Hello everybody, it's Danny and welcome to my first post here on Miss Rosie Shop’s blog! Can’t wait to start interacting with everyone on here. I decided for my first blog post we would try and strip things right back to the basics, the ultimate essentials of stationery and organisation. So today I’m going to share with you what I think are the basics of bullet journaling, what you need to know to get started and what equipment - though it is minimal - that you will need. Let’s get right into it.
One of the main thing that trips a lot of people up at the start of the productivity drive and the beginnings of their new found organisational regime is that they don’t even know what bullet journaling is. I mean, it’s not for everyone I am aware, but if it suits you and you think you would like the flexibility of it then it’s definitely the route to go down. Bullet journaling, in its simplest form is ‘a customisable and forgiving organisation system’, and as the official bullet journal site suggests (bulletjournal.com) it can be anything from your to-do list, to your sketchbook or even just a simple notebook, ‘but most likely, it will be all of the above’. It can be anything you want it to, and you can allow it to mould to your own needs which undoubtedly will change over time, and as these needs change, the bullet journal itself will too.
So what do I need to start a bullet journal?
Many people seem to have the impression that, because what they have seen of the stationery addicts like myself online, you need to have an unlimited amount of brush pens, watercolors, washi tapes and stickers. In actual fact, you do not need any of these things. All you need to begin a bullet journal is a notebook and a pen.
The notebook doesn’t have to be the classic Leuchtturm1917 or an A5 Moleskine notebook, even I started out in a small notebook I discovered shoved at the bottom of a draw in my family kitchen. You do not need to spend all your money on stationery, as much as people online will make you feel you should. People like me buy all the stationery we do because we are obsessed with it, and bullet journaling and creativity is our passion, not because it is a necessity to begin journaling.
In reality, you just need to find a notebook that is in your price range. If something that is a £1 buy from your local stationery store will suffice, then go for that! It’s really not worth it, especially when you are just starting out journaling, to splash all your money on a pricey notebook, as long as it works for you that’s all that matters. The best type of notebook many feel to be suitable for bullet journaling is a grid or dot grid notebook. This is because it makes it easy for you to divide up your page, both vertically and horizontally, for the different types and formats of spreads you will be doing. But, many prefer to have either lined pages for simplicity, or blank pages if you have a talent for writing in straight lines or don’t mind the more messy look of the page. Again, just choose what works best for you.
Now onto the main part: what kind of spreads do people usually do in a bullet journal?
The Daily Spreads: These, in most bullet journals, consist of lists of tasks, events and appointments on a day to day basis throughout the week. They can take any form you want, the minimal aesthetic of some is contrasted by the dramatic visual aspects of others but just relax now, it doesn’t need to look perfect it just needs to work. I tend to write out the days of the week the night before and plan my day out just before I go to sleep, this way I wake up ready to be productive and waste no time in getting started with my day. You can add daily tasks, appointments, events, notes or things to remember!
People also tend to use a key, I will link the official bullet journal video here,
It's a reminder to aid you in understanding that, but essentially you can use a tick box in many different ways to signify different things such as ‘migrating’ tasks to another day or denoting whether a task was completed, half completed or missed off.
The Weekly Spreads: Many people make a single or double page spread to give themselves an overview of their weeks without the daily tasks. Usually this is done at the start of the week so people can visualise the key tasks they have to do - tending to consist of appointments and things that are day or time specific throughout the week! Again, you can get creative with this as @boho.berry did on this one…
The Monthly Spreads: If all that planning just isn’t enough for you and you just have too much on your plate to handle it in a couple of short-term spreads you can even do a monthly or yearly spread! These will give you an even more long-term overview of your time. People love to put in birthdays, public holidays and big events coming up in the next month or few months just so they can plan ahead. It acts as a really good reference for when you are planning each week as well, it aids the process to ensure nothing is forgotten and it’s all planned effectively!
Trackers: The most common trackers are for habits, as shown in the photos below, water intake and things like reading! You can really track anything you want here anything from your daily meals to the episodes you have left of a TV show all the way to tracking whether or not you practiced a skill/hobby each day of the week or month. There is so much freedom out there for this kind of thing, just search around - Instagram is the best place to look! These spreads are essentially for you to gather information about how your hobbies and personal life is changing over time.
So the first moral of the story is: bullet journaling can be for everyone, you have complete freedom with this planning system and can do whatever you want!
The second moral is: you do not need to splash all your money on funky stationery to get started. See that scrap paper on your desk right now? You can even use that.
I hope I managed to help you guys out that are contemplating starting a bullet journal, this post definitely did not cover everything but I wanted to make my first post on this site as a general overview of bullet journaling and all the joy it can bring. Have a lovely day and you can comment any questions or send them to me on my Instagram @boy.study and I would be happy to answer them!