I started a Bullet Journal – 2018 Set up

Along with about 50 million other people, I started a Bullet Journal!

I first became interested in bullet journaling when Lily Pebbles uploaded a video about hers. However, the video ‘How to Bullet Journal’ by the founder, Ryder, really furthers your understanding. He explains that he needed a system to track the past, organise the present, and plan for the future. So he created the Bullet Journal and says that all you really need to get started is a notepad and pen.

Bullet journaling exploded in popularity over the last few years and by now, YouTubers are sharing flip throughs of their previous journals, highlighting the spreads they found useful and those they won’t be using in the coming year. I remember watching Lily’s video and considering how useful it could be for my own journey into working for myself, but also knowing that I wasn’t ready for it at that point. I needed to find my own style, try things out and understand more about how I worked in this way.


Since the original system was created, it has evolved. A lot. You can now by specific notebooks and journals with blank, lined and dotted pages. If you find yourself interested and explore this further, you will no doubt notice that many, many use the Leuchtturm1917 journals which you can buy on Amazon. Developed specifically as a bullet journal, these books are available in a range of colours and prices. I myself have never used one, as I will explain, but as tried and tested favourites of many experienced bullet journalists, you can check them out here: http://amzn.to/2lHUoLM.

I have watched so many bullet journal videos now and just love seeing how others have put theirs together. One of the biggest influences I have come across so far is Amanda Rach Lee. However, there are a huge amount of YouTubers keeping and making videos about bullet journals. others have even set up their own businesses designing custom journals.

For a better understanding of the scope, Amanda Rach Lee and Lily Pebbles are two ends of the Bullet Journal spectrum. Lily knows her strengths and limits and knows that a simple, unfussy bullet journal is her preferred method to stay organised. In contrast, Amanda combines this with relaxation, finding that the process and outcome of creating a beautiful, colourful journal brings her a sense of satisfaction and calm.


Well, I am a complete novice but feel I am somewhere in the middle, appreciating both perspectives. My ultimate goal is to create something inspiring and nice to look at that encourages me to keep records and plan regularly in a concise way. However, as someone just starting out I need time to find my own style. I am looking forward to finding out whether the artistic side seconds as a relaxation technique I can use as part of some regular me time and self-care. An additional aspect I am looking forward to is seeing the development of my doodles and lettering. I’m not the worst at lettering and design, but I often erase and redo until I am happy with the result. And that’s not just me being super harsh on myself, I just need to improve.

For me, whilst wowed by the beauty and capability of some of these YouTubers sharing their journals, I have tried to stay realistic. I love design, doodles and creativity but have never felt particularly good at it. If you read my Blogmas Letter to Santa you will also know that keeping a diary was something I always liked the idea of whilst growing up, but never actually kept one for longer than a few days. Yes, a bullet journal is different to a diary, but it is a combination of organisational tool and diary. It is highly customisable. One of the things really love is seeing the progression.

So, my Bullet Journal:

Like I said, I spent quite some time watching bullet journal videos on Youtube. This helped me to construct a list of things I would like to include. Seems I like to research and I found it interesting comparing designs and opinions on worked and didn’t work for the different users. I have also created a Pinterest board to keep a record of my favourite ideas and things that I would like to incorporate at some stage. In the end, I went for the following:

  • Inspirational quotes

  • 2018 at a glance calendar (Inspired by Amanda Rach Lee)

  • Index

  • Lettering styles I like. This is both as lettering practice and to remind me of options

  • Future Log

  • YouTube Video Ideas

  • 2018 Goals

  • Content Calendars (monthly) – Inspired by Lily Pebbles

  • 2018 Memories

  • Monthly Favourites Section – Inspired by Lily Pebbles

  • Yoga and Slimming World Tracker

  • Wishlist

  • Thoughts Tracker

  • General To Do List

The Products I use:

To get started I decided to go cheap. Regular readers will expect this of me and why waste money on something I might start and abandon. I have done it before, so I decided not to get ahead of myself. I went for the Dot Grid design book (http://amzn.to/2lGvDzE) at £5.90. This is an A5 notebook with a dot grid interior, but the name kind of gives that away right!?

This isn’t the easiest of notebooks due to the structure of the spine. This means that it doesn’t lay flat, but its fine for my starting out. In all honesty, I wouldn’t buy it again though as the front cover is easily marked with fingerprints.

The pens I am using are:

Staedtler triple fineliners:

I bought these a while back at Tesco (currently cheaper at Amazon! – see link) and the black pen is the pen I will be using as my main design pen. This is the 10 Brilliant Colours set and is available here: http://amzn.to/2Eyi6BZ

Crayola Supertips:

I opted for the Crayola Supertips having watched a number of pen review videos. These are popular, cheaper and come with a fantastic range of colours. I almost got carried away and went for the 1oo pack. However, apparently, many of the colours are incredibly similar so I decided not to spend the additional cash. I have to say that I am very happy with my choice so far and if interested you can check them out here: http://amzn.to/2D3zYaG. Not only does this collection include bright colours, but also pastel and muted shades, which very much pleases my colour palette preferences.

And that’s where I am at the moment. So far, creating this journal has been great. I have thoroughly enjoyed the research, identifying the elements I should find most helpful and the subsequent creation of the designs.

If you would like to see an update video at some point in the future then let me know in the comments.

Do you bullet journal? What are your top tips and tricks?

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2 thoughts on “I started a Bullet Journal – 2018 Set up

  1. Great post! I found out about bullet journals through my auntie and Lily Pebbles. I enjoy reading about other peoples’ bullet journals. Thank you for sharing! Xx

    1. Me too! I love looking at and reading about bullet journals other people have created. Great for inspiration and I just love looking at them! x

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