Wondering how to be more organized and creative this year? It turns out the secret is to start a bullet journal. If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re the perfect marriage of a journal, a planner, a calendar, and a habit tracker. And though they can look complicated and intimidating, they’re actually pretty easy to start. All you need is a pen and some paper — and with a little practice, you can end up with something like this.
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See my last post for the process video. . January’s and Monday’s are usually one and the same. But this year, January is my Friday🙃. New blog is up and includes the supplies I used (link in bio). . The alphabet stamps I used are @primamarketinginc . . . . . . . . . . . #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #planneraddict #plannergirl #plannerlove #papercraft #plannernerd #stationery #stationeryaddict #plannergeek #stamps #stamping #rubberstamp #handwritten #handlettered #brushlettering #papercrafting #crafter #crafting #crafty #artsandcrafts #studygram #planwithme #plannerjunkie #planning #stationerylove #bujojunkies #primamarketinginc
We talked to blogger and bullet journal enthusiast Renee Day of thediyday.com to find out how she got started — and how others can, too. Don’t worry about putting together a layout quite like her’s just yet. As it turns out, she uses plenty of tools when she designs the spreads in her journal (but we’ll get to that later).
“I started bullet journaling in January 2017,” the DIY enthusiast explains. She started slow, too. It wasn’t until she’d been doing it for a few months that she started to really get serious about it. “Originally, I bought a dot grid journal to practice calligraphy. I had no idea what a bullet journal was. I’d look up journaling hashtags on Instagram and I would see these amazing bullet journal layouts, I was amazed. So I decided to give it a try. I was instantly hooked.”
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Results from my previous post. . Here’s my layout for the week. The supplies I used are up on my blog (link in bio) 💜 . . . . . . . . . . #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #planneraddict #plannercommunity #plannergirl #plannerlove #papercraft #plannernerd #stationery #stationeryaddict #plannergeek #stamps #stamping #rubberstamp #handlettering #moderncalligraphy #brushcalligraphy #brushlettering #artsandcrafts #papercrafts #papercrafting #craft #crafts #tombowusa #primamarketinginc
Why should you start to bullet journal?
Well, for one, it’s fun. With coloring books becoming ever more popular, bullet journaling is partially following in the trend of getting creative with crayons and markers and colored pens. But it also keeps things productive. The best part? It can help with anxiety and stress, too. “It’s a great way to relieve stress,” Renee says. “My mind focuses on creating rather than whatever is causing me strain.”
It can also keep your artistic side engaged while simultaneously working with your more analytical side. “Watching a blank page come to life with something I designed is fulfilling. [And] I’ve become more organized,” the blogger shares. For her, it’s not only an entertaining task, it also helps her stay on task. You can use it to keep an eye on your calendar, plan out your week, jot down important memories, or track things like your diet and exercise. If you know that you’ve been having a hard time sleeping, or you’ve been feeling down, you can also design a spread to keep track of how many hours of sleep you get each night or your daily mood. Check out some of the pages below in the gallery to get a better idea of what we mean.
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Getting my fitness tracker ready and yes I am motivated by the rewards. New blog is up and includes the supplies I used (link in bio). . These fun jars stamps are by @my_artc . . . . . . . #bulletjournal #bujo #planneraddict #plannergirl #plannernerd #stationery #plannergeek #stamps #stamping #rubberstamp #handwritten #handlettered #brushlettering #papercrafting #crafter #crafting #crafty #artsandcrafts #studygram #planwithme #plannerjunkie #planning #bujojunkies #resolutions #fitnessfun #fitnessforlife #fitnessjourney #myartc
What kind of spreads can you do in your bullet journal?
“There are all sorts of pages that can be included in a bullet journal,” Renee explains. “[In my 2018 one], I’ve included several layouts that I didn’t have in my 2017 journal including a New Year’s resolutions page and a monthly savings account page. I also have a weight loss/body measurements tracking page, and at some point, I will add a layout for the sick days/vacation days I take from work. There aren’t any limitations on creating layouts. I’ve seen pages where others track their sleep, their moods, books read, meal plans, and the weather.”
