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From Blank Page to Planner: How to Make a Bullet Journal

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A close up of an open notebook with a glass pot to the side containing pens and markers. Part of an article: from blank page to planner how to make a bullet journal. Also part of an article: 12 easy doodles for your first bullet journal year

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Table of contents

How to make a bullet journal? It’s one of the first questions asked when you decide to start on the journey. So let’s begin!

How to Make a Bullet Journal – Introduction

So you have probably heard of bullet journals.

So maybe now you have reached the time when you start searching online for: bullet journal getting started.

That is going to be the sole purpose of this article – to provide a guide for you to get off the ground and make a custom planner for yourself without too much stress or worry.

I would just like to say ‘Welcome to the journey’. Bullet journaling is such a rewarding way to get organized. It really does provide for your personal organization needs and will be so helpful for your life. I can say for myself that it has changed my life, I know that’s a big claim.

So without further ado, bullet journal beginners. let’s get into it!

Getting Started

First things first, you need the right supplies.

Essential Supplies

You actually NEED very little. A notebook and a pen.

But for those who want to try their hand at making an aesthetic planner in their bullet journal then you might need a dot grid notebook, a few markers and extra tools.

Some like a ruler for making straight lines, others prefer the hand drawn look.

You can find supplies in many places. Have a look at all the options available at ‘A Cherry On Top’

There are many other places too, you might want to check some shops in your local area.

Remember a bullet journal is a very flexible system, so you will need to think about the supplies that you will personally need for the type of bullet journal set up that you want.

I suggest for bullet journal beginners, starting with very minimal supplies and building them up as you see the need. For example, there was a craze of using washi tapes for decorating bullet journals. I felt the need to go and buy some but ultimately I haven’t used them in my bullet journal at all. So be aware of following trends just for th sake of it.

Make your own bullet journal planner

When some ask – how do you make a bullet journal – they actually want to make their own from scratch.

It is an option, if you prefer to make your own bullet journal planner using a different method than a bought notebook. Some options include:

A good article to read:

Ideas to Make Your Own Bullet Journal Style Planner

As you can see there are lots of options, so you would need to do your own research on the specifics of what type of planner you want to make.

You can also buy the paper to help you get started.

Setting Up Your Bullet Journal

There are some key components of a bullet journal that are important to have.

Many people start their bullet journal with a key page. This is helpful for bullet journal beginners because it is like creating your own guide for your own bullet journal.

The key page is for writing what your indicators and signifiers will mean that you will use in your bullet journal. Something like this:

  • o = Task
  • x = Event
  • > = Migrated
  • — = Completed
  • + = Note

Hopefully that gives you an idea.

Another option is an index page, where you number each page in your bullet journal and you create a table of contents page.

Picture of a close up of a page title that says ‘INDEX’. Part of an article about how to make a bullet journal

Then you can move into your chosen yearly planner pages. There are so many to choose from so look out for inspiration and choose the ones that will work for you.

You may also wish to start a specific collection in your bullet journal. Read about that here.

Monthly & Weekly Spreads

After completing the yearly pages you want you now get into making monthly and weekly spreads. These you will use more often so choose wisely.

In fact when asking – how do you make a bullet journal – this is the most important thing you can learn. How to make your monthly and weekly spreads?

READ: 5 Effortless Bullet Journal Monthly Spread Ideas for Beginners

You need to ask yourself lots of questions:

  • Do I want to create monthly themes for decoration?
  • Do I want to make the same spreads each month or change them regularly?
  • How much time do I want to spend filling in a bullet journal each day?

These are important to think; many give up in their bullet journal journey because they haven’t thought about the answer to these questions.

I seen many bullet journalers start with creating lots of different monthly and weekly pages only to reduce and simplify later on.

Maybe all you need are the basics:

  • MONTHLY = calendar, tasks & goals dashboard
  • WEEKLY = daily boxes & to-do list

You can think about what you personally will use and look at Social Media for inspiration.

Creativity & Personalization

That brings me to this next section – creativity.

Some people love working on their bullet journal so much that they happily spend hours on it each and every day.

They love the process, it’s a creative outlet.

Others using it functionally – it plans their time and tasks and that is all.

It’s good for bullet journal beginners to learn your own way with this early on so that you don’t spend time trying to copy what works for others.

If you do want to use decoration and monthly themes try reading:

Getting Started: How to Design Your Unique Bullet Journal First Pages

Keeping Momentum

Some background ripped paper from old books. On top is a graphic of a spiral bound notebook. There is a name and then a title area that says: how to make a bullet journal

I can’t give you a bullet journal getting started guide without helping you to keep your momentum.

Many people have gotten stuck, made mistakes and given up all to soon. I have seen some say ‘bullet journaling doesn’t work’.

This is very sad, because it simply isn’t true. It’s a notebook where you create the pages you wish to use. How could it NOT work?

Well, simply put, some don’t stick with and experiment enough to find the things that do work. They try something that doesn’t work and then think that means the whole system doesn’t work.

SO here is your pep talk!

Keep going and keep experimenting. You will eventually find what works for you, it just might take longer than you think.

ALSO don’t give up if you think your art is bad, and it doesn’t look as you had hoped.

There are many ways to make your planner beautiful, so again experiment. Also everyone, EVERYONE, creates a bad bullet journal page. Some days it just doesn’t work for us.

I have created many ‘bad’ monthly themes, drawings, layouts. But it doesn’t mean you should give up.

Keep remembering why you started and the reason you want to use a bullet journal.


In conclusion, let’s answer:


Get a few basic supplies, like a dot grid notebook, and some pens. Create your basic beginner pages, like a key, and index page. Then make yearly, monthly and weekly layouts that you will use regularly. Add personalization and you have a bullet journal planner.

I hope that helps you to see how to make a bullet journal.

It really is not too difficult, even for bullet journal beginners.

Please let me see the bullet journal that you end up making, I would love to see it.

Thanks for being here today.

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