If you’ve been following my blog for a while now then you’ll know that I keep a bullet journal and its helped a lot with keeping me organised and some of my spreads allow me to keep track of my mental health.
I like to try and be creative with my journal and I’m so grateful of all the lovely comments I get. My artistic skills are very limited but I do like how my spreads end up looking.
Many comment saying how they’d love to start one but they don’t know how or aren’t artistic enough. In this post I’m going to share with you how you can start your own bullet journal no matter how skillful at art you are!
Be sure to sign up for my bullet journal checklist too to start you on the right track!
Bullet Journal checklist!
Signup for a 4-page bullet journal checklist to help you get started! Includes page and theme ideas!
(be sure to check junk mail!)
What do I need to start a Bullet Journal?
There are many bullet journal Instagram accounts and they all own expensive fancy pens to get the perfect calligraphy in all the pastel colours.
In all honesty, all you need to start a bullet journal is a notebook and pen. Colours are completely optional although I do own the crayola supertips as I like to add colour to mine. Many bullet journals incorporate colours but when you start your bullet journal, you need to think on what you’d prefer.
The most popular choice of notebook is dotted paper although I do believe you can use any type. My choice was the dotted paper and I use the Leuchtturm A5 dotted notebook. I find that this doesn’t allow bleeding from the felt tips and the shadowing on the next page is kept to a minimum.
I think many people choose dotted paper for their bullet journal because it provides a guideline but it’s faint enough to not draw away from the design.
My choice of pens is fineliners as I prefer my handwriting with these though I usually roughly sketch out my design first using a pencil. Some people don’t use pens at all, just fine tipped felt pens. When starting a bullet journal, ensure you have pens that you can use to write with – even if it’s just simple biro pens!
There are a lot of extras that you can have to decorate your bullet journal too such as; washi tape, highlighters, stickers and coloured pens. None of these are essential however.
I’m not artistic, can I still start a bullet journal?
Yes!! Many people think that you need to be artistic to start a bullet journal but there are so many simple designs.
One of my favourite spreads I’ve ever seen has no colour at all! The purpose of a bullet journal is to keep you organised. If colour helps then of course use it, but you don’t need to make it all fancy.
Get inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest. Some keywords to include in your Pinterest search, if you’re not artistic, is minimalist or simplistic. These keywords before bullet journal will provide some beautiful designs, many of which will not require artistic skills. You’ll never be short for inspiration on Pinterest, bullet journals are huge on Pinterest!
If you want an artistic one despite not having the skills, like myself, a good way to decorate it is to look up easy doodles on Pinterest. These are so cute and you can also get step-by-step doodles that are very helpful!
If you’re still struggling, you can start a digital bullet journal and use the tracing feature! I have a whole post on starting a digital bullet journal.
What if I don’t keep on top of it?
That’s completely okay. I don’t keep on top of my bullet journal very often unless I’m at school as I don’t have as many things to keep on top of at the moment. I have months where I have nothing filled in and that’s okay! Usually when I get back into starting my bullet journal again, I fill it in more often.
You can pick it up as often or as little as you want. It may be a little disheartening to have so many blanks but it’ll provide you motivation to fill it in for the next months! If you’re really put off by starting a bullet journal because of this reason, simply don’t include as many fill-in spreads. Maybe only add a mood tracker or habit tracker. If you keep on top of it well, then add some more next time! The beauty of bullet journaling is that you can do it at your own pace, and adapt it to your own needs.
How will I decide what bullet journal themes to do each month?
Instagram and Pinterest! There’s so many Instagram accounts where people share their own bullet journals and there’s also lots of accounts dedicated to bullet journal inspiration.
Pinterest has an abundance of inspiration too and you can literally put in any keyword and they generally have some bullet journal inspiration dedicated around it.
I usually get theme inspiration by looking at cover spreads and that allows me to base all my spreads around that one specific theme.
When I first started my bullet journal, I started a bullet journal board on Pinterest. It’s so full now, that I never run short of inspiration!
You can also get inspiration from YouTube or blog posts! There’s many YouTube videos where the person shows you how they designed their themes so you can replicate it a little easier! I always share my bullet journal posts on my blog. My favourite theme was probably my April one as it was floral, pink and girly!
What pages do I need to include in my first bullet journal?
See, this is the beauty of bullet journaling- nothing is essential! I tend to always have a monthly cover page, a monthly spread, a mood tracker and a favourites page. I think these are basics for those who start a bullet journal, bar the favourites. The favourites is personal to me to include in my favourites posts.
None of these pages are essential at all though those are the things I personally like to track. If you want the basics then I’d definitely recommend a cover page as it separates each month. When starting your bullet journal, you may want to include a key for any symbols you use. I personally don’t use one as I’d always forget what symbols I use and I’d confuse myself. Bullet journaling shouldn’t be confusing.
A monthly spread page can also be useful to help you track events during the month; it’s an easy visual to have a month’s events at a glance. Not everyone includes one in their bullet journal, they just put dates on their weekly spread. I do this but I also like having an overview, like the month at a glance.
Should I wait until the New Year to start a bullet journal?
No! Bullet journals can be started at any time of the year and do not need to be started on January 1st.
The truth is if you wait that long then you’re more likely to not start it at all! My first bullet journal post showed that my spreads for that month was started halfway through November!
You may think it’ll help you more starting your bullet journal at New Year and that’s completely fine but you do not need to wait to start the bullet journal!
There’s no right or wrong time to start so if you’re thinking of beginning a bullet journal then do it now! You will not regret it. Grab a notebook and pen and begin doodling and writing whatever you please. Your bullet journal will fall into place!
I’ve loved my bullet journal and creating cute spreads for these past months. I can’t recommend it enough! It’s so flexible and can picked up or dropped at any time!
Do you have or want to start a bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below!