how to start a bullet journal

Should I be sat here writing this post, probably not, should I be studying instead, most likely. But I needed a break from quantum physics so here we are.

If you haven't been following me for the last six month you might not have seen any of the posts that I have up about the bullet journal that I've been keeping, of which you can find them all here, however considering you've clicked on this post I can assume that you have a least the minuscule amount of interesting in starting a bullet journal for yourself. Therefore here I am sat with my bullet journal next to me, showing my barely completed to-do list, while I try and compile some helpful tips on how to start a bullet journal.

Before I get into anything though I would like to mention one thing. A bullet journal doesn't have to be neat. It doesn't have to be tidy. It doesn't even need to be a piece of artwork like those you see on Instagram and Pinterest, though if you want one like any of those then, by all means, do it. It just has to fit your lifestyle and whatever you want to use it for.

That leads nicely onto point 1.
You want to figure out what you want to use your bullet journal for. Is it a planner, a diary, a book of lists. It could be an art journal, a goal setter or even just a place to empty your mind. YOU just need to figure out what it's going to be for you. Once you've figured that out then you're really all set to start your bullet journal.

Though it would be good to collect your supplies first, which should probably be point 2.
Don't spend loads straight away, you need to be sure you can actually keep the journal going first before you fork out on the bucks. My bullet journal came from Wilkos, only about £3, which if you think about it isn't too much compared to other books with dots in it. A sub-point there though, choose if you want dots, lines, squares or plain pages for your bullet journal. Most people I know use dots but that doesn't mean you have to. In the end, just find any notebook and start from there. You also don't need to go all fancy on the pens. I started with just the pens I had, though there were some Faber-Castell pens that I've had for years since my art phase, really a biro and some highlighters can do the job just as well. Of course if you want to make it artsier you can but first, you want to see what sort of style works out best for you and what pens etc will work best for that.

I'll leave a list of the pens I use here if any of you would like to know,

  • Tombow Calligraphy Pens (both the soft tip and hard tip ones)
  • Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.5 pen
  • MUJI 0.35
  • Zebra Mildliners (Cool and Warm)
  • Stabilo point 88 Fineliners

With your supplies and plans for the use of your bullet journal we're almost ready to get started on it, but first, we really ought to plan out the pages we want to include. There are so many different pages you can include, but to start with you want to think about them in sections; yearly, monthly and weekly and maybe even daily.

I've put together some ideas in the Pinterest graphic below, and if you would like any more or maybe one specialised for students etc let me know.

bullet journal ideas

For me personally, I kept everything to a minimum with stuff I know I'll use, you can see what I have in mine in these posts here, here and here. But what I have in mind is by no means all that there is, I know my friend also has pages for finances and morning routines. It's all down to what YOU feel like you want to keep track of.

And with that, you can delve right in!

A useful tip though is to start out in pencil so you can work out where everything on the page shall go and then go over it in pen. Using a ruler and protractor is also helpful, but anything with a straight side could really be used to help make the pages look a bit neater.

At the end of the day, you just want to make your bullet journal you. Be that with colour or without. With stickers or printouts or neither. Just use it to help you organise whatever is going on in your head.

I'll finish off by saying once again it doesn't have to be perfect! I really can't repeat this enough times, your bullet journal is for you to use how you want and if you make mistakes here and there it's fine, we are human after all.

Anyway, I hope any of you wanting to start a bullet journal found some help in this! And if you do start one I'd love to know, you can reach me on any of my socials.

If you have, plan to have, or just imagine you had a bullet journal what do you think you would use it for?

- Sophie

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If you made it all the way down here thank you, I think this is the longest post I've written in a while. I just thought I would leave this at the bottom, but if anyone wants to follow more bullet journal ideas I do have a studygram account at @she_studies_astro. I also use it for posting my study notes as well, but it's up to you if you want to have a look.