How to Create a Bullet Journal: Beginner’s Guide
Many months ago I came across an article on qz about this new, low tech system that is better than anything else to keep track of your to do list. Better than any app out there they claimed. So, being a sucker for stationary, plush notebooks and willing to try anything at least once, I finally gave in. The Bullet Journal or BuJo as those in the journaling community call it is a simple system for keeping track of just about anything you would want to keep track of from health to habits to spending and your day to day.
I spent the weekend finally putting my journal together and it ended up doubling as a mini therapeutic art session. I will do another post in the beginning of the year about how this system is working for me but here’s how I set it up.
Most sites will tell you to buy a moleskin notebook or even specialty bullet journals. Look, don’t break the bank trying this new thing out. You can get a nice looking journal at Text Book Center (Junction) for 850/-. Or you can do what I did which is buy an ordinary notebook and jazz it up however you like.
And you will need some stationery but please don’t break the bank doing it! Everything I bought came to about Ksh 1030.
Use the first page to define what you want this phase of your life to be about. Mine is about this quote from the Proverbs 31 woman, “She lives without fear of the future.” (Because I’m bad ass!)
I started with the page layouts. I’ll admit this was pretty daunting to do. I was so worried I would make a mistake that I almost didn’t begin. I spent hours on Pinterest obsessing over other people’s gorgeous layouts that I didn’t think anything I did would be good enough. You don’t need to be artsy or perfect – you just need to create something that is uniquely you and just for you. Make all the mistakes and cancel them out. We’re after functionality not perfection. I used pictures from a Nairobi Arts Diary I had from 2014 and jazzed up my notebook with them plus simple purple paper.
The Index is the most important part of the journal. This page basically tells you where everything is so remember to number your pages as well (if your notebook doesn’t already have this). Split each page into two for more room because you will add to it as you go along.
The key just helps you log everything into the notebook in a way that makes it easy to track in terms of type of activity, urgency, importance and where it fits into your life.
The future spread helps you plan ahead. I would advise doing a few months at a time at first to see how it works for you. Some people do a whole year for their future spread but because I don’t know how much space I will need next year, I decided to just do the first four months. Here you can include birthdays, events, work stuff whose dates you already know.
Finally, get started! Carry your notebook everywhere you go. Add stuff in that you want to keep track of. Put in a space for notes or gratitude. Throw in a habit tracker…anything!
Willing to try the BuJo? Let me know how it goes!