Tips and tricks from four Bullet Journal enthusiasts

For quite a while, Anna and Clara have been wanting to learn how to make bullet journals, and therefore, they recently reached out to the enthusiasts behind three blogs that specialise in bullet journaling: Theresa and Lea from Punktkariert.de, Svenja from Flcty.com and Christine from Notatboka.no. These women each have their own individual and personal bullet journaling styles, and luckily, they all agreed to make unique bullet journals for Anna and Clara to see, so the sisters could come to understand what this new style of calendar system is all about. You can find images of these wonderful, handmade bullet journals throughout this blog post, and you can read more about the bloggers in question at the end of this post.

– but first of all, what is a bullet journal?

What is a bullet journal?

Anna and Clara have come to understand that a bullet journal is a new and exciting type of calendar system which combines the to-do list, the traditional calendar, the diary, memos and so much more.

After having read countless definitions online about what a bullet journal is, Anna and Clara contacted the Bullet Journal enthusiasts behind three blogs to learn even more about this craft: Why do people like bullet journaling? What can you use a Bullet Journal for? And which specific tips does a beginner of the craft need to know about before putting pen to paper?

In the following, you can read all of Theresa and Lea’s, Svenja’s and Christine’s answers.

Why do you like bullet journaling?

Theresa and Lea from Punktkariert.de answered:

“For years, we searched for the perfect calendar system and never found something that combined all our needs, that is until we came across the Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal gives us exactly what we had been looking for, and since the system is completely flexible, this will still be the case when our needs change. For us, the flexibility is the most important thing about bullet journaling. There might be days when you have a lot of things to do, and there might be days when you do not. Contrary to regular calendars, there will be no „white spaces“ in your bullet journal when you have a few days without appointments, and there will always be enough space for all your events/appointments/to-dos. The system will evolve and grow with you. It also gives you the freedom to start or take a break whenever you want. We have been using it for years and are still very happy with the flexibility of the bullet journal system.”

Svenja from Flcty.com answered:

“I always loved doodling, I always loved nice notebooks – and I also liked traditional planners. I only had one problem with traditional planners: in the beginning of a new year, I would be 100% motivated, I would keep track of everything and then at some point the pages would get more and more empty. Such a waste of paper! That is why I love bullet journaling. It is completely up to you how much paper you use, and if you take a break that lasts a month – so be it! You can start at any time of the year and you make all the rules on how to use it! For me, it is the most flexible (and in my opinion, the most beautiful) way of planning appointments and so much more!”

 Christine from Notatboka.no answered:

“I like bullet journaling simply because it lets me keep track of everything I need in life. When I get all my thoughts and ideas down on paper, I do not risk forgetting anything I need to get done or remember at a later point. I can create my own system to fit my needs, and I have one place for everything I need.” 

What can you use a bullet journal for? 

Theresa and Lea from Punktkariert.de answered:

“It might sound unrealistic, but you really can use your bullet journal for every part of your life. From projects you have to manage at work to daily to-dos and appointments in your personal life, like meal planning, cleaning routines and managing your family’s weekly schedule, to special events, like traveling, Christmas wish lists, birthday parties or everything you have to remember before school starts. Another big part of bullet journaling is tracking your daily habits, workouts, your mood or whatever you are up to right now.

Personally, we use it to manage our to-dos for our blog Punktkariert.de, monthly and weekly planning, challenges, like our yearly reading challenge, and habit tracking. It is also a space for being creative.“

Svenja from Flcty.com answered:

“My bullet journal is more than just a very individual calendar book. The best thing is that every bullet journal user can use it for whatever is important in his or her life. 

For me personally, my bullet journal combines the planning and organising of my life with being a sketch and idea book. So besides having the classic calendar and to-do list pages in my bullet journal, I have many doodle pages. I like to draw ideas for social media in little square boxes. I use it as a travel journal. I write down things I specifically liked about the day, quotes that I find inspiring, things I would love to achieve personally or for my blog. I write down knitwear design ideas for my shop, skills I’d like to learn and so much more. In a way, it really reflects the story of my life.”

Christine from Notatboka.no answered:

“Is there really anything you cannot use a bullet journal for? Simply put: You can use it for every part of your life, everything you want and need! You can plan your everyday life and your future appointments. Meal planning. Vacation planning. You can track your habits, weight loss, illness, pregnancy, movies you want to see or books you want to read. You can use it as a diary and put tickets, pictures and other items for memory keeping. There are no rules to say what anyone can keep in a bullet journal.”

