How did I start?
I started my bullet journal in early 2017 after seeing people share ideas on Instagram and Youtube. After some encouragement and research on the bullet journal system, I went to Office Depot & Target to pick up a grid notebook and a pack of Crayola Supertips markers–and I jumped right in. I was not aware of the #bujo community that existed before I became interested in it but I can honestly say it was the start of something that really changed the way I organized and logged my daily activities and memories. As of January 2019, I am halfway through my 3rd bullet journal.
The Bullet Journal System
For friends who are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, it helps to start here: https://bulletjournal.com/pages/learn. Bullet journals are the home for to-do lists, plans, and journal entries. It is intended to keep track of various ideas including tasks, events, and notes on a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. By using certain symbols and signifiers, bullet journal users are able to better track and check off things that they hold most important.
If you’re not sure about bullet journals…
I think a lot of beginner bullet journal users are often intimidated by the image of bullet journals due to the massive social media wave that showcases so much variety in creative designs and artwork. These people on social media enjoy calligraphy, watercolor painting, collages, and collecting high-end stationary pieces. It’s important to remember that your bullet journal is meant to be a representation of you. While following other bujo users on social media can be an easy way to spark creativity and find inspiration for spreads, it is up to the user to create a logging system that works for their lifestyle. A bullet journal should make your life more organized, not more stressful. The artwork is supplemental to the bullet journal system. Your journal can be minimalist or extravagant, you do you!
Pros/Cons of bullet journaling:
- I love that I can customize my bullet journal to be what works for me. As a graduate student, I like that I can focus on planning things ahead of time and draw out spreads that make these things more convenient for me. It can change anytime I want!
- I have always been a lover of stationery and art supplies. It’s a relaxing process for me to sit down for a session to map out each month. As a perfectionist, I weirdly enjoy the aesthetics of straight lines, washi tapes, drop shadows, and cute color schemes.
- It’s a memory bank. I keep the dates of my nieces & nephew’s birthdays and I tape in cute polaroid films. I track my period (lol), monthly bills and paste in the ticket stubs from movies and shows. One day, I hope to have a shelf full of my journals so my future kids can see the quirky things I felt the need to commemorate.
- Before I know if something works for me, I have to put it to practice first. For example, I know now that tracking systems (e.g. spendings, sleep, mood, habit) are not helpful for me. It takes up time to map these things out and it sucks that some systems often end up as unfinished sections.
- There are times I forget about keeping up with my bullet journal, especially if I go back to my parents’ house or if I’m overwhelmed with school. If I don’t make time to add a new monthly spread, I feel rushed and “late” to the start of planning the next month. But it’s kind of a good indicator that I missed my self-care time.
- I get annoyed when I mess up. Crooked lines, wrong dates, uncentered headings, messy handwriting + wannabe calligraphy, and unfinished parts of my journal — they secretly drive me nuts… so I always have to find out ways to correct/fix them! Black marker & white gel pens come in so handy. You just cover the mistake with a black box and rewrite on top with the white gel pen.
Pajtsua’s Bullet Journal
Here are some scanned images of my bullet journal! Keep in mind that I included blank weekly spreads to maintain my privacy…but trust me when I say my pages always look like a hot mess by the end of each week. I won’t get into the details of the supplies I use, but please comment below this blog post if you wanna know.
Other helpful resources:
- jetpens.com is a trap for me–but it is an excellent stationary website that has a variety of supplies that could help make your bullet journal process more enjoyable. I love that I can save a list of items I like and there is a free (and FAST) shipping for all orders over $25. It’s the next best thing to Amazon Prime, in my opinion.
- Other places to find bullet journal supplies: PaperSource, Target, Michaels, TJ Maxx
- If you’re using Instagram, I would highly recommend following (and using) the hashtags #bujoideas #bujolove #bujobeauty to see random people’s spreads and bullet journal ideas!
- Here are some specific Instagram accounts that I love:
Thanks for reading, friends! If you’re thinking about starting a bullet journal, feel free to reach out to me and let’s journal together. If you’re already a pro-bullet journal: TEACH ME YOUR WAYZ