Bullet Journaling, Organization

Starting A Bullet Journal: The What, Why, and How

Bullet journaling is fun, effective, and a perfect way to keep organized. Whether you’re minimalistic or love colorful and sticker filled things, the act of bullet journaling can be the perfect process to make sure you stay neat and tidy.

Maybe you like being organized, but planners just aren’t for you. Or maybe you’re looking for more productive ways to fill up your time. If so, bullet journaling may be the way to turn.

But what even is bullet journaling? And why should you consider it?

(if you want to skip to the how, click here)

Bullet Journaling is, simply put, making your own planner.

But it’s not as hard as it sounds.

In fact, bullet journaling can actually be very very fun, and it’s a good way to make sure that your new ‘planner’ is fully tailored to your own needs. If you have trouble filling out the endless notes pages in your planner-simple solution with bullet journaling- don’t put it in. If calendars make you dizzy and you only like the weekly spread-don’t put them in!

When you bullet journal, you basically draw out spreads that are useful to YOU and use them. You’re constantly adding in pages as you go along, and you can decorate along the way.

I first found out about bullet journaling when I was looking for ways to fill my endless amount of notebooks that were growing dusty. When I came across bullet journaling, I was intrigued. The possibilities are literally endless.

A bullet journal is just a name for a notebook that’s filled with your lists and planned out events. Some people even like to write out notes in there.

Like I said, ENDLESS.

Okay, so now you know WHAT bullet journaling is. But why should you do it?

Well, not only like I keep mentioning is it so VERY fun, but it’s also an amazing way to stay organized. If you have trouble remembering important dates, setting out tasks to complete, or sticking with goals, then bullet journaling is a great way to put your worries to paper, and have a simple way of coming back to them later.

Planners are awesome, and if you use those, than that’s amazing for you!

But for some people, the templates in planners can be too constricting, and even though they WANT to stay organized, they need to go their own special way of doing it. That’s why bullet journaling is a great choice if you’re that type of person.

If you decide that planners (or other means of organizing yourself) are too little or too much for your liking, that’s when you should consider bullet journaling.


It’s time for my favorite part….

You’re convinced after my ranting about the greatness of a bullet journal, and you want to get started ASAP. But how exactly do you get to doing that?

It’s simple.

First, you need to gather a couple simple materials.

You’ll need

  • An empty notebook/journal that will now become your bullet journal
  • A simple black(or any colored) pen

A couple things you might want but that aren’t at all necessary

  • A ruler for those perfect lines
  • Some other colored pens or colored pencils if you like colorful things

Without further ado- Let’s get started!

The most generic thing to start with is a Table of Contents or Index.

Obviously, you’re adding as you go, so you don’t know all the pages and titles you need to put. Just set aside 5-7 pages that will be designated to your index. Set it up, and number those first pages, putting down Index.

It’ll look something like this–

After you finish up your index, you’ll want to make a key. Your key will basically tell you what certain symbols mean in your bullet journal. Don’t fret, you can always go back to your key and add in things as you go along and find that something is missing.

Same basic things to add to your key are a symbol for when something is important, canceled, completed, or if something is a reminder.

If you would like, or if you’re planning on using colorful pens for your bullet journal, then you can also make a color code key.

Before we move on, make sure to add ‘Key’ into your index!

After you’ve made your index and key, you’ve got yourself the beginnings of a bullet journal! Excited?

If you don’t know where to go from there, I can help. There’s a couple of simple bullet journal spreads that are great for when you’re just starting out.

One of my favorites is a spread of mini calendars, typically set up in the back of your notebook.

You write out the first letter of each day of the week, and set up the calendar accordingly for each month. This works best if you start bullet journaling in the beginning of the year, but it works our otherwise too.

You can title the page Overview, like I have here-

Don’t stress about putting this one in your index just yet. Just leave it for when you quickly need to see the day of the week of a certain date, and it’s so pretty! Perfect for starting out. If you’re worried about your ‘artistic’ skills blocking you, there’s plenty of places you can print out small calendars and paste them in, but don’t stress overall about imperfection. It’s okay.

Another thing you can do when you’re starting out is make a bookmark. If your journal doesn’t have that little ribbon bookmark attached, you might want to make your own bookmark to make navigating your journal easier. You can even make multiple to stick in different places. Maybe you want to go back to a calendar AND your key later. You can simple decorate a piece of paper, or use a sticky note.

There are a couple other things you can do, like write down your goals, and bucket lists. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas. Just search up bullet journal spreads and find out the endless things that are possible.

To make sure you have everything to start out, I made a checklist you can download here.

What: Bullet Journaling is starting your own planner, in your own notebook and tailored to your own needs.

Why: It’s a great way to stay organized and have fun at the same time!

How: Get a notebook, a pen, and set up everything in this checklist!

Quick Tips For Bullet Journaling:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others! It can be frustrating at first when you don’t get your spreads the way you want them, but just be patient with yourself!
  • Get someone to do it with you! When you have someone making spreads with you, it can be double the fun!
  • Set aside a little time each day for planning. When you start doing daily spreads, it can be hard to find the time to do them. It’s important to keep it consistent.

That is it for today, hope you enjoyed and started a bullet journal! I’ll be posting more about bullet journaling soon!

Download the checklist I keep talking about here:

Starting A Bullet Journal Checklist


Send download link to:

Tell me in the comments your worries about starting a bullet journal, and about spreads you want to see me blog about in the future.

Happy Organizing, and remember-


“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”

Benjamin Franklin

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About Amany

Amany is a writer, a reader, and an eater. She's described as sunny and sweet by most. She is a Taurus and a Mediator. She likes to write (a lot), read (obsessively), talk (too much, apparently), eat(everything), draw(sometimes), swim(when in the right mood), and play violin/flute. Her other hobbies buying new notebooks that will never be used. Right now, she is probably writing, drowning in her neverending pile of homework, or scrolling through Pinterest.
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3,555 thoughts on “Starting A Bullet Journal: The What, Why, and How

  1. u literally have to start blogging more often, amany. i come here almost every day to see if there’s a new post, no joke πŸ™‚ seriously, though. i hope to see more from you soon!

    1. Avani, thank you so much lol! That’s actually a good thing, I will be posting a new years thing soon, and have a TON of good stuff planned. I hope they don’t disappoint πŸ™‚

  2. So helpful to get organized for the new year! I’m definitely going to start making my own bullet journal ASAP! Thanks so much πŸ˜‰

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