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How to start a bullet journal

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Dads can be crafty too, you know. So find out why you should give bullet journaling a go.

It may seem archaic to hand write your schedule in this digital age, but crafting your own diary can be just the thing to being more productive and organising hectic schedules.

Why you should give bullet journaling a go

Many of us keep schedules on our phones, have desk calendars or diaries we keep in our satchels. But haven’t you ever wanted your diary to have a different column for lists, or for the layout to be vertical instead of landscape? The beauty of a bullet journal is that you can make the diary exactly what you want it to be. You can add as much room for lists as you’d like; you can draw a week or month layout in a way that will be the most effective for you; you can add as much colour as you’d like or leave a more modernist vibe.

There is just something about having your entire week laid out in front of you that makes you feel like you have your life in order, at least a little bit more. A bullet journal is so versatile. You can create a page spread for your week ahead, or a spread for to-do lists, you can even do a year ahead to really get a handle on all your events.

Read on to find out how to get started.


Bullet journal

Bullet journals come in many sizes and options. You can have a standard size journal or a smaller one. Decide from dotted paper or graph paper if lines are your thing.

Markers, pens, pencils

This is where you can really go crazy. There are standard markers, brush pens, pens with calligraphy tips and highlighters in every shade you could imagine. Don’t feel pressured to buy super fancy brush pens, it’s okay to start with simple utensils until you feel ready to tackle hand-lettering.


Rulers are particularly helpful when drawing spreads with boxes and lines. Investing in a ruler is good idea.

Ideas for spreads

  • Daily, weekly, monthly
  • Shopping list
  • To-do list
  • Birthdays
  • Goals
  • Habit trackers
  • Books or movies to read
  • Savings tracker

Now you have the basic steps and supplies down. Take some time for yourself and try your hand at creating your own.