How to start a bullet journal

Unsure how to tackle making your own bullet journal? Here’s how to get started

As we get through the first month of the new year, we’re all trying to figure out a new routine for the whole “new year, new me” promise. It might be going to the gym every other day or drinking more water but for me, I decided to become more invested in a journal – something artsy and crafty that I had long since wanted to try. It’s all about getting started and it’s not too late to try it out. Here’s a list of six things to help you get started on your bullet journal.

What is a bullet journal?

First off, you might be asking what exactly is a bullet journal? One way to explain it would be to think of a mix between your typical notebook and scrapbook. It’s a neat organizational system that can be used for any purpose you choose from a sketchbook to a calendar to an idea book.

A bullet journal is a way for me to compile my 12 lists from five different notebooks in one place and to have a little more fun with it.

Picking your journal

The first step in the bullet journal process is figuring out which journal you want to use. Decide what the journal is going to be used for and the qualities it should possess. If you’re particular like me, this process is all about finding the right paper and size in a journal.

In my journal, I like to do weekly spreads with a lot of design elements included on the page. I decided to use a Moleskine Dotted Notebook because it had a more design feel to it and it could fit in my purse. However, you can pick up any old journal and it’ll do the trick.


If you want some ideas about where to get started, Pinterest is the place to go. There is a huge bullet journal community within the online hub. People post everything from their own spreads to advice on how to create your own. Whenever I get lost on what I want to include, it’s nice to look at Pinterest and see how other people lay out their pages.

Gathering supplies

After figuring out what kind of journal you want to do, I highly recommend listing out design elements you might want to include and figuring out the supplies you need. This is where I like to look at Pinterest and see how people’s spreads have come together. My personal style consists of washi tape and brown paper to add a textural element. I enjoy calligraphy and writing in different fonts so I like to include those components into my spreads with colorful highlighters and pens.

Introductory spreads

In the bullet journal I’m working on, it’s more of an organizational scrapbook calendar. Therefore, to start my journal off, I decided to follow the traditional calendar planner and create a 2020 at a glance spread and a bucket list for the year. Introductory spreads can help establish what kind of theme you’re going for and the purpose of the journal.

Make it a habit

In the end, it’s all about consistently working on the bullet journal and integrating it into your daily routine. The journal should serve some artistic or organizational purpose that’s helpful to you.

I like to set aside some time on the weekend to create the outline of my weekly spread. During the week, I get busy so it’s nice to just have to fill out my daily to do list. It’s all about finding the balance and the time to adapt to a bullet journal mindset.

~Abigail Wallace, Staff Writer~

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