Bullet Journal Tips For Beginners
If you’re on Pinterest, chances are you’ve probably witnessed a rise in the popularity of bullet journals. Essentially, bullet journals (or bujos as I’ll call them from now on) are do-it-yourself planners. You can literally make them look any way you want to. The draw that many people see in them is that they are completely blank and 100% customizable.
But before you jump in and start drawing calendars and making lists with felt tip markers and gel pens (those are permanent, after all!), read my list of 4 tips for optimal bujo use.
1. I had legitimate pre-bujo anxiety: what if I change my mind about what I want to include? what if I don’t organize it efficiently? what should I include? what pens should I use? what if I’m not any good at this?? You should absolutely know for sure what you want to include in your bujo and know what kind you of bujo you want. Some people have general planner bujos. There are weight loss/management/fitness related bujos, social media management bujos, cooking/grocery shopping bujos, sleeping logs, lists of family and friends’ birthdays. Bujos are so versatile! Of course, you can absolutely include multiple topics, depending on the number of pages and how serious you want to be with your bujo. This is a link to my Bullet Journal Pinterest page. The images and links to subsequent Pins are not mine, though I use them as inspiration!
2. More importantly, you should decide what kind journal you need to purchase. The topic of bujo that you want to create may influence which type of journal you look for. I bought THREE different journals in my pursuit of the perfect journal. Initially, I bought a completely blank journal. It had no lines. No page numbers. Nothing. Completely blank pages. After I realized that I didn’t want a blank journal, I bought a journal with standard horizontal lines. It was a pretty basic journal, but limited what I could do with it. These layouts may be perfect for what you want to do with your bujo, but I didn’t want to have to use a ruler to draw straight lines, but I also didn’t want to be limited to strictly horizontal lines. Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place. I got on Amazon and searched for journals I liked and disliked, which helped me realized what I actually needed. I chose the Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Journal (pictured below) on Amazon. Don’t be like me and waste time and money on journals that aren’t the right fit.
3. My third point of advice would be to get inspired. Go on Pinterest (obviously) and find images that you like. You may find more inspiration here, too. You’re going to see some extremely intricate, time consuming, and colorful layouts. That may not be for you, and that’s okay. I attempted some of these at first. I did like the way they looked, but it was not worth the time I spent on the pages versus the time I actually used the pages (since I use my bujo as a planner). I prefer the more minimalist layouts with clean lines. They take less time and are very functional. Some people use fine tip markers, while others use colored pencils. Some use colored gel pens, while others, like myself, simply use a standard blank ink pen.
4. My last bit of advice is to have fun with your bujo. You should enjoy it. You should enjoy creating the pages and drawing new, fun layouts. Because you will be spending time on and with your bujo, you should enjoy yourself. If having and maintain a bujo is stressful for you, then maybe it’s not for you. Or maybe you can adopt a more minimalist approach. Either way, I urge you to not compare your bujo to the bujos you see on Pinterest. Unless you are already a talented artist, your pages and layouts will not look like the ones you see on Pinterest. And that’s fine. Because, in the end, you should be having fun with your bujo and letting it make your life easier in turn.