February 16, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Journaling

Amy Tan gives