Bullet journaling has been all the rage lately and with good reason! In a world of increasing technology, some of us long for the old school nostalgia of a book planner or diary. Book planners and Diaries, however, have their pitfalls. Diaries take a lot of time to keep up and while they are useful for collecting thoughts they don’t really help us navigate our daily lives. Planners never seem to have everything we need or you end up with wasted space in sections you don’t use.
Bullet journaling solves both of these problems. With a bullet journal you can spend as much or as little time setting it up as you want. Some people enjoy making fancy title pages and elaborate doodles, others simply scratch a grid and label it with the weekdays. It doesn’t matter because a bullet journal is all about what you want in your journal. With a bullet journal you are not relegated to the sections of a planner, you can create, list and scratch out anything that you feel is important to keep track of in whatever order you choose.
Do you want a weekly calendar? Great! Make one! Perhaps this is a slow month for your family and you really only need a monthly log. That works too. Each and every month can be created to fit your needs without having to flip past 20 pages of premade content you will never use. Set up a Doodle page if you like to draw, keep track of your workouts or plan your weekly meals. In a Bullet journal, the sky is the limit.
How do I pick a good Bullet Journal?
Picking out your journal can be a bit overwhelming. There are many bullet journals on the shelves at the store or being sold online and picking out the perfect one can be difficult. However, I have narrowed down what I believe are the most important considerations.
- Paper Thickness – If you want to use fancy gel pens or darker markers in your journal then you will need thicker then normal paper. It can be highly frustrating to spend time making a beautiful layout only to turn the page and see it has bled through. Aim for something that is 20-50% thicker than your average notebook paper.
- Journal Size – While some people are perfectly fine with a large composition book, others prefer something smaller. Consider what you want from your journal, is it something you are going to be carrying around in your purse? Or is it going to sit on your shelf at home? If you are going to be taking to and from work or shopping then something smaller is probably better. If you are going to be leaving your journal at home then size might not be as important.
- Journal Binding – Bullet journals come in a variety of bindings. The type of binding you pick will have an effect on your journal. Spiral bound books are good for those who might tear out lists frequently, however, if you’re like me, and know that pages would just get damaged too easily from frequent use you might want to look into a case bound book. Binding also affects how the journal will open, some bindings allow the book to lie flat while others do not. How the book lies while open can have an effect on how easy it is to write or draw in your journal.
- Journal Covering – The cover of your journal is important for many reasons. You will want to pick a journal cover that reflects you, a color or design that you like, perhaps a saying or symbol that is important to you. You should also take into consideration what you will be doing with your journal. If you are going to have it on the kitchen counter while you refer to it for recipes then you might want a cover that is easy to wipe off. If you want a journal that feels cozy in your hands then maybe a softer cover will suit you more.
What Should I put in my Journal?
What you put in your journal is completely up to you! There is no right or wrong way to bullet journal. That’s the beauty of this system! Each family can create exactly what they need. In my journal, I track my workouts, my home improvement goals, saving goals, blog ideas, wish list and a weekly calendar.
Some people I know like to use their journal to help them meal plan and keep up with birthdays. I do meal planning and birthday tracking on our magnetic fridge calendar so I don’t add this to my journal.
Most people recommend having an index page at the beginning of your journal. Since bullet journals tend to grow over time this makes it easy to locate pages later on. A key page can also be useful. A key page is simply a list of symbols you will use to keep track of events. I suggest keeping your symbols to a minimum and keeping them simple. Using symbols in your journal can make it easy to see where you stand at a quick glance.
Some other popular bullet journal ideas I have seen are monthly mood trackers, good habit trackers, and even house cleaning schedules (I should probably add this one!).
Where should I Buy my Bullet Journal?
Bullet journals have gained so much popularity that they are available almost anywhere. I have seen them in big box stores as well as local bookstores. However, the best selection I have found is online at places like Amazon. I bought my journal on Amazon and absolutely love it! The paper is very thick, the cover is soft and the overall design speaks to me as a person which makes me want to use and love my journal. You can see reviews from other buyers and find designs that really suit who you are. Even better they sometimes come with extra’s like stencils or stickers that can make the whole system even easier. Plus who doesn’t love free extras?
Do I need anything else to Bullet Journal?
Technically no. All you need is a pen and a notebook. But … its certainly a lot more fun with some extras. I bought some Fine-tipped markers and Stencils for mine. I especially love the stencil set, it means I can make pretty pages even when I am not feeling overly artsy. Many people also fall in love with Washi Tape which can be used on the edge of pages to make them easier to find or just to decorate.