Basically, the skies the limit. Anything you want to track, you can. Any kind of spread you want to include, you can. If you want to focus on your family, you can have a page to write about memories with your kids, mark down secret hints your husband drops throughout the year about recipes he likes or gifts he may want, whatever. If you’re all about cooking, you can dedicate a spread to all the recipes that you want to make as well as the ones you’ve already tackled. If you’ve got a goal to watch a movie each week, you can keep track of what you’ve already seen — or even draw 52 buckets of popcorn and color them in as you get closer to your goal.
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Results from my last post 🎄 . I’ve started tracking and saving 💰 for Christmas. Each time I save a certain amount, I decorate an ornament! Supplies used are on the blog (link in bio). . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #planneraddict #plannercommunity #plannergirl #plannerlove #papercraft #plannernerd #stationeryaddict #plannergeek #stamps #stamping #rubberstamp #moderncalligraphy #brushcalligraphy #brushlettering #artsandcrafts #papercrafts #papercrafting #craft #crafts #decorate #holidayfun #ornament #washitape #coloredpencils
How can beginners get started bullet journaling?
Like we said, all you need is a pencil and paper if you’re looking to start small or practice your layouts. But Renee recommends starting with “a composition book, a ruler, a pen, and a pencil.” As you start to get more into your bullet journal, or if you want to make it a hobby, you can expand your toolkit. “When the craft becomes a passion, start buying the supplies that are most useful (stamps, markers, stencils, etc.).”
She shows off her tools frequently in posts on her Instagram account and YouTube Channel. “I’ve had the opportunity to try several different bullet journals. But I must say, I am a big fan of Dingbats Notebooks. The pages are thick, perforated, and acid-free (perfect for preserving the art I create in them). As for pens and markers, I use a variety of Tombow USA products, I love their brush pens, and TwinTone markers… The tools I use most often when I bullet journal are a ruler, my alphabet stamps by Prima Marketing, and a black brush pen and Mono Drawing Pen by Tombow.”
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Januarys and Mondays are usually one and the same. But this year, January is my Friday🙃. New blog is up and includes the supplies I used (link in bio). . The alphabet stamps I used are @primamarketinginc . . . . . . . . . . . #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #planneraddict #plannergirl #plannerlove #papercraft #plannernerd #stationery #stationeryaddict #plannergeek #stamps #stamping #rubberstamp #handwritten #handlettered #brushlettering #papercrafting #crafter #crafting #crafty #artsandcrafts #studygram #planwithme #plannerjunkie #planning #stationerylove #bujojunkies #primamarketinginc
You can also find all the supplies you’ll need on Amazon. Newestor’s basic dot grid journal does the trick with 120 sheets (aka 240 pages) and a pack of three for just $10.95. You can also find journals with prettier covers like Panda Studio’s purple water color planner for $4.86. A pack of 10 Huhuhero fine line drawing pens in vibrant colors is only $5.92, and Morsler’s pack of stencils is $7.18. Agu’s foil washi tape makes for a fun decoration, and it’s a bargain at just $7.87.
(Photo Credit: Amazon)
Is there anything else bullet journal beginners should know?
“When I first started bullet journaling, I hated making mistakes and I made many,” Renee says. “Certain colors didn’t go well together or I’d smear ink, or the completed layout looked horrible. These mistakes took the fun out of the entire process and I started stressing myself out. This caused me to distance myself from bullet journaling even though I enjoyed it. After a few weeks I decided I didn’t need to be a perfectionist. Building eye appealing layouts would eventually come with time and practice (and correction tape).”
Scroll through the gallery below to check out other Instagram users’ bullet journal pages and all the different layouts and spreads you can do.