Can you give a beginner of the craft ‘bullet journaling’ some advice on how to get started? A few tips maybe? 

Theresa and Lea from Punktkariert.de answered:

“The most important thing: Do not be afraid of making mistakes! It will happen anyway, still happens to us after using a bullet journal for a long time. Look for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, and try out all the spreads you like. If it does not fit your needs, you can change it anytime. That leads us to the second most important point: Do not draw your spreads too far ahead, only prepare your bullet journal up to the current month and week. Otherwise you lose all the flexibility the bullet journal system stands for. In the beginning, it might look like a lot of work, but after a short period of time, you will establish a planning routine and come to enjoy all the benefits of bullet journaling!”

Svenja from Flcty.com answered:

“It is the easiest and most fun way to get organised. All you need is a nice notebook and a pen. I recommend that you start by creating the classic bujo start pages:

  • An index page (I always enter the page number of each new month or very important notes or doodle pages in this index),
  • A key page (a brief list of symbols or colour codes that help you keep track of everything)
  • Some long-term-planning pages (I love to have an overview of the rest of the year – so you can easily note down your vacation weeks in the end of the year, important upcoming birthdays or family events, etc.)
  • and some fun pages like “Books I’d love to read”, “Saving goals”, “Places I’d love to travel”, etc.

In the beginning of each new month, I like to draw a monthly overview and after that I freestyle how I plan my weeks and days.

For the beginner, why not browse the internet or your favourite old planner for some inspiration? I’m sure you will find your own perfect system as soon as you try the many different things that are out there! One important tip: Do not judge your first bullet journaling pages! I did when I started off – my pages looked so wonky and terrible compared to all these perfect images I found on the internet – and that can be quite frustrating. You will improve as you practice and you ALWAYS have to keep in mind that most of the time, what you see online are photos of only the “pretty pages” – and the rest is kept safely under wraps”

Christine from Notatboka.no answered:

“First of all: Look up Ryder Carroll. He is the man who started all of this. Second: Look at other journals for inspiration, but remember, your bullet journal must fit your needs, so do not get overwhelmed by all the colours and drawings. Your bullet journal can be as minimalist or artsy as you want. And do a pen test when you want to try out new pens to be sure the paper can handle your pens. Third: A book and a pen is really all you need. And last: A pencil and eraser are your best friends, but learn to live with your mistakes. Bullet journaling is not about perfection, it is about functionality. Remember to have fun!”

Examples of bullet journal pages and spreads

Theresa and Lea from Punktkariert.de sent Anna and Clara wonderful examples of what a bullet journal may look like if you use blank and chequered notebooks. Here, you can see their versions of a habit tracker, a monthly and weekly calendar, a to-do list, a reading progress bar and a future log spread of 2018.

Anna and Clara received a beautiful bullet journal from Svenja from Flcty.com, who had chosen to solely focus on a notebook with blank pages. Remember, a bullet journal must fit your personal style, so it is important that you choose the notebook that feels just right for you. Here, you can see Svenja’s versions of a mood tracker, a weekly and a daily calendar:

Christine from notatboka.no sent the sisters a gorgeous bullet journal in a chequered notebook. Since Christine loves to use stickers, the sisters sent her some of their new ones and Christine has been so kind to use them. Here, you can see Christine’s versions of a birthday spread, a favourite TV show page, a monthly calendar and a weekly calendar spread:

About Punktkariert.de

Theresa and Lea are the wonderful ladies behind the blog Punktkariert.de, a blog that
is focused on helping you simplify and improve your life by means of bullet journaling. They write in
German, but even if you do not know this language, they also upload many inspiring images.
You can also look them up on Instagram @punktkariert.de

About Flcty.com

Svenja is the ever-creative founder of Flcty.com. Svenja considers her blog an
outlet for her knitting addiction and love for fun and easy DIY projects. Her blog can be
read in both German and English, so there you go. You can also find Svenja on
Instagram @_flcty_

About Notatboka.no

Christine is the lovely woman behind the blog Notatboka.no, which she stared in 2017
after having discovered bullet journaling. Christine writes in Norwegian because she finds there
is not enough Norwegian material on bullet journaling on the Internet. Remember to check
out her Instagram @notatboka

Did you like this post?

– please do not hesitate to share it with your friends: