I have plenty of planners, so I had no desire to bullet journal until I ran across a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal in my favorite color. I didn’t need it, but I needed it. It spoke to me and within a few seconds was on it’s way to my door.
I’ve been working to really focus on Bible reading, Ted Talks, reading books, earthing – just broadening who I am while I’m here on Earth – my planner does an okay job of tracking those things but I knew from my Pinterest addiction that I could track those types of things a bit better in a journal… so I grabbed my Leuchtturm and went to town – but I learned a lot about bullet journaling the first time I sat down to work in mine and while I know I’ll continue to learn, I thought I would share my duh moments with you.
- Top to Bottom, Left to Right
Roll your eyes at this no-brainer if you want, but though I’d mastered this #1 rule back in first grade when it was taught to me, I failed when I sat down with my bujo. Even when you use no-smear ink, wet stuff still can smear. Now, this is coming from a right-hander. My lefty husband says it’s different for you lefties, but still – think it through before gliding your hand across the wet page.
- Plan your design in advance (and use pencil)
My mind was going crazy when I sat to do bullet journaling the first time – I knew everything I wanted to track, but I started sketching it out in ink – after a few lines, I realized I needed to use pencil first (lightly) and then move to ink once I was sure where I wanted everything to live. Which brings me to #3.
- Count twice, mark once.
Just like my dad taught me about cutting things (measure twice, cut once) it applies in bullet journaling – measure your space for your features twice and mark it off once. I forgot to measure twice a few times and was left with a lot of erasing and back tracking. Those small lines will make your eyes cross and it’s a but more work to mark your spots with pencil but it creates a more thought out appearance.
- Use a ruler.
If you grab a dotted journal, the dots make it appear that you can freehand a straight line from dot to dot to create your design. Tricky little dots – you can’t. Or maybe you can, but I can’t – so a ruler is a major necessity for creating a smooth design in your journal. Which leads to #5
- Invest in a few good tools.
As with any hobby or craft, a few good tools go a lot way in creating the look you hope for and making the process more enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be expensive (and for me, so far, bullet journaling is the least expensive of all of my endeavors) but important tools like archival ink pens and a metal ruler are key components. Read blogs and follow boards on Pinterest for inspiration and to determine the best tools for bullet journaling from people you trust in the bujo world.