Are you interested in being part of the bullet journal community? That is awesome! Welcome! Bullet Journaling is becoming such a well known and well used form of planning.
Bullet journaling can seem overwhelming and very daunting at first. I definitely felt like that when I first wanted to use this method of planning. There is so much information and it can leave you thinking, where do I start? But once you find your feet it is easy and so much fun!
I have compiled a list of 10 things that you should know before you start a bullet journal. As well as shining a light on any misconceptions you may have about bullet journaling.
1. Bullet Journaling is an organisational system
Bullet journaling is not about creating elaborate designs specifically, it is a way of organising and planning your life. Of course, if you want to spend time designing different layouts that is fine too.
But when I first started my bullet journal years ago, I was so wrapped up in designing layouts I saw online, my productivity dwindled. As time has gone on I have been able to design layouts A LOT quicker. It is important at first to know how you want to use the journal, the creative designs can come later if you wish.
2. You can start a bullet journal at any time
I think it is a misconception that you can only start a bullet journal in January, like other yearly planners. But that is not the case at all. The benefit of a planner system like this one means it is customisable to your individual needs and so you can start this method of planning at any time.
My bullet journal last year I started half way through 2019 because I took a break from that method of planning.
3. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time
Another misconception including mine when I first thought about starting a bullet journal was will I have time to use this form of planning. I have a lot of people message me on social media saying I would love to use a bullet journal, but I do not have time. This is not the case! Bullet journaling can be a quick and easy system to plan with, using minimalistic layouts if you want to keep it simple. Then if you have more time you can always get more creative!
4. You do not need to spend a fortune on bullet journal supplies
If you haven’t already seen the internet is crammed full of so much stationery supplies that you can use for bullet journaling. I am very guilty of having a substantial stationery collection. But I have seen other bullet journalists’ stationery collection that puts mine to shame. In all honesty all you need to start a bullet journal is a notebook and a good pen. Don’t get sucked into feeling like you need all the supplies, however if you want to experiment the next suggestion will help you.
5. Start with cheaper alternatives
There are so many bullet journal supplies on the market ranging from cheap and affordable to the more expensive. If you want to start bullet journaling, I would definitely recommend starting with cheaper alternatives first. As when you have tried this form of journaling and you find that it isn’t for you, you will not have spent a fortune on supplies. I have shared a comparison of two bullet journals and the cheaper bullet journal for me actually had more benefits.
6. A bullet journal is a living notebook
This journal is about how it can help to organise your life and so you shouldn’t be worried about making mistakes for example. Throughout your bullet journal journey you will not only make mistakes, but you will find layouts that work well for you and others that you do not find as productive. It is about what works for you at that particular moment.
7. If you feel like you are failing – Do not give up!
Bullet journaling is a very different way of planning. It relies on you to include all information, tasks and ideas being recorded, at first I found it difficult and would sometimes need to remind myself to reach for it. Even if you feel like that, do not give up! One of the reasons could be the format you are using or the techniques you are using to record the information. So experiment with different layouts. All habits take time to become second nature, but it definitely pays off in the end.
8. There is not just one way of bullet journaling
Ryder Carroll created the bullet journal system. He described it as a methodology. It’s best described as a mindfulness practise disguised as a productivity system. You can head to the official website where he shares how you can use the system in the simplest form. This is perfect if you are looking for something functional and minimalistic. But the beauty of this journal is you can adapt that method and make it your own if you want too. There is no right or wrong way to bullet journal. It is about what works for you!
9. The bullet journal community is awesome
Starting a bullet journal can be so intimidating when you see all the amazing spreads being shared online. When I decided to start bullet journaling it was great to also connect with other stationery and planner fans. I definitely hit the mother lode with all the beautiful designs and minimalistic layouts. They not only inspire me but I have found some like-minded people and now they are my online friends. The community is so supportive and spreads positivity.
10. Where can I find bullet journal inspiration?
There is so much inspiration gold out there to motivate you with your designs. Pinterest has great layout and design ideas as well as tips and tricks that you can see and read. Instagram is a great way to see other bullet journalists’ spreads. Searching hashtags like #bulletjournal, #bulletjournallove, #bujoideas, #showmeyourplanner and #bujocommunity. These are just some of my favourite hashtags to use and scroll through. You can find me on Instagram and see my bullet journal spreads too.
Just remember that the whole idea for bullet journaling is to help organise your life and enable you to be the most productive. Do not get wrapped up in the need to be artistic, this is not the case at all. I will be soon sharing some minimalistic layouts that are quick and easy, so look out for those.