DISCLOSURE: This post most likely has affiliate links. If you like reading legal jargon my disclosure policy is here.
What if I told you there was a planner that could help you track absolutely everything in your life while still being flexible and creative? Well there is, it’s called a bullet journal.
Bullet journals are a fantastic way to track everything you need to in your life while still giving you the flexibility to change it up each month.
If you’ve seen the pretty spreads on Instagram and Pinterest you might be thinking there is no way bullet journaling is for you. Well, it is. A bullet journal does not need to be super artistic or creative in the slightest to be counted as a bullet journal.
You can check out one of my recent bullet journal spreads here. It was the easiest spread that I have ever done and didn’t require a lot of artistic flare.
When I first started bullet journaling I used a simple composition notebook. As I progressed I started purchasing better supplies, but in the beginning all you really need is a pen and a notebook.
Bullet journaling has been a lifesaver for me and my schedule. Gone are the days where I overbook my to do list or my day. Hello to organization, planning, goal setting, and tracking anything and everything under the sun.
What can I use a Bullet Journal for?
Bullet Journals are great to use for everything from a planner to a bucket list. Furthermore, you can customize your journal for what you need. It takes effort to set up but allows for easy recording of only the things that are important to you.
A bullet journal keeps everything in one place and allows for massive amounts of customization. The appeal of starting a life tracker like this though often leads us wondering where to start.
You can create a savings guide, habit tracker, upcoming movie list, budget, planner, meal planning, to do list, health trackers and anything else you want to record or stay accountable too.
What do I need to set one up?
A notebook, a ruler, and a pen. That’s all that is necessary. You can get fancy bookmarks, you can use colored pens, some papers allow for watercolor. Washi Tape is a fantastic way to spruce up your journal without needing artistic skill. You can make it as fancy, pretty, or plain as you would like.
Love planning as much as I do? Fantastic! I created a store for affordable printable planners to help you get organized. New products are being added all the time – get your planner today and get organized.
These are the products that I use for my own bullet journal journey. Make sure to visit my post 17 Bullet Journal Resources to Make Your Bullet Journal Instagram Worthy.
- This is the Bullet Journal I use, it has a pocket.
- I recently ordered these pens.
- These stencil plates are fantastic and fit into the pocket of the bullet journal I use.
- Washi Tape Set.
- More Decorative Washi Masking Tape.
How To Start A Bullet Journal
You can set up your bullet journal any way you like. However, I would caution that you create an outline first. Planning out your bullet journal keeps it clean.
The first two pages should be left for your key and your index. This will help you to keep track of where in the bullet journal everything is and what shapes stand for what.
Number every page in your notebook so you can easily record the information in the index.
Check out my post 16 Minimalist Bullet Journal Spreads.
Setting up your Bullet Journal
After you set up the key and the index, you want to add your additional trackers that are not the planner portion of your bullet journal. The planner portion of your journal should not be completed far in advance as you may need additional space.
Before you do anything more though, decide what types of lists and trackers you want in your bullet journal.
Take a look below at some inspiration to get you started.
The Gratitude Tracker
I use a gratitude spread because I found it really helps with keeping my mind on the positive things going on in my life. You might find it to be useful for your mindset as well.
The Meal Planner
Meal planning in a bullet journal is a dream come true. You can stay within dietary needs, plan grocery shopping lists, plan around sales, and even know what you might need to prep ahead of time.
The Pet Tracker
The pet tracker is useful for us animal lovers. Track flea treatments, vet visits, shots, and grooming appointments so that you can make sure your furry family members are healthy and happy.
The Habit Tracker
Habit tracking is a great way to help yourself set healthy and good daily habits. I used a habit tracker to get me into the habit of reading every night before bed. I also used it to help me stay on track with drinking water and eating healthy.
Check out more habit tracker layouts and ideas at 50 Bullet Journal Habit Tracking Ideas.
The Savings Tracker
Financial planning in a bullet journal is a great way to keep you on track with your money goals. Because the bullet journal is basically a planner that you use daily you are always aware of how you spend money or save money.
