Bullet Journal: Where to start?

Here we are: you are ready to get into this Bullet Journal thing. You’ve done your research and you’ve liked what you’ve found. However, the most difficult step is the first one: there’s so much information and there are so many fantastic ideas out there that you don’t know where to start. Which pen should you use? Which notebook? What should your first page look like? In fact, what should your whole Bullet Journal look like inside?

So here are four things to do before you start your Bullet Journal.

Note: this article contains affiliated links. That means that if you buy anything using those links, I will get a small commission, at no extra charge to you.

1. Choose your materials

My first recommendation: don’t go out right away to buy new supplies. Use what you already have at home, on hand: an old notebook, some pens, and a small ruler from your geometry-class days. Nowhere does it say that you should immediately go buy a notebook for your new hobby. A piece of advice a little hypocritical on my part because I am the first in line to buy pretty notebooks I don’t need, but, still, heed my advice.

I myself started up using a notebook I had previously bought at Dollarama simply because it was cute. I had not yet found a use for it and so it became my first attempt at a Bullet Journal.

Eventually, if the initial try is conclusive and the new hobby becomes a new habit, upgrading your supplies is reasonable. And if you’ve done your research, you probably know that the “official” notebook for bullet journaling is the Leuchtturm1917 A5. There are many other brands of notebooks out there that also work perfectly for a Bullet Journal: Moleskine, Scribbles That Matter, Rhodia, etc.

Personally, I use a Leuchtturm1917 Dot Grid. A5 represents the size of the notebook (in this case, 14,8 x 21,0 cm) and Dot Grid indicates the types of markings on the page, which can be dot grid, lined, squared or blank. Basically, there exists a bunch of different types of notebooks from different brands with various sizes and page markings.

You just need to figure out which one is perfect for you!

2. Figure out your needs

What are you going to use your Bullet Journal for? To plan your schedule and optimize your time? To be fully creative and use your pages as canvases for your art? To check your progress with your new fitness program? To each its own!

Before you start writing in your BuJo, ask yourself what you want to include in it. The Bullet Journal according to M. Ryder Carroll has a specific system of pages to put in (which I will explain in the next article). However, this is truly YOUR Bullet Journal. I may be repeating myself, but you can do whatever you want in your BuJo, put in whatever you deem necessary for YOU!

3. Find ideas

You must know by now: the internet is full of ideas and inspiration of pages to include in your Bullet Journal. Before you start, explore Instagram, Pinterest, etc. You’ll probably come up with even more ideas. There’s a page you want to do in your BuJo but you haven’t quite figured out how to put it down on paper? Use other people’s creations to get inspired and find the perfect way to do your page. Take advantage of the experience of those who have been doing this for longer than you: they have certainly made mistakes and this will allow you to not make the same ones.

Speaking of mistakes…

4. Get it into your head that making mistakes is okay

You’re going to make mistakes. It might be a spelling error, a smudge on a page or even a whole spread that you finish, but in the end, you hate the result, you will make them. That’s okay. Move on. Some liquid paper and it’s gone. That page you don’t like? Skip it and forget about it.


I am going to end this article with a list of the materials I currently use, if ever it can help you.

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B002TSIMW4′ text=’Leuchtturm1917 A5‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bulletjourn06-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’e0434e49-28bc-11e8-b389-fb800038d40c’] Dot Grid
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B004QHI43S’ text=’Sakura Micron‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bulletjourn06-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’f8e638cb-28bc-11e8-bef7-319c107b8944′] 02
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B004L87XRA’ text=’Staedtler pigment liner‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bulletjourn06-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’1366208b-28bd-11e8-b250-27de3631beeb’] 0.3 & 0.1
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M5EAKPA’ text=’Papermate Flair‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bulletjourn06-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’276832a2-28bd-11e8-b38d-8b0ec6d1de21′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00MTIGBT0′ text=’Zebra Mildliner‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bulletjourn06-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’3e0e1434-28bd-11e8-9ac2-010fd786b8fb’]

Until next time ! ?




New to the Bullet Journal? Here are my other articles for beginners:

Bullet Journal: Who is it for?

Bullet Journal: Where to start? (You are here)

The Bullet Journal method: How it works

Bullet Journal: How to find your style

How the Bullet Journal changed my life

Bullet Journal: Where to start?

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