Are you looking to start a bullet journal? Here are a few easy Bullet Journal Ideas to get you started on the right foot!
If you’ve followed Dine & Dish for any length of time, it’s probably pretty obvious that I love the peace bullet journaling brings to me. In fact I wrote an entire blog post about how keeping a bullet journal in a simple Leuchtturm Notebook has been a great way to keep track of everything in my life. As a working mom of 4 and business owner with a traveling husband, there are a lot of irons in the fire at all times. This system is the only one I’ve managed to use and keep up with through the years.
As a self proclaimed planner addict, I’ve had my fair share of Erin Condren, Commit 30, Passion Planners, Happy Planners, Day Designers and more. I have a drawer full of barely used planners…purchased with the greatest of intentions. The perfectionist in my had a really hard time with the less flexible structure of traditional planners. If I’d miss a week or two, It would bother me too much to pick it up again with those blank pages. Every time I’d open it up, those blank pages screamed “failure” and I just couldn’t deal with it. The only traditional planner I’ve been able to stick with is the Nourished Planner – but I use that one solely for Dine & Dish stuff.
Bullet Journaling has been such a different experience for me. I’ve been able to stick with bullet journaling for several years now, and have found that it absolutely works for me.
What I Love About the Bullet Journal Method
1. Bullet Journaling is Flexible.
I admit that traditional planners haven’t worked well for me because I’m an all or nothing type person. When I would miss a week or two I’d have a hard time picking up a half empty planner and starting where I was. With bullet journaling, there are no empty pages because you create it yourself as you go along. If you don’t do a week in October, no one even knows because you seriously pick up where you left off with the next page you create.
With Bullet Journaling I’m able to also have everything in one centralized location. I can have notes, to do lists, lists of books I want to read, memories, and more. I create the notebook to be exactly what I want it to be.
2. Be as creative or minimalist as you’d like.
I appreciate that bullet journaling allows me to have a creative outlet. I enjoy sitting down and creating my habit tracker pages or working on new layout ideas. Each day I get the chance to not only be organized, but to also put my own touch on my planner pages. The original bullet journal method is very minimalist, and there are days where that’s all I want. Ryder Carroll, the creator of the official bullet journal, had no intention of this method being as creative as it has gotten. As you can see, Bullet Journaling can be made to be exactly what you want it to be.
3. Keep everything in one place.
I mentioned this under bullet point one, but it’s worth mentioning again. I no longer have 10 different notebooks, sticky notes, and to do lists all over the place. Everything is in my bullet journal under different layouts and collections. From my gratitude log, to lists of books I want to read, to what the builders said about building a new deck…it’s all in one bullet journal. The bullet journal key as well as the numbered pages and index help me to find what I need, fast.
Whether it’s the beginning of a new year, or smack dab in the middle of a month, you can start a bullet journal now. Don’t wait until the perfect time, just jump right in and do it! Here are some ideas for you to get started.
Bullet Journal Ideas for Starting On the Right Foot
1. Throw perfectionism out the window
I recently started a bullet journal club for high school students. This method of planning is a HUGE thing among young people, which makes me so happy. The first thing I tell the girls in the club is to throw perfectionism out the window. Bullet Journaling is essentially about getting stuff done – so “ordering the present”. If you get caught up in trying to make your bullet journal perfect, you’ll never actually get anything done. Throw perfectionism out the window and just have fun with it!
2. Find Your BuJo Tribe
The bullet journal community is an amazing one full of people willing to swap ideas, support each other and just have fun. Whether that community is online or in person doesn’t matter, there are resources and people to share a great idea with everywhere. One of the first people I started following in this community was Boho Berry. Her site has layout ideas, free printables, stickers to shop for, etc. Following Boho Berry opened my eyes to an entire community of people doing really cool things with their bullet journals. Here are a few of my favorite:
My bullet journal weekly layout above was inspired by Plans That Blossom. She has an incredible instagram page full of inspiration.
Instagrammer Coffee and Sarcasm has been a constant source of inspiration. She combines the use of watercolor painting with the pages in her journal. Even though her pages are artistic, they also have a very simplistic quality to them that I love.
Blue Sky Designs is a one stop shop for bullet journal inspiration. From layouts you can purchase to walkthroughs of journal pages, you’ll find all kinds of inspiration in the Blue Sky Designs community.
A full and always changing list of Instagram accounts I love as well as bullet journal hashtags to follow are in the image above. And guess what? It’s a collection in my bullet journal! I also can’t recommend enough starting a local club of people who get together in real life to bullet journal together. Bullet Journaling with friends is the best!
3. Document the Memories
As much as I love my BuJo for keeping me organized, I absolutely love looking back and reminiscing. My favorite pages are my monthly memories pages or vacation memories pages. I highly recommend devoting a couple pages a month in your bullet journal to documenting your memories. I use my Polaroid Zip Printer to print out some of my favorite photos of the month and just stick them on the page with a few words about that months highlights. In addition to maintaining monthly and vacation memories pages, on each daily page I write a little one sentence highlight from each day. This is my way of “journaling” without really having to write a whole lot. (PS this printer makes a great gifts for teens…they love this thing!)
I have an entire blog post about the Polaroid Zip Printer. You can check out How I Use My Polaroid Zip Printer for Bullet Journaling here.
4. Narrow down what spreads and collections really work for you.
A bullet journal is essentially a custom planner / journal tailored for the user. There are so many options for different things to track it can sometimes get overwhelming. For example I loved the habit trackers I was seeing all over Instagram. For 2 months I decided to create a full on habit tracker for my bujo. Well, that was a big FAT fail. It turns out I was over ambitious with the number of habits I wanted to track (so there were a lot of blank days – and we’ve already addressed how I feel about that). Secondly, tracking habits didn’t bring me joy – or provide a lot of insight into myself. The only insight I really got was I’m horrible at tracking habits consistently!
When you are creating your bullet journal, first understand there is nothing set in stone. That’s the joy of this way of planning. Secondly, if something isn’t working for you, stop doing it. I don’t do a year at a glance calendar because I use our family shared google calendar for that. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to spend unnecessary time duplicating something just because. So I don’t do it.
Here are a few ideas for spreads/trackers/collections for your bullet journal. I’ve tried to link to examples as well for you to peruse. You can also check out my favorite Pinterest Board for hundreds of ideas!
- Track your habits with this collection of 50+ Habit Tracker Ideas
- Keep a log of the books you have read throughout the year
- A color coded monthly mood tracker has given me incredible insight into my behavior
- Here are some bullet journal ideas for travel. This spread is such a fun way to plan your future
- Follow my Bullet Journal Pinterest Board for all kinds of great bujo ideas and inspiration
In the end I hope that you remember it’s important to make your bullet journal work for you. Customize it so that you love it and want to spend time with it each day. Also, remember to throw perfectionism out the window. When you try to make your bujo too perfect, it simply leads to frustration and anxiety. Have fun and enjoy finding planner peace with the Bullet Journal Method!
For my other posts about Bullet Journaling, including a list of my favorite bullet journal supplies, click here.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, Dine & Dish may receive a small fee for any shopping done through these links. Thank you for supporting Dine & Dish in this way.