What Is Bullet Journalling + Step-By-Step How To Set Up A Bullet Journal

Hey kids, welcome to another round of Mia talking about stationery. I’ve faced up to the fact that I have a problem and that’s the first step, so I’m fine, right?

Today’s post is about something I’ve been anticipating for months . . . setting up a bullet journal! If you don’t know what bullet journalling is, I’m confused about how you found my blog because you’re clearly not familiar with the soul-sucking invention that is the internet. Bullet journals are absolutely everywhere. There’s no escaping them.

But fine – you win. I’ll explain what they are.

What is Bullet Journalling?

  • A planner

  • A to-do list

  • A diary

  • A sketchbook

  • A way to keep track of your life

  • An organisational tool

  • Cool as fuck

Bullet journalling is a new form of quick journalling that focuses on being versatile and easy to use; instead of having to write long sentences, you get to basically bullet point everything.

Apart from a few general rules, bullet journalling is very DIY – which is why it’s perfect for you, because you make it perfect for you. Are you a runner? You can keep a log of that. Trying to diet? Yep, you can also include a spread for that. Maybe you want a meditation record, or a moon phases page . . . you can use anything!

Bulelt journalling was developed by Ryder Carroll.

How To Bullet Journal/The Method

Guys – I made a thing! Check out my little Youtube video on how to set up a bullet journal; it’s quick and there’s no talking (thank God.)

The bullet journalling method is designed to be simple. You can add more to your bullet journals – you can add whatever you like to them – and I’ll show you how to set them up and lay them out etc. in the step-by-step set up below, but here’s the basic framework that you need.

  1. The page numbers.

    The first thing you want to sort out is page numbers. This will help you with your index – and it’s better to do this first. You don’t necessarily need to do the entire book – but get the first few out of the way, so you aren’t jumping between tasks as you set up your book.

  2. The index

    Okay, so the first page of your journal should be your index. This might sound weird, but you wouldn’t believe how helpful this is – if you ever need to find notes or a particular page, instead of having to flick through your entire planner you have a record of it in your index.

  3. The task codes & key

    This is one of the major things about bullet journalling – the codes. Whenever you log a task into your journal, you’ll put a marker next to it. This will represent anything you want it to, but the recommended markers are:

    This is particularly helpful for people that jot down notes everywhere – if you have a great idea, for example, you could always have a marker that you’ll be able to instantly spot if you were to come looking for it later.

    To help you keep track of these markers and what they mean, it’s recommended that you have a key (like the one above) in your journal at the front or the back.

  4. The future log

    This isn’t as gyspy-fortune teller as you’d think. All the future log is is a calendar view of your year, so any big events that you have coming up or things that you need to log in advance are all there.

  5. The collections

    Now, this is the bit that we all get excited by. Some may say overexcited; some may shut up. Collections are where you log all your miscellaneous tracking ideas. Whether this is a sleep journal, a collection of TV shows you watch, or books you read . . . these are your collections. You don’t necessarily have to have any – and you don’t have to do them all now, but it’s worth leaving a few pages blank to give yourself the option later.

  6. The page spreads

    And now we reach the real meat of your journal – the main page spreads. These are what you’ll be filling out day-to-day. Most people will have a monthly spread at the beginning of each month, where you can see everything that’s going to happen in the month and add in your monthly tasks/goals, before moving into weekly views.

    Again, if you want to add any additional spreads (such as a monthly habit tracker) you can add these in too.

  7. And that’s all you need!

    Once you have your page spreads set up, you can start using the journal!

How To Set Up A Bullet Journal

Note: this isn’t my actual bullet journal because I’ve ordered a bunch of stationery for it that needs to arrive so I can have it as aesthetically pleasing as I always dreamed, but it’s a good first run, don’t you think?

What You Need:

  • Journal – preferably dotted grid. I use a moleskin; it’s good to have high-quality paper so that ink doesn’t bleed onto the other side
  • Pens
  • Technically, that’s it – but I would recommend washi tape, stickers, etc.

Step 1: Choose an initial colour theme.

I know this may sound odd and counter-intuitive, but for people like me a large part of the appeal of bullet journals is all the cute layouts that everyone else has created with them. Right? I mean, just turn to Pinterest and Instagram and you’ll see all these works of absolute art!

So I already knew that I’d face a bit of pressure from myself to make things pretty – which completely defeated the point! Bullet journals are supposed to be a quick, easy minddump. To meet in the middle of this, I basically decided to cheat. You’d be surprised how much better a simple sticker and a bit of colour co-ordination can make anything look, so I picked out a colour scheme, bought a few accessories in those colours and now making a cute page takes zero effort.

