Tips for starting a Bullet Journal
I think some may find the prospect of beginning a Bullet Journal slightly daunting..
And so today I thought I’d share with you my tips for getting started.
1. Find out what Bullet Journaling is..
To find out what Bullet Journaling is visit the Bullet Journal website – www.bulletjournal.com
This is the official website and tells you everything you need to know about Bullet Journaling. It contains a video tutorial and written out steps about how the system works and how you can use it.
You can also purchase the book, The Bullet Journal Method, the Bullet Journal notebook and download the Bullet Journal Companion app from the site.
Although you may have discovered Bullet Journaling via an alternate source, before you actually begin I’d recommend you visit the above website – it helped and still helps me immensely.
2. Use stationary supplies you are comfortable with..
Bullet Journaling doesn’t require you to purchase brand new or expensive stationary supplies. To Bullet Journal the only stationary products you’ll actually need, ever, are a notebook and a pen.
When you first begin I’d recommend you use a journal and a pen that you are comfortable with. Over time you may want to build on your pen collection but remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to the stationary supplies you choose. You don’t even need to use a dot grid notebook – although admittedly this is the notebook I started with, fell in love with and have used ever since – I’ve seen all types of notebooks used for Bullet Journaling (lined, grid, plain paper etc.)
“…all you’ll actually need, ever, are a notebook and a pen”.
I remember when I first discovered Bullet Journaling I saw online that a lot of Bullet Journalers used Sakura Pigma Micron pens. I thought my journaling wouldn’t be ‘correct’ unless I used these pens too and so I ordered a set and didn’t begin journaling until I received them.
When they arrived I discovered there was nothing special about these pens at all. In fact I found them difficult to use as they smudge easily, the nibs seem to wear down quickly and the ink fades slightly when you erase on top of it (i.e. if you write in pencil, draw over the pencil in pen and then erase the remaining pencil marks left of the page I find that the ink from these pens fades).
And so after creating a few pages in my journal I reverted to using my trusted Staedtler Pigment Liners, which I found much more reliable.
3. Don’t be overwhelmed by social media..
In the beginning, if you find that the artistic journaling accounts adorning social media are overwhelming you, or if you find that they are holding you back from even starting your own Bullet Journal, I’d recommend taking a break from looking at these accounts for a while.
Instead I would focus on studying the fundamentals of Bullet Journaling (noted in my first tip) and if you want to maintain a link with social media look for some non-art focused jouraling accounts to follow.
“If it’s not working for you, then it’s not working”.
This may seem like a strange tip, coming from someone who keeps a fairly art-focused Bullet Journal and regularly posts pictures of my journal on Instagram, but if this is an issue for you, give it a try.
You may find once you’ve found your feet and your own journaling style that you are able to admire and enjoy a variety of different Bullet Journals including those that have a real focus on art.
4. Make it work, for you..
If it’s not working for you, then it’s not working.
At it’s heart, Bullet Journaling is a mindful, organisational system and if you aren’t getting what you need from it, you may need to adapt your aproach.
It may take you a few months to find a combination of things that work for you, and I’m sure this will continually evolve over time, but I’d always recommend you focus on yourself and your own needs when you are journaling.
You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing – just do what works for you.
5. Remember, it will (probably) never be perfect..
..but you shouldn’t let that deter you.
Perfectionism has always been a real problem for me – I continually dream of having the perfect Bullet Journal and have put an immense amount of pressure on myself in order to achieve this.
The most important thing I’ve found is that I don’t let this desire for everything to be perfect hold me back and I don’t let it deter me from Bullet Journaling. I’m finding the mistakes I’ve made in my past journals don’t really bother me after a few months and form a part of what was the past.
And of course the beauty of journaling is turning each page to a new beginning every single day.
Do you keep a Bullet Journal? What are your tips for starting? Or are you looking to start a Bullet Journal and have found these tips helpful? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
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