Bullet journaling started as a way for people to organize their lives. Instead of buying a pre-printed planner, a bullet journal lets you just make your own. The idea is to have one notebook to organize everything.
Bullet journals (or “bujos”) include monthly and daily calendars, plus lists of tasks you want to complete, events you need to remember, and notes you want to make for each day. You number the pages and make an index so that you can find the sections you need and a “future log” to write down stuff you don’t have to finish until months from now.
Each month, you cross off tasks you complete. If you didn’t finish a task, you “migrate” it to the next month. You can make collections of things that are similar, like classes or shopping lists. You mark each task with a signifier indicating how important it is (using a star) or whether it’s an event, task, or note (using circles and dots).
Bullet journals took off as a method to help people make good use of their time but also to express themselves. Some journalers include sections for creative writing or drawings. Instagram is full of bujo images that include doodles, fancy lettering, and watercolors. You don’t have to be an artist to create a cool-looking bujo. There are tons of ways to make your bullet journal prettier and Insta-Pinterest-worthy:
- Get colorful: Use markers and highlighters to brighten your spreads.
- Learn lettering: There are tons of tutorials online about how to learn different fonts and lettering techniques for your bujo.
- Use a fountain pen: It takes practice, but fountain pens write smoothly, and fountain pen ink comes in a variety of colors. There’s even ink that looks glittery or metallic.
- Decorate with washi tape: This stuff is cheap, easy to use, and won’t leave sticky glue on your spreads. You can get it from craft stores.
- Use stamps and stickers: These aren’t just for tweeners anymore. Craft stores have tons of stamps and stickers with all kinds of images, such as flowers, leaves, or planets. Some Etsy stores have custom stamps as well.
- Use pictures from magazines: Cut out pictures that express your mood or style, and glue them into your bujo.
- Use boxes and headers: Outline your titles or tasks with boxes, and use header-style titles for your pages.
The guy who came up with the format of bullet journals, Ryder Carroll, has posted tutorials about what sections to include and how to mark entries. He kept it simple, but you can add as much as you want to your bujo. Make sections for poetry, drawings, and goals. Use your bujo to record things you want out of your head onto paper so that you can think about them later.
Making your bujo look prettier will keep you interested in using it to organize your thoughts, your tasks, your creative projects, and your goals.