How to: Start A Bullet Journal

Interesting or not, a blank page it’s always intimidating. A whole notebook, yes… I know the feeling. So, here we’re going to go over some basics and answer some pretty important questions to help you get started down the bullet journal road, now that you’ve decided it is for you. We’re not setting a bullet journal yet, we’re simply gathering materials, resources, and wits to tackle the mean intimidating blank notebook. 


It took me at least a whole month to be kind of okay with drawing lines or writing on blank pages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as all hell but really… it’s just so intimidating because you want to make so many things, you want it to look pretty and you don’t want to screw up. Just remember, that the beauty of a bullet journal is that… you get to screw up and use the next page as a literal blank slate, all good!


What do you need to start a bullet journal?

Basically, a notebook… ANY notebook, a black pen and, a ruler. I say a black pen… because aesthetics, I’m not into blue ink at all and if you can find a bullet journal that actually looks really pretty send me the information! I need to see it and maybe, MAYBE… I’ll try it.



  • Notebook


Really, that’s kind of a dead giveaway because of the “journal”, am I right? You’ll see a lot of advocates for different brands, I myself are absolutely in love with Minimalist, but all you really need it’s a notebook. Be it blank, dotted, lined, anything goes. We’re just starting to get what we need, patience is a great virtue!



  • Pens


The truth about this is that you can work with a pencil alone. But that wouldn’t be pretty or… efficient, in the long run. However, any set of pens will do. You will want to start with something fancy like a fine-tipped pen but a simple ball pen will do. I’m against gel pens to start with, or ever… in my case, they take TOO long to dry.



  • Ruler


I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but unless you don’t mind the shape that you’ll get when starting a bullet journal calendar or simply don’t want to take that route, this is vital. Like, seriously. If you can only get a fancy pen or a ruler, get the ruler. I bet you can find something else laying around at home. You’ll need one that fits a whole notebook page and preferably one that’s durable and reliable. I recommend a stainless steel ruler, although all my rulers are plastic and not have bad… they don’t show numbers and the sides are scrappy from disuse, so… please, don’t get the plastic ones for too long. *whispers* Trust me on this.


Optional Items

The next items are completely optional and I would get them later in the journey. I started with them, noticed they were too much of a hassle for me (after I’d purchased so many stickers and washi tapes) and now I have to see what other functionality to give them because they simply don’t go into my bullet journal aesthetic and personality. Yes, bullet journals have personality. You’ll see *wink*.



  • Washi Tape


This is not super important but it can make things prettier really simple. It’s perfect if you want to add colors to your journal and it comes in different colors, patterns and you can definitely personalize it to your heart’s content.



  • Stickers


Stickers are not specifically useful or needed, but it’s another option to add to your bullet journal. You can get any sticker to go with your bullet journal and it can work perfectly to help keep track of important events, appointments or even some planning aspects for your journal.



  • Stamps


This can help you get more creative. A uniform look or a perfect drawing, even the font you use could be from stamps. There are numeric stamps, monthly, daily, weekly, flowers, jewels, anything really. Get crazy if you must!



  • Stencils


Last but not least, something that I personally prefer is a stencil. I’m not keen on stickers, stamps or washi tape. I’m still trying to improve at free-hand drawing, but definitely as an extra item – I’d choose the stencil. It’s also easier to accommodate a stencil image to a stamp.


Can you start a bullet journal in the middle of the year?

To be blunt, you can start in the middle of a Wednesday in April. The beauty of using a bullet journal is that, instead of following the traditional Jan – Dec planner, it’s that you can start at any time in the middle of the year, the middle of the month or even in the middle of the year. See, in the middle of a Wednesday in April.


It’s a free-flow pickup planner, how about that!


Now that we’re all set to start, we’ll set it up next.


Laura M.

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