It’s a new year, and you’ve got plans, goals and a ton of momentum. One way to seize that momentum? Start a bullet journal! Before you back away and say “too much work,” hear us out! Bullet journaling is incredibly rewarding, super easy to get the hang of, and anyone can do it.
What You Need:
- Graph journal (the kind with the little dots) — we’re using the Daring Dames Journal
- Felt-tip markers or colored pencils (Sharpies have a tendency to bleed through pages)
- Ballpoint Pen (it’s just nicer to write with!)
- Optional: Stickers and washi tape (these are an easy way to make your journal prettier)
Here’s the thing. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to bullet journaling. Ultimately, it’s all about customizing a journal to your needs so that you can work toward important goals, stay organized, and have fun along the way. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s OK if you mess up, and if you fall off the wagon along the way, just pick up your journal and start from where you left off! To help you get started, here are a few bullet journal basics:
1. Start With an Bullet Journal Index Page
This may not seem important when you’ve just begun, but after you have 50+ pages created, things can start to get a little hairy. An index, along with numbered pages, will allow you to easily find any page. You don’t need to index daily to-do lists — just the annual pages and start of every new month.
On this page, or the following, you can also include a key. This helps you keep track of what different symbols and colors mean.
2. Create a Yearly Overview or “Future Log”
The Future Log is simply an entire calendar year. You can include important milestones or events — like birthdays, travel, and appointments — to better visualize what lies ahead and what’s already passed.
3. Add Annual Pages
Next, you can begin to add pages that relate to your yearly goals. The sky’s the limit here, so have fun with it! Lots of people create media trackers (podcasts, books, movies), and goals/trackers relating to health, fitness, finances, and careers. You can dress pages up with markers, hand-drawn pictures, and stickers or washi tape. Or you can just keep it simple! Here’s a bit of inspiration for you:
4. Begin Monthly Journaling
Next, begin monthly journaling. Some people like to create a “cover page” for every month, which is simply a page that says the month’s name. This is an opportunity to get creative, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
Again, your options are limitless when it comes to monthly pages. Include a gratitude log, mood tracker, health tracker, or whatever else you want. Oh, and if you come up with an idea for an annual tracker in the middle of the year? Simply add it on the following page and index it (see how that thing comes in handy)?
5. Add Daily Logs
How you do this is completely up to you. You can dedicate one page per day, combine an entire week onto one page, or break the week up into a couple pages. Your daily to-dos and notes will live on these pages, and the goal is to keep everything short and sweet. Use the symbols in your key, and anytime you include a “note” or thought, keep it under 10 words.
That’s pretty much it! Remember, have fun with the process and don’t sweat mistakes. Your bullet journal doesn’t have to be glamorous or perfect — it just needs to serve as a partner in your annual, monthly, and daily life!
+Inspired to get organized? Find planners, journals, & more here!