I bet you’re on the fence on starting your first bullet journal or maybe you just want to know what this craze is all about. Whatever your reason is, don’t worry, I got your back! This guide will help you get all the information you need to help you get started.
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What is a Bullet Journal?
A Bullet Journal is a journaling system created by Ryder Carroll. The goal of this system is to help you organize your daily tasks, plan your future activities and track your goals. You can get creative with it by using sketchbooks, notebooks or even using electronic devices such as phones and tablets.
Bullet Journal Benefits
Bullet Journaling became a huge craze for a reason. Back then, I was skeptical about starting my own bullet journal but when I did, it changed my life for the better. To name a few, here are 5 Bullet Journal Benefits that improved my lifestyle.
1. Increases Productivity
Since there are daily logs, it is easier to schedule things and plan ahead. This method is an effective way of seeing progress and getting things done.
2. Getting Organized
For visual learners, this is a helpful way of organizing activities. Because all of the tasks are placed in one outlet, it is easier to arrange personal schedules. Being organized results in a more efficient workflow. *yay*
3. Helps in Tracking Goals
Did you know you’re more likely to achieve your goals just by simply writing them down?
I know it sounds crazy but it is true! This is the same concept for visual boards. It is a creative way to track goals and get motivated to accomplish more.
4. Unleashes the Artist Within
Starting a Bullet Journal is a great way to get creative. The good thing about it is that there are no rules. You can go very basic or create crazy sophisticated designs. The sky’s the limit!
5. Getting Time for Yourself
For me, this is the best part. In a world where everything revolves around the internet, a bullet journal is a good means to escape and have some “Me Time”.
It is nice to just sit down, have some tea and create beautiful spreads. This gives the opportunity to focus on oneself and unwind.
Basic Bullet Journal Pages
The cover page changes monthly and showcases the theme that you’re going for. Themes vary depending on your preference however, it is usually related to the events or holidays in a particular month.
I personally love to go all out with my designs. I find it fun and relaxing to unleash my creative side. You can check out how I create my monthly spread designs in this guide.
This spread shows the layout of all the activities you have in a month. With this spread, you can easily see your schedule at a glance. There are several monthly spread ideas to choose from. You can choose from one-page, two-page or even minimalist designs.
I personally prefer using the one-page layout. Aside from saving pages in my journal, it also provides the perfect space that I need.
Compared to the monthly spread, the weekly spread is more thorough and in-depth. It contains daily logs, weekly goals, and more. Just like the monthly spread, you can customize it to perfectly fit your needs.
For these examples, I used both vertical and horizontal layouts. You can see more design ideas for your weekly spreads in this guide.
This page is dedicated to your monthly or yearly goals. I suggest doing one list for the whole year and one for each month. In this way, you’ll be specific with your long term and short term goals.
Trackers are visual guides that are used to track goals. Whether it is for budgeting, exercising, sleeping, etc. This visual guide will help you see the trend and status of where you are with your goals.
For my mood tracker, I love creating bright-colored designs. There’s something about seeing colorful spreads that creates a positive impact on me.
Additional Page Ideas
You can do more than just the regular daily and monthly logs. There are endless spreads and concepts that you can include in your Bullet Journal. These are a few of my favorites.
Books to Read
I guess the title of this spread speaks for itself. This page is dedicated to all the books that you want to read. This is useful for writing book recommendations and wishlists. If you’re a book lover like me, you’ll surely love this.
I call this the Show Tracker. It is a compilation of all the shows or movies that I am currently watching.
This is a fun spread to include in your Bullet Journal. You can play around with different colors and designs to match your playlist of the month.
I created this spread to remember the Highlights of my Summer. It is a fun way of preserving happy memories.
This spread is dedicated to your doodle designs. It could be a drawing, a step-by-step tutorial, or just some random scribbles. The idea of this is just to have fun and get creative.
Quotes spreads are one of my favorite spreads to create. It is a good way to practice calligraphy and lettering. Aside from that, adding positive quotes help in motivating and inspiring.
I started creating a spread for my monthly favorites to remember the things that I’ve been loving for the whole month. I do this just in case I need it for future reference.
My Bullet Journal Essentials
Now that you had a good look at what Bullet Journal is all about, let’s discuss the materials that you’ll need to get started.
Here are my Bullet Journal Supplies Recommendations.
Scribbles that Matter A5 Journal
My current journal is from Archer & Olive. I have been using A&O for 3 years now and since I started using their notebooks, I never looked elsewhere! It is definitely worth it!
Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Liner
This is certainly a cult fave. It is perfect for outlining, adding details and it is extremely smooth on paper. I love how it glides and creates a beautiful matte color. It is worth the investment and you’ll never regret it. The reviews on Amazon speak for themselves.
There are two main reasons why I highly recommend this pen. First is the price point. This is an affordable product plus you can easily find this in every office supply store. The second reason is quality. You can always rely on the quality of Pilot products. The color payoff is really good and this pen glides so smoothly on paper. If you’re a beginner in bullet journals this pen is perfect for you.
Black Brush Pen
Tombow Fudenosuke Hard and Soft Tips
If you are on a hunt for the best black brush pens, look no further. The Tombow Fudenosuke Hard and Soft Tips are a cult favorite for a reason. The Hard Tip as the name suggests has a harder bristle tip which makes it easier to control especially for lettering. The Soft Tip, on the other hand, has a softer end that is perfect for creating broad lines and designs.
Brush Pens for Coloring
Yes! The Crayola Supertips marker is a great tool for creating backgrounds and calligraphy. Probably the best perk of this pen is the price. No other pen on the market can beat Crayola in terms of quality and price point.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen
I like Tombow dual brush pens for its dual purpose. I can use it as a brush pen and as a marker at the same time. Plus it is water-based so it can also be used for watercolor backgrounds and blending.
Though there are other cheaper dual brush pens on the market, I still prefer Tombow for its quality. I have had mine for almost 2 years and it still works as if I just got it. The colors are still as pigmented and the brushes don’t get frayed easily. It is truly worth the price!
The tip of this pen is similar to the Tombow Hard Tip. It is in between a brush and a marker. The tip is stiff like a marker but it is also pointed like a brush.
Another thing that I like about this is the design. It has this unique broad barrel that is easier to grip for writing. I’ll consider this a good investment for Brush Lettering Beginners. Similar to the Tombow Dual Brush Pens this is also a water-based marker that can be used for watercolor designs and blending.
I like using regular pencils and mechanical pencils. Both have pros and cons but at the end of the day it all comes down to preference. I use the regular pencil for sketching and the mechanical pencil for lettering. I don’t favor one over the other so I have both in my collection.
I don’t mind using a rubber eraser. It is easy to find and it does the job well. However, when I discovered the molding eraser, I was surprised by how huge of a difference it makes. Unlike rubber erasers, molding erasers won’t leave rubber residues. The eraser absorbs the pencil marks and it truly makes the paper look clean. However, since it has that gum-like texture, it is not as easy to work with compared to the rubber eraser.
Water Color Brush
This is such a genius product. This brush has an empty barrel that can be filled with water or ink. I personally just use plain water to keep the brush clean. Instead of constantly dipping the brush in water, this product keeps the brush tip moist. This is perfect for watercolor blending and watercolor lettering.
Do you need more Product Recommendations?
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You might get intimidated by all these but trust me it is not as complicated as you think. Bullet journaling is a fun process and it shouldn’t be a stressful one. Like I said earlier, you set the rules in your bullet journal. Do what works for you and get creative. Let me know how it goes!