Bullet journals were created by Ryder Carrol in the 90’s when he was looking for a way to move past his learning disabilities. Since then they have become a worldwide social media trend with artists across the globe creating monthly spreads, habit and mood trackers and other bujo content.
It can be quite overwhelming to start a bullet journal, knowing what the best journals are, or knowing what spreads to use, or even the best stationery to buy. If you want to know more then read our tips to help you become an avid bullet journalist.
Why Should I Start Journaling?
There are many uses and advantages of bullet journaling, from using it as a planner or diary to note down your day to day tasks and events keeping yourself organised and up to date in your life, to using it to track your habits or mood, or even to use it to express your creativity and as a way to relax and improve your mental health.
With so many ways to use your bullet journal you can customise however you want, the possibilities are endless!
What Do I Need?
It’s easy to get caught up over buying lots of different bujo supplies, we’ll cover a few supplies that we feel will take your bullet journaling journey off to a great start.
One thing you can’t start without is an actual bullet journal. There are many different kinds of journals to choose from the main thing to look out for when shopping for notebooks to use as bullet journals is dotted paper.
It is these dots or bullet marks that actually give bullet journaling it’s name. They aid you to draw and plan in your journal.
If your looking to use pens and maybe even paints in your bullet journal you’ll also want to think of the paper thickness of the notebook your purchasing. If you purchase a notebook with relatively thin pages the ink from your pens could bleed through to the next pages and ruin your book. Keep an eye out on our Instagram page for when we launch our own extra thick 160gsm super cute bullet journal notebook coming soon....
There are other features of bullet journals people tend to look out for such as having a back envelope to store stickers and other paper supplies, a pen loop, an elastic closure band and pre printed pages such as pen test pages where you can try out your pens or practise doodles.
Of course you could just start journaling with a notebook and pen, but it can be fun to purchase different stationery and supplies to aid your journaling and get creative with.
For beginners we recommend our bullet journal pen set to save you money whilst allowing you to try out some of the best pens available. The set of 3 pens includes, the Zebra Mildliner, Zebra Sarasa Milk and Stabilo Swing Cool Pastel highlighter. It is available in a range of different colour sets so you can choose your favourite colours and try out 3 bestselling bujo pens before you commit to purchasing a whole pack of each.
If your not the most artistic or creative person you could consider purchasing stamp sets. They allow you to fill and decorate your bullet journal with amazing doodles, calligraphy and more, without having you to draw. Be sure to check out our stamp collection for some ideas of what to look for.
Another great bullet journal supply to consider purchasing before you start journaling is washi tape. Washi tape is decorative adhesive tape that many journalists use to add some colour and decorate their journals. This is again perfect for those who struggle with the art side of bullet journaling, but still want to decorate and personalise their journal.
There are a range of supplies you could purchase for your bullet journal, for more examples check out our store.
How Should I Fill My Bullet Journal?
As we have mentioned there are many different ways to use and fill your bullet journal, but if your stuck for ideas here are our top picks of what to do, including some examples from Instagram bullet Journalists and artists.
Key & Index Pages
If your just starting out your journal these are great pages to include, they can help you to keep your spreads organised by creating cute symbols for different events and tasks. A great example of how to set up a key page is below by @whale.and.stars
She uses brown Kraft paper and different pens to create this cute look
Another great example of what to put at the start of your journal is yearly trackers. For example, @rubys1ippers2 has created a birthday tracker so she’ll never forget a loved ones birthday.
Goals & Wishlist’s
These are great to include at the start of a journal as you can write down all your aspirations and ideas that you want to achieve, and at the end of the year, or when you’ve finished your journal, you can look back and see what you’ve achieved and what you still need to work on for the next year.
I love this example from @bujo.with.gigi she uses brush pens and black fine liners to create a simple and professional looking spread. It’s a great example of how you don’t need to fill your page with doodles and make it too busy, simple can be really effective.
Monthly Cover Page
A cover page is a great way to introduce and separate months and is a great chance for you to express your creativity. Most journalists choose to have a specific colour scheme or theme for each month and then use that theme in all the pages they create that month, this is a great way to create an aesthetically pleasing journal when you flip through it once it’s finished. I love this cover page by @bujo.with.gigi with a super cute bunny 🐰🐰
You could even include a cute quote that matches your theme as she did.
These spreads are great to take a look at your month at a glance and see what events, meetings or tasks you have throughout the whole month. Check out @anchor.bujo who created a super cute February monthly spread with pink Sakura flowers.
If you decide to use your bullet journal as a planner or diary this spread is a must. You can choose to have a week on one page or a double page depending on how busy your life is. I love this spread by @khadijahs.doodles with hot air balloons and clouds.
There are a range of different types of trackers you can include in your journal, from workout trackers, expense trackers or even mood trackers. These 2 trackers below by @khadijahs.doodles are some great examples. If you want a simple tracker you can write out a calendar for each thing you want to track and then colour in the dates that you were able to complete the task, just as she has in the left picture.
For more ideas and bujo content be sure to checkout the Instagram pages of all the artists mentioned and join our Pinterest board dedicated to all things bullet journal.
Now that you know the basics of bullet journaling go get started on your own journal. Remember your journal is for you and every artist is unique so be proud of whatever you create and draw. Practise and be patient with yourself and soon enough, once you get to grips with bujoing, it’ll be like second nature to you.