How To Start A Bullet Journal

Lately, there’s been a lot of questions going around from bullet journal newbies like where to start and how to start. I love bullet journaling and I think everyone should try, at least once in their life. Something like not knowing how to start shouldn’t stop anyone from trying! I looked back at what I have, content-wise, and it seems that I may have skipped over how to start a bullet journal. Not anymore!

How To Start A Bullet Journal

Ghost Grid Journal
When you are just starting out, it can be pretty overwhelming. You have this nice, new, possibly expensive journal and all these pens and markers; what do you do with all of them? How do you start?
First things first, you need to have some supplies, if you haven’t got them already. Check out my supplies post here and learn all about journals here!
Once you have those (and maybe the rest of the craft store) you are ready to start.

Pinterest and Instagram, of course!
The best for all your bujo inspiration needs.

When I started, I had issues with finding a place for everything and figuring out the best order to my planner chaos (makes sense!). Even with Pinterest and Instagram and YouTube, I could not figure out a good way to start. I will make it super easy for you!
In a pretty standard order:


Bullet Journal Index

Bullet Journal Key

Future Log

Goals Page

Old Weeklies


  1. Index
    This is to keep track of what’s in your bullet journal and where!
  2. Key
    Most people use symbols and color coding in their journals and this is where you put that master-key, so you know how to read your bullet journal!
  3. Year at a glance
    This is just a glance after every month (I mixed my future log and year at a glance)
  4. Future log
    Almost like the year at a glance, but with notes. Helps to plan waaay ahead.
  5. Goals
    I’m not sure if this would count as one of your collection pages, but it’s important enough to be mentioned!
  6. Collections
    Anything you want to keep track of will go in here. My current collections are a master chore list, when did I last…, savings tracker, wish list, weight-loss tracker, period/ovulation tracker, a brain dump, and a menu/shopping list. We will go into detail about what you can put in your collections in a bit.
  7. Month at a glance
    I don’t have these right now, as I thought I would save some pages and not use a month at a glance but I think I will be trying it out in May. It’s a monthly calendar.
  8. Weekly Spreads
    This will be where most people write all of their notes. Just like those agendas in high school, it will have each day of the week usually separated by month.
  9. Daily Spreads
    Just like the weeklies, but in a daily format. I do not use this type of layout because I don’t feel I’m busy enough to warrant it and I don’t plan out every minute of my day.

So, now you know the most common things to put in your bullet journal and where to place them. If you want to switch something or mix it up, it’s your journal, you make it work for you!



There is an endless amount of things you can put in your collections.
My first piece of advice is to leave some pages blank for other things you might want to add to your collections pages.
My second is; you are going to have to play around with your journal for a while to figure out what you will use and what is a complete waste of space and time. If you don’t use something in your first journal, you probably won’t use it in your second.

You are not bound by any law to do anything it this post or any other. If you want to keep putting a page in your journal or write in pen or crayon or that 3-day old coffee that you never got around to drinking, that is just fine.

You might want to drink that coffee now though, this collection ideas list is going to be pretty long. You’re going to need the energy to get through them all!

Collections List

Tips and Tricks


  • You don’t need anything special to bullet journal. You can choose to use any pen, marker, colored pencil, or whatever writing device and a simple spiral notebook.
  • Write in pencil to minimize mistakes and anxiety.
  • Use Washi tape to as a tab or on the edge of your paper to mark an important page or to cover your mistakes!
  • Number your pages starting after your index!
  • Use stamps to save time when writing your dates
  • Choose a time during the day to write in your bujo this helps falling off the bandwagon and wondering if you wrote that down.
  • Check your bullet journal every morning and refer to it often!
  • Use a page in the back of your journal for pen testing. This helps to weed out the pens and markers that will bleed through your pages!
  • Join a bullet journal Facebook group! I recommend Bullet Journal Beginners. You will see me there often.
  • Stickers and printable are great if you aren’t artistic.
  • Keep white out and tape handy. The whiteout tape works best for bullet journals.
  • DON’T compare yourself to others! Everyone’s bullet journal will look different. There is no right way.

If you have anything to add let me know!  Subscribe, you might be seeing a series on how to start bullet journaling!

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  1. Thank you for the very helpful information! I am one who loves journaling and list making but never knew how to go about doing the bujo thing. How long would you say it takes to get your journal ready?

    1. You are very welcome!
      It takes me about three lazy days to get my whole month planned out. If I really sit there and crackdown, just a day.

  2. I love this post! When i first started my BUJO last year I was completely overwhelmed but I got the hang of it! I now use a happy planner but incorporate some of my own style into it since it’s less time consuming. This post makes me want to start bullet journaling again!

    1. Do it!
      I want to try out the Happy Planner but I just can’t get over the pre-made part of it!
      Good luck!

  3. Wow! I’ve never heard of this before — I must live under a rock! I’m gonna have to get crackin!!

  4. What a great post! I tried bullet journaling some time ago and my BUJO was a mess. I had no clue how to use it effectivly so I just stopped. Then later I tried again and but I ended up with only having the the index and wrote random notes on the pages. I’d already given up on trying again, but now that I saw this post I actually feel I might be able to BUJO again. I love your list of different collection pages one can have on their bullet journal. I immediately started to see how I could benefit from having everything written down and monitored in one place. Thank you so much for this post and all the tips and ideas. I’ll definitely come back to this article when I try bullet journaling again.

    1. I felt like that too, when I first started. Just keep trying! It will happen 🙂
      Thank you for the kind words.

  5. My daughter loves bullet journaling. I’ve always wanted to do it, but just don’t have extra time so I stick with blogging :).
    Great information here. I will definitely share this with her.

  6. I have never heard of bullet journaling before but I think I have some great ideas on how this can help me get organized in some of my tasks. Thanks for the great information!

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