Check out my post The Ultimate Guide to Save Money and Get Ahead.
The Book Tracker
I personally use a book tracker to keep track of all the books that I read. It’s a way for me to have something to recommend to people as well as see just how much I read in a year.
The Brain Dump
The brain dump is a great personal spread that can help you clear out your brain so you can organize tasks, plans, and goals. I often use brain dumping for brainstorming new ideas for my business. It also helps me to be able to focus more on one task at a time.
The Cleaning Calendar
The bullet journal cleaning calendar really helped me to get on track with making sure my home is cleaned every day. I hate cleaning so getting organized and having a handy calendar helps me to just power through my chores and get it done.
Check out my post 11 Cleaning Schedules for Your Bullet Journal.
When Did I Last Tracker
This tracker helps you track things like doctor appointments, changing filters, oil changes, changing toothbrushes, or cleaning behind appliances. It’s a handy little tracker that can help you to stay on top of those every once in a while chores.
The Running Tracker
Personal development. One of my goals for the year is to run 3 times a week. It wasn't until the second week of the year that I made a plan with a buddy to do C25K together on these days 😊 So far, so good. I have a few other pages exactly like this year-view layout, to track other things such as my Writing Log. #bulletjournal. I like year-views because this way I get to see my progress over the course of the year 👟. I like placing little 'why' statements at the top to remind me of why I'm doing the goal. How do you keep track of personal development? #planwithmechallenge #BulletJournalCollection
I’m not a runner and if you aren’t either consider changing this into your exercise of choice. For me having a yoga or Pilates tracker helps me to stay on track with my exercises. Especially, now that I am trying to keep my health and physical well being in check.
Check out my post 11 Health Trackers For Your Bullet Journal.
Weight Loss Tracker
My very first page in my #bulletjournal and I'm well chuffed with how it turned out! And as you can see, I have loaaadddddssss to lose. I try to save weight loss stuff for @kirstybuttons cos I had too many photos of food on here, ha! I love the idea of bullet journaling and I really hope I keep it up! #bujo #weightloss #weightlossjourney
Speaking of fitness if your goal is weight loss this tracker will keep you on track. Set milestones that you can celebrate with a cheat meal or a shopping trip to give you that extra motivation.
Now that you have your potential tracker ideas planned out you can start working on your daily, weekly, and monthly layouts. These layouts help you to plan out your time and keep you on track to reach goals.
Check out my post 19 Beautiful Weekly Spreads for Bullet Journals.
I included positive phrases in my daily spreads to help keep a positive attitude daily. Find out more on how we strive to be positive daily.
Check out my post 15 Monthly Bullet Journal Spreads.
Bullet Journal For Beginners
Remember, all you really need to start out with is a notebook and a pen. Keep it simple while you get into the habit of using your bullet journal. You don’t want to overload yourself with new designs and end up giving up.
As you get into the habit of using it you will get better about planning out your day and staying on top of your tasks. You will start working with purpose because you will have more realistic expectations on what you can get done each day.
Finally, you will find yourself starting to live more purposefully knowing that you are working towards goals in different areas of your life.
For example, tracking your weight loss journey while also tracking your financial goals will have an affect on how you decide to spend money on food. To go even further if you are planning your meals you will find yourself eating at home more and reaching all three of your goals faster.
This is because your bullet journey keeps everything flowing together in a cohesive way instead of keeping things separate from each other.
Make sure you stop by my post 17 Bullet Journal Resources to Make Your Bullet Journal Beautiful. There are FREE worksheets and tutorials for illustration. There are even a few awesome online classes to make your bullet journal Instagram worthy.
- Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook A5
- Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set
- Bullet Journaling Stencils Plates
- Washi Tape Set
- Decorative Washi Masking Tape
You now know how to set up a bullet journal and you have lots of inspiration to pull from to create your own. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this for reference when you create your own. Happy Journaling!
- 17 Bullet Journal Doodles And Resources
- The Morning Routine Of A Work At Home Mom
- How To Create A Routine That Works For You
- 3 Steps To Setting Goals You Can Reach