Top 5 Ideas for Starting a Journal!

Welcome to the world of bullet journaling, a rapid logging method that makes your life more structured, creative, and fun.

Similar to a planner, a bullet journal (BuJo) is your blank canvas - a notebook you can customise with your own design in mind. Bullet journals allow you to customise and organise elements of your life in a way best suited to your personal preference. When you dive into this article, you'll soon realise that when it comes to bullet journals, there are no boundaries and the creative options are limitless!

What are Bullet Journals?

The bullet journal concept was created by New York designer Ryder Carroll to help people lead more productive and meaningful lives.

Perfect for planning your future, logging daily to-dos, a space to jot down ideas or acting as a simple weekly calendar, a bullet journal can be your all-in-one personal assistant, helping you to get your life in order.

Watch the video below to discover more about bullet journalling from its creator Ryder Carroll.

How to bullet journal video

How to Start a Bullet Journal

Getting your bullet journal journey started couldn't be simpler. To start, all you really need is a blank notebook and a pen. From this point, the world is truly your oyster!

You might have a different journal for different things, one for meal planning and one for travel planning, for example, or you might combine various ideas in one. The beauty of bullet journaling is there's no right or wrong.

Whatever method you choose, a good starting point is to give your bullet journal a name you'll associate with the journal. For example, you could call your to-list bullet journal: 'My Daily To-Dos'. We'll give you that one for free!

Next, it's always good to number each page and create an index and table of contents page to help you navigate through your bullet journal. For example, if you add to your index that your Christmas present wish list is on page 8, you'll be able to turn to this section in no time.

When starting your bullet journal, there are plenty of creative ideas you can use to bring it to life - and we've been kind enough to share our top 5 ideas with you.

5 Types of Bullet Journals We Love

1.    Daily To-Do Lists

If you love a to-do list, you'll find a bullet journal as the perfect space to help you organise your daily tasks. A great idea to help you track the progress of your to-do list tasks is to come up with your own symbols, a 'key' if you will, as a marker of your task status.

For example, add a square next to each task on your daily log list, and once you've completed the task, simply tick the box or an 'X' if you didn't finish the task and need to move the task over to the next day. Alternatively, you could have a color code and highlight a task to indicate its progress. Here, you could highlight the task in red if it wasn't completed, yellow if you made some progress, and green if you completed it.

2.    Travel Planning

Who doesn't get excited about planning out their holidays? Well, with a bullet journal, you can build your excitement by marking the dates of when you’re doing away - in a style of your own.

Let's say you've got three months before you head off on your travels. In this case, why not dedicate a page to each month - adding each date in your own creative way? For example, you could handwrite each date number using your favorite marker pen, or you could use our Countdown Thinlits Die Set by Tim Holtz to really dazzle each date.

As you get closer to your holiday, you could use a stamp to mark off each day or handwrite how many days to go until you reach the day you've been patiently waiting for. Of course, you could always cover each date with different colored cut-outs of your chosen material.

Why not use different colored felts to cover each date to brighten your page? Then, on the day you set off, you could add a sticker or template of the sun, a palm tree, or something relating to where you're going to get in the holiday mood!

3.    Money Tracker

Budgeting doesn't have to be a chore, not when you've got a bullet journal. So whether you want to track your bills, debts, subscriptions, quarterly or monthly log of your outgoings, or whatever you want to monitor money-wise, a bullet journal is a great way of making a once dull task more fun and enjoyable.

Use your die-cutting skills to make your Money Tracker eye-catching and organized just how you like it. Use one of our many number die sets to track your money in your spending charts, such as Sizzix Thinlits Alphanumeric Numbers by Tim Holtz.  It will help brighten up the perhaps not-so-fun but vital task of budgeting your money.

Find your niche bullet journal layout, be it creating a calendar, table, chart, or whatever works for you, and start getting your finances in check today.

4.    Food Planner

Hungry to get your meal planning in order? Whether you're embarking on a new diet, wanting some structure around your family meal prep, a place to make your shopping list, or if you want a place to log new tasty recipes, bullet journals are great for all the above.

Sprinkle some flavor into your notebook by creating a weekly calendar or backlog of recipes and methods. Then, to put the cherry on top of the cake, you could decorate your notebook with sequins and beads to add some sparkle or food-related Thinlets and die cuts to your bullet journal pages.

A good tip would be to bookmark your favorite recipes, perhaps with markers labeled on the day of the week, so you can quickly flick to your chosen recipe at a moment's notice.  

Once you start to experiment with your bullet journal spreads, you'll soon get a taste for it!

5.    Goals

New year, new goals! Keeping track of progress is a great way to stay motivated and does wonders for your mental health. Once again, the bullet journal method is fantastic for tracking your goals.

Perhaps you've started working out, learning a new instrument, or setting personal career targets. You can bullet point and document your goals within your journal.

You could use your die-cutting and craft essentials to arrange your goals in a way that works for you. Be it per week, month, or yearly, you could create a fancy timeline out of washi tape, for example, with printed or handwritten text outlining where you are now and what you need to achieve your goal.

Similarly to the to-do list section, you could use symbols or color codes as a habit tracker, ensuring you're staying on the right path when journeying toward your goals. Whatever your goals, a bullet journal is a great and creative way of keeping you on track. 

What’s On Your Wish List?

Creating a wish list to help budget and prioritize,  comes in handy! You can plan out what you really want and exactly how you can budget for it by clicking the heart symbol above your chosen item.

We have many craft tools and accessories to help start your bullet journal. Explore our range of journals and scrapbooks and let your imagination run wild.

What are you looking for?