Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
About a year ago, I noticed my coworker writing and doodling in a journal. I figured this was just a planner (she was planning her wedding so I figured it was specific to that). However, when I walked to her desk and asked what she was doing, she said it was her Bullet Journal. She opened it and showed me all of her different pages she had created. She had a section for her wedding, a monthly and weekly calendar, a page with all her usernames and passwords and a page with all her bills, how much each was and when they were due. Each topic was in a different color ink to help her stay organized. That day after work, I set out to buy my own.
What is Bullet Journaling?
Bullet Journaling is like having a journal, a planner, a budget sheet and everything else crammed into one location. Each Bullet Journal is specific to your needs. There are a lot of ideas on how to Bullet Journal on Pinterest.
Where do I start?
I chose to make my Bullet Journal the way my coworker had, but in the smaller size. My journal is made by a company called, TUL. I bought a TUL Journal because they make all the accessories for the journal as well (inserts, pens, dividers, rulers etc.). What I like about TUL is that I can move the sheets of paper around at any time, and the sheets are thick enough for pen not to bleed through. I bought graphing and lined paper for mine so I could draw calendars on a scale and have paper to write on like a journal. Mine is a leather, junior size (6.75″ x 8.75″), but there are less expensive journals by TUL for purchase as well. I like the junior size because it’s an excellent travel size (it can fit in my purse perfectly). I bought the leather because there are inside pockets on the front cover, and the material is durable and will last a long time.
I started off by making a cover page. I put a quote that I liked from the internet and tried to make the page look pretty, because this page will always be the first thing I see when I open the journal. When I looked up information on Bullet Journaling, I found several resources that gave me insight on what to include in my bullet journal. The main sections I have in mine are a: Future Log, Monthly Log, Bill Breakdown, Budget Graph, Passwords Page and a section for journaling. I originally inserted an Index and started to number pages. Now that I’ve had my journal for about a year, I never use it, so I jump right into my Future Log.
This is the section where I can have a bird’s eye view of the entire year. This is where I can write in holidays, birthdays or major events in this section and use it as an outline for the monthly log.
Here is a shot of my 2018 calendar. When I write in my events, I’ll use different colored ink for events. Then, I’ll use that same color to make a box around the date on the calendar at the top of the page.
Next, I make a calendar for each month. I usually draw in a picture with a quote on the front page, just to announce the month with some fun. I usually chose a holiday or event that happens within the month. For example, August I put a picture of the solar eclipse, and March I put a “lucky” quote.
The monthly helps me so I can write in more details on what is happening each day of the month. I write in vacations, birthdays, holidays and events. I also write in when each of my bills are due and how much they are. This is also how I keep track of all my spending (how much I spend on what day). I use a different colored pen to mark whether it’s an essential living expense (bills, groceries, gas) or “fun” spending (eating out, drinks, shopping). There’s a “notes” section for lists I may need to make or for phone numbers, addresses etc.
There are dividers you can buy to put in between each month, but I just stick on different colored stickies on the edge. Each sticky has the first three letters of the month and makes it easy for me to grab and flip to that month. You can see what I’m talking about on the picture under Future Log on the left side.
At the end of each month, on the back of the page I make a budget sheet. This way I can keep track of when my bills are do so I’m not late. Or if I have automatic withdrawal, I can prepare myself and make sure there’s enough money in my account. This also helps me determine how much I spend on necessary expenses vs. “fun” expenses.
I include my paychecks to make sure I’m not overspending each month. This helps me determine how much I can afford to put into my savings each month. The expenses will be specific to you and you can add whatever you like. However, not everyone will need this sheet, but if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, I’d highly suggest it.
At the end of the month, I add up my expenses and my earnings and put it on a graph. This shows me what months I overspent at just a glance. Since these pages are mobile, I move this sheet around a lot, but usually keep it in the front of my journal to remind me of my spending habits.
Passwords and Journal
The back half of my bullet journal is lined paper. I keep a page all the way at the back with my logins and password written on it. A piece of ribbon is taped to the back cover to use as a bookmark in my journal section.
There are so many options for building a bullet journal. If you’re finding yourself struggling to stay organized or always stressed about money, I highly suggest starting a Bullet Journal. Do your research and look up all the possibilities for your own Bullet Journal, you won’t regret it.