How I (Just) Started My First Bullet Journal

How I (Just) Started My First Bullet Journal

Up until 2019, I resisted the bullet journal thing because I relied mainly on GCal and Siri to organize stuff for me.

However, two conditions happened that made me rethink my bullet journal resistance. One, I saw an adorably complex bullet journal spread on an unrelated subreddit. Two, I have a naggingly difficult to keep on top of to-do list that has gotten terribly out of hand due to widow brain.

Here’s how bad my til-recently, bullet journal free life was — when I noticed the bullet journal spread, it clicked in my head that I could handle this to do list by creating one. That very same night, I woke up after falling asleep because the unleashed to-do list items were suddenly loose and tormenting me.

So late on Saturday I purchased some supplies on Amazon, and on Monday they arrived. Here’s some of what I got for a basic bullet journal setup:


In keeping with my tendency to get completely sidelined over details, the first concern I had pertained to how months were separated when weeks ended in the middle of them. (The bullet journal index page points to the pages on which each month is logged.) But I asked, and someone told me that you just finish out the week before starting the next one.

A lot of bullet journal enthusiasts get way into trackers, but I’m not doing many of those — just meditation, probably. As for monthly/weekly spreads, I used this template as a guide for my first two. I don’t have a lot of appointments, and one page per week with a to-do section is more than enough space for me:

My first bullet journal layout was a little harder than it looked, and I had some difficulty with not smudging the ink in my Pilot metropolitan. I’m still setting it up, but overall I already feel a LOT more capable of managing my ongoing list of to-dos. I’m still in the experimentation stage and don’t yet know if this system is workable for me, but I hope so — I’ll update if I get a really great handle on bullet journaling.

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