Your 101 Guide on Creating the Ultimate Bullet Journal
Behold, the Bullet Journal. You’ve been hearing this term tossed around pretty frequently. But what exactly, does it mean? We’re here to help! Bullet journals are meant to be an efficient way for users to plan out their day, week, month, and year, based on their personal interests. It is a combination of a yearly planner, diary, and To-Do List, all in one convenient little book.
You start with a sturdy blank journal of your choice (top contenders include the Moleskine Ruled Notebook, the Leuchtturm 1917, and/or the original Bullet Journal Notebook), and create your own unique spreads to keep track of the things that matter to you. Interested in maintaining your diet for the month? Use a page in your bullet journal to jot down your daily meals. Trying to save up money for that car down payment? Use a page to budget your finances for the month. Need space to write down your daily tasks? The bullet journal can handle that, and everything else you can think of! Ready to create your ultimate bullet journal? Let’s begin!
Setting up the Bullet Journal
The initial set-up of your bullet journal may be a little tricky at first. That’s because this is the time to consider all the things that you are interested in keeping track of and would like to organize. Don’t be alarm if you started a few spreads, but change your mind down the road. This journal is designed for you, so feel free to update it as you please! Here are our suggestions for making the most out of your journal. (Feel free to explore these ideas, but don’t feel like you are limited to what’s here!)
The purpose of the index is to be a quick reference to what page you’re looking for in your journal. (Yes, it’s a good idea to number your pages to easily find what you need!) Since this page is to be completed upon setting up your other pages first, it’s ok to leave a couple of pages in the beginning of your book blank.
One reason why this book is called the bullet journal, is it’s unique logging system. Users write their notes in special bullet points to indicate the type of entry it is. You may prefer to set it up differently based on the type of entries you are interested in writing.
The purpose of your future planning pages is to give you a quick overview of the year. There are several ways to set up this spread, as long as you have room for 12 months. We used 4 pages (front and back) to set up our future planning spread. The first two pages featured months January to June, following with July to December.
Here’s where the planner part of the journal comes through. There are several ways to set up your monthly calendar. You may prefer to jot down all the days in one page or even organize your calendar by time of day. We like the standard square format because it allows us to easily identify the dates with day of the week and leaves plenty of room for a quick note or a fun doodle!
General Monthly Spread
This is an optional page, and can be interpreted however you would like it to be. We’re dedicating our monthly spread to keep tracking of our overall monthly goals/objectives, reading list, any inspirational quotes, and a quick finance reference. Other suggestions include movies to watch, ideal travel destinations, list of people or things that made you happy/grateful in the month, new recipes/restaurants to try, fitness routine, and more! Seriously, there is no limit to how much you can pack in your spread!
Monthly Habits Tracker
For a more precise system, track your daily habits in this next spread. These pages are perfect for someone who is trying to stick to a certain goal and/or identify patterns in their behavior. For example, we were interested in tracking our daily fitness routine at the gym (stretching, abdominals, cardio, & weights), diet patterns (drinking water, enjoying a piece of fruit, sweets, proteins, & carbs for the day), and our mood behavior (happy, sad, angry, stress, sick, tired, & etc.).
The last step to completing your bullet journal is constructing your weekly logs! Weekly logs served as a detail report of all the tasks/projects/reminders/notes that needs attention to each day. Like the monthly calendar pages, there are plenty of ways to optimize your book for the week. We fit our 7 day section into one page and saved the second for special points to pay extra attention to. In an attempt to incorporate more writing, we left half a page for a weekly journal entry. If writing daily is super important to you, don’t hesitate to take up another page for your thoughts.
When you are completed with your spreads, don’t forget to numbered them, and add the pages to your index! Your index will be constantly growing, so it is a working progress. Decorating your bullet journal is also half the fun! We love using fun Washi tapes as borders and drawing cute little doodles in our pages. Need more room to write? Simply add an extra writing space with a sticky Post-it note!
And there you have it– you just started your first bullet journal! (Insert loud applause here.) As you are writing, remember the bullet journal is designed for you. It’s sole purpose is to help you plan out your life. And life isn’t always a clean cut straight-road ahead. So, don’t be stressed out if a page doesn’t come out exactly as what you imagined- it’s not important! Or even if you start a spread, but end up changing it’s entirety. Real bullet journals may not always be always ‘Instagram-perfect,’ but they can really work for your busy agenda. Try it today!
We hope you enjoyed this post! More questions or comments on creating the ultimate bullet journal? Please leave a comment below!