Follow these simple steps to learn how to start a bullet journal for beginners. A great way to stay organized and have fun!
I was first introduced to a bullet journal by a friend several years ago, and I was immediately intrigued. I am a sucker for all the fun paper, pens and notebooks. Even if I don’t have an immediate plan for it, I buy it anyways. So, I immediately started the search for a bullet journal for myself.
A bullet journal is different from your typical notebook. Instead of horizontal lines to write on, it has an evenly spaced dot grid. These dots make it easier to customize your journal and turn it into whatever you want. And by whatever you want, I really mean it. The possibilities are endless!
The idea of creating my own journal and customizable planner got me super excited. Planners either have tons of pages that I won’t ever use, or they don’t have pages that I actually need. So, I loved the idea of being able to make my own with the exact pages that I need. I hate to spend money on something that isn’t exactly what I’m looking for. Plus, creating something by hand gives me such a sense of satisfaction. Another reason I love bullet journaling is because it gives me something to do to keep my hands busy if the tv is on at night. I can watch a tv show and get something accomplished at the same time.
Pages to Start a Bullet Journal
When you open your bullet journal, the first page should be the yearly cover page. You can make this page as simple or as fancy as you want. Use only black ink or go with lots of colors. Draw lots of decorations all over or put a simple sticker. Be super minimal, or let your creativity explode. It really is completely up to you!
I love to use large numbers and bright colors to make the page exciting and bold. You can see that my bullet journal yearly cover page for 2023 is actually quite simple, but super fun and bright. You don’t have to be really good at drawing to create a beautiful page. I definitely recommend drawing things out in pencil first, especially when you are doing really large letters and numbers.
Yearly Cover Page
Directly after the yearly cover page, you need a future log page. The future log page gives you a place to write down all future events and appointments. When you create your bullet journal, you will most likely set up the beginning pages and the month of January. After that, you will “create as you go”.
When I say, “create as you go”, I mean that it isn’t like a planner that you buy in a store with all of the months and weeks filled out. Unless you spend a few weeks setting up your entire bullet journal, you will most likely be creating it as you go. For example, after my initial set up, I will be creating each month during the previous month. So, in the month of January, I will create my February pages. In February, I will create my March pages…
For your future log page, you will want to use two full pages in order to have enough room. You can see that I only added a small splash of color on this page. You could also use stickers or washi tape to add some fun to this page easily.
Future Log Page
It is important to include the dates for the whole month, and then leave blank space below to write the future dates. When you have an appointment that you need to remember, use a marker to circle the date or color in that whole square. Then, in the blank space below, use the same color marker to add a bullet point. Next to the bullet point, write the time of the appointment and any other information necessary.
Optional Pages to Start a Bullet Journal
Optional pages are ones you use to totally customize your bullet journal to your specific needs. These pages come before you get into the monthly and weekly pages for the year. They are helpful for staying organized in any and all areas of your life, to help you remember things, and to help you track stuff. A lot of these pages give you a visual for how close you are to completing a task or a goal. This is a great motivator if you don’t like to see incomplete pages at the end of the year like me! You can use as few or as many of these as you want.
Example Pages to Start a Bullet Journal
- Birthday tracker – I have a large family with lots of birthdays to remember. I always add a birthday page at the front of my bullet journal to keep track of everyone.
- Cleaning schedule – I use this page to keep a list of cleaning tasks I want to do daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It also gives me a place to write down the date for the last time I did a task.
- Favorite meals – This page is great for keeping a list of all of your families’ favorite meals in one location. That way when it is time to meal plan, you don’t have to scramble and stress out about what to cook. If you need a few more meal ideas, flip to this page and grab some favorites.
- Book tracker and reading log – I am an avid reader and decided that I wanted to keep track of the title and author for the books I read every year. Yes, there are apps for this now. However, I enjoy handwriting as much as possible and love the look of these pages in my bullet journal.
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- Make a Bullet Journal Weekly Spread
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- How to Draw Basic Bullet Journal Banners