There are several benefits of bullet journaling for moms, but if you don’t know how to get started with bullet journaling, you won’t be to able benefit from one.
What is a Bullet Journal?
The bullet journal is an analog system, meaning you don’t need anything more complicated than a notebook and a pen or pencil. Each bullet journal is as unique as the individual using it, but most bullet journals follow a similar structure.
Use this getting started with bullet journal tutorial as a starting point. Get comfortable with the basic bullet journal structure, then modify it to fit your needs. You can keep it simple or get as creative as you’d like!
Basic Bullet Journaling Supplies
To get started with bullet journaling, you’ll need a notebook, a pen, and a little bit of time. The type of notebook you use is up to you. The traditional bullet journal style is grid or dotted paper but ruled or blank pages work, too.
Personally, I prefer a lined or dot-grid journal as it saves me time and looks cleaner when I’m working on a list or lined layout.
Here are a few recommended bullet journal supplies to get you started:
How to Bullet Journal
Basic Pages to Include in a Bullet Journal
To get started with bullet journaling, you’ll need to know what the most basic page types you’ll want to include in your bullet journal are. I recommend adding the following pages to your bullet journal when you’re first getting started.
The first page of your bullet journal will include your key. This will record the shorthand you use for your bullet entries. The traditional codes used in a bullet journal look like these:
However, you should feel free to add to or modify your bullet journal key as needed. Here’s my current modified key (it fluctuates based on my current mood, preferences, and or/needs):
I find that my symbols change from month to month, and that’s fine. As long as I know what each symbol in my bullet journal list means, it works. The key is to make it work for you.
Set aside the next two to four pages for indexing. The bullet journal index will allow you to quickly find any collection or get to a particular month. As you add pages to your bullet journal, be sure to come back to the index and record their page numbers.
The Future Log
With the original bullet journal setup this is a two page spread that records the coming 6 months. Many bullet journalers find it helpful to use a more traditional yearly calendar instead.
This is a great place to record birthdays, anniversaries, or block out vacation time. Add or note the page number and record your future log in your index.
Start each month with a monthly log. Here you’ll record appointments and due dates. Think of this page as a “month at a glance” tracker. You can use a grid layout, or use one line for each day of the month.
While this isn’t where you’ll track most of your tasks, the monthly log will come in handy for those times when you have a dentist appointment or your daughter is invited to a friend’s birthday party. I also recommend adding your monthly goals to this layout.
The daily log is where you’ll spend most of your time in your bullet journal.
- Start a new section each day and record anything important for the day: tasks, appointments, etc.
- Make a list of tasks and cross them off as you finish them. (I like to make my list the day/night before so I can better prioritize my time first thing in the morning.)
- Make notes of anything important you need to remember throughout the day as well as appointments as they pop up. (If you have an appointment scheduled for a date you haven’t yet made a daily log for, you can add it to your monthly spread or your year-at-a-glance spread.)
Everything gets logged in the daily log for speed and ease. From there you can move it as needed to the monthly or future log, or migrate it to a different day.
Note about migrating tasks: At the end of your day, or first thing the next morning it’s time to review your tasks and cross out and migrate anything that isn’t checked off. For example, if you didn’t get around to doing laundry today, draw an arrow through it and add the task to today’s daily task list. If you noted an appointment that came up yesterday, move it to your monthly list and draw an arrow through it in yesterday’s list. If something no longer applies then cross it out. Your goal is to deal with each entry from your daily list by completing it, migrating it, or crossing it out.
The final part of the basic bullet journal is collections. Collections are basically themed lists you make that aren’t date related.
A perfect example of a collection is a list of books you want to read or have read. Simply start your list on the next blank page in your bullet journal. Title it and start jotting down the books you want to read.
Make a note of the page you’re on and add this collection to your index page. Now when you want to add a new book title to this list, or reference it to see what you’ve read, you can easily find it via the index.
Get Started with Bullet Journaling
When you’re just getting started with bullet journaling, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Don’t worry about making it look pretty or aiming for perfect pages. Your bullet journal will morph over time as your needs, tastes, and skills change.
Grab a blank notebook and get started with bullet journaling today to experience all the benefits it holds for busy moms!