Tips to Start a Bullet Journal.

“BUJO” has become a favorite activity among Peace Corps Volunteers, so I posed a few questions for current volunteers to get their insight into this cathartic and creative hobby. Photos included!

1) How did you find out about bullet journaling?

  • Allycia: Pinterest.
  • Mel: Pinterest!
  • Leah: My friend Lori was a beast about tracking her goals and reaching them. She introduced me to the concept of bullet journaling. However, her method was very black and white chic. Impressive, but I am more of a colorful flourish kinda gal…so I did some Google image searches and went from there!
  • Kelsi: “During pre-service training many volunteers were like “you have to bullet journal!” and at the time I was like “pfffft whatever” but now I have major regret about not doing this from day one.”

  • Becca: Lori and Pinterest.
  • Amber: Allycia
  • Gabrielle: Google. I was tired of normal journaling because when I was really low, it didn’t help much. I looked up “new journaling ideas” and voila!
  • Liz: Allycia inspired me!

2) Why do you enjoy bullet journaling?

  • Allycia: It keeps me sane. It’s my calendar, my schedule, my to do list, my reminders, my market list, my water intake tracker and so much more. Instead of scraps of paper and multiple planners, my bullet journal allows me to organize everything in one notebook. It’s a huge stress reliever.
  • Mel: I’ve always wanted to journal, but this way has helped me set goals, be grateful, and practice overall good habits for my overall well being.
  • Leah: It really helps me stay on track with my personal goals. I get so pumped when I have earned the reward of filling in a grid square with a shade of hot pink (or other fun color) or I can look back at my “book shelf” of books I have read…you get the idea.
  • Kelsi: It’s such a great creative outlet! It combines my love of drawing, weird organization, and wasting time.
  • Becca: It relaxes me and helps keep me organized.
  • Amber: It gives me structure, reminds me to be grateful, motivates me in good habits, pushes me to be more creative, and gives me something to color when time is moving slow. 🙂
  • Gabrielle: It’s a creative outlet. It helps bring light to dark days and highlight what I do here. Especially for the days when it can feel like I did nothing, I can say, “at least I created something today.
  • Liz: I love planning and making lists for just about everything and bullet journaling helps me to do this in an organized, completely customizable way with a little creativity. My monthly spread is like any normal planner but then I have lists for whatever I’m musing on in the moment.

3) What’s your favorite bullet journal page/tracker?

  • Allycia: I love them all! I guess I would be a mess without my weekly spreads.
  • Mel: My positive body/affirmation page. I add to it when I stumble upon good reminders or just things I need to tell myself. It’s cheesy but a great way to practice self-love.
photocredit @melaniezee
  • Leah: My favorite tracker is my “30 before 30” bucket list. I came up with 30 things I want to happen before I turn 30 and I think my bullet journaling will help me accomplish those things.
  • Kelsi: I made a page for transportation in Guyana to help me remember how to get places, how long it will take and how much it’ll cost. It’s kind of a mess but has also been very useful when I go back somewhere I haven’t been in awhile. I also love my birthday calendars because they are very colorful.
PC: @lookwherekelsiwent
  • Becca: Probably my expense tracker.
  • Amber: My sleep log. Super boring but I think sleep is so important to your well-being and I very rarely think about how much time I’m getting. It makes me aware.
  • Gabrielle: My year in review. I love that I can plan out my year while also reflect on all the things that happened. I love that it takes time to fill up and once they do it’s so gratifying. (Picture at top. PC: @gabrielleswindle)
  • Liz: My gratitude mandala! Daily gratitude is a wonderful way to practice having a positive outlook on life, and every month I try a new spread. It’s fun to watch it fill up.

4) What is one tip to share with new bujo people?

  • Allycia: Don’t write bullet journaling off because you’re not creative. It doesn’t require creativity. The “bullet journal” originally was straightforward and unembellished system for organizing. What makes bullet journaling so great though is that it’s customizable, so if you want to get more creative, you can.
  • Mel: You’re not a weirdo for having a bujo. Be as creative as you want, try new stuff, and have fun with!
  • Kelsi: Well, I’m pretty new but I would say one thing I wish I’d thought about from the beginning was font choice.
  • Becca: Just go for it. Don’t overthink it. Mistakes will be made but it doesn’t matter!
  • Amber: It should be fun, not a chore. It’s a helpful tool to organize or brainstorm or reflect. But don’t do it if you don’t want to. It can be anything you want and it should not be stressful.
  • Gabrielle: Don’t compare yours to anyone elses! At the end of the day it’s a journal, it’s personal, it’s your own.
  • Liz: Ditto. Don’t compare it to other people! It took me while to let go of this. Embrace your style and how you naturally like your thoughts to look. At first I was forcing myself to spend hours making a cute doodle because that’s what I thought it should be. And then I’m like nah I’m going to draw a spiral and call it good. I love how simple mine looks now because it’s a reflection of me!

Let me know if these tips inspired you to start your own bullet journal!

Comment below and share your thoughts.

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