Bullet journals have gotten a boost in popularity due to people wanting to promote intentional living, staying organized, and increasing productivity.
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Plus, they are beautiful and a fantastic way to express oneself creatively. A bullet journal, also referred to as a bujo, is a fabulous innovation that combines a traditional journal, day planner, and task list all in one place. It is a flexible and highly customizable way to keep track of all the important and fun things in your life. If you are just getting started with your own bullet journal, here are five tips to help you begin!
Tip #1—Start With a Notebook
The backbone of the bullet journal is a notebook that will hold all of your important and special tasks. While there are styles that are specifically marketed for this purpose, pretty much any notebook will suffice. When selecting your notebook, remember that it should be strong and sturdy, with a good cover and backing material. Be thoughtful about the size you select as well. If you plan to carry it along with you regularly, something compact works best. Finally, decide whether you want a notebook with blank pages, lined pages, or dotted pages. People who love to draw and craft might prefer blank pages, but if you are more of a writer or list maker, the lined or dotted option may be a better fit.
Tip #2—Create Your Page Elements
One of the biggest perks of a bullet journal is that it is yours to create. Or, you can stick to using the key elements it already includes. The first is the index page, which is like a table of contents. Secondly, there is a future log section, which gives you several pages to create an overview or snapshot of big happenings throughout the whole year. Next, we have the monthly log, which gives you a place for things that occur within the month, like birthdays or anniversaries. The fourth page element is the daily log, a space for daily to-do lists, notes, and scheduling. A task migration page usually comes next, which is where you can track both complete and incomplete tasks. Finally, we come to the collections page, largely used for project organization and planning. Affixing tabs to your page elements makes it quick and easy to navigate to your desired section.
Tip #3—Grab Something To Write With
Once your page elements are all nicely arranged, you will want to start filling in those empty spots. You can do this with just about any kind of writing instrument you want, including a pen, pencil, or markers. If you have thin pages and are planning to use both sides, writing with a utensil that doesn’t bleed through the paper is best. Using multiple colors for different kinds of tasks is a colorful idea and a great way to stay organized. For example, maybe all birthdays and anniversaries are written in pink, to-do items are written in blue, classes are written in green, meetings in red, etc. You can also choose to use things like symbols, stickers, highlighters, and stamps to differentiate items throughout the pages.
Tip #4—Use a Craft Knife
Because not everything in your bullet journal will be written, a craft knife is a must-have tool for cutting out items that you can glue or tape into your pages. These may include images of projects or ideas you want to emulate, important details cut from an invitation or flyer, or reference photos. You can also use a craft knife for adding fun creative touches to your bullet journal too, much like you would a scrapbook page. While there are many different options to choose from, this craft knife is quite compact, feels like a pen in your hand, and features a finger-friendly blade edge that resists cutting skin. Be sure to store your craft knife with your writing instruments and bullet journal, for easy access.
Tip #5—Add Beauty With Stencils
While some people are natural artists and require no assistance when creating beautiful things, those who are less artistically gifted may want to invest in a stencil kit. You can use stencils to create amazing lettering for headings, important dates, page labels, and so much more. Line stencils are handy for dividing the pages into sections or partitioning off journal thoughts in an organized way. Stencils of various shapes and images can add style and fun to your bullet journal white spaces and page borders too.
As you begin adding things to your bullet journal, there will be some mistakes along the way. There may be a misspelled word, an item written in the wrong spot, or a drawing that came out all wrong. If you feel the need to erase or cover up the oopsies, that is fine, but don’t let a mistake stop or frustrate you. Keep writing, drawing, listmaking, dreaming, and scheduling. Remember that life can be messy sometimes, and so can a bullet journal page.
While it may take a little time and energy to keep going, bullet journals can become that little happy place in the middle of a chaotic day. Whether you decide to go all out or keep it minimal, the important thing is to get started creating a bullet journal that fits you.