Bullet journal: Intro & how I started

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If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about my love/obsession for the bullet journal method. It’s about time I properly blog about it.

A bullet journal is a daily planner with tons of options for customization. You can keep track of whatever you’d like, there are no real rules. Well, except for one: When abbreviating the term, call it a BuJo. Never ever refer to your bullet journal as a BJ, for obvious reasons.

If you’ve never heard of a bullet journal before, let’s start from the very beginning. Here’s a video by the creator explaining how the system works:

I’ve tried unsuccessfully for the past few years to keep a daily planner. I like to document my life as much as possible which is why I love blogging and social media, so I figured a planner would help with that. Except I kept abandoning them halfway through the year. Finally I heard about bullet journaling thanks to Pinterest, and started researching like crazy.

The best thing about this method is it’s completely DIY and you fill it in as you go. I’m not dealing with a premade layout, there’s no obligation to write something every single day and there’s no limit to how much or how little I can write each day. The beauty is in the customization.

I use a Peter Pauper Press Essentials graph notebook*. Originally, I chose this notebook simply because I’d already owned it, it’d been sitting in a drawer unused for years and I finally had a great use for it. It’s hardbound, gridded (graph paper), and the paper is a good thickness. That alone is the reason why I went for the same brand when I needed a new BuJo. I’m heavy handed and like to use colored pens, and wanted minimal ghosting. Ghosting is not the same as bleeding, bleeding is when the ink actually seeps through the paper but ghosting is just being able to see what you wrote on the other side of the sheet.

* This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided.

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I started my first BuJo in November 2014 and have stuck with it almost daily, which is almost unheard of for me. That first notebook lasted me almost a year, and for the first time in my life, I finished a planner and filled an entire notebook. I started my second BuJo in October 2015 and because I’ve picked up so many ideas over the year, I estimate I’ll fill it a lot quicker than a year from now.

One of the joys of a bullet journal is the ability to use it as both a planner and a scrapbook. Not only do I keep track of what I do every day, I also keep mementos taped inside such as ticket stubs, pictures, stickers, and leaves. When I was decluttering my bedroom in Los Angeles before moving, a lot of little things found their way into my BuJo. I also occasionally write down notes or thoughts about my day, inspirational quotes, and lots of lists.

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This is the first of a series of posts where I’ll explain bullet journaling in depth. I’ll discuss the supplies I use, my complete setup, how my bullet journaling has changed over the year, reviews of notebooks and pens, and where I find my inspiration. If you’re starting out or just interested in photos for inspiration, come back for part 2 in two weeks!

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