In a year where the only thing to look forward to is the possibility of being able to go out in public again safely, inspiration isn’t knocking on the door, am I right? One thing that really helps you feel accountable, productive, organized and inspired is a bullet journal. What is a bullet journal, you ask? A bullet journal is a mix between a planner/organizer, a diary, and an accountability journal. A bullet journal can really be anything you want it to be, but first and foremost is a great way to feel inspired, especially during these cold months stuck inside.
I think what stops people from starting a bullet journal is seeing those gorgeous layouts all over their Pinterest and Instagram pages. It’s easy to look at the beautiful designs from really artistic people and think that there’s no way you can do this. But a bullet journal doesn’t have to be beautiful. You can just use it as an excuse to doodle and use markers again, which is just as fun and fulfilling.
Why Should You Start A Bullet Journal
- A creative outlet. It’s a great way to get creative – for those who aren’t creative.
- Personal accountability. You can write down what you want and look at it every day, making it harder to ignore your responsibilities.
- Holding onto memories. You can write down what you have going on each day, meaning you can look back and reflect on all the wine-nights and brunch days.
- Forming new habits. Habit trackers are a big part of bullet journals, where you can mark off on a monthly or daily basis. Want to drink a gallon of water a day? Make a habit tracker. Want to wake up at 6AM every day? Make a habit tracker.
- Productivity. Nothing makes you more productive than the desire to cross something off your to-do list.
- Goal setting. Long term goals like how many books you want to read for the year or financial savings are made much easier when you are looking at them written out in your journal.
What You Need to Know?
Bullet journaling seems like a lot of work on the surface. But something this is really important to realize is that you don’t actually need to be talented to do this. Now, hear me out. Some bullet journals are artistic marvels, with beautiful designs, symmetrical patterns and inspirational layouts. But I’ve since learned that this simply represents the “Insta-perfection” we see online. You can quite literally just play with markers in your bullet journal. And there’s something about taking the pressure off that just transports you back to when you were little playing with markers literally just to play with markers. Not to put it on Instagram or show off how perfectly curated your journal is, but just to spend some time doodling on paper to set up your work and feel that much more organized and productive for the days again.
This is also a great way to just clear your head. In my bullet journal, I have a two page spread in every month called “Brain Dump” where before bed if there’s a lot on my mind I just write it down. Random to-do lists, thoughts about the things I want to buy for the apartment still, or just random thoughts and doodles. I swear doing this before bed helps you put your mind at ease so you can relax and unplug.
What Products Do You Need?
All you really need is some markers and a journal to get started. Don’t get overwhelmed with stencils, stickers, what type of pens are best and what types of markers are best. I’ll link some of the products I got (or just happened to have) to get started. But really you don’t need much! Just make sure you love the journal you buy – it was important to me to find one where the markers didn’t bleed through the pages.
- I love this journal
- These markers are great for some pastels
- This month stamp comes in very helpful
- This pen is so smooth and dreamy to write with
- The Happy Planner Stickers
How Do You Get Started?
You can set up the bullet journal however you want. Typically, the set up of a bullet journal will be overarching goals, yearly habit trackers or information pages. I start my bullet journal with a list of addresses of my friends and family for mail/presents, a yearly tracker of how many days I work out, a manifest list of things I’m hoping to manifest this year, a savings tracker to meet my savings goals, and pages to make lists of books I read, series and movies I watch and quotes I like.
Then you get into your monthly or weekly spreads. You can create an overarching theme or goal for the month and/or put in your monthly habit trackers. For me, I like to read the Happiness Project and write down the monthly goals that Gretchen Rubin set up for herself in the book. It reminds me to keep these principles in mind. I also have a dairy-free tracker, a reading days tracker and a fruits & veggies tracker. Every day I successfully accomplish that goal, I mark it off I can see where I need to improve.
Your weekly spreads are where you put together your weekly planners. You don’t have to stick to the same format every week, so you can change it up how you want. In these weekly spreads you can put weekly goals, your appointments, daily to-dos, etc. Everything you’d put in your calendar or planner would go here.
There’s no wrong way to put together a bullet journal, as long as it works for you, makes you happy and feels more like a fun hobby than a daunting task, you’re doing it right.
Do you have a bullet journal?
PIn It For Later: