A bullet journal (called a BuJo for short) is a personal organisation and journaling method that’s become highly popular in the past few years. It’s a combination of a diary, daily planner, to-do list and creative outlet all in one.
New York-based designer Ryder Carrol is the father of bullet journaling, and the author of The Bullet Journal Method, an international best-seller that’s been published in 28 languages. Carrol describes bullet journaling as a way to “track your past, organise your present, plan your future”.1
In an age where we spend so much time glued to our screens, this analogue (and often beautiful) journaling method has become a hit with young adults looking for a more mindful approach to planning.
How to Start Your Own Bullet Journal
If you want to start a bullet journal of your own, but you’re finding those perfectly styled BuJo flatlays on Instagram more than a little intimidating, here are a few tips to help you get started.
1.SET YOUR INTENTIONS.2
It helps to be clear from the start about why you want to keep a bullet journal. Do you want help becoming more productive, more organised or more creative? Write down what you want to get out of bullet journaling. You can use these intentions to help guide you as you start the journaling process.
Start off with the absolute basics – a nice new journal and a good quality pen. You can keep a bullet journal entirely in pen if you want – there’s no need for fancy layouts, graphics or calligraphy if that’s not your thing! If you try to do too much too soon, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and quit journaling altogether. Start off with the main sections a bullet journal needs – index, keys and logs – and start building on it from there.
CREATE A HABIT OF DAILY JOURNALLING.3
Keep things simple until journaling every day becomes a habit. Set aside a few minutes a day and make it part of your routine. You can set a reminder on your phone to prompt you, and keep your journal in a prominent place where you’re not likely to lose it or forget it. Once you get into the habit of journaling, you can start to add more creative elements – but remember to concentrate on information first, and aesthetics second.
USE SUPPLIES THAT INSPIRE YOU.3
Choose a few supplies you really enjoy working with. This could be anything from a set of coloured pens or markers, to crafty stuff like stickers, stencils and stamps.
DON’T FALL INTO THE COMPARISON TRAP.3
It’s perfectly fine to draw inspiration from your fellow BuJo enthusiasts, but don’t compare your journal to others – every journal is unique, because it’s a reflection of your own unique process.
The important thing is to focus on why you’re keeping a bullet journal and what you enjoy about it. If you spend your time and energy trying to turn it into a picture-perfect piece of art, you’re likely to run out of motivation and enthusiasm. Remember, bullet journaling is supposed to make your life simpler, not more complicated!