If part of your New Year's routine is to begin a new diary or datebook, take a look at some of these tips for starting a bullet journal.
Can you remember what you did for your birthday three years ago? Where do you keep your ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner? With a bullet journal, you can design your own catch-all book of ideas and memories that will last you a lifetime.
Start with the basics.
So, what is a bullet journal, anyway? Simply put, it's a combination to-do list/calendar/journal illustrated with fun little doodles and themes. Keeping a bullet journal is more of a creative hobby that allows you to express yourself in small ways in one central place.
What you'll need to start one is a blank book and things to write with: pens, colored pencils, and markers are a great start. Even though your first instinct may be to go for lined pages, a grid-dot page gives you more flexibility when creating your own layouts and designs.
Dozens of YouTubers put out videos about their doodles and bullet journal (bujo) layouts. One of my favorites is Amanda Rach Lee. Her soothing voice and simple illustrations make it easy to follow along.
Don't worry if you're not into drawing; there are bujo gurus who do minimalist layouts and others who do extremely detailed, fanciful illustrations. The sky's the limit, so just keep searching until you can find a style that speaks to you.
Practice, practice, practice!
Calligraphy isn't something that comes naturally to most of us. If you want to try fancy lettering, do it on scratch paper a few times first. The way pages are bound in journals, it's almost impossible to remove pages if you make a mistake. It's more commonplace to patch or cover up errors with stickers, paper, or washi tape.
Do a little bit at a time.
Most journaling experts will suggest you don't get too far ahead of yourself. Work in your current month and start the next one just a week early. You never know when you'll change your mind about themes and what to include. If you're not sure what to write about, try using your new journal as a giant to-do list and mark off tasks once they're done. You'll be surprised at how satisfying it is!
Write about a dream trip you could never afford. Come up with date night ideas for later in the year. Bored on a rainy day? Illustrate some of your favorite recipes or find new ones to try. The fun of a bullet journal is that it can be anything you want it to be.
**All of the photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly unless credited otherwise.
Last but not least, don't be hard on yourself. Keeping a bullet journal is meant to be a creative outlet, not something that gives you anxiety. By combining your to-do lists with a traditional diary setup, you've got a better chance of keeping this one going. It's always okay to take a break, though!
Who is your favorite bujo guru on YouTube? Do you have a favorite bullet journal theme or setup? Tell us about it in the comments.