Ideas and the right pens for your Bullet Journal
Bullet Journaling, or Bujo for short, has been a current creative trend for a few years now and is hard to ignore. No wonder: it's great fun. On social networks like Instagram or Pinterest there are many posts on how to use a bullet journal and how you can design it in a creative way. If you want to know what bullet journaling is, how you manage a bullet journal and which pens are particularly suited to writing or drawing in your bullet journal, you’ve come to the right place. Read more for ideas about bullet journaling.
What is a Bullet Journal?
A Bullet Journal is a self-designed calendar diary with thematically structured entries – the bullets. You can create entries in categories of your own choosing. To-do lists, sketches or short diary entries – everything can be entered into a bullet journal. It gives you an overview of what’s going on and allows you to organise yourself the way you want.
I use my bullet journal as both a planning tool and classic calendar and also as a tool for recording activities in the same way as I would in a classic diary.
Anne Broszies, Bullet-Journal-Expert
In the digital era, a bullet journal is a conscious way of slowing down and being mindful. For many people, bullet journaling has become a beloved creative activity.
The inventor of the Bullet Journal is Ryder Carroll, a designer of digital products from New York. When he was a child, he was diagnosed with learning difficulties. He therefore looked for alternative ways to remain focused and productive. And so he developed the principle of bullet journaling. Ryder believes that keeping a bullet journal can help people live more focused and target-oriented lives and not be constantly distracted.
With bullet journals, Ryder Carroll has obviously hit a nerve and the Internet today is full of ideas on the best or most beautiful way to design a Bujo.
- A Bujo can be 100% customised.
- It is independent of time and place and always works wherever you are, even without cable or network.
- A Bujo helps you to work in a focused way, unlike a mobile phone that can distract when it displays new messages or posts.
- With a Bujo you can practise a little creativity every day and improve your skills. When you enter something, you practise techniques like handlettering or sketchnoting every day. You work with colours and different pencils and experience the wonderful feeling of being creative while doing so.
With a Bullet Journal you're creating your own individual analogue tracking tool
With your Bullet Journal you can measure the progress of your activities. It's a quick way to formulate a good resolution, a goal or a plan. It often helps us to measure how active we have been in implementing such plans so as not to lose sight of the goal. There are different ways to keep track of your goals and progress along the way. A bullet journal can be used as an analogue tracking tool that records all your plans, activities and ideas.
● Annual overviews
● Monthly targets
● To-do lists
● Expenses and savings plans
● Sleep tracker
● Sports tracker
What’s really important is: a bullet journal should remain clear and help you to work systematically on your to-do list. Many bullet journalists therefore have systems to measure activities. Tracking isn’t just reserved for the digital world. Want to play sport more often? Then create a bar chart for it. When you do sports, draw a line in the bar. So it adds up over time and you can see at a glance how close you are to your goal.
Bullet design, colour coding and index in your Bujo
How you design your Bullet Journal is up to you. The best notebook to use for your calendar is therefore one without lines or squares if possible. There are notebooks that come with a very fine dot grid that you can use to help you with dividing the space up the way you want it. You can orientate yourself using the grid if you want to create rows, columns or boxes with a fineliner. But you can also make free entries on the delicate dots, such as drawings with pencil or fineliner, which you can then highlight with a marker or do handlettering.
You can even transform themes into small infographics if you feel extra creative. Another popular method is to add a colour code to topics or weekdays. This means you can see at a glance where a particular entry belongs. Do it how it best suits you, the way you want to design it and above all: do it in a way that helps you.
You can use lots of techniques and effects in your Bullet Journal:
The MONO edge highlighters with their innovative chisel tip are particularly suitable for colour coding, while Twin Tones with their two tips of different widths allow you to draw in wonderful colours to suit your mood.
Pigment-based fineliners are suitable for sketching and drawing. Curved outlines can be drawn with the Fudenosuke. ABT Dual Brush Pens, which are available in a huge range of colours, are suitable for colouring using mixes. These water-based brush pens can also be individually mixed. Together with the Fudenosuke, they are best used for handlettering because they showcase the curves of your writing perfectly on the paper.
The materials you need for your Bullet Journal
The basis for your bullet journal is a notebook. You can pretty much use any notebook. However, subtly dotted notebooks can be divided up in a particularly versatile way. Choose the size that suits you best. Would you like to write in the notebook on the go? Then get a DIN A5 notebook that you can easily put in any bag. Or is the notebook destined to stay at home? Then you can opt for one that’s a little bigger.
Open the notebook up. Do you like the paper? How does it feel when you turn the pages and do you like the rustle of the pages when you turn them? If it feels good when you hold it, it’s the right one for you.
But don’t worry, you can’t do anything wrong here – and if it’s your first bullet journal, you’ll be gathering experience all the time, right from the start.
Water-based pens are well suited for bullet journaling because they do not penetrate most types of paper. They lie on the paper rather than being absorbed and bleeding through. They are therefore ideal for working in notebooks where both sides of the page will be used.
Pens that are particularly suitable are felt-tip pens such as the TwinTones, ballpoint pens such as the practical four-colour ballpoint pen Reporter 4, ABT Dual Brush Pens and highlighters such as the MONO edge. Correction rollers are suitable for simple, fast corrections because the dry correction tape can be written on immediately. If you also want to glue something into your Bujo, then a glue stick or a glue tape is ideal because they won’t make the paper on the individual pages warp.
With a bullet journal, you'll immediately feel like you have a better overview of your life. You make yourself aware every day of what you’re doing and what plans you have.
A bullet journal boosts your concentration. You can design it in a very individual way without using templates or tools. You might even gradually discover a new creative side to yourself and you can learn or perfect techniques.
Have fun - and stay creative.