How to Start a Bullet Journal that Will Change Your Life

I’ve put off writing this post for much too long. Why? Because I finally discovered a planner that works for me and while I am in love with it, I didn’t exactly know how to go about sharing it with you without rambling on and on. No longer. Learn how to start a bullet journal now because it has truly changed my life. 

I started my bullet journal in September 2016 and wasn’t sure if it would last. A year later, I’m more in love with it than ever. It has organized every area of my life, from daily to do lists, to menu plans, big projects, blogging, financial goals and so much more. I have found the one journal that is exactly what I need it to be – for me and for you!

Wish you could take charge of your schedule, manage dozens of to-do lists, develop healthy habits, and keep every note and idea you’ve ever had in one place? Good. Keep reading because I have the answer for you.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more in my disclosure policy.

What is a bullet journal?

Good question.

If you are unfamiliar with a concept, a bullet journal is a simple calendar and task notebook that you create and maintain yourself. All you need is a pen and a blank journal so you can start today!

I’ve tried so many different planners over the years and always ended up disappointed. I finally came to the realization that there really is no one-size fits all planner as much as we might want there to be.

This is why a bullet journal will answer all your problems. You are creating and customizing a planner that works for you! Each page is created by you to be exactly what you need. 

What makes a bullet journal unique?

A bullet journal is created to be exactly the planner you need for your life at this given moment. 

Thanks to my bullet journal, I no longer have lists on random pieces of paper floating around my house, post-it notes stuck on the fridge and half a dozen notebooks with different collections in them. Everything is now in my bullet journal. I still use my Google calendar online for appointments so it can be synced with my husband’s calendar and viewed on the go. Other than that? Everything else is in my bullet journal.

What’s inside? My bullet journal includes…

  • Daily to do lists
  • Monthly project lists
  • Christmas baking plans
  • Quotes from my kids
  • Baby milestones
  • Books I want to read
  • Books I have read
  • Saving goals
  • Yearly goals
  • And so many other lists!

One of the best things about having a bullet journal is that you create it day to day. You don’t write your next daily to-do list until the last day is complete. Need to start a separate list or big project? Go for it. Just turn to a new page and start writing.

Here’s the other thing I love about using a bullet journal. There is no guilt in blank pages! For a perfectionist like me, this has been a complete game changer.

It used to be that when I stopped using my planner for a couple days and looked back on the blank pages I missed, I was overwhelmed by guilt and frustration – which meant I went even longer without using the planner. With my bullet journal? I can pick up right where I left off no matter how much time has passed. I just flip to the next page and resume.

The best way to experience the magic of bullet journaling? Just start. 

What do you need to start a bullet journal?

You really only need a paper and pen. You can grab any notebook you have around your house and start right this very instant.

I debated started with an old spiral notebook but bought this simple notebook instead and fell in love.

It’s compact enough to fit in my purse or out on my desk, has grids to help me write neatly, is spiral bound so I can keep my journal open to a particular page, and (best of all) it’s reasonably priced at only $7 on Amazon!

Some people like using colored pens but I stick to using these black felt pens for everything I do. They are acid-free, write smoothly and don’t leak through my pages. I buy a box of these pens at a time (for only $6) so I always have them around the house.

As you can see, you really don’t need many bullet journal supplies to create an amazing bullet journal!

As you explore the world of bullet journals, you will see that some people make it very fancy and some keep it very simple. My bullet journal is far simpler than many but it works perfectly for me. It doesn’t matter what others do because through experience, you will learn to create exactly the bullet journal you need. 

How do I start a bullet journal?

Okay, I know you are thinking that this all sounds amazing but also overwhelming. How do you know where to start if everything is created from scratch?

Is there someone who can explain—in detail—exactly how to make bullet journaling work for your style and schedule, without taking a lot of time or effort? Yes! I want to do it for you, but Kalyn Brooke has done it better than I could ever hope to do.

Kalyn was the one who hooked me on bullet journaling and now has created an entire book to help you get started! Kalyn will guide you step-by-step in her brand-new resource, the Brainbook.

With gentle instruction, encouragement, and down-to-earth advice, Brainbook serves as your comprehensive bullet journaling roadmap so you can turn any blank notebook into a powerful planning tool that corrals your calendar, to-do lists, notes, ideas, and long-term goals in one organized place.

When I started, I had to search online for hours and hours to figure out how to make this work. I wish I had the Brainbook then! Even if you are familiar with a bullet journal, Kalyn will inspire you with new ideas and encouragement for how to fully maximize your bullet journal.

What is included in the Brainbook?

The Brainbook is 116 page pdf ebook that will answer all your bullet journal questions. It is will teach you…

  • How to eliminate “blank page fear” and set up your journal for success from the very beginning (also includes a setup checklist!)
  • Which notebooks and other supplies are best for your needs
  • The key to maintain your journal without it sucking all of your time
  • Advanced tips and tricks to take your journal to the next level
  • Five pivotal success secrets to keep your journal top of mind so it can support everything you do
  • What to do when your journal isn’t quite working for you

But most of all, you’ll learn how to set up a personalized planning system that simplifies your life, helps you manage all your day-to-day responsibilities in addition to long-term goals, and supports your own personal growth journey, so you can be the wife, mom, friend, daughter, and person you’ve always wanted to be.

In other words, you’ll finally figure out how to have a planner that keeps you organized for good!

The Brainbook is available for $17 and considering that it is far less than the cost of most planners out there, I believe it is well worth the investment. And as a frugal mom, that is saying something! Owning the Brainbook means you will soon own a valuable resource that will be inspiring and helping you stay organized for years to come.

I have to say that the doable designs book has given me lots of new ideas to use in my bullet journal, especially for someone who wants to be creative  but needs some nudges to do so.

How to Start a Bullet Journal in 4 Easy Steps:

Let’s recap, shall we? It really is easy to start a bullet journal and you can do it today.

  1. Buy the Brainbook.
  2. Buy a simple spiral notebook. (This is the one I use and I absolutely love it, choosing a cute new color every time.)
  3. Find a good pen around the house or invest in a nice set to use for your bullet journal. (I buy these pens by the box. They are cheap, acid free and very nice to write with.)
  4. Create your own bullet journal that is made by you – for you.
If you've been wanting to start a bullet journal, learn how you can do it today - in 4 easy steps! I love my bullet journal and this post was so helpful! #bulletjournal

This post has been a year in the making because I don’t gush lightly but bullet journals have truly earned my devotion. I truly believe a bullet journal can be the answer to everyone’s planner struggles!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook, buy the Brainbook and learn how to start a bullet journal today!

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    1. Oh, yes! It’s the little things that make a HUGE difference in keeping us both organized! Glad to hear I’m not alone in this! 🙂

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