. What’s next? Let’s walk through each of the basic must-haves for a functioning Bullet Journal. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details. This may seem like a lot, but it’s very quick to set up.

Index

An Index is an essential part of why your Bullet Journal can change your life. The Index keeps track of where all your important information is. No more searching for that scrap of paper you wrote the time of your appointment on! You simply write done info as you receive on your daily page, then note in the index which page you stored that info. It’s just that simple!

You can make an Index yourself, or buy a notebook that already has one.

*Pro tip: All the notebooks I mentioned above come equipped with a pre-printed index!

Here’re a couple of examples of what an Index looks like.

Bullet Journal Index - how to start a Bullet Journal

Future Log

The Future Log is where you really start to organize your life. A future log is a spread in your planner where you can keep track of future events like vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, or deadlines. When you look at your future log, you start to really see your year take shape. This both keeps you from forgetting something until the last-minute and helps you plan your projects better!

Here an example of a simple Future Log.

Bullet Journal Future Log - How to start a Bullet Journal
Pro Tip: Not up to making your own? You can pick up this printable Future Log in my shop!

Printable Bullet Journal Future Log - How to start a Bullet Journal

Monthlies

Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This is when your goal accomplishment starts to shoot thru the roof! Monthlies are an overview of your entire month at a glance. All your events, appointments, tasks and goals. Monthly planning means you have a way better chance of changing your life for the better!

Here’s an example of how I make my monthlies. If making your own is not for you, you can always grab my current monthly for FREE by clicking here!

Bullet Journal monthly spread - how to start a Bullet Journal

Weeklies

Weekly planning is when you start to break those big goals into smaller pieces. I like to sit down with some tea on Sunday afternoons and fill out my weekly plan. In my weeklies I can write down the weather for that week, the dinner’s I plan to make, appointments I have, etc. It really helps me get prepared for what needs to be done and what I want to be done.

Here’s an example of how I make my weeklies. Again, if you don’t have time to make your own, click here to get printable weeklies!

Bullet Journal weekly spread - How to start a bullet journal

Bullet Journal printable weekly spreads - How to start a Bullet Journal
Click here for printable weekly pages! Current month available!

Dailies

Now if your schedule is packed tight, you can always stop at weeklies and just check off tasks from your weekly page as it gets done. But I like to keep daily pages in my Bullet Journal as well. Daily pages are your daily to-do list. Never underestimate the power giving a check mark to an accomplished task! It’s addicting, folks!

Daily pages also give you room to write down info as you receive it. That doctor’s appointment, that party coming up – this info can sit on your daily pages. Be sure to reference the page in your Index, and your set! All your important info in one place!

Bullet Journal daily pages - how to start a Bullet Journal

How to start a Bullet Journal

Start Your Own Bullet Journal!

I hope this how to start a Bullet Journal guide will help you take the plunge and start your own planning system! Don’t be intimidated, it’s not hard! Start simple and work your way up. You really can get organized and start building the life of your dreams. One journal page at a time.

Want more inspiration for Bullet Journal spreads? Check out 20+ Bullet Journal weekly spreads!

Let me know what you think!

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