Today I’m going to talk all about Bullet Journaling – namely, what it is, how you do it, and what mine looks like!
What is Bullet Journaling:
It’s a day planner slash diary! It’s a organizational system that you create for yourself to track your daily, weekly, and monthly goals, your schedule, your contact, your food diary, what you did on certain days – anything.
The short answer is that a bullet journal (or bujo) is whatever you want it to be. The long answer is, well, everything that is on this bullet journal original website. What I consider to be bullet journaling might not be what other people use their journal for, and it might not be what you use your journal for, and that’s the beauty of it. Creating a bullet journal is personal to your style, your life, and your scheduling needs!
My favourite thing about a bujo is that if you don’t journal for a week you don’t need to skip a week’s worth of paper like you would from an agenda – just start on the next page because you made it!
Bullet Journal Supplies:
Since your bujo needs and my bujo needs are probably different, our supplies will be different too! All you really need is a journal, a pen, and a plan, but here’s a run down of my basic supplies:
- A journal. I prefer a dotted page journal, but you can use lined, blank, or graph if you prefer. The most popular bujo journal is the leuchtturm1917. I went to the store with the intent of buying a 1917, but walked out with this one instead – I couldn’t resist the floral pattern plus it was cheaper!
- A writing utensil. I prefer to use a black Sharpie Pen as the point is really fine and the ink doesn’t bleed. Ink bleeding to the next page can be an issue so you’ll want to test out your writing tools.
- A ruler. I use a little general purpose drafting template as a rule because it’s small, lightweight, and I can use the shapes in my journal as needed.
Those are your basic supplies, and with a ruler a journal and a pen you can run the (bujo) world. As you probably have seen, though, I prefer to take a more colorful approach to my bujo. For this, my favourite ‘extras’ to use are:
- Tombow Brush Pens – these are my absolute FAVOURITE. I am trying to incorporate ‘brush calligraphy’ into my bujo and life, and these are a must. They are great for title pages, don’t bleed through the paper, and are super versatile. The light shades are great for using as a highlighter. They are also watercolor markers, which isn’t really useful for journalling but is just a super awesome art/craft tool in general!
- Stabilo point 88 pens. These are super cheap to buy individually, come in a billion colors, and have a super sharp point.
- Washi tape: Washi tape is awesome for bujos because it comes in SO MANY sizes, colors, etc., I use washi tape as a border, or to hide mistakes, or to add a pop of color.
- Stamps/Stickers: I haven’t really delved much into this realm yet but I’m looking forward to doing it! I love the idea of cute little stickers/stamps to accent some pages.
Okay. Let’s just dive into this, because I think it’s better to see it than to hear about it. I will show you some of my pages, explain what they are for (either in the official bujo system or my own), and hopefully there will be some inspiration for you somewhere!
Table of Contents / The Key:
This is a concept that the bullet journal website covers really well. I don’t follow my own key extremely closely, because as I’ve journaled I’ve developed new systems.
Year in Review:
This is a page near the beginning of my journal when I made a calendar for the year. It’s a general overview with birthdays, holidays, and other extra-important dates get marked.
Health & Lifestyle tracking:
I love using my bujo to track certain things. My food and fitness tracking is great, because it reminds me to stay on track. The food tracker/idea includes the serving size and calorie amount for item, and is handy if I’m having trouble thinking of a lunch or snack idea – they’re my favourite foods, conveniently on a page for me!
I just made the exercise tracker a few days ago – I’m using this chart to track each area (arms/legs/abs), how many sets and reps to do, and the start weight of each. I will track my muscle/strength progress by adding columns to represent new weights.
These are some fairly simple pages where I write down books that I want to read, and blog posts I want to write, and I track them! My reading tracker has its own legend for if I liked the book, love the book, or the book was ‘meh’. My blog tracker gets coloured in half-way for a post that’s written but not published, and all the way for a post that’s published!
Daily Happy Reminder
This is something that’s rather gushy for me, but I do like doing it. It’s just a page where you write down something positive that happened to you today!
I want my bujo to become a sort of ‘time capsule’ in a way. This is new, and I’m still developing it, but the plan is to have a ‘memory’ page at the end of every month that includes ticket stubs, photos, entry stickers, etc., of the month past. This is a postcard that my friend Marina sent me from Hawaii and I love it so much I had to include it in my bujo somewhere. I will probably make some sort of memory page on the blank page adjacent to it!
This is my April monthly spread and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I like to take the opportunity to be creative and artistic as much as I can in my bujo (though it is definitely NOT required to have a good bujo!!). I used some leaves and my tombow markers to stamp prints onto the page and then my tombow markers to do some brush calligraphy on top!
The actual calendar part is pretty straight-forward. I marked important dates and events like holidays and job interviews with a mark and then used the legend to the right so write more info about them. I find this easier than trying to crowd a bunch of writing into a little box.
Monthly Habit Tracker:
This is one of my favourite aspects of bullet journaling! It’s such a nice way to track how often you do something. Some of these items, like ‘food’ and ‘drive’ are goals for me – I try to do them everyday. Some items, like ‘bed 11’ or ‘period’ are just to track when I do things – this helps if I feel unwell, or if any life events come up I can look back and see what I’ve been doing.
The picture to the right is a fun little doodle page when I drew some monthly goals for myself!
So here’s the good stuff – the weekly spread. This is where I track what’s going on each day, what my goal for the week is, what I need to do, and then what I actually end up doing.
The left page is boxes to track weekly goals, projects, and any shopping I need to do. Some weeks I change out these items for different ones, depending on my needs.
The right page is my daily log. The long column on the left is the ‘diary’ part – that’s where I write what actually happened that day. The small column on the right is where I write appointments, birthdays, and items that I want to accomplish.
It doesn’t have to be pretty!!
This is a quick spread I through together when we were packing for LA, and visiting NY. It’s not pretty, it’s super basic, and things are crossed out. That’s fine!!!!!!! The information got across and that’s what matters. Again, make the bujo work for you.
If you have a bujo or have read the bulletjournal.com website, then you’ve probably noticed that mine is a loose interpretation! It’s very much scrapbook meets diary meets day planner, but it works for me, and I’m going to continue to call it a bullet journal!
I hope that this was helpful/inspirational!
If you have a bullet journal, please share photos with me!! I love looking at other people’s bullet journals!