Hey-lo Marsha here from DoYouSalut! Starting a bullet journal can be overwhelming. Today we’re sharing some tips for bujo (bullet journal) newbies!
1. Read “The Bullet Journal Method” book by Ryder Carroll
The bullet journaling method was created by Ryder Carroll as a method to combine mindfulness and productivity. The Bullet Journal Method book shares the origin of the method and Ryder describes the method in detail. I think this is a great place to start because usually when starting a bullet journal it's so easy to create plenty of spreads that don't serve you a purpose but are things that everyone else is doing.
2. Pick a Journal
The next tip is to pick a journal. My very first bullet journal was a $5 journal from a Flying Tiger store. I decided to use an inexpensive journal because I’ve spent so much money on planners that I wasn’t consistent with. I felt like I had to earn the right to a nicer journal. After almost 9 months of consistent bujo use I decided to get myself the creme of the crop… an Archer and Olive Journal. Some people are different and might want to buy a nice journal to use as an incentive.
Something else to think about when picking out a journal is the size. Do you need something small that can be easily carried with you? A B6 size or traveler’s journal might be the best size. I suspect that A5 is the most popular size journal. If you need lots of space a B5 or Square notebook might be better choices.
3. Decide If You’re Going To Go Aesthetic or Minimal
This may be the hardest tip. There are so many different ways you can have your bullet journal. I think it is best to decide if you want to have minimal set-ups or aesthetic set-ups. This can be your guide for each month/week. This is also where it is important to be honest with yourself about your art skill and bujo set-up availability. If you aren’t artistic I wouldn’t recommend starting off with elaborate drawing heavy themes in the beginning. I would recommend having a separate section in your journal for drawing practice and doing simpler themes. (Which leads me to my next tip….)
Keep It Simple Silly! When you are first starting out I recommend starting off slow. It is very easy to fall into the “I need all the supplies to make my art great” trap. It’s best to start with one color medium: Acrylograph pens, Crayola supertips, Tombow Dual brush pens, or watercolors. I would recommend getting the following items to start with:
- Bullet Journal
- Acrylograph pens (start with only one pack- you can mix colors and also layer)
- Crayola super tips markers or 5 Tombow dual brush pens (I’d recommend getting shades of the primary colors that calls out to you.)
- Pencil and eraser
- Fineliner pen
Bonus: washi tape and stickers are great bonuses to help spruce up your journal spreads.
5. Find Your Inspo
One of the greatest things about bullet journaling (besides helping you to be mindful and productive) is the plethora of beautiful accounts around for inspiration. I recommend keeping a pin board or folder of accounts and spreads you’d like to recreate. We have a lovely Archer and Olive Community account where you can see the wonderful creations people have made using Archer and Olive products. But beware of the compare-bug. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. If you find yourself feeling self-conscious about your work because it doesn’t look like others it's time to get off the socials!
6. HAVE FUN!!!
- Remember the bullet journal is a tool meant to help you not stress you. If you find that you are not having fun keeping your bullet journal or it's causing you grief it’s time to reevaluate if this system is right for you.
- It’s also okay to not use your bullet journal for a day, week, month or even a year!
- If your bullet journal is taking too long to set-up, just scale back and create simpler spreads.
Watch me create a spread with all these tips!
And finally, here’s a free printable of a starting bullet journaling checklist.
If you are just starting out bullet journaling and are ready to share your spreads be sure to tag me at @doyousalut and @archerandolive.community. Don’t forget that all skills are worth showing and can inspire someone!