How to start a simple bullet journal

How to Start a Simple Bullet Journal

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How to start a simple bullet journal

Bullet Journalling is apparently a popular trendy thing these days. I’ve been keeping a Bullet Journal for years (I’m pretty sure that’s the most hipsterish sentence I’ve ever written) and I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks on how I keep a Simple Bullet Journal.

Follow these steps and you too can have a Simple Bullet Journal free of all the Pinterest-worthy bells and whistles. Hey, I’m a  busy woman who doesn’t have time for all the fancy making. I’m busy, on the go, and even though I think washi tape is adorable, I have no use for it in my day-to-day life. I’ve used it in the past. I’m over it.

Ok, here we go.

Step 1: Get your ass to Mars! (haha, just kidding, Arnold popped into my head there for a second. I’m such a nerd.)

Step 1: for real this time, find yourself a notebook of some kind. Any old cheapie from the dollar store will do. I started out using those. But over the years my obsession with paper product has gotten me to the point where my current favourites are the
Leuchtturm1917 Medium (A5) Dotted Notebook – Anthracite by Leuchtturm1917
and the
Moleskine Large Squared Notebook by Moleskine
. Both come in different paper sizes, I prefer the Classic sizes in the 8 inch by 6 inch range since they fit well in my purse. They also come in different colours and with paper that is lined, dotted or squared. It’s all about personal preference. I started off using plain lined notebooks, but now usually use dotted or squared.

Step 2: Get yourself a writing utensil. Pen, pencil, marker, fountain pen, whatever you’re comfortable writing with, go for it. I’m also a pen junkie so I have all kinds. But starting a simple bullet journal is easy to do with whatever pen you can find in the bottom of a drawer.

Step 3: The Official Bullet Journal website has a ton of information on how to start a bullet journal and rules on how to use the various parts and pages. My simple Bullet Journal only uses a few of them, and I’ve modified my use of them over the years to a system that works for me. That’s the beauty of Bullet Journals. You have the freedom to design the ultimate in personalized journal just for you. That’s what I’ve done.

My Simple Bullet Journal contains the following basic pages:

Key & Index

Colour coded so I can easily find items at a glance. I use check boxes to sort the done things from the not done things. If I need to forward a to-do item to a new day, I just add an arrow to the left side of the box to indicate that I’ve been procrastinating I didn’t get around to finishing the thing on that day.

Simple Bullet Journal Key and Index PreshusMe


Monthly Calendar

Simple Bullet Journal Monthly Calendar PreshusMe

Monthly To Do List & Daily To Do List

The monthly one done at the beginning of the month. Generally the big things I need to get done that month, and the daily one, done each morning or the night before. A specific list of everything I don’t want to forget to do that day.

Simple Bullet Journal Monthly Daily To Do List PreshusMe

Daily journaling / free-writing (you know, like a diary)

Not shown, but it’s basically free writing about what happened that day at using up whatever space is left at the bottom of my daily page. Each day I start a new Daily page at the top of a new page, and since I don’t like blank spaces that encourages me to fill up the previous day’s page with free writing until I run out of space. This also helps to fulfill my “write everyday” mantra.

Your Bullet Journal can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

That’s it. I told you. Simple, basic, and easy. If you fall down the Pinterest rabbit hole and find yourself getting overwhelmed by the amount of time and energy some people’s Bullet Journals appear to require, rest assured that it’s not necessary. Your Bullet Journal can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Make it whatever works for you, and don’t worry too much about what others are putting into theirs. After all, if you make one so complicated that it’s more work to keep up than time saved keeping you organized, then you probably won’t keep up with it. And much like working out, it’s better to have a system in place that’s easy for you to keep up with than to find yourself paying for a gym membership, or expensive journaling tools, and never using them. Don’t do that.


*This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Helps to keep the lights on around here 🙂


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