Bullet Journal: Why I Started One

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Bullet Journal

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I love planners, and notebooks, and pens, and … well, if they sell it in a stationery or art store, I probably have it. For the past couple of years I have used an Erin Condren planner, then decided to try a Happy Planner, and now I have decided to start a bullet journal. I had previously heard of bullet journals, but didn’t grasp the concept of what they were. Then, a blogger I already followed started bullet journaling, and I instantly knew that I HAD to get one!

I started out with a blank, emerald Lechtturm1917, Staedtler Fineliner pens, and a Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen. I flirted with waiting until January 1 to get started, but I couldnt leave my pen off of that brand new notebook. I am about a week into my bullet journal, and I am utterly obsessed.

Bullet journaling is probably best explained here, but in a nutshell it is a handwritten journal, planner, sketchbook, and calendar all in one. It can be as minimal or decorative as you wish, and you can be as artistic or plain as you decide.

I am generally a huge perfectionist, but something about this medium has allowed me to jump in, feet first, and just start writing. I think I will change a few things as I go, but I don’t regret what I have already put in the journal because I can already tell I am going to love flipping back through it. First, I started with the index, and by making a “pens” page. This way I can see, at a glance, which of my pens shadow through the paper, and which size I want to use.

pens

Then I did a “key” page so I can keep track of what symbols (or ‘bullets’) I want to use in my daily posts. 

bullet journal index

A lot of people start their bullet journals with a yearly calendar, but since I wasn’t sure how I would be using mine, I just sketched a quick weekly calendar, then went right into my daily pages.

weekly layout

I have loved doodling and sketching alongside my daily to-do’s. (Check out my Instagram for sources to some of the doodling tutorials I have tried!) I have dabbled with tracking my water intake, and noting the weather for the day, although on busy days this does not always get included.

This Christmas was mostly spent alone with my husband and daughter, and I was able to memorialize our menu and some of our memories. This will be so fun to look back and remember! I love the flexibility to be able to journal about the day, or add a quote, or a doodle, and then do something different the next day.

christmas layout

I added a future planning page where I can jot down things coming up in the next few months, like birthdays I need to start shopping for and goals I would like to accomplish as they year progresses. I often have fleeting thoughts like, “Why don’t I crochet all off my own dishrags again? Its so relaxing, and I love using them,” but if I don’t write it down, it leaves my mind as quickly as it entered. I love being able to jot it down in this section so I can begin to do things more intentionally.

future log

One fun page I just added I titled ‘Kid Quotes.” My step-sons are here for their Christmas break, and they keep me in stitches with the hilarious things that come out of their mouths. I started jotting down some of the funny things they said, and my daughter noticed. She keeps trying to say witty things, then asking, “Was that quotable?” She hasn’t made it on the quote page yet, but I have no doubt she will have a zinger or two commemorated soon.

kid quotes

I am also going to add our monthly budget to my journal.

In the couple of weeks since I started I have discovered: I love, LOVE the way a fountain pen writes in this notebook, but it’s not great for lettering. I am going to start pulling out my Micron pens for hand-lettering, and also want to check out the Faber Castell pens that a lot of bullet journal-ers prefer. I know a lot of people like Staedtler Triples Fineliners to add some color to their pages, but I prefer the softness of Prismacolor Colored Pencils.

tools

I know a lot of my readers are fellow lovers of all things paper, so I can’t wait to hear what you think! Does a bullet journal sound like a good fit for you?

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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.

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