A Beginners Guide to Bullet Journaling - Easy Tips to Start Your Bullet Journal

 
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Why Start a Bullet Journal?

Have you wanted to try bullet journaling but think it will be too hard or that you won't be good at it? Amen, Sister! So, about two months ago, I kind of took notice to this Bullet Journal craze. First thing I thought was "this looks really neat, but I am not artistic AT ALL"! My youngest daughter, Emily, is very artistic, so I immediately told her I thought she would be great at it. It took 0.75 seconds for her to say "Oh, no! That does not look like fun! That looks like work!" And, I laughed because I was thinking she was so right!!! 

Now, don't ask me why I even decided to re-visit this whole Bullet Journaling business, but I did. And, basically, the rest is history. I started reading about it and researching all of the different things that you could use it for. You can literally plan ANYTHING using this Bullet Journal method and it can get quite overwhelming, AND exciting! There is so much information out there on this topic, but the great news is that you NEED all this info if you are new to it (or even if you aren’t new to it, because it is fascinating!). I started looking up all of the different techniques and ways and OMG. IT. WAS. OVER. I wanted in. I wanted to at least TRY it. So, I did and I am a LITTLE obsessed. The options are limitless...the journals, the pens, the stencils, the layouts, the pages...literally, limitless. And, you could spend the better part of a weekend just researching how to do it and the best tools to make it happen! 

Wanna see how I started? It has been so much fun! Now, at first, you are going to think, this is way too much work to cross something off of your to do list, but it is so much more than that. One thing for sure is that I remember things by 1) writing them down and 2) repetition. So, as I'm putting this page together for my weekly to do list, it is accomplishing both of these things. I am writing them down, and really concentrating on what I'm putting in these columns (because I want to use it effectively) and I didn't fill out the whole week at once. So, I repeatedly saw some of the same things over and over again. I did fill in what I knew for sure - had a funeral to go to, had to get the groceries, etc....but, as things came up, I went straight back to that page and it forces me to see what I already have scheduled and really how much time I have available. AND, can I say how unbelievably satisfying it is to color in that little box when I am checking something off my list???

So, these are some pages I decided on using and haven't begun to make all of them...but I will!

  • Blog Schedule

  • Weekly Planner

  • Budget Tracker

  • Cleaning List

  • Gift Buying Tracker

  • Grocery List/Meal Planner

  • Gratitude Journal

  • Recipe Bank

BUT, there are hundreds of options and ideas for page spreads…like it can get out of hand!

These are just some ideas to start.  I have made a Blog Schedule Page and a Weekly Planning Page and I already love using them. For some reason, it makes me do what I said I was going to do! I just picked up a journal at Wal-Mart but I have heard rave reviews about the Leuchtturm journal. I have it in my cart on Amazon because the pages of this journal I have are very thin and the ink bleeds to through the other side very easily. I also got these stencils and I love them! They are metal and have their own carrying case AND they are very affordable. I have used them on every page. I am going to purchase some lettering stencils because free-handing it is ok, but I have seen some stencils that I really love (I have my eye on these)! My favorite of everything is my pens. I have a thing for colored pens already, but these Pilot Precise v5 pens are my absolute favorite! I already use the blue and black ones at work, but when I found these colored ones...I knew they had to be mine! 🙂

 
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I love this page...I always say that I am going to sit down and schedule out blog posts and brainstorm ideas and I just don't ever get to it. So, to say that I was hesitant to do this page is an understatement. I just wasn't sure if I really wanted to spend the time making the page if I didn't know for sure if I was even going to use it...but I have used it. And, I love using it. It makes me think more about what I want to plan and what I want to accomplish. I think I spend too much time thinking about what I want to do and how to do it, that I never really get any of it done!



Weekly Planner


 
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This was my favorite page to do so far (not that I have done a ton)! It was very gratifying to list out the next 7 days ahead of me and actually think through what I needed to accomplish. And then to go color in my square or check off that box, it's like I want to finish that task so that I can start on another page! Can I tell you that it doesn't take much to appease me??


Cover

 
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I think the cover is where you can really put your imagination and personality into it. The joy of having a bullet journal is that there are no rules. You want a cover at the beginning and 5 pages into the book? Do it! You want to put your calendar in different places? You can do it! You can do whatever you want with this. This is your journal, and it will probably change every other day. The one thing I have read in every article about bullet journaling is that inevitably, IT WILL NOT STAY THE SAME. You have to see what layout works best for you. What pages do actually end up never using and which ones do you need more of? But isn't that fantastic? No rules, change as often as you like, just to suit your needs...I mean you can't ask for a better tool.

So Just Do It!

Hopefully this little post inspired you to think about bullet journaling. And, you may be like me the first time I read about it. NO. WAY. JOSE'! I literally was uninterested. I felt like I had enough to do and enough going on. But, I would recommend to give it a try. Even if you don't buy a journal, start with some loose leaf sheets of paper just to see how you like it. I knew right away that I loved it and wanted to spend my whole afternoon working on it (but I didn't want the people in my house to starve, so I got up and fixed them some supper). I am a doodler....like all over everything all of the time. This is so much like doodling but with a purpose! My oldest daughter (who doesn’t really think that she is artistic at all) is going to start one of these too! She loves to do word finds and things that keep her brain busy, but don’t require schoolwork type thinking! I think this would be so good for her to do some of this journaling AND get herself organized in the process! Are any of you already bullet journaling? I would love to hear about the supplies and things that you like and even page ideas that you have or use. I'm thinking that for the beginning of the year, I may just have a whole bullet journal dedicated to budgeting and finances. 

In saying all of this, a bullet journal and all of the supplies would be a fantastic Christmas gift for someone. I just think it would be a fun AND productive gift! Who knows? You may be helping your friend or family member get more accomplished just by giving them the gift of bullet journaling!

Happy Journaling,

Jennifer

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