I chose black, white and gold because they’re really versatile colours too – so if I do want to take the time to create a really pretty page I can create whatever the hell I want and it still looks like it goes.

Seriously, guys – this is a life-saver. Find a colour scheme, pick up some pens and stickers and washi tape and worrying about how your bullet journal looks will be a thing of the past.

Here are a few schemes (and accessories!)


Galaxy Planner Layout – I tried to find the source, but it was a dead link off Pinterest. If anyone knows where it’s from, let me know so I can link it please.

Galaxy Washi Tape – £4.45

Galaxy Planner Stickers – £14.98

Galaxy Foiled Coffee Stickers - Planner Stickers

Galaxy Coffee Cup Stickers – £2


651 curtidas, 18 comentários - Amanda Lee (@amandarachdoodles) no Instagram: “been trying out some new spread styles, i'll talk about it more in my next Plan with Me vid (coming…”

The creator of this gorgeous bullet journal spread is Amanda Lee, linked.

6 Pastel Highlighters, Stabilo Boss highlighting pens, pastel pens, colored pens, Stabilo pens

Pastel Highlighters

Step 2 – Number your pages & Set Up An Index

Step 3 – Get your future log up

Step 4 – Set up some collections

Step 5 – Get up your monthly and weekly spread up

Step 6 – And use the damn thing!

And that’s it! I know; it looks so bloody complicated, but when you actually look at what you have to do it’s pretty simple.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you guys use the bullet journal method? If you don’t would you try after this? Also – let me know what you thought of the video. I’m trying to “upgrade” my content with different types of media, so I’m trying to get some practice with video in.

All the love,

Mia x

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Blog Comments

That’s a fun post. I have a journal in which I doodle, note down quotes and things that get me, including feelings and pangs which the world does not need to know, sketch… so this got me. Maybe I can try making a bullet journal out of my moleskine yet! 🙂 xx

Oooooh sounds perfect! I was exactly the same – I had like ten journals for different things which was just unproductive 😭 xx

Hmm I suspect I might still have them Mia. Just because I have a weakness for buying pretty journals and making little piles. Right now I have this one Moleskine (because all my other journals are in the process of being shipped). Cannot wait to see all of them 😉 xx

So do i 😭😭😭 at least we can try to pass it off as room decor?🤔 Ooooh im excited for you; looking over old sketchbooks and diaries is so nostalgic!xx

Hahaha and some annoyance at leaving half of them blank. I espied some half finished travel thoughts the last time I opened my travel journal in Northampton. As if I do not have enough piles of books and journals, I got my childhood ones back from Calcutta to Northampton last autumn. The thoughts and writing made me roar out loud. I was a silly, silly thing.

Hehe this doesn’t surprise me – I often catch myself laughing out loud at your blog posts! I have a few sketchbook/diary things from my younger teen years…my comic strip drawing stage was particularly entertaining xD

Thanks! 🙂

Comic strip drawing stage! *Chortles

If it were not hara-kiri to spy on journals, I would love a peek. Not that my mother acknowledges ever that spying is indeed a crime (that too on her daughter’s innermost cringe-y thoughts). She is the reason I stopped writing my diaries for a long time 😛

Thank you for explaining. I’m such an anal organiser….. i had heard of bullet journaling but did not know much about it. 🙂

Thanks for reading! Bullet journalling is by far my favourite method of organising☺x

First just wanted to say your handwriting is so nice, my script is actually tragic I wouldn’t even call it a scribbled version of Picasso (not even sure I can read my own script handwriting!). I’ve seen so many posts on twitter on bullet journals and I feel like I half want to make one and half the effort to make one has me doing a 360 haha! Though after reading this and watching the video too it does look really fun to create – looks like making a bullet journal is now in my future!


Aww thank you so much! I actually prefer writing script; my handwriting is really inconsistent otherwise😂😭 DO IT! Bullet journals are absolutely great; you start feeling like youre actually on top of your life😂 x

Your video looks pretty cool! I was actually planning to buy a bullet journal online in a couple of days! I’m going to use it for my reading checklist, mood tracker, calendar, and other things. Sharing this on Pinterest!

Thank you so much! I definitely would; they’re great! Especially if you sit at a desk during the day (work or form at school, for example) because you actually do find yourself filling it out too.

How cute, the diary shots are wonderful 🙂

Thanks lovely x

I have a journal, sort of.😁 It helps with organising my life, expenses, birthdays, blog post ideas, exercises, etc. I will have to add diet soon. Need to do it…😩
Love your post, a lot of details. Very helpful! ❤️

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