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You may have read my post on how to start a bullet journal. It has quickly become one of my most popular posts on my blog ever. I have over 60,000 views on that post and counting! Since publishing that post, you may have noticed that my June bullet journal was done digitally. I really enjoyed this style of journaling and I’m sure I’ll carry on this method for a while.
Because of this, I thought I’d create my guide on how to make a digital bullet journal. It’s a lot easier than you think!
What do I need to start a digital bullet journal?
You’ll need a tablet of some sort (I have the iPad 7th generation). You also need the app Goodnotes (£7.99) on the App Store. The first person to use this code “HH7RLFA7XT6K” will get the app for free!
These are the bare minimum of digital bullet journaling. Some other things I have found incredibly helpful are a stylus of some sort (I have the Apple Pencil 1) and the app Procreate (£9.99) on the App Store. I find that procreate is a lot easier to draw on and I’m happier with the outcome of drawings that I do on there.
What are the benefits of digital journaling?
I’ve found quite a few benefits of journaling digitally over regularly. First of all, you can just get rid of what goes wrong, when this is set in pen on paper, you’ll have to compromise for that mistake. There’s also a lot more colour options available and pen types that you may not have access too. You also don’t have to worry about pens running out of ink. You can also just copy and paste images into your journal rather than printing them off and cutting them out. I do like paper for the traditionalism of it all but I’ve found digital journals are much more versatile.
But I’m not artistic at all!
Me too! I always get so many compliments on my bullet journal posts despite not being the most artistic. The beauty of procreate is that it allows you to trace images! Simply save the image off google and upload to procreate. Then, add a draw layer over the image and trace it. Once you’re happy, you hide the photo layer and you’ve mastered it! I’ve done this for my July theme but it’s a surprise so you can see a different tracing I did for fun here. You’ll know how much of a big deal this is to me as I LOVE Winnie the Pooh! It was my may bullet journal theme but I only made reference to him through “hunny”. My hand drawn, non-traced drawing would have shamed him greatly!
I don’t have to time to journal…
That’s what I used to think, especially when on paper because it takes hours to draw out individual drawings for mood trackers. Luckily digital bullet journaling is so much quicker. I can just copy and paste one drawing however many times I need. To colour in (procreate) you can just drag the colour from the top right-hand corner and drop it into the drawing you want. It’s super quick to draw graphs too on Goodnotes as you can have a pen that straightens all your lines. You don’t have to keep fiddling with a ruler. There’s no excuse for not setting up a digital bullet layout!
Where can I get theme ideas?
Like I said on the traditional version of this post, you can get loads of ideas and inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. I’m awful at thinking of ideas so these are my go-to places to get ideas. You can check out my bullet journal Pinterest board if you want some ideas. I love looking for simpler themes that I can spruce up a little and give it my own twist.
Are there negatives to be aware of?
There are a few as there is with any activity. Of course, if you don’t have an iPad, it can be difficult to start a digital bullet journal. I’d recommend investing in one however as goodnotes can also be used for lecture notes and it’s good for watching shows on too! I obviously recommend my iPad 7th generation. It’s a newer model but it’s also a more affordable model too! It can also be quite difficult with getting to grips on writing on an iPad screen. I’m slowly getting there but I am thinking of getting a paper-feel screen protector as this’ll make it even easier!
So where do I actually start?
I’d recommend downloading procreate first and just start doodling! This will help you find inspiration for your first digital bullet journaling theme! If you’re really struggling with the drawing side though, I’d recommend buying a template off of Etsy. It does add extra cost but they’re usually inexpensive (around $5). They’re also often undated so you can use them over and over. If this is the route you choose, then you upload it on goodnotes. Then, just play around until you’re happy with it!
What spreads do I need to add to my digital bullet journal?
There’s no particular spread that you need to add to your bullet journal. My personal recommendations however, are a cover page, monthly spread, mood tracker and weekly spreads as a minimum. There are so many different spreads and as I said inspiration is everywhere whether it be Instagram, Pinterest or even my bullet journal posts…
Some really interesting ones that I love are reading lists, a gratitude log and finance planning. I honestly need to start managing my finance. I’m not awful with money but I could definitely do better!
What’s your best tips for those starting a digital bullet journal or even a regular one?
I’d say start simple! You may want to decorate it as much as you possibly can but it can lead to a big mess! Start simple and get the basics down then add a few small decorations to the page.
Practice! Practice your handwriting. I was so eager to start that some of my titles didn’t look as good as they could’ve. I know however, that my next month will have better titles. Find a handwriting style you like, copy it into goodnotes and copy it! Imitate that handwriting style until you have it nailed!
Finally, find out why you want a bullet journal. If you don’t have a why then you won’t be motivated at all to go back and fill it all in. My why is organisation and to-do lists. If I didn’t have weekly spreads then I probably wouldn’t fill it in everyday. I write a to-do list everyday so I’m always going back and marking things off. There’s so many reasons you could want a bullet journal and once you’ve realised, you’ll easily be filling it in!
Do you journal? Which method do you use?