bullet journalling is something extremely trendy atm and it's an amazing way to keep your life in check while also being super aesthetic and impressing all your family and friends looking at the journal. it doesn't always have to be the most extravagant thing in the world or even that neat. all that matters is that it's able to function for you and what you want to do with it.

let's start with the basics of starting a journal, shall we?


this doesn't have to be the big, nice expensive notebooks all the studyblrs use. if you want to splurge go ahead and get them, but you don't necessarily need them. all you need is a simple notebook, whether it's lined, unlined, gridded, or dotted.

here's the common notebooks people use:

  • moleskine notebooks (usually the classic notebook, size large, and dotted pages)
  • leuchtturm 1917 notebook
  • essentials grid-lined notebook, large, a5
  • muji spirals
  • any dotted/grid lined notebook

of course, you obviously don't need to use any of these, but these are the common ones people use. personally, i use a soft cover, large, gridded moleskine notebook, but i think any of these options would be great for anyone.


personally, i think this is one of the most important steps of starting a bullet journal. one, it allows you to figure out what you personally want to do with your bullet journal, and two, you can get a feel for the decorations. here's where i find most of my inspirations:

°˖✧ instagram ✧˖°
my favorite thing to do is scroll through instagram with different studygrams and their journals. here are some of my favorite accounts:

  • boystudy
  • journalsanctuary
  • studyrose
  • tbhstudying
  • peachystudy
  • studyng
  • smoinerd

there's a ton more than that, but that's the first few that i saw in the collection i saved on instagram.

also that's another tip i have for instagram. make sure to save them in collections so you can refer back to the images!! basically, to save in a collection there's a little flag thing in the right hand side of the banner at the bottom of the picture that holds the like, comment, and dm buttons. press and hold on that and you're asked to add to a collection. if you didn't make one already, press the plus button and create a bullet journal inspiration collection and it's exteeemely helpful. trust me on this.

°˖✧ tumblr ✧˖°
personally, i don't check bullet journal stuff on here as much so i don't have any blog recommendations, but occasionally i would search up "bullet journal" and there's a ton of images and masterposts that come up. i definitely suggest to check there!

if you want a basis of which blogs to check, the studygrams i mentioned above usually have a tumblr blog where they blog and repost other blogs' bullet journal spreads so definitely check there.

the community is extremely interconnected so you can definitely find amazing inspiration for spreads and where to start on there!!

°˖✧ youtube ✧˖°
a ha, this is where i always end up procrastinating my own homework and watch a ton of bullet journal videos.

these are really helpful if you want flip-throughs with explanations and the step -by-step process people take to make all of their spreads. most people upload their monthly spreads which is super helpful when you're first setting up your bullet journal.

there's a lot of setting up bujo videos as well, so you probably won't get too lost.

these are the channels i like to watch (some are redundant to the studygrams whOOPS):

  • tbhstudying
  • smoinerd
  • studyquill
  • studywithinspo
  • journalsanctuary
  • amandarachlee
  • ememworld
  • Hannah Song
  • cheyenne barton

there's a ton more bujo channels out there, these are just the ones i remember from seeing on my suggested page and to which i'm subscribed.


the whole point of your bullet journal is that you're going to come back to it and use it again. many of my friends had tried to start a bullet journal and quit because they couldn't keep up with it.

you're going to want to make sure your bullet journal is functional for you and what you want to do with it. originally, the bullet journal was made as a personalized planner that you can use whenever you feel like it. personally, that's for what i use it. i also like to make random color inspiration spreads and quote spreads. this is all up to you, though.

here's some ideas for what you can use your bullet journal:

  • planner/agenda
  • journalling your feelings daily
  • doodles
  • song lyrics
  • mood boards
  • to-do lists
  • story boards


this is the second most important step after you get your notebook. you want to have things with which you like to write so you're motivated to go back to your notebook and start journalling.

you don't need any of the fancy pens everyone has. in fact, you just need one pen and you're good. some people like to use a lot of different colors, markers, and watercolors (i'm guilty of this) but it's not necessary. i personally think the minimalistic bullet journals but i'm not very good at doodling, so i go kinda extravagant.

anyways, here are pens a lot of people like to use:

  • zebra sarasa
  • pilot juice
  • muji pens (0.38 when capped, 0.5 retractable)
  • uniball signo dx
  • pentel energel
  • pilot frixion

here's some highlighters/markers (some are for calligraphy but if you want an article on how to learn calligraphy, please send me a message and i'll definitely write one!!):

  • crayola supertips
  • kuretake zig brushables
  • kuretake zig true brush
  • zebra mildliners
  • tombow abt dual brush pens
  • tombow fudenosuke
  • pilot frixion pastel erasable highlighters
  • pentel sign brush pen
  • uni propus window highlighters

reminder: you don't need any of these things!! these are just suggestions about which are often talked in the studyblr community.


this is where you have the most fun! go and start your bujo!

go put your pens to use!!

take that inspiration and make your own spreads!!

take your time and think about what you actually want to write. i have a ton of unused spreads because i didn't like them/didn't use them. the good thing about this system is that it's adaptable; you can figure out what worked for you one month, what didn't, and use that to work on the next month!

there's multiple ways you can make your spreads. they can be kinda extravagant, or minimalistic. what i mean by extravagant is using the whole shebang: pictures, washi tape, calligraphy, watercolor, etc. it doesn't have to be that way!! you can be minimalistic with just a pen and paper. they both look gorgeous.

journal and book image
an example of an extravagant spread
black and white, gray, and minimalism image
an example of a minimalistic spread

for me, i like to do extravagant spreads. thus, i find a lot of my pictures here on whi and on pinterest. (my pinterest is ladyofthemidnights [plug, plug]) i usually pick one main color (besides black) to use every month and thus, i go to my collections to pick pictures within that specific color criteria.

after i find the pictures i want to use, i go ahead and put that in a document and print that off. i cut them out and lay them aside and start working on my monthly spreads.

for the monthly overview i used to use the traditional calendar layout but then i ended up switching to the list calendars like shown in the original bullet journal video. i like to make a mood board page with some of the pictures i pick out, washi tape that coordinates with the color of the month, and a song lyric/quote of some kind.

i've been trying to use a habit tracker but i always forget to fill it in.


now that you pulled all the stops to starting a bullet journal, it's important that you keep up with it and you actually want to write in your journal.

staying motivated is important, whether it'd be by looking at a ton of pictures on social media or videos on youtube. nonetheless, you'd want to find a way to make you feel excited for writing in your notebook.

PSA: it doesn't matter if your bujo is the most aesthetic thing on the planet. as long as you love it, it's great and especially pretty.

the bujo is meant for functionality above all, as well. this system was created for people to be able to have a functional notebook to write down the things they need to write down that's easily malleable. as long as you can write down what you need to write down, it's a win.


that's all for this "how to" article! i'll probably do some school related tips and maybe even writing tips later on. i hope you enjoyed it!!