Bullet Journal Frequently Asked Questions

We thought we’d start the new year with a whole load of answers to your burning questions about bullet journaling! Feel free to suggest more questions in the comments or tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you want to add to this list!

What is a bullet journal?

A Bullet Journal is a system of planning and journaling that allows you to sort through the chaos of life and all the tasks you need to do. It is a planner, for some it’s an art medium where they can creatively add doodles to their planner. For others, it’s just a to do list. It’s as simple as that. For more, check out bulletjournal.com

Red Floral Washi tape: here
‘Plant’ Jungle Washi Tape: here

Who invented this?

Ryder Carroll

How do I begin, where do I begin, what’s happening?

Figure out what is it in your life that you want to sort out – either overwhelming number of tasks, or time coordinated planning, or you want to build a project or a company from scratch, or you’re a stay at home mom who’s just needing a way to list out everything, or you’re grocery shopping and for the life of you cannot remember stuff to get…

When you’ve figured out your task list, ask yourself

What do you want the bullet journal to do for you?

Ryder Carroll

You can then start with a monthly log – which allows you to set the goals for the month and prioritize the main and important things. Then you can list those monthly things into ‘daily’ things.

My handwriting is very messy I cannot do it!

Everyone starts somewhere! It’s okay to start with messy handwriting, we all started like that. Practice makes perfect. You can try different kinds of pens here to work on your penmanship and over time, achieve the neat level of handwriting you want!

I get bored easily how do you sustain your interest?

The bullet journal is designed to be part of your everyday life, if you are bored, or as many call it – in a slump, you have to know that firstly, that’s okay! It’s okay to lose interest, don’t beat yourself up about it. The more important question is – what is the cause? If you’ve found another way or system of planning or notebook that actually works better, maybe the Traveler’s Notebook, or a planner, sure, go ahead! So long as whatever system you choose keeps you productive and happy.

Best recommended notebooks?

We’d start with the official Bullet Journal book from Leuchtturm1917.

It comes in New Pink, Black, Emerald and Nordic Blue.

New Pink Bullet Journal

You can also check out the Traveler’s Notebook that people use to bullet journal with!

Best Pens for Bullet Journaling – Ballpoint and Rollerball

We recommend the Kaweco Skyline Sport Roller Pen, it’s light, easy to carry around and the colours pair very well with anything really 🙂

Pen: Kaweco Skyline Sport Gel Roller Pen Gray

Other Kaweco Rollerball Pens also include the Student Rollerball Pen, as well as the Classic Sport Gel Roller.

The reason why we recommend Kaweco and believe in it is that the grip of the pen is very ergonomic, meaning it’s user-friendly for all ages. Also, the hexagonal shape of the pen barrel prevents it from rolling off the table/your notebook. You don’t like your pen dropping off the table and hitting the floor. Doesn’t just leave a thud on the floor but in your heart too :’)

Other recommendations include LAMY Safari! – with its trademark clip, it’s hard to miss!

LAMY Safari Pastels and White / Mint Glaze

How about fountain pens? I like using fountain pens can I use them with the bullet journal?

Similar to earlier, Kaweco Sport is seriously one of your best bets, it’s affordable, easy to take care of and light enough to bring everywhere.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pens are pretty aesthetic (yes both words) too.

Wanna level up? Go for the TWSBI Diamond 580, it’s gorgeous and allows you to bring around inks from your various selections. It’s tiny enough to carry around with ease and will probably make you fall in love with it 🙂 Pair it with Noodler’s Ink 90ml Ink Bottle X-Feather Black (Bulletproof) for everyday use.

Must I start in January/at the beginning of the month?

Most people would start in January, as it just feels timely.

But the point of the system is to enable to start from any of the 365 days. If there were really such restrictions that you had to start at the beginning of the month then what happens if you fail halfway and want to restart?

Many people talk about setting up their book – that’s usually if the bullet journal is their planning system for the entire year (yes it’s a good habit to do so). But don’t worry if you want to start, just pick up a book today and start.

How to find the time to bullet journal? 

It’s all about priorities. People actually spend time bullet journal because they feel it is a priority in their life, they do it because planning their day and week is essential to their daily routine.

The question that is probably crucial to ask is what’s the purpose of you journaling/planning/using the bullet journal?

Many people have various reasons including:

  • creative space – art journaling
  • travel memory collation
  • increasing their productivity

Once you know what you want to do, you can allocate time daily to do it. You need to put it into your week. Tell yourself that spending time to do it makes you happier and will add to the satisfaction of your reflection. It helps in self-care whether to increase your productivity and reduce procrastination or help you to clear your mind before bedtime.

Okay I will start, wait, what’s a key? 

the original key from bulletjournal.com

Symbols are used such as dots, dashes, ticks, crosses, arrows. These arrows help to increase your efficiency and productivity so that you can see at a glance what you need to do in a day and how many events/tasks you have lined up. It also looks incredibly neater than if you had strewn all the tasks everywhere or written (1), (2), (3).

Having said that, it is also possible to customize it to however you want to do it. For one of our in house bullet journalers – she uses boxes for events and circles for tasks because she thinks dots are too tiny. Make it yours!

What about an index?

An index is how you sort through everything in your bullet journal. You can keep track of your collections and pages – monthly, weekly daily, etc

Must I have a cover page for every month? 

No you don’t have to.

Do I need to colour in my pages or add decorations? Why is it that when I google ‘bullet journal’ super colourful pages come out at me from all over – Pinterest, Instagram, etc 

No, you don’t. You can, but you don’t have to. Bullet Journaling is not defined by how gorgeous it is, or how aesthetic it is. If you don’t wish to draw or add colour, just do as you wish!

Instagram and Pinterest make it seem like bullet journal people live in an art store all the time. We don’t disagree that sometimes or many times, some people who bullet journal may gravitate towards notebook or craft stores – washi tape, stickers, sticky memos and more. But it is never a must.

Can I not decorate my journal?

The point is to make it so usable that you can pick up your book anytime and whether you draw or not it should be efficient, effective and always workable.

What are dailies? Must I use one page for every day? 

Bullet Journal dailies are literally opening a blank page and writing lists, tasks and events for the day.

Here are some possible ways of how you can do yours.

You can put 2 days into a page, or three days, or any number of days you wish to, as long as you do allow yourself some breathing space so you can see what you wrote and it’s not too cramped. It also depends on how large your notebook is and also if your handwriting is small enough to fit like seven days on a page.

I see people talk about trackers, what are they?

Here’s an entire post of trackers!

Trackers help you create good habits and break bad ones. It helps you take care of yourself better and also, for example, ensures you clean your house, or change your bedsheets, exercise, drink more water, etc. All to make a better you!

We’ve come to the end of this list, if there are more questions that are yet to be answered, comment below or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

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