Blog post

Bullet Journal: Getting started

April 27, 2016

UPDATE: I’ve started practicing brush lettering so that I can improve my typography for my Bullet Journal. You can read about that and get a free printable in this post.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, this means that should you click them and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of commission. This helps with the running costs of this blog but does not affect the price you pay. 🙂

So I finally jumped onto the Bullet Journal bandwagon, after stalking it all over Pinterest and Instagram. All I can say is so far I love it.

I thought I’d give you a peek into my current bullet journal setup. I only started at the beginning of April so whilst I’m not far into the actual daily planning aspects of it, I have created lots of lists and trackers that I will use throughout.

Bullet journal spread key and index yellow feather blog

Here’s my key and index page, I love that the Leuchtturm notebook has a dedicated space for the index. I was trying to keep this in chronological order but as you can see I decided to sneak a list onto an empty page earlier in the journal so my order’s gone slightly off – the beauty is though that as long as it’s marked in the index it doesn’t actually matter where in the journal the content is.

I set my journal up with just a 6 month timeframe in mind, this is partly because I didn’t want to have to be planning my year from April-April forever and also because, from what other BuJo enthusiasts have said, it is unlikely that you’ll get a whole year out of one journal. Especially as I have big writing and lots of additional lists and trackers. Ideally this will actually run up to December and I can add another 3 month calendar in once I hit October, then start afresh in 2017.

Bullet journal spread future log

I got the Leuchtturm notebook that a lot in the BuJo community recommend, it took me so long to decide a colour they’re all so pretty. I’m excited to have a whole rainbow of them in a few years. I can see why this is the notebook that so many recommend, not only do the dots make it really easy to draw grids, tables and lines but they are also non-intrusive enough to fade into the background when not being used. It also keeps my handwriting neat and helps me space out my headers somewhat evenly. Great for someone who’s working on their handwriting and cursive skills. The paper is thick enough that the ink doesn’t bleed through, in areas where I’ve used a lot of black ink I can see it through the paper on the other side but as all my pages get filled up this doesn’t bother me.

I chose to use the Stabilo fineliner pens purely because I’ve used them a long time and love them. For my daily to do lists I just use a black biro as I think the thinner, fainter line it creates makes those segments stand out from my felt-liner written headers etc.

Bullet Journal leuchtturm bleedthrough on reverse of page

Here you can see the text from the reverse page only shows through faintly and this isn’t visible once the page is written on.

Bullet journal spread showing goals for the next 6 months including blog and Instagram goals

Here’s my goals page, again I only focused on 6 months as that’s how long I’m assuming the journal will last, I split the page into personal goals, Instagram goals and goals for this blog and I made sure to leave plenty of room to keep adding to them. This is why I love the bullet journal system, you can really make it your own and personalise it. It’s fantastic having everything in one place rather than my old system of a notebook for ideas, a diary/planner and then goals, to do lists and other notes written on scraps of paper or in my phone.

Bullet journal spread blog tracker

Here you can see a blog tracker page I created, this helps me keep track of weekly growth on here and also the type of content that seems to be the most popular and sharable, I have a variation of this in a Google Doc but it’s nice to have it close to hand here as well.

Bullet journal spread monthly calendar to dos and goals page

Here’s my monthly calendar spread, because I don’t tend to fill out too much here – just the main events and appointments, I use the other page to track monthly goals and to-dos. These are the big overall to-dos which I want to achieve by the end of the month, I might then put them in my weekly to do list if I know I have time but as they take a little more planning (like painting a hallway) I like to have them here to reference.

Bullet journal spread weeky to do flat lay

This was my first weekly spread, I liked practicing my cursive although it definitely needs some fine tuning. Because I chose to use a square for my to-dos instead of the usual circle I was playing around with the sizing of them to make them fit well in the list. I added the meal planner just as a way for me to ensure we always had the food ready in the fridge, I love cooking but if I come home to an empty fridge it’s hard to motivate myself to go back out to grab supplies.

Bullet journal colourful weekly to do spread

Here’s how my more recent weekly spreads have looked, I decided to make them more colourful so I’ve started drawing the to-do boxes in colour, in rainbow order. It brightens up the page and makes me happy looking at them.

Some other just for fun list spreads

coluorful bullet Journal spread showing disney films I want to buy

Here’s another colourful spread that makes me smile whenever I see it. This is a list of the Disney Classics, I already have a few but I want to expand my collection so I thought having a list here would be a great way to see what I had, what I wanted to prioritise buying and the others on the list. The coloured in boxes are the ones I already own and the ones with dots next to them are my priorities to buy next. As you can tell I’m a bit of a Disney addict and I love having them to hand, they’re the perfect cure for a day stuck on the sofa ill.

Bullet journal spread to be read tracker

This spread keeps track of my TBR on the right, which I haven’t filled in yet as everytime I even think about my to be read list I feel guilty. Can you read the entry at the top? That book I’ve been starting and stopping since 2013 (I have read other books in the meantime), but thankfully I’ve nearly finished it and can get cracking on the others. I’ll also use this space to record books that I have been recommended but don’t own, so that I can plan a book buying haul once the list gets too full.

On the left page is another collection I’m working on, this is the Penguin clothbounds classics, you know the beautiful ones with vintage patterned cloth covers? It will take me a long time to amass them all and I am only focusing on buying the books I want to read as opposed to the most beautiful covers (colour-coord bookcase be damned haha!). It’ll come in so handy around Christmas and Birthday times though as I can at a glance let someone know which book I’m wanting.

That’s most of the spreads covered, I have a few ideas pages for blog posts and Instagrams and also some blank pages awaiting inspirational quotes. I also have a savings tracker to keep track of some of my big financial goals and a habit tracker to try and help me form good habits such as water intake and daily 10k step goals, it’s great being accountable to that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek inside my bullet journal below are some great resources and inspiration pages that I looked at when creating mine.

Bullet Journal Inspiration

And of course searching for Bullet Journal or BuJo on Pinterest, Twitter and Google Images comes up with so many amazing spreads to get your organising instincts going.

Do you bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear how you’re finding it.

Love, Sarah x

Bullet Journal Favouritesbullet journal essentials yellow feather blog

Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook | Stabilo fineliners | Pentel aquash water brushes | Rotring graphic pens | Zebra mildliners | Rainbow washi tape

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