How to start a bullet journal

A bullet journal is an excellent way to organize your life. Bullet journals help you organize your day and set goals for yourself that you can achieve in a couple steps: a task with subtasks in your bullet journal.

Please check out my blog post Differences between a planner and a bullet journal to know more about bullet journals and if they’re right for you. Also, check out my other blog post How to start a planner if you want to try a planner as well.

Bullet journals are pretty much a mind dump. It stores all the information you put in it. Imagine you’re a juggler. You are trying to juggle 13 balls at one time. Yep. That’s life. That’s why bullet journals come in handy. They let you store everything safely, and they’re portable too!

Before I start explaining how to start your journal I want to give a shoutout to studyign. You should go check out her channel on youtube. She has many videos about planners and bullet journals and her perspective on them. I want to show you mine.

To start all you need is a notebook. You don’t need to get fancy like studyign did with all her colors, stickers, sticky flags, post-its, and washi tape. That will motivate you, but you don’t need to have all those things to start a bullet journal.

You can start by making a key or a table of contents. I personally prefer the key first, but you don’t need it. To make a key simply decide which icons to use. I use a box for tasks, a box with a fraction inside for partly done tasks, a box with an x going through it for canceled tasks, a box with an arrow for migrated tasks, and a triangle for an event. Now you can make your table of contents. Choose how many pages you will use. Write the title and number the pages in your notebook leaving the key on page 1. You can already put it in your table of contents.

The next thing in my bullet journal is my new year’s resolutions page. Because it’s almost 2017, I decided to start my resolutions early. Please take a look at my blog post My new year’s resolutions to see my resolutions. I also used the following in my journal as a “Things to improve at in 2017.” This is pretty much just stating some things that I think can be improved this year.

On the next page, I have my reflection from 2016 with some writing prompts. Here are some prompts you can try:

From 1 – 1o how to you feel about this year?

What were the biggest lessons you learned this year? How can you incorporate these into your life?

How are you different this year? Are you happy with that change? If not, how can you improve?

Name 5 things you can improve next year. How can you go about achieving them?

Now for one of my favorites, the “Level 1o Life.” All credit goes to studyign for inventing this. I am only putting my own spin on it. I chose 10 aspects in my life and put them in a list. Next to that I made a graph of 10 levels for all 10 characters. As I become more satisfied with the aspects, I raise them up until they reach 10 out of 10. My aspects are:

  1. family
  2. social life
  3. health
  4. social media
  5. mindset
  6. stress levels
  7. gratitude
  8. savings
  9. fun and relaxation
  10. productivity

Don’t worry we’re almost done! Now we actually start on the daily and monthly part. studyign did a 6-month spread, but I decided not to do that because I have a planner and a calendar. But I did do weekly spreads and monthly spreads. I didn’t bother with daily spreads because again, I have a planner and weekly spreads work better for bullet journaling in my opinion.

To make a monthly spread, go to your next two clean pages. Draw a graph that is 7 boxes horizontally by 6 boxes vertically.  On the top box write the days of the week and on the other boxes the date.

To make a weekly spread divide two clean pages by 8. In the first box put the month, week number, etc. and in the other boxes the day, date and year. Now all you need to do is write your tasks in with the code you made in the key and you’re ready to go! I hope you enjoyed and will start bullet journaling soon! 🙂


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