6 Tips to Help You Start Bullet Journaling

By Alexis Colucci

I recently started bullet journaling to channel my passion for art and desire for hyper-organization in all aspects of my life into something productive. I’m only a week in, but already, I’ve found a new hobby that also takes some of the stress off my mind. Here are some of the best tips I’ve found to help you start the fun that is bujo.

  1. Buy a dotted journal. The first step in bullet journaling is to get a journal. While any notebook, plain, ruled, or grid, will work, I’ve found that dotted is the most helpful. It’s a built-in grid system that also looks aesthetically pleasing. I bought my journal from Moleskine for $14.95, which you can find here.Image courtesy of Moleskine. 
  2. Determine a goal. When you start bullet journaling, it’s best to consider what you want to gain from it. Like any hobby, it takes time, effort, and practice, so you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. One of my goals in creating a bullet journal was to eliminate the scattered notes on my phone and keep everything in one place. I did this with pages dedicated to various lists in the front of my journal and then moved into the planner aspect of the journal.
  3. Figure out what you want to include. Bullet journals truly are anything you make of them. Personally, I use mine to organize both my homework and random tasks and thoughts. For example, my monthly spreads include the exam I know I’m taking in a few weeks, but I also have a list of all the books I want to read. Bullet journals can include anything from monthly spreads to mood trackers; its vast potential for personalization makes the hobby unique.
  4. Check Pinterest.  When I first decided to bullet journal as a suggestion by my roommate, she also advised me to check Pinterest. As bullet journaling, or bujo, is a recent trend, there are boards and pinners solely dedicated to setting up journals. I made a bujo board to organize what I wanted to include in my bullet journal, as well as its aesthetic.Image Courtesy of Pinterest. 
  5. Watch Youtube. Once you have ideas, it’s time to set up your journal. With just a blank notebook in front of me, it felt daunting to think that it would all somehow come together. To combat this, I watched multiple YouTube videos to see how others set up their journals. This gave me some good ideas, like creating a grid system, and helped me realize how rewarding this process would truly be. 
  6. Buy InkJoy Gel Pens. I struggled with what supplies to purchase for use in my journal. Most gel pens smudge, markers bleed, and colored pencils don’t show up. Another challenge was that I’m left-handed, so it’s harder to write with any utensil. After extensive research, I decided on a 10 pack of InkJoy Gel Pens from Target that I got for $15.99. While they were more than I usually spend on pens, they do work well. They come in a variety of colors and have the effect of coloring with markers. While they do still smear if you touch them immediately, waiting 10 minutes ensures that they’ve dried. You can find the pens here

While I tried to cover the basics of bullet journaling, research on your own can help fill in any gaps or elaborate on other ideas. Happy bujo-ing!