Bullet Journaling Pt. I: The Beginning

Friday, May 20, 2016

If you like being organized and also like doodling or being creative, bullet journaling is for you. Or at least that's why I picked it up. When I first heard about bullet journaling, I thought it was strictly a tool to organize your to-do lists, and having pages upon pages of responsibilities and obligations didn't sound appealing to me. In actuality, though, bullet journaling is more than that. It's doodles, quotes, self-reflections, lists, schedules, ideas, whatever you want it to be.

The Bullet Journal website (yes, there is one, I just recently found out) describes it as "a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less."


When I decided I wanted to start bullet journaling, I wanted to start ASAP. I ignored my sister's suggestion to buy a journal online and instead drove to Barnes and Noble to buy one. Unfortunately, after using it for only a week, I was annoyed with how much the ink showed through the pages. So I bought another one with thicker pages. Online. (The irony.)

Now I'm using the Rhodia Black Webnotebook, which I bought on Amazon. If ink show-through bothers you, this is a good journal to go with. I also love the dotted pages. It makes drawing shapes and measuring space so much easier but also keeps the focus on the content, whereas lined or grid pages might be more distracting.


I stayed simple with this one and bought colored Sharpie pens from Target. I know some people swear by fancier pens, but these are good enough for me. They're more bold than regular pens but are still cheap to get.

Along with those, I sometimes use colored pencils as well, to color in boxes or shade areas where I wouldn't want a lot of bold ink. Again, I kept it simple and went for the classic: Crayola.


My 2016 Reads page might be favorite, though I can't take credit for the idea. I saw the bookshelf layout online a lot, and I loved it. Since I actually set a reading goal for this year, I thought it'd only be fitting if I documented my progress here.

The right page is where I record how much money I spend and save each month. (I probably should've taken a picture of this one before I filled it out. I just won't tell you the amount each box represents...)


Habit trackers seem to be very common in bullet journaling. I'm not surprised, because they're really helpful. They can be formatted in various ways. Some people list out the days of the month horizontally, others vertically. I chose to draw out a mini month for each "habit." I felt that being able to look at this page at the end of the month and see how full or empty the month as a whole looked would be the best way for me to track my progress. I left space at the bottom to write goals for next month, a sort of reflection on how my May habits turned out, and if there is anything I want to do differently the next time around.

My monthly overview is an example of the part of my personality that needs structure and needs to have a plan. I drew another mini month and called out any significant events.


I've seen many different weekly layouts and have tried a different one each week. I started out with the entire spread being seven days – each page being split into thirds, with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the left; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday/Sunday (combined into a one-third section) on the right. I discovered that having that much room for a single day was too much.

Now, I'm trying out a layout I found on Pinterest. The space for each day is smaller. I'll write one or two things I have to do, and that day's exercise routine, if I worked out. The bottom left is a space for me to write a quote of some sort – one I found online, something someone said to me, an excerpt from a book I'm reading, etc. I have a general to-do list (can you tell I like lists?). "Happy things" is a space for me to reflect on good things that happened that week, big or small. It helps me keep a positive attitude and stay grateful. The small boxes on the right page are a mini habit tracker. For each day, I log if I went to the gym, read, drank enough water, and got up on time in the morning. (I'm notorious for snoozing my alarm for nearly an entire hour, so my hope is that if I write it down as a goal to get up earlier, I'll be more inclined to do so.)


The pages in between spreads are for anything else I feel like putting in. I filled one of them with two quotes that I adored from the book "Me Before You." It's not the best artistic work, but it was fun to draw out. 

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So far, I'm enjoying bullet journaling. I hope I stick with it, because it's such an interesting concept. I love scrolling through Pinterest and seeing all of the different things people do with theirs. I've wanted a more creative journaling outlet for a while – in addition to my regular journal where I write out thoughts/feelings. Bullet journaling satisfies that creative aspect while also keeping me organized. Eventually I'll come up with my own ideas, but for now, I'm trying out what others have done to see what works for me.

Have you tried bullet journaling? What types of pages and spreads do you have in yours?

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  1. I love the layout and the fonts you used :D

    Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ | florrall.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Thank you! I looked at yours and love all the colors you use!