Nak start your own bullet journal but scared to do it? Read this first!

“Track the past, Organise the present, Plan for the future.”

Ryder Carroll

I have been bullet journaling for two years plus now – and I can attest to the fact that starting my own journaling practice has been very useful for my productivity, and more importantly, my mental health too!

I recently was invited by Whimsi Girl Design to run an IG Live session on ‘ Bullet Journalling’. As a follow-up, I am preparing this blogpost to continue squashing the misconceptions of #bujo!

At the core of it, the bullet journal is a minimal and dynamic analog system, which can serve as a planner, to-do list, tracker and/or your diary!

Whilst the creator of the Bullet Journal did create a specific template that you can start with (I will show selepas ni), ultimately you can customize the bujo in your way, according to your own preferences, anytime! That is what makes it so dynamic compared to the standard planner in any stationery store.

Its popularity has exploded everywhere, and the classic bujo has since been redefined in so many ways – the one you might be familiar with are the ones that are typically decorated and flourished. That’s just one way of doing it, but tbh, the bare basics of bujo that the creator, Ryder had setup is actually super minimal!

I need to prepare too many things ke?

No.

All you need to get a bullet journal started is literally just a notebook and a pen.

Notebook: Up to you to decide what kind of notebook you prefer – though my favourite is the dotted kind. I personally use a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook. If you nak a more affordable dotted/grid notebook, check out Daiso, Muji, Moleskin, Midori, Mossery, etc to find the right notebook for you 🙂

Stationary: Use a pen to ensure your important notes and entries would still be there in the years to come! Be mindful to not use a pen that will ‘bleed through’ your pages though. A handy tip is to use one of your back pages to test your pens and highlighters beforehand. If you are certain that you are sticking to this habit, then you can consider buying a few more colored pens, mildliners or markers if nak make your notebook a bit more nice.

(Optional): Washi tape, stickers, stamps, pictures! I personally love love love collaging in my bujo because it is a way for me to express myself creatively. This is why I am okay with buying this extra stuff to make my bujo a bit more lively and personal to me. This might not be your style though, you might prefer it to be minimal and clean, and that’s great too! You can look at Stickerrific’s online store if nak buy this extra deco for your bujo too.

I don’t know how to make my bujo pretty.

This is a very common reason why people tend to not bujo at all or drop off the habit eventually. Here is the thing – you don’t have to make it pretty.

Seriously, just make your bujo in your way – cause at the end of the day, only you je akan tengok your own bujo. You just have to make it good enough for you.

You can search up ‘minimal bullet journal’ on Google and Youtube to find so maaaaaaany functional bullet journal layouts for yourself – that’s the most important part!

Just like with life, you need to be okay with making mistakes here and there in your bujo as it is inevitable. Not everything has to be pretty, and das okay kawan 🙂

What if I don’t like the system? Can I change halfway through?

Yes, you can change it halfway. After all, the bullet journal is supposed to be dynamic, according to your needs and preferences.

Let’s assume when you start your bujo, you are following the original Ryder template – however over time, you have received more #bujoinspo and now want to add/subtract/transform your current template for the coming week or month – you can do it – because the bujo is, after all, a blank notebook.

Unlike a planner that has already a set-in-stone template, you can customise to your heart’s content!

Okay, I am ready, how do I setup my own bullet journal?

Let’s learn from the creator himself:

If this seems doable to you – I would suggest searching up within Youtube itself for these keywords: “Bullet Journal’, ‘Plan with Me’, ‘Bullet Journal Flip through’. If you are creating a bullet journal for a specific purpose such as your studies/personal work/mental health/etc, search it up with that keyword too to see how other people had done it so you don’t have to start from scratch.

This definately helped me understand how the bujo can be interpreted in so many ways and for different purposes. I have also come across so many k-bujos which basically are k-pop bujos – I think it’s great that people can do this for fun purposes such as this too. Have fun looking at different bujo spreads for your logs and collections online!

All the best in your bujo journey, and remember it’s okay for it to not look pretty or perfect. Do not let perfection take away the joy of journaling 😉


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