As much as I rely on my iPhone for pretty much everything (including 12 daily alarms, one telling me to go to bed!), I have always been a write-things-down kind of gal. Daily planners, notebooks full of writings, notes, doodles. When I found Bullet Journalling a few years ago, it wasn’t far from how I organized my own plans and ideas for my photography business. When it was time to get a new notebook, last spring I opted to try the “bujo” way.
Why I Bujo
When I first started, I kept it simple. Very analog, and the traditional way taught on the Bullet Journal site. And then, this fall, after some hashtag searching, I found the creative ways to bujo. All the colors, doodles, creativity that can be incorporated, and I was hooked.
I was already journalling and taking notes when I heard about the bullet journal way, just not this organized. So I got creative because I wanted to practice hand lettering, I wanted to be more organized and have a system that helped me keep track of important things related to my boys, and I wanted to keep track of goals. Because once you write something down, it feels more real.
Another reason I wanted to do more doodly type of things in my bujo, was because I am a visual person. I know that my son’s sports schedule is already on my iCal and I’ll get a reminder about it. But because I’ve written it down in advance and drawn a little basketball next to it, I will be expecting that alert an hour before practice starts. I feel less rushed and more prepared. Also, I get to draw, mess up, try out different hand lettering fonts, and completely geek out, which is something I love to do.
What do you need to get started?
I recommend before starting, going to the Bullet Journal main site and watching the video. They keep things simple in their style, BUT they go over the basic purpose and layout that anyone can use.
- A journal. I prefer the Leuchtturm 1917 medium hard cover with dotted pages. I love to use a color that stands out, because I want to notice it in case I’ve let it sit too long and am in a lull. I used to love Moleskine journals, and still do for some things, but since starting bujo, the Leuchtturm books have been what I prefer.
- Good Pens. Really, you just need A pen, it doesn’ thave to be amazing. But I’m a pen snob and prefer to use a good one. The Micron 01 are my go to pen, but I also love the even finer 005 tip. Pens are a personal preference. You don’t want something too heavy because it will show through the other pages, but you may want varying sizes.
If you are going for the simple bujo methods, this is all you’ll need! Keep it simple and you’re good to go! But if you like a little TGI Friday’s flare, then keep reading.
- More Pens. I know. Sounds crazy. But pens are kind of a big deal! You’ll quickly fall into a heated relationship with your bujo pen and guard it with your life. And to find the right one, you’ll need to experiment. There are so many types. Fountain, Felt, Brush, Gel, yada yada yada.
- Color. I started with my favorite colored pencils. And slowly added in some midliner markers. You can even do amazing things with regular old Crayola markers (they even make adult coloring products now)! But, when it comes to it, I always grab for my colored pencils first.
- Washi Tape. This is something that’s not really essential, but many bujo addicts like to use it to customize their notebooks a bit more. Whether just to add a color pop here and there or to use it as a tab maker, you can do lots with washi tape if you choose.
- A ruler. I love my little 6″ Helix ruler. It has a cork back so it doesn’t slip and I can finally have straight lines. Sometimes I’m lazy and I wing it, but I’m preeeeeety bad at drawing straight lines so this thing helps a ton. Also, it fits perfectly in the little pocket in the back of the book.
- A pen loop. This is currently in my Amazon cart, because it’s brilliant. Instead of carrying my pen loose in my bag where it’s bound to be lost forever, this will be a lifesaver. And if you don’t want to stick it to your book permanently, use that washi tape to secure it. Then you can move it to your next book easily.
When starting your own bujo, it can be easily overwhelming. Especially if you get sucked into the thousands of posts on Instagram or Pinterest. The best way to start is to go simple. Think about what you would use it for. Why start it? Do you want more organization? Do you want to stop forgetting things? Do you want to get some goals down on paper to make them real? Do you just need a creative outlet? Decide what you want out of it and move on from there. But beware, it’s addicting.
*This post contains some affiliate links, but only to things I support and own myself.