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

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Picture of a notebook and written on the page is first things first. Part of an article: Getting Started: How to Design Your Unique Bullet Journal First Pages

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Table of contents

Bullet Journal First Pages – Introduction

Are you starting out in a bullet journal and want to make a good start with your bullet journal first pages?

I am glad you nodded your head, you are in the right place.

I can still remember the excitement of starting my first bullet journal, wanting to do it right, not make any mistakes and fall in love with this amazing hand designed planner I was going to have.

It is a beautiful feeling.

I want to be able to help you to find the right tools and skills you need to get a beautiful start to your bullet journal journey and have the same falling in love experience.

Think About The Function

This is the starting point.

I talk about this in so many of my blog posts, but you really need to think before you get your pen out.

Your bullet journal is going to be unique to YOU!

[Side point – if you are starting from scratch – consider making your own bullet journal]

So getting inspired by someone else’s beautiful handiwork, while nice, may not be meeting your personal needs for your personal bullet journal.

For your bullet journal beginning pages to be just right for you they need to match what you are planning for your bullet journal.

So let’s look at some options for bullet journal functions:

  • Event and Task manager
  • Journal
  • Collection book – like a reading journal, or recipe book
  • Scrapbook
  • Goal planner
  • Health and Wellness planner

There are probably more that you could think of too, but that is a little list.

In essence a bullet journal is a dot grid notebook. You decide the use that it is going to have.

In essence a bullet journal is a dot grid notebook. You decide the use that it is going to have.

READ: Get Organized and Inspired: How to Start a Collection in Your Bullet Journal

So now you have decided your function let‘s look at your bullet journal first pages.

Planner Style Bullet Journals

So first of all I will explain the common recommended first pages for a bullet journal and options for designing them.

Bullet Journal – Key Page

This is a good page if you are new to bullet journaling. It gives you a reference as to how to mark your tasks and events. Many find after doing bullet journaling a long time that they have these marks in their memory, because of daily use and so they don’t need the reference page.

But if you are new you might find it helpful.


To design a nice bullet journal key page, I think the important thing is the space around. If you plan to use a theme for your beginning pages, make sure your key page also keeps to that theme. Make sure you choose a theme that you are happy to keep looking at for the full duration of using your planner.

READ: 12 Easy Doodles for Your First Bullet Journal Year

Also think about what you will use. Some choose to include a symbol and a color code section of their key. Check out this article for ideas.

Large graphic of a key. Then some symbols like a tick next to a word ‘completed’. Then a right arrow, next to a word ‘migrated’. Then a plus sign next to a work ‘note’. Then an X next to a word ‘cancelled’. Part of an article: Getting Started: How to Design Your Unique Bullet Journal First Pages

Bujo – Index

This is another popular one, especially for those sticking to using the original bullet journal method.


A bujo index page is basically a table of contents for your bullet journal. It requires that each page of your planner is numbered. It isn’t easy to design this in a pretty way, but think about using tabs or pins for inspiration.

One other tip is that you could use highlighter to make pages that you want to turn to often stand out. This can make the look pleasing and be a functional help too.

Again remember to keep your theme consistent.

Read: The Ultimate Guide: What to Include In a Bullet Journal for Beginners

Here is another option for your bullet journal first pages:

Yearly cover page

I personally will always go for this one as my starting page. I find having an inspiring and beautiful opening page keeps me coming back to use my planner on a regular basis.


I think you should use your own creative juices here and do what sparks joy in your heart. You can just write the year. You could write the year and a motivating focus word for the year. You could include a quote or some goals, whatever you like.

Then all you need to do is decorate it, according to your style.

Journal Style Bullet Journals

In this section there are endless possibilities. It is so important that these bullet journal beginning pages really touch and motivate you.

Let’s look at some options:

  • QUOTE! My first self-care growth bullet journal started with a quote page. It was then that I first realized the power of a quote. When you read something regularly, it starts to stick. So personally I highly recommend a touching quote that really hits you.
  • ART! That’s right, you don’t need any writing on a bullet journal opening page, you can just create art or attach art that speaks to you.
  • PERSONAL PROFILE! Yes, you could write a little personal bio in the opening pages to build self-awareness before starting on your journaling journey.

Which of these did you like the best? Have you tried them?

Other Ideas & Tips

Some other bullet journal first pages could include: A yearly overview, a grid spacing guide, a ‘this planner belongs to ——-‘ page.

Here are some final design tips:

Start with less and add more later!

Sometimes we get carried away filling up the whole page, only to regret it later on.

Start with pencil!

I really recommend this for those who like me don’t like making mistakes. Start with pencil, see how it looks, then go in with pens and markers.

READ: Bullet Journaling for Beginners: 5 Essential Tips

So let’s finally answer the question:

Picture of a book over, beautiful leaf pattern in the background. Then the title says: Getting Started: How to Design Your Unique Bullet Journal First Pages

What should the first pages of my bullet journal be?

Most commonly the bullet journal first pages include an index [table of contents for your bujo], a key page [to indicate your symbols and colors], and others such as a yearly cover page, a quote page, or a ‘this bullet journal belongs to …..’ page. It’s important your first pages are inspiring and beautiful.


In conclusion – have fun!

The bullet journal journey is one of learning and experimenting and finding what you love and need in your bullet journal.

It’s important to accept a certain amount of trial and error.

READ: 5 Effortless Bullet Journal Monthly Spread Ideas for Beginners

Please let me know any design tips you have for your starting pages and what mistakes you made along the way, I would love to hear.


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