Reasons You Should Bullet Journal + Tips and Tricks to Get You Started

Lifestyle

Bullet journaling is a recent craze that has piqued the curiosity of many teenagers, and for good reason. While it can seem overwhelming at first to create a bullet journal and maintain it, it's actually not that hard at all. Often abbreviated as bujos, a bullet journal is a relatively easy way to track your health, sleep, customs, and so much else.

Since I started bullet journaling, I've been more aware of what I'm eating, how much sleep I'm getting, my habits, and scores of other things. If I'm particularly tired one day, I can look at my trackers and realize, “oh I only ate chips yesterday and didn't go outside! That's why I'm tired!” Or, if you, like me, have health issues such as high blood pressure, a bujo can be a great way to stay on top of those issues.

Moreover, in the midst of a pandemic, we all seem to have a little extra time at home; for me, bullet journaling has been one of the most effective strategies to combat boredom.

What is a bullet journal?

A bullet journal is equal parts planner, diary, and whatever else you choose to incorporate. Bullet journals help turn the chaos of your everyday lifestyle into a streamlined system that helps you be more productive and organized. With sections to log your daily to-do’s, monthly calendar, notes, long-term wants, and more, your bullet journal is customized to your life. Bullet journals are also extremely effective in helping you reach your goals. By updating your bullet journal daily, you learn how to get rid of things that are distracting you, how you can be your most productive self and other things you didn't realize about yourself.

Why should you bullet journal?

Back in June, one of my very good friends had recently gotten into bullet journaling and was encouraging me to do the same. Let me just say this: the decision to start bullet journaling was life-changing. I've never been so organized and productive as I have been in the past 6 months since I started my bujo.

As teenagers, we're busy! Homeworks, extracurricular, after-school jobs...we have a lot on our plates! Bullet journals can help you to organize your life, track when assignments are due, and keep track of pretty much anything you want it to!

Before I started bullet journaling, I was basically just trying to keep track of everything I need to do in my head. It usually didn't go well but ever since I started my bujo, I've been very on top of everything and I feel so much more organized! In addition, bujos are so pretty and relaxing to make! Need I say more?

What do you need to get started?

To get started, pretty much the only essential things are a dotted journal, which you can get on Amazon for as little as $5, and some colored pencils. That's what you would need for a very basic bujo; most people's kits include markers (I definitely recommend mildliners!) fine-tipped black markers, stencils, and gel pens, among other things. All of these are relatively cheap and available in most places.

For inspiration for your bujo, some good sites are Pinterest or YouTube. Also, friends who bujo are always a great resource. And use the internet! Just a simple Google search for “bujo mood trackers” will give you tons of inspiration for your mood tracker.

What Should I Track?

Everyone tracks different things, but some of the most common trackers are Health, Sleep, Workout, and Habits. I also write down something I'm grateful for each night and track my mood, favorite songs and memories from each month, my skincare, goals, and responsibilities for the month. Remember your bujo is supposed to fit your needs, so if an involved, 3-page health tracker is what's going to help you, go for it. You can also track small things, like your favorite nail polish colors or your basketball team's schedule. Other things to track include social media use, meals, mental health, weather, vitamins, flossing, caffeine intake, how much time you spent studying, when things are due, how close you are to achieving goals, journaling, devotions, how much TV watched....the possibilities are endless.

You Got This!

Bullet journals can be such an amazing way to track everything you have going on, and they're also a great creative outlet. However you chose to style your bujo, remember that it's all about what's going to help you. Everyone's bujos are beautiful and unique. Now, get to it!

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Caroline Rendell
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Caroline Rendell is a rising 10th grader in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where she attends Rustin High School. She joined TTM in August 2020 and when not tackling the workload known as high school, can be found baking, bullet journaling, watching sports, hanging out with friends, or procrastinating for hours by looking at memes.