Lifestyle: Bullet Journal Basics

Hey, Y’all!

Welcome back to a new and improved! I’ve been thinking about making a few changes around here for a while now, and I’ve just finally put all of the work in to make this happen. Along with the change in this site, I’ve also added a Facebook Page to the many of ways you guys can communicate with me and give me feedback! I encourage you to take some time to get a look at the new layout of this webpage, check out my “bits about me and the blog”, and then head over to my new Facebook page where you can find me @locatinglifestyle, give the page a like, and let me know what you think about the changes. I’d love to hear from you, and I’m looking forward to where this change will be taking us (:

With all of the housekeeping bits out of the way let’s get into what we’re going to be talking about today. That’s right, you guessed it! It’s finally time for the LONG LONG LONG awaited start to a little series all about my BULLET JOURNAL!

We’re going to start this little series today by getting into the basics of bullet journaling…

-What is bullet journaling?

-Why do people bullet journal?

-What materials do I need?

-I’m not artistic. Can I still bullet journal?

Questions like this will all be answered in this post along with giving you a few photos so you can visualize everything about the bullet journal and the process itself.

Let me preface this by saying it might be a bit confusing, but I tried my best to talk through everything in a way that people who don’t bullet journal will understand. If you are having trouble following what I’m saying or jus simply don’t get it. Please please please email me or leave a comment if it’s something you want to know more about. As we go along I’ll learn the best way to write these posts and hopefully they will just keep getting better. (I think the basics is the hardest thing to explain because bullet journaling is so personal)

First, let’s answer the question I know more than half of you will probably have: What is a Bullet Journal?

To be completely honest there is no one answer for this question. Bullet journaling is different for each person that chooses this “lifestyle”. For the purposes of this post all of my knowledge, ideas, and information given will be based off of my experience and my take on a Bullet Journal. So….for me a Bullet Journal is a place where I can put everything in my brain for safe keeping. It’s a journal, a planner, a grocery list, and everything else all placed into one book created and formatted by ME. In this post we’re going to just go over the basics of this Bullet Journal, things most all Bullet Journals Contain, and then throughout the course of this series we will get further and further into the details of MY bullet journal.

Second of all, we’ll get into the tools I use to make my bullet journal what it is.

Ex.) My brand of pen, where I got my bullet journal, and other things of this nature.

When I first began to bullet journal I started off in a random journal that wasn’t specifically made for bullet journaling, but this is for sure something I recommend doing. I did this in order to make sure it was something I liked, something I would stick to, and something that fit my lifestyle. After about 2-3 months of consistent bullet journaling in the no-name journal I moved on to THIS JOURNAL which is meant for proper Bullet Journaling. I decided to buy this one off of amazing not only because it was cute, but because it was so so so budget friendly!

Just a quick review of the product: I love it. It’s great for beginners in the Bullet Journal Community, is light weight, and, once again, super cute and budget friendly!!! I recommend this purchase for sure.

Since we’re on the topic of what journal I use lets talk a bit about the other supplies I use. Currently I’m still using really cheap items to make my bullet journal all that it is. I use any old pens I can find throughout my house that won’t bleed onto the back of the page, any scissors I can find, Washi tape, Sarasa Zebra pens in various colors, any old ruler or straight edge, tape, a stick of glue, and whatever other decorations you might want to add (i.e. stickers, highlighters, water color paints) If you want to see a really good list of supplies that one of my favorite bullet journalers uses will be linked HERE! She has all of the bullet journal knowledge and even creates great bullet journal videos on youtube. One of the main things I like to do in my bullet journal is to use old coloring sheets that i’ve colored in and cut out those pictures out to use as decorations. Most of my current supplies were purchased from Walmart, but I’m really looking forward to getting some extra spending money so I can get some of the items on BOHO BERRY’S list.

Now that we’ve talked about what bullet journaling is, what materials you need, and all of that jazz, let’s get into why people bullet journal. In my case, I started bullet journaling as a way to have a personalized planner, a journal, and everything else all in one. This has helped me with my mental and physical health and that is really why I bullet journal. It’s really unbelievable how much it has helped my overall health. I never expected this but it’s such a pleasant surprise. So in short this is why I bullet journal. It’s convent to have everything you need in one notebook and it helps me health wise so so so much. I’ll explain this “Health Help” more in future bullet journal posts.

Finally! It’s time to talk about the basic set up for a bullet journal, once again this is what I do and everybody’s bullet journal experience is different so feel free after your done here to go on youtube and simply search “Bullet journal” So many helpful people will pop up with videos with so much more information than I have. So here’s a few things I think every bullet journal needs!

1.) A key for your bullet journal


So in bullet journals you will have to-do lists, calendars, and weekly spreads. My to-do lists are usually embedded into my weekly spreads. This might not make sense so I’ll insert a picture of a what one of my weekly spreads looks like so I can better explain how I use my Bullet Journal Key.

Essentially a weekly spread is just another weekly layout like something you would find in a planner, however you make yours to fit your lifestyle, and put in it whatever you may need to. You can see in my weekly spread I put a square in front of whatever task I have to do and when I start that task I color in the square half way, when I finish I color in the rest. If I happen to have work that day I use a circle instead of a square to mark events such as that, and a triangle for any appointments I have. If the appointment or task is moved I put an arrow in the square, circle, or triangle to show it has moved to another day. If an event, work, or task is cancelled I put a straight line through the entire length of what is written out. Notes are marked with a – and things of top priority are also marked with an ***

2.) Table of Contents

Okay this point here requires some talking…

Most bullet journals come with a table of contents already inside of them and it is something that could be helpful, but I’ve come to discover that I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really every use their table of contents. This is most helpful for if you need to go back and find a specific to-do list, go to your monthly tracker directly, or find your last journal entry without flipping through your whole bullet journal. The table of contents, like any table of contents, essentially allows you to find everything you’ve put in your bullet journal easily. Some people love it, some people hate it, I’m one of the people that falls somewhere in between so I go back and forth between using my table of contents and not. Usually I will put something in my table of contents if I know I’ll need to reference it later.

These really are the only two things that every bullet journal seems to have and use. Everything else is on a personal basis. We will get into all of that stuff in my next post on bullet journaling, but I’d like to end this post with a question I receive all time. Actually I don’t usually get it as a question. I get this response as an excuse when I try to encourage others to start their own bullet journal, and that response usually goes a little something like this….

“Oh no, I can’t bullet journal. I’m not artistic at all. I can’t draw worth a lick”

please please please trust me when I say anybody can bullet journal. A bullet journal can be as simple or as ornate as you would like to make it. Some people have no doodles and pictures in their bullet journal at all. I had a bit of a problem when I started, yes I am an artistic person, but I CANNOT DRAW AT ALL. Or at least I couldn’t before I started bullet journaling. When I started bullet journaling I knew I liked the look of people’s  journals who were full of doodles and bright and colorful and really artistic. I didn’t at all like the basic, simple, minimalistic style of bullet journaling that some people go with, but the problem was I thought that was all I was going to be able to achieve. But during my time in my “pre-bullet-journal-bullet-journal” I practiced my doodles and found other things I can use in place of doodles to make my notebook look artistic and colorful and doodleful. Like I mentioned earlier, I like to use stickers and old coloring pages a lot, but since the beginning of bullet journaling my doodling skills have come a long way. So, yes you can still bullet journal if you aren’t artistic. Bullet journaling is all about YOU. You make it what you want to make it whenever you need it and however you need it.

So go ahead and find yourself an old notebook, try out the bullet journaling for yourself, and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear all of your thoughts an opinions on bullet journaling and what you do throughout your bullet journal to keep it organized, cute, and accessible.

And be sure to check back sometime next week to learn all about how I decided to design my first months layout in my current bullet journal! We will take a walk through the first month in my current bullet journal which happens to be June and I’ll show you all of my layouts, my title pages, and any other junk that is in that first month of my bullet journal journey! <—– This is a post you won’t want to miss!!!


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