So, you want to start a Bullet Journal

Why does “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” play in my head when I think about the title of this post? Dammit, now it’s stuck in my head. And in yours. Sorry.

In all seriousness, where does one go to begin their Bullet Journal journey? First off, welcome to the community! I say even considering starting a Bullet Journal makes you one of us. I don’t care what anyone else says. 🙂

The place to begin is really with a notebook, a pen, and this video:

Did you watch it? No? GO WATCH IT! Yes? Good.

Some of my friends have asked me, “So what exactly is Bullet Journaling?” That’s a really tough one to answer. It can be an art project, or a simple way to keep track of your day. It can be a daily diary, or something you use to just keep track of your business. The thing is, Bullet Journaling has evolved to mean a lot of different things for different people.

I usually end up saying something like, “It’s kind of like a to-do list, meets planner, meets journal, all wrapped together in a big ol’ artsy-fartsy bow.”

At least, it is for me. There are so many kinds out there! There are minimalist Bullet Journals, Incredible “Oh My God, You Drew That?!” kinds, types that keep track of hardly anything, kinds that keep track of moms and dads balancing jobs, kids, dogs, cats, extra curricula, etc., etc.

So many people took the guidelines Ryder Carrol (the inventor of the system) came up with and ran with them. And look what it’s created! An awesome community, full of amazing people just sharing something they’re proud of. It makes me so happy!

The thing is, even if you don’t stick to the original “rules,” you’re still Bullet Journaling. As long as you think it’s a Bullet Journal, it is!

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “That’s all fine and dandy, but where do I start?

The simple answer is: You just start.

It’s true! You just sort of take the rules Ryder laid out and you use it every day until you start making tiny changes. Experiment. Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!

(Can you tell I’m a 90s kid?)

I think the best way to figure out what you need is to think about why Bullet Journaling appealed to you in the first place. Were you unhappy with your store-bought planner? Why? What do you wish it had?

Do you want something more than just a daily journal? Why? Are you tired of the standard linear journaling? Want something that you’ll come back to day-after-day?

The reason it’s so hard for me to tell you exactly what to do is because I’m not you. I came at this from a completely different angle than you did. But I digress.

Another tip: peruse Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA! Pick out your favorites and save them somehow. That could mean your likes, following them, taking a screen grab, saving the image somewhere, etc. Just make something you can reference back to and COPY that shizz.

No, I’m serious. Copy it. When I first started, I saved images onto my iPad and traced them. Of course, give the person who originated the idea some credit if you’re going to post on social media (*hint hint* that’s a great way to get more followers, too!), but there’s nothing wrong with copying someone. It’s the highest form of compliment!

Eventually, you’re going to figure out that something they’ve done doesn’t quite work that well for you and you’ll tweak it. And that’s where the fun begins!

The Bullet Journal community is one of ideas. We are inspired by one another and we build each other up. It’s such a beautiful thing to see.

I have to wrap this up because this is getting dangerously long, but I will leave you with a few resources. Homework, if you will.

If you haven’t watched the video yet–seriously what are you waiting for??–then do that first. Once you’ve finished there, you should visit the websites of these fine ladies and be inspired by their greatness:

I think next week I’ll introduce you to some of the common tools of the trade. Besides a regular notebook and pen, that is!

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Please leave comments/questions/suggestions below.



2 thoughts on “So, you want to start a Bullet Journal

  1. Yes! I just started my own bullet journal, and IM IN LOVE. Seriously went down the rabbit hole with this one, but it seems so sustainable and great to have everything in one spot. So far, my first week, it’s all gravy.


    1. I really think when you fall in love with Bullet Journaling, you fall HARD. I’m so glad you like it! You’ll love it even more every day you do it, too. When you find your cadence, you won’t be able to imagine life without Bullet Journaling. Thanks for visiting/commenting! 🙂


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