All you really need is…

A notebook and a pen. (And it doesn’t have to be THIS notebook or THIS pen either.)

Starting your first bullet journal can be exciting and a little nerve-wracking because we each have all of these different expectations. This post is for you if you want to:

  1. Delve into the world of bullet journaling but feel intimidated about how to start; or
  2. Create a bullet journal that ends up looks beautiful and Pinterest-worthy (more on this later)

All you really need to start are 3 things: a pen, a notebook, and a ruler (but that’s optional). That’s it! And chances are you already have two of those items already. To begin with, use whatever notebook you want to use. If you’re on a budget, Staples makes composition sized notebooks that are gridded, making them excellent for beginner bullet journalists and budget friendly at under $5.

As for pens, you really only need one and it doesn’t matter which color you choose. It doesn’t matter if you want to use a variety of colors and even color code, but for now let’s stick to the absolute basics and just use one pen.

The ruler is optional if you have a steady hand and feel like you don’t need it, or if you prefer slightly uneven lines. This ruler is very popular in the bullet journal community, but I prefer a longer ruler so that I can create even lines at the same time across the two pages when I open my notebook.

Keep your bullet journal key as simple as possible in the beginning. Think about what you truly want and need, then add accordingly. I’d start with your own signifiers; you can make either a box or circle or a bullet dot for your tasks and then you can either cross it off with an X or check it off with a check mark. It’s entirely up to you. Or, you can create your own signifiers if you want.

This Key is the one created by Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal. Feel free to modify this to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or use correction tape or other methods to hide the mistake. I’ve crossed out mistakes and written something sarcastic or funny next to it. Bullet journaling will help you learn to start letting go of perfection and embracing something created by you which is special and unique (and that no one else has).

The point is to just start wherever you are. No, you don’t have to wait until a new month or a new year to start a bullet journal. I started mine once at the end of a month.

Finally, remember when I mentioned Pinterest-worthy beautiful bullet journals? Yeah, that was to grab your attention but I’ll be honest: those are going to come over time because as you practice, your skills are going to skyrocket. Judging from what I’ve seen online, it’s a progression that only gets better the more you do it. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! But you’ve gotta stick with it. 🙂

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