Bullet Journal 101: What you need & Gorgeous Layouts To Inspire You To Start

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bullet journal 101

Welcome to Bullet Journal 101. If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know how passionate I am about bullet journals and helping inspire others to get started with theirs.

And if you’ve been clueless about bullet journals up to now, but have been inspired to start one, then today is your day. The day I break down what you need to get started and share some inspiration.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one. Read the full disclaimer here.

For starters, do you know what a bullet journal is? It’s basically whatever you need it to be from a planner to detail your schedule, to a habit tracker to track anything from sleep to running, a meal planner to plan meals, even a brain dump where you detail your thoughts. Let your imagination soar!

Sometimes what we lack is a tad bit of inspiration (which this post will take care of in the next few minutes!).

Bullet Journal 101 Supplies

Bullet Journaling is really individualized. I can fill you in on basics to get started but ultimately you will find you may like a particular journal better than another, or some markers over others, etc. I am really basic and like to go the inexpensive route.  The first rule of Bullet Journal 101 is that you shouldn’t let budget get in your way.

The Journal

First, you need a notebook for your bullet journaling. I started with an inexpensive $10 journal, because I am OCD and knew I’d practice and probably start over. I also liked that it was dotted. The version the “pro’s” seem to use is the Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Journal. I wasn’t willing to spend that to start if I wasn’t sure if I’d stick with it. You want a good feel to the paper and pages that won’t fall out.


Because I didn’t want to break the bank, I started with my all-time favorite markers, the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens. Again,  the “pro’s” seem to like Tombow Pens. I started with what I had. I also know some who use Sharpies but I fear the bleed through!

Washi Tape

Some people like to use Washi Tape in their journals. It adds color to sections of your bullet journal. I see them used as page dividers, borders, headers, etc. There are endless choice of washi to choose from with bright colors and variety of designs to make your pages pop!


For those of us who are less artistic, we utilize stencils. They come in a wide variety and help you get the lines you like. They are more than rulers and come in shapes from headers to flowers.

The Art of Lettering

If you’ve seen the “pro’s” do fancy lettering and Calligraphy and thought “I can’t do that”, then think again! There is a multitude of books to teach this to novices like us! Learn to letter and create beautiful designs with beginner’s guides and workbooks. There are tips and tricks to kick start your lettering journey.

Now The Inspiration!

Start Simple

Image Source: @teacherwithaplan

The minimalist in me loves this journal. Simple boxes…Flowy script…I just love it!  It also succesfully houses everything on the page: to-do, chores, meal planning, events, exercise, and more we can’t see! The dots on the paper help to create a neat and tidy layout.

Image Source: @moniquemadrigalart

This simple spread pops with its beautiful purple shading and art.

Image Source: @focusign

This layout is simple in that it basically has each days events but elaborate in their skillful art.

Image Source: @craftydeesigns

I promise purple isn’t my favorite color lol! However, I love the flowing watercolor lettering, the addition of the quote and its minimalist look.

Artsy and Colorful

Image Source: @kobieta_z_pasja

I love the unique art because of it’s charm and motivational power!

Image Source: @planningwithkay

Colorful but not too busy is another great Bullet Journal 101 tip to follow.

Image Source: @bujo.snowberry

Keep track of important birthdays and holidays.

Get To-Do’s Done

Image Source: @bonjournal_

This is a unique cleaning schedule because it helps you stay on top of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks.

Image Source: @abulletandsomelines

A different take on a cleaning list, because this includes a focus area.

Image Source: @@bujo_blossoms

Keep track of books to read, and even journal those you have already read.

Creative Journaling

Image Source: @thestudiesphase

Track your moods however you feel.


Image Source: @@madnessandmastery

A habit tracker is so great as a tool that to fits any needs.

Image Source: @@planner_eyecandy

Track bills beginning with totals and then what you paid with a bill tracker.

Image Source: @my_blue_sky_design

I love gratitude trackers and this one is my favorite because it is daily. I find when I am feeling down, refering back to mine lifts me up.

Image Source: Katietheplanner.com

The anti hustle list is so great, because it reminds you to slow down. I also have a self-care list.


There are so many bullet journal ideas there was no way I could put all of my favorites here.  You can stop by my bullet journal Pinterest board for my favorites. While you are there, be sure to follow the board! Even better, follow me. I share a lot of great ideas, so I hope Bullet Journal 101 inspires you to start your own bullet journal.

Be sure to share your journals with me!

Leave a Comment


  1. Toudjidoum wrote:

    I’m satisfied of your journal therefore subscribe myself.

    Posted 9.3.18 Reply
  2. Dee wrote:

    Over the last 3 1/2 years i have had a lot of health issues, several surgeries and I have fibromyalgia. I have gain 60 pounds and now it is time to get the weight off. I was already overweight so the extra weight isn’t doing me any good and I dont want to have another surgery (the sleeve). I want to start to do this myself. A friend of mine told me she was thinking about getting on the keto diet and asked if I wanted to do it with her. So I started to do some research and it looks like something I can’t really get into. So thank you for doing what you do I will need all the support I can get. Thank you again…gentle hugs ps I am also DeeDee Ann

    Posted 7.22.18 Reply
    • DeeDeeAnn wrote:

      Hi DeeDee Ann! Great name lol 🙂 I am so sorry that you have endured so much! You are such a strong woman! I completely understand as I had been there as well. I really feel for myself this was a healthier way of life and I FEEL so much better! Let me know how it goes!

      Posted 7.22.18 Reply


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