Bullet Journal Unagimaddde Year
You can use your bullet journal to get a look at the year ahead by putting each month into its own column. Instagram user @unagimadde also left room to note important upcoming dates or special memories for each month.
Bullet Journal Guavagoods 2018 Review
On one page, you have a glance at the next 12 months, and on the other, like @guavagoods, you can mark goals and resolutions you have for the year. That way you can keep in mind what you want to accomplish and work it into your daily life.
Bullet Journal Leftynletters Quote
Whether it's an intention for the year, a motto to live by, or just a saying that makes you think and get your creative gears turning, a quote can be the perfect page decoration. You can get as visual and artistic as you like with it, like @lefty.n.letters did.
Bullet Journal Guavagoods January
A lot of people who bullet journal will include a page for doodlers, but particularly artistic types might want to add illustrations to many of their different pages like @guavagoods. If you're marking the start of a new month or year, a gorgeous drawing can help set your mood.
Bullet Journal Leftynletters Tracker Budget
Bullet journals can also be used to track all facets of your life, whether that's your budget, your mood, or your habits. Instagram user @lefty.n.letters uses her's to mark how much she's reading, exercising, and meditating. She also keeps track of not just how much she spends, but specifically what she's spending it on.
Bullet Journal Studyquill Savings
Bullet journals are also a great way to visualize your goals. To track her savings, @studyquill drew out a jar — and each time she reaches a new savings goal, she colors in part of that jar. On the next page, she keeps a wish list to remind herself of some of the things she's saving for.
Bullet Journal Bujocat Decorations
Bullet journal enthusiasts often incorporate outside elements into their work. You can use stickers or pictures in addition to doodling with pen and marker. @bujocat_ uses washi tape and colored paper to keep their weekly layout bright and inspiring.
Bullet Journal Bujocat Memo
You can also, of course, use your journal as just that — a journal. Write down important parts of your day or experiences you had like @bujocat_ so you can reflect back on them later. You can decorate these pages, too — or keep them simple if you prefer.
Bullet Journal Leftynletters Weekly Todo
Incorporating your to-do list into your bullet journal can keep it more fun and interesting than just scribbling it down on a Post-it. @lefty.n.letters decorated the page with markers and sequins for a little something special.
Bullet Journal Thebulletjourney Review
A Year in Review
If you keep up with your bullet journal, the whole thing becomes a kind of year in review — but you can also use a spread to summarize your year, whether it's looking back at all the movies you saw, new restaurants you visited, or new recipes you tried. @the.bullet.journey highlighted the books they read and places they visited.
Bullet Journal Theokayestbujo Books
Things are always a little more fun when you get creative. Instead of keeping a traditional list, @theokayestbujo tracked their reading by drawing empty books on a bookshelf — and filling them in when they finished something new.
Bullet Journal Studyquill Traveling
Whether it's places you've been or places you just dream of going, a lot of people also like to keep track of their trips. @studyquill takes her travel page to the next level by coloring in polaroid pics of the hot spots she'd love to see.
Bullet Journal Thebulletjourney Decluttering
When it comes to cleaning up, sometimes we need a little extra incentive. @the.bullet.journey keeps track of their tasks by marking out corresponding boxes for each chore. "I’ve decided that each day... I will tick off one thing from that list," they wrote. "I do these randomly as you don’t always feel like dedicating 3 hours cleaning your computer folders but going through your underwear drawer should only take like 15 min... 30... ok, 45."
Bullet Journal Theokayestbujo Sleep
Sleep and Mood Tracker
There are a lot of different layouts you can use for your trackers. But @theokayestbujo set hers up like a graph so she can really visualize the highs and lows, especially when it comes to her sleep schedule and how her moods change. If you notice you've been steadily on a pattern of sleeping worse, you can look back at your weekly review and try to figure out why it was — and then get your tracker back on an upward climb. If you notice you've been feeling down for a while, you can use that information to find out what's been bothering you — or how you can make each day a little better.