first bullet journal setup august 2020

First Bullet Journal Setup/5 Things to Know


Blog #96: The first time I saw a video of a bullet journal I thought it was pretty cool but at the same time had no idea what it was all about. A few years later it is very much alive and there are even more ideas on how to set up a bullet journal without getting overwhelmed. After some research, I decided to give bullet journaling a try. There are many Pinterest pages and bloggers that dedicate their page to just journaling, also known as BUJO. One particular blogger that helped me decide is bourne mouth girl. Her blogs are simplistic and yet realistic about journaling! You will notice some spreads on pinterest are near perfect. The reality is most people do not have the time to make creations that look picture perfect without mistakes. The whole point of keeping a journal and planner is to write down things to remember and not be an art journal! It is your journal and therefore does not need to be perfect.

I have always had a journal to jot down notes, things to do, gift ideas, etc. In addition I’ve also always had a planner to track my bills and then there’s the COZI app, which keeps all appointments and events on the calendar for my husband and I to keep track of life with 3 kiddos! I am definitely not an expert on this. However, here are my tips on what I’ve learned setting up my first bullet journal.

Here are 5 things to know before starting a bullet journal:


Really listen to everyone who bullet journals. You ONLY need a journal and pen to start! You want to make sure you actually enjoy bullet journaling before investing on all the extras. When I first saw the list of supplies some listed I too wanted the same things! I love art but I am not the best drawer. Finally, I decided to relax a bit and order what I only needed. I decided on 4 supplies, the journal being one. There are so many brands and sizes for bullet journals. What you do want is thick paper, more the 12o GSM. Thickness helps when you are doodling art and won’t bleed through. Again, I am not expert on this and did not want to spend a ton of money on supplies.

Here is what I purchased:

The tombow pen, I could have done without. It is not as easy to use as I thought. I’ve been practicing and so I haven’t really used it for now. Then there are the highlighters. They are the popular ones to use for bullet journal. However, I could have just used regular highlighters that I own.

I skipped out on stencils and stickers as I have a few and did not find them as a necessity. It is purely to make your journal pretty. Nothing else. What I did find helpful was having a protractor, compass and a ruler, which I already owned. But of course you could use a cup to make circles and a book to make straight lines!

As you can see you only need a pen, pencil and bullet journal! The erasable pens were of course useful for those mistakes!


It is definitely time consuming. There so many ideas and thoughts going through your head on what styles to do and measurements. Set up is not as easy as I thought! Once the initial set up is done, it does get a bit easier if you want to keep the same or similar layout. To make it easier, I created a board on my pinterest account with ideas that I liked and created my own style.

Plan Ahead

Definitely plan ahead for setting up the following month and creating the first journal. It’s an additional hobby. My plan is to create the next couple of months ahead. I can always add stickers later for the holidays and birthdays. Planning ahead is beneficial for me, which is why I need to start working on the next couple of months

Must Haves

When creating you BUJO think of what is important to you. I wanted to try it because its creative and fun to design your own templates but at the same time I just need organization without overwhelming myself. I chose to keep track of workouts, notes (AKA Brain Dump), expenses, wants and needs section (things to purchase for myself and family) chore section and a year at a glance. Once those are set up you can focus on the monthly and weekly calendars.

yearly - at a glance bullet journal
Holidays and Birthdays
august month bullet journal
Month of August Boxes (6×6)
weekly bullet journal

For the week with notes section

Types of Journaling – Art vs. Minimalist

Lastly, can you commit and stay organized? I love art but I have to be realistic. It takes a lot of time to make new creations. I decided on a simple minimalist journal, with a pop of color. As I mentioned above, this is my first journal and so my spreads may change over time. Only time will tell!

For the artists, bullet journaling and art is perfect for you! There are many beautiful spreads that I would love to eventually do.

My Thoughts

I am excited to start using my bullet journal! However, the time it takes to create the templates is very much time consuming. Don’t get me wrong but with 3 kiddos it’s hard to add another hobby to my list! But I am committed to finish this journal! I am excited to start using one journal for notes and as my planner. No more carrying around 2 large journals around.

Do you bullet journal? What are your tips?


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11 thoughts on “First Bullet Journal Setup/5 Things to Know

    1. Hi Deborah! It’s a blank journal that has bullets. It makes it easier to customize boxes and art. I am giving it a try! You make your own monthly and weekly calendars, along with other things you may want to track! A tombow pen is a calligraphy pen. A lot harder than I thought it would be. Apparently it takes lots of practice and it’s a slow process!

  1. Loving your spreads! They are super creative. If you are a Bullet journal fan, you certainly need to check out Amandarachlee on YouTube, she’s amazing!!♥️🤩

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