Bullet Journal for the Absolute Beginner: What to Include

Welcome back to this series: Bullet Journal for the Absolute Beginner. This series is intended to give you the basics of bullet journaling and help you open up that journal and really start using it to its full potential. This is designed specifically for people who have never done bullet journaling before.

Last week, we covered some of the top supplies you will need for your bullet journal. If you missed it, check it out here. Now, it’s time to move on to starting your bullet journal – with one more prep step. This involves deciding what you want to put in your bullet journal. It helps to know this beforehand so that you don’t mess up your index or have to keep removing pages when you’re setting it up. (but also, please don’t let perfectionism get you down–I often just open to the first blank page and start my next thing in my journal!

Planning your first bullet journal

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Calendars

First of all, decide what calendars you want to include. Everything on this list is optional of course, but calendars are often included in bullet journals so you can see appointments, schedules, lists, and just about everything in your life. You can choose any type of calendar, from daily and weekly calendars to just a month at a glance calendar.

I keep a monthly spread and weekly spreads, but a weekly has enough space for me to list things I need on a day to day basis. For the most part, my weekdays and my daily to-do lists do not vary much. If you have a lot of meetings and appointments that you juggle–or a lot of habits that you want to track, you may want to add a daily spread as well.

You can find inspiration for what these spreads will look like on my “Starting a Bullet Journal” Pinterest board.

Goals and Plans

You may want to go beyond just writing down events or birthdays, and actually have pages for specific goals you have. This is great because you can write the goal, then the tasks and plans related to that goal.

When you are setting your goals, work towards ensuring that they are S.M.A.R.T goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Lists of Any Kind

Lists are the cornerstone of bullet journaling. It helps you keep them organized, but also to stay on top of the various things you want to achieve. Remember there are many lists
to use, from to-do lists for personal or work tasks to lists about movies you want to see or places you want to visit. There is no end to the lists you can have.

I have lists of crochet projects I have finished, books I want to read, and lists directing my self-study on various topics.

Lifestyle Pages

This is when you really customize your bullet journal. If you have certain lifestyle goals or plans, it is a good idea to include them. This might include tracking your daily habits,
having a section where you log food or fitness, keeping track of your weight, or having other lifestyle plans related to redecorating or moving.

This is a great place to record paint colors in rooms that you re-decorate, keeping track of homeschool progress, or planning your read through the Bible in a year.

Financial and Household Pages

Are you trying to stick to a budget? Don’t forget the financial pages! You can also customize these according to your preferences. Perhaps you are trying to save up for a vacation, or you are starting your own business and are trying to budget your income and expenses.

This is just the beginning of what you can include in your bullet journal. Don’t forget to look around for inspiration!

Next time we will work on getting your brand new bullet journal set up!

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Written by Dakotapam
I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including young adult sons down to 8-year old twin daughters. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!