For those who don’t know, a bullet journal is “a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above.” Over the past two years, bullet journals (also known as BUJO) have gained a large amount of popularity and for very good reason. A bullet journal is a great way to organize your thoughts, plans for the day, month, or week, and journaling anything can be a great destresser for those chaotic days where you need to get out of your own head. Having everything organized in one portable notebook can be insanely helpful, but knowing where to start can be the hardest part. Here are three easy tips to help get you started!

1. Get a journal and a pen

Buying a journal to use is the very first place to start. There are multiple brands and types of notebooks to use for bullet journaling (the most common being the dot grid versions): the Leuchtturm 1927 A5 notebooks, Moleskine Notebooks, Rhodia Webnotebook, Midori MD Notebook, etc. (here’s the full list with helpful descriptions: )

2. Finding Inspiration

Often times, no matter how much we love doing something, we get stuck on how to continue once we’ve gotten the materials out of the way. For bullet journaling, there’s tons of different websites, blogs, and even social accounts that talk about how to bullet journal and what to bullet journal. But the best thing about a bullet journal is that there’s no finite way you have to do it; you can make it as elaborate or as minimalist as you want.

3. Starting Your Own

After finding proper inspiration, you’re now free to start designing and organizing a bullet journal of your own. You can make a calendar to keep track of important events, write down self-care tips, keep a list of the books/shows/movies you want to catch up on, keep a planner of all the things you want to get done that day, week, or month, and you can even make your own meal planner. Different pens can be used for different writing styles, doodles can be drawn, stickers can be placed, and tape can be applied.

Bullet journaling is a great alternative to a traditional planner. Bullet journals are customizable to your needs (can be a journal, planner, and sketchbook all in one) and they’re easy to learn and set up. They keep everything organized in a way that everything is laid out where you can see it. It’s wonderful for keeping lists and it’s a great way to track long-term goals that you want to achieve. They inspire productivity by keeping you on task and focused. Bullet journals are also a way to destress and get out of your own headspace by putting your time and energy into something rewarding. If you need a better visual here’s a couple videos to help inspire you.