How to Bullet Journal for Beginners – Supplies, Spreads, and Basics

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A complete “how to bullet journal beginners” that explains essential supplies, basic concepts, and amazing spreads. The blog post is broken down into categories to help you follow along.

how to bullet journal for beginners

If you are new to bullet journaling, this blog post is for you! This 101 bullet journal guide for beginners will explain what materials you need to get started and how to use a bullet journal to become more productive.

Please use the table of contents below to navigate through the blog post.


Bullet Journal Basics for Beginners

A bullet journal is a notebook where you can create your own spreads. It was created by Ryder Carroll to help you organize your thoughts and increase your productivity. Simply open your notebook and write down bullet points of things you need to get done that day.

Other people like myself, used the bullet journal as way to express our creativity. The spreads can be simple with no color or very elaborate with different colors, washi tape, and stickers.

bullet journal weekly spreads layout ideas


Bullet Journal Supplies for Beginners

All you need is a notebook (any notebook you have at home) and a pen. I buy notebooks that have thick pages to avoid having the pen bleeding through the pages. My favorite bullet journal notebooks are extra-large dotted Moleskine and Smart Planner Dotted Journal.

My favorite pens are Pilot G2 gel pens. The ink is rich in color and the pens write smooth on any paper. If you love creating beautiful titles on your planner I highly recommend the Tombow Dual Brush pens.

Check out this blog post for a full list of my favorite bullet journal supplies!

bullet journal supplies pens and pink pencil case


Bullet Journal Spreads for beginners

What spreads do I need to create? That’s totally up to you! Most people have the following spreads on their planner: index, future log, cover page, calendar, and weekly spread or daily spread. Check out my yearly bullet journal layout to learn how each spread works.

bullet journal cover page with quotes and pilot pens on Moleskine planner

bullet journal layout on dot paper with erasable pens

Other people love using their bullet journal to track their school assignments or personal tasks. Other awesome pages to include in your bullet journal are: mood tracker, migraine tracker, sleep tracker, homework tracker, self-care tracker… etc.

You can use my collection of FREE bullet journal trackers to skip doing your own spreads and jump right into planning. Choose a printable, print it, and glue it on your notebook.

Here are a couple of bullet journal spread ideas:

flowery bullet journal mood tracker and habit tracker

hearts bullet journal weekly spread vertical

bullet journal weekly spreads layout ideas

GoodNotes planner, iPad planner

GoodNotes planner, iPad planner


Digital or Paper Bullet Journal

A digital planner is the digital version of a paper planner. You can create your own planner, your own spreads, and take your iPad everywhere. The best part about digital planning:

  • The ability to undo all my mistakes.
  • I can easily move images or drawings around the page unlike a physical paper
  • I can add any fonts to the planner
  • My planner syncs between iPhone, Mac, and iPad
  • Depending on the app you use, you can record your college lecture to review your notes later

For digital planning, I use my iPad Pro with the apple pencil, the GoodNotes app and the planners from my shop. I also have a couple of great tutorials if you are a digital bullet journal beginner.

April digital bullet journal iPad pro and April bullet journal spread with butterflies and pink banners

Three years ago I embarked on the world of digital planning and never looked back. I use my digital planner to take college notes during my lectures. I use a separate digital planner for my bullet journal spreads.

digital bullet journal weekly spread

digital bullet journal iPad Notability app watching list

Here are a couple of digital bullet journal spreads from other amazing artists:

digital planner spreads, GoodNotes, iPad planner


Where do I find ideas for my bullet journal?

Instagram is my go-to place for bullet journal inspiration. In the search bar type “bullet journal weekly spread” or “bujo spread” and a lot of great images with show up.

Google images is my second favorite place to look for bullet journal ideas. I also type on the search bar for a specific term and browser through the images.

Pinterest is another great source to find bullet journal tutorials and ideas.

bullet journal mood tracker bujo

I hope this bullet journal basics guide for beginners gave you an idea to leanr how to start your own planner. If you have any questions leave them in the comment section,.

If you want to learn about digital planners and bullet journaling join my Facebook group! Readers from all over the world share their bullet journal and digital planner spreads. It’s amazing to learn from other people that share a common interest.

Check out my shop for amazing digital planners & stickers! ♡

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