I’ve had several people ask me about my bullet journaling experience and am challenging myself to give you my best summary in under 5 minutes.
“Your Journal is your Canvas.”
Here’s the short and sweet:
- Bullet Journaling (AKA Analog System for the Digital Age) has been around for years, you can read and learn more on their official website at www.bulletjournal.com
- Materials required are minimal but you have the ability to go crazy and make it what you want. Make it simple, be creative; your Journal is your canvas.
- Bullet journaling was first created as a quick way of planning out tasks for your day, week, month, and year. The system uses quick bullet creation and a key (see example below) to quickly mark tasks as completed, and to make note of items that you might just want to remember. Basically is a place for everything and it’s quick and easy.
- Bullet journaling has evolved to an online community and there are numerous Pinterest pages, and examples on the Bullet Journal blog of how you can use your Journal to enhance your life.
- Pen and a Journal – that’s it.
I have been bullet journaling for almost 2 years. I started off with the original Bullet Journal ($24.95), which I highly recommend for newbies because it gives you a guide on how to get started and your Key and Index pages are already outlined for you. But if you are looking for something a little less expensive and feel you have the hang of it, I’ve listed my materials below!
As I’ve gotten the hang of it, I have migrated to the following supplies:
- Huhuhero Drawing Pens (beautiful color, smooth writing, and doesn’t bleed through the page) – thanks Mom for this Christmas present!
- Lemome Notebooks – I prefer the grid (dotted line) version because that is the way the original bullet Journal is laid out. It also has a pocket in the back to store notes, notecards, stickers, etc. Finally, it has a pen loop on the outside, comes with dividers to customize your pages, a book mark (the original Journal has 3, while this only had one) and a strap to keep it closed. This is helpful for when you use thick stickers and it might not stay shut (that’s what mine looks like anyways.
- Stickers – There are so many places to buy stickers but if you prefer to see you then in person before you buy I highly recommend going to Hobby lobby or to the Target dollar section. There are lots of options here on Amazon and on Etsy as well. Stickers are not a necessity but I like to use colored pens and stickers to help me with organizing my thoughts when I’m doing my goals and creating fun pages, like my favorite books, to keep in my journal.
- Besides those items I do use highlighter sometimes and like to keep a few blank note cards in the back for times where I’m feeling inspired for need to write a quick thank you note. I also keep a few stance on there and case I need to mail something out. Stamps and stencils are popular as well!
Visual learner, eh? Check out my Pinterest page here to see my journals IRL and get links to some of my favorite products.
My 3 Pieces of Advice for Beginners:
- Just start – like all things in life, if you never start it you’re never really going to do it. You can see from the pictures of my first journal and even some of my current ones that some weeks I literally just write things down and don’t track anything. While my preference is to have lots of time to set my goals and create progress trackers, what is most important, is that I make it a habit Dailey and I’m writing things down. Which leads me to two…
- Write things down. Right only am I an avid bullet journaling, but I am also an aspiring GTD black belt. GTD, known as Getting Things Done, is productivity method that I have also been using for almost 3 years now. The biggest Takeaway I received from getting things done that I should never trust my brain to remember something. Even if you have remarkable memory it’s better to write things down to get it out of your mind so that when you’re with someone else whether it be a coffee date or a colleague or client, you can be fully present and give them your undivided attention. So write anything and everything down. You can sort it out later, or even just set aside a few pages in your index for random notes to sort later. Your first bullet journal is your adventure and no one does journalling the same way. So, just write things down and then you can figure out how you want to organize it later!
- Stay active in the Bullet Journal Community – whether it be following other bullet journal on social media, joining a Facebook group or local bullet journaling group, or just staying engaged with the bullet journal blog or Pinterest page, you will hold yourself more accountable if you surround yourself with others that are inspiring you daily.
Sample of me using my bullet journal to keep up with my Kon Mari experience.
I am not an expert by any means. But, would love to connect with you if you have questions or want to chat! I love my bullet journal and am happy to share my experience.
On a personal note, I have struggled with ADHD, but was only diagnosed three years ago. Because of bullet journaling, I became a better life partner, more reliable friend, and was able to pursue and achieve a few of my goals this year, one being starting this blog.
Thanks for reading this post and I wish you the best of luck in your Bullet Journal journey.