Columns / Discourse / January 24, 2018

How to kick-start your own bullet journal

In the summer of last year whilst scrolling through the internet, I landed on a new phenomena called “Bullet Journaling”. Confused by what it was, I searched the web to learn about this creative homemade journal. But what is bullet journaling exactly and why have I been obsessed with it since this past July?

The Bullet Journal website describes bullet journaling as a “customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook or diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above.” The idea was created by a man named Ryder Carroll who released the video “Bullet Journal” on YouTube back in 2013.

The concept around it is to have a space to arrange your life in a way that works for you. It can start as a daily planner and evolve into a place to dump thoughts out or express your artistic mind. Overall, it can be anything you want it to be.

I started my bullet journal journey in July of 2017. For me, it has been a short seven months of expressing myself through journals. Others have been doing this for years.

For each person the adventure of bullet journaling starts with a few steps to enhance the process. My steps would be as follows:

Get inspiration from the internet. Websites like Pinterest have millions of tips and doodles that would directly help you start the process of organizing creativity. When I first started, Pinterest and YouTube videos were all I watched to get comfortable. They still help me continue the process today.

It is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are what make your bullet journal yours. While the images you may have found scrolling through Pinterest might include perfect handwriting or beautiful drawings, you do not need that to create a bullet journal. A helpful trick to get comfortable is to practice with a separate journal before executing your ideas in your real journal. This will help the journal stay clean and helpful in your everyday life. Remember that mistakes are a part of the process and will only help you become more comfortable with the journal itself.

Finally, have fun with it! Bullet journals to me are a creative way to have a planner. When I started school each year, I would spend hours in Target trying to find the perfect planner for the new year. With my bullet journal, I can try new layouts each day if I want to. I can add personal pictures and fancy tape to make it unique. Between weekly layouts, I can add pages for books I want to read or shopping lists. The ideas are endless.

Bullet journaling for me has become a constant. My journal is always there to help me de-stress after a long week of studying or to distract me from something I am worried about. It helps me track my habits and work on my goals.

With my journal, I have been more successful in reaching my goals. Once I write them down, I am more motivated to complete them and my journal helps with that. I find myself completing homework in a timely manner and catching myself going to the gym just so I can check off a box on my daily to-do lists.

Overall, the process has helped me expand my values, dump out my thoughts and track my habits. It helps me become a better me every single day. It has been my personal obsession for the last seven months and I hope it will help me improve on myself for years to come.

Sadie Cheney

Tags:  bullet journal journal organization

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