How to get started

How to start your own Bullet Journal
As a collegestudent, I’m on the move all the time; dashing to class, running errands, clean my apartment and studying at home, in the library or at a local coffee shop. With all this commotion, it’s easy to forget the little tasks with deadlines that sneak up on me throughout the week.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to consider finding an organization system that will fine-tune your busy lifestyle! And that’s where I’m going to talk about. The Bullet Journal system!

The best place to get started with the Bullet Journal is by going to the  Bullet Journal website and watch the official video.

What is a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal was designed by Ryder Carroll, a designer living in Brooklyn, New York. The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your everything. It’s a to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, diary and more. All you need is a notebook and a pen!

What do you need to get started?

Aim to find a small, compact notebook, easy enough to carry around in your purse or backpack. You don’t have to buy a new expensive notebook, just grab an barely-used journal or notebook on your shelf. Any notebook will do, but make sure the pages are thick enough to prevent your pen from bleeding through. This reduces some big disappointment. The next brands of notebooks are favorites in the Bullet Journal Community:

I used a Leuchtturm1917 for a long time. Recently I decided to make the switch to a NUUNA-Notebook. NUUNA’s paper is much thicker than Leuchtturm1917. The paper doesn’t bleed at all and the perfect thing is: the paper is beautiful WHITE! (Instead of the champagne color from Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917). If you want to know more about the NUUNA notebook read my review blogpost about NUUNA and Leuchtturm here.

The Bullet Journal setup

The beautiful thing about the Bullet Journal is that there is no right way to do it. You can’t screw it up. You can make it as beautiful or minimal as you want. The internet will give you much inspiration and beautiful layouts. But don’t let perfection keep you from trying. Everyone screws up sometimes, tears out pages and starts all over again. The Bullet Journal is customizable and you can organize it how you want it to be. Here a quick set-up with the Bullet Journal basics.

The Index

Every notebook starts with the index. As you start to use your notebook, write the page numbers and topics after you’ve created the topic page. Now you can quickly find and reference them at any point. The Leuchtturm1917 notebooks come with a blank table of contents already implemented, while you have to create one in the other notebooks.

The Key

The key page is one of the basic pages that you’re supposed to add in your Bullet Journal. Signifiers are symbols for your entries. They allow you to quickly glance at any page of your Bullet Journal and find what you’re looking for. Since you’ll get in the habit of essentially brain dumping onto the page, giving those entries visual categorization is super helpful.
Some people like to make a key-page on the first page of their Bullet Journal. I keep my signifiers in my head, so I don’t have a key-page anymore in my NUUNA-Notebook.

Monthly log

Montly Spread DecemberThe monthly log will help you organize your month. There are several ways to create a monthly log. Most of the time the monthly log includes a calendar and a task list for that month. When you use a list for the monthly spread, the first thing you do is write down the numbers and letters of the days. Now you have an overview of the month. The next step is to write down al your important tasks and events. I usually don’t use monthly logs. I don’t want to add my tasks on a monthly log, weekly spread and daily spread. It’s just to much. I only use weeklies and dailies in my Bullet Journal. This month I’m trying the monthly spread again. I really love this lay-out, but I hope it will work for me this time.

Weekly spreads

Weekly spread in color

Weekly spreads will help you organize your week. They help me stay focused and give me a full overview of what’s coming. Weekly spreads also includes a calendar with the days of the week. I also added a ‘next week’ section, with al the appointment I have for the next week. At the bottom of my weekly you can find a currently reading section.

If you want to know more about my weekly spread, you should read this post: ‘How I use my new weekly layouts’

Daily spreads


Dailies First Week of DecemberThe daily spreads are the most important things in my Bullet Journal. In the daily spread you start each entry with the day, and then write down your tasks, appointments, notes and all the things you want to add yourself. I also add a reflection of the day on the bottom of my dailies. Here I jot down all the things that happened that day and why I didn’t finished some tasks. You can customize your daily with banners and beautiful lettering and doodles. I also add a time-tracker for the day, where I track what I do during the day.

Make your Bullet Journal your own.

There are many, many spreads and collections you can add to your Bullet Journal. I will not talk about the collections on this page. There will be blogposts coming soon about different pages and collections. Here a list of soms collections and pages you can add to your Bullet Journal:

  • Calendex
  • Gratitude log
  • Shopping list
  • Weight loss tracker
  • List of movies you’ve seen or want to see
  • Books read or books you want to read
  • Habit tracker
  • Monthly reflection list
  • Gratitude list
  • Waiting for list
  • Shipment tracking list

I hope you’ve learned more about the Bullet Journal System. For more inspiration and ideas you can take a look at the other blogposts or the photo gallery