If you’re looking to create your first bullet journal but don’t know where to begin (or you’ve never even heard of it before) you’ve come to the right place! We love journaling at Cute Notebooks + Journals, so we put together this guide to show you everything you need to know about how to start a bullet journal!
What is it?
To put it simply, it’s a freeform diary, planner, and activity log combined that uses as much shorthand as possible. You can design it however you want, use it to track whatever you want, and start it whenever you want. It’s the ultimate in journaling flexibility!
You may have already seen some aesthetic bullet journals on the internet, but if you’re artistically-challenged, don’t worry. This style of journaling is more about function than form, so while making it pretty is nice, if you can log at least your daily goals, you can start a bullet journal.
What To Put In A Bullet Journal
Ultimately, you can put whatever you want in your journal! It’s about productivity, but also mindfulness. There are even digital planners that could be used, so you can start a bullet journal that includes pictures, documents, or links.
Typically, most people include lists of their daily, weekly, and monthly goals, jot down their thoughts and feelings from the day, and keep track of the skills they’re trying to practice. But if there’s anything else you’d like to keep track of or write down, go for it!
How to Start
When you’re creating your first bullet journal, start small. Begin in any notebook with a log of daily goals, and just a few shorthand words or symbols that you can remember. As you get used to it, you can build out to weekly/monthly goals and other things.
One major aspect of this journaling style is shorthand, but most shortened expressions will be specific to you. The important thing is to figure out a way to shorten phrases and whole sentences as much as possible for more rapid logging. Plus, when you do, it also makes your journal prettier.
As one form of shorthand, the creator of bullet journaling, Ryder Carroll, recommends these different bullets for things you might want to log.
- Tasks: •
- Events: O
- Ideas and observations: –
- Priority: *
- Mantras and insights: !
The important thing is not to worry too much about what you want to put in a bullet journal when you start a bullet journal until you’re ready to incorporate it. Remember, this is meant to be a productivity and mindfulness practice, not necessarily a work of art!
To Sum It Up
– Create a combo planner, diary, and activity log.
O You can start a bullet journal whenever you’d like.
! They are often pretty, but being functional is more important.
* Start yours ASAP!
The next time you’re looking for a notebook, think about how your choice will reflect upon your personality, style, and focus. The cover on your notebook can be your statement to the world. Make sure your voice is heard. Life is too short to use a boring notebook.
Not sure if dot grid journals are right for you? Download this free printable PDF dot grid paper and try creating your own unique layouts to see if it helps unleash your creativity and planning.