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Bullet Journaling for Beginners

The bullet journaling (or BuJo) community had been on my radar for quite a while. Whenever I would scroll through Tumblr, I would often see posts of organized and aesthetic study notes, planners, or journals and I wished that I could one day be as #studygoals as them. At the beginning of the year I decided to act upon my curiosity and join the community with my very first bullet journal.

Basic BuJo supplies:

  • A journal, of course. Lined, squared, dotted, any kind will do! I’m using a simple lined notebook from Letterbox.
  • Pens, pens, and more pens! I use a pack of multi-coloured, 0.88 tip Stabilo’s.
  • Highlighters, markers, pencil crayons, paints. Any and every art supply you’re comfortable with is great to use!
  • Sticky notes! They’re great for adding notes or tasks that you may have forgotten about initially and they’re also great for decorating.
  • Washi tape. It’s a Japanese tape made of natural fibres that comes in many designs and colours. It’s great for decorating and it’s also good for covering up any mistakes you might make.
  • Anything else you want, it’s completely up to you how you choose to layout/design your journal!

When I started in January, I decided not to follow the traditional layout for bullet journals. Instead, I planned to use mine as more of a planner to help keep track of due dates and appointments. Something that I learned after researching different bullet journal layouts is that it’s more than okay to practice your own methods when it comes to designing your journal! I don’t design layouts or pages beforehand, but instead I fill in any leftover, blank space with doodles, quotes, or pictures that I find relatable or aesthetically pleasing. Initially, I kept track of events, TV shows that I started watching, and of course school work. I didn’t have a wide variety of pens and my handwriting wasn’t the greatest, but my pages were organized and they got the job done.

Only a month into the new experience, I started to use the journal less frequently. Finding time to bullet journal became difficult once midterm season came, but I noticed that when I did find time to sit down and plan my week it was a great way to destress! I experimented with layout, fonts, and colours as time went on. I also made pages to document different events that I had attended.

So far, this year, my bullet journaling has been inconsistent. There are times when I’ve skipped almost two weeks of planning. But the great thing about bullet journals is that they’re totally personal and they don’t have to be a perfect timeline of events. As the year goes on, I’d like to document more memories, from concerts to movie nights with friends, to make my journal feel more like a journal. Now that I’ve been using my bullet journal for four months, my handwriting has improved, my style has changed, and my decorating skills have also gotten a little better.

While practice doesn’t always make perfect, having a bullet journal has been a great way for me to exercise my creativity as well as maintain a mode of organization. As summer approaches, my bullet journal will probably include more pages dedicated to chores, little memories, and my travels. I might even include pages dedicated to playlists or a list for books that I’d like to read. The possibilities are endless, and I’m excited to continue this bullet journaling journey!

Kailynn studies English Literature and Film Studies at UBC. Her studies are also her passions and she can never finish a novel or televison series before starting a new one. She's currently working on her own writing projects and hopes to publish a novel and develop a feature film screen play in the future! Aside from her love of writing, she also loves to travel - even if it's just a weekend at the lake. You'll most likely find her in one of the library basement's or in line for coffee on campus, but you can always find her on twitter! 
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