I imagine your first question is…what on earth is a #BulletJournal? (Also known as a #BuJo)
Simple answer. A #BuJo is a system of organizing your life using a simple notebook, journal, or spiral. I’ll try to explain this simply so that I can get to how this can be used for Bible study, ministry, writing, or whatever you want! To meet the originator of the #BulletJournal, Ryder Carroll, please visit: BulletJournal.com
First, the notebook. No, not the novel by Nicolas Sparks (great movie).
The Leuchtturm1917 Dotted Notebook is the bees’ knees when it comes to choosing a journal for your Bullet Journal, but it’s a bit pricey for my taste, coming in around $20-$24 each. It does come with pre-numbered pages which are a perk. However, I use a smaller Motto notebook made by Compendium. I think I got lucky because I found mine at Barnes and Noble for $10 in one of the tchotchke bins toward the front (I found them online for $14). I like it better because it’s smaller and still has the dotted pages (dotted pages are SUPER important). Though it doesn’t have 249 pages like the Leutturm1917, my little Motto has all the pages I need…so far.
You can use whatever journal you have laying around your house, but I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend finding one that has a dot-grid or at the very least, lines. You’ll understand why as we dig in. I used a journal with blank pages for my first attempt at a Bullet Journal…it was awful…and sloppy. I need more structure for my pages. If you have a gift for free-handing things, then a blank journal may be ideal for you.
There are BuJoers who use a wide array of pretty pens and colored pencils. I’m easy peasy and opted for a pen in my favorite color and a black pen for contrast. Every once in a while, I’ll use a gel highlighter, just to jazz things up. Be sure to test your pen on the last page to check for bleed through.
The images below are from my not-at-all-artsy #BuJo with barely legible handwriting. (I do not have one artsy bone in my body.) For truly inspiring, pretty pages, I recommend visiting my favorite Bullet Journalist BoHoBerry. (Tell her I sent you) If you go on Pinterest and search Bullet Journal, a zillion BEAUTIFUL spreads with stamps and gorgeous calligraphy will fill your screen too. This is my Bullet Journal Board if you’re curious.
On to the #BuJo tour! (You can click on any of the images below to have them enlarged in a different window…in case you want to scrutinize my handwriting.)
There are six elements to a #BuJo.
1. Key or legend similar to what you would find on a map. You can use the key created by Ryder Carroll or design your own unique icons for your #BuJo. Personally, I’ve never used the Inspiration or Explore icons. If you look at the top left, I wrote down the dimensions of my journal pages for when I need to divide pages a certain way. I also added my contact information in case my Bullet Journal falls out of my bag.
2. Index pages – These are a table of contents using page numbers to tell you where everything is in your #BuJo. The Index pages are paramount to keeping your Bullet Journal organized. I didn’t number all my notebook pages right away. I’m numbering mine as I continue adding pages to my Bullet Journal.
3. Yearly spread – I only use this for birthdays and anniversaries (I haven’t added them all yet either). You can add other important events or tasks; for me, it was too much going back and forth. I opted to simplify things for myself by migrating monthly tasks to another page.
4. Monthly spread – A page or two, depending on how much room you need. Since my Motto is a smaller notebook, space is precious, but that also means everything is concise. Mine spans two side-by-side pages and I went through a couple of layouts before I found what works best for my needs. That’s one of the great perks of a Bullet Journal! You can style yours to fit your needs and it doesn’t have to match anyone else’s.
5. Weekly Spread – I don’t use this feature at all. For me. it would be just too much to draw out every-single-week and take up too many pages. However, I may use this feature in the future to plan a weeklong or weekend youth trip. Instead, I added weekly tasks to my Monthly Tracker Module which has made things much simpler for my life.
You can visit Christina’s page for 25 examples of a Weekly Spread (they’re pretty!): 25 Weekly Spread Ideas for your Bullet Journal
6. Modules – These are a page or several pages with the same theme or topic: i.e. books to read, groceries, gift ideas, goals, monthly tasks, etc… THIS is where the Bullet Journal shines! You can check out my Index Pages above to see what Modules I have already, but here are a few to give you a visual:
I plan to expand what I use my #BuJo for in the future. If you wanted to, you could have a Bullet Journal for work and one for home, but the genius of a Bullet Journal is having everything in ONE place. Doing a Bible study? Use the #BuJo as your Bible study journal. No need to save pages, just have them all numbered. Same goes for prayers and VerseMapping.
For every 10 comments, I will give away a Motto notebook from Amazon (one comment per person will be counted). That means this giveaway never ends! What about you? Have you ever heard of a Bullet Journal? What might you use your #BuJo for?
If you’re thinking of trying to start a #Bujo, here are three very quick tips.
- Troll Pinterest to get layout ideas.
- Get a journal that has a dot-grid, I have found it truly works the best.
- Don’t over think it and start simple. Who knows maybe mine will be “Pinterest-pretty” one day…a loooooong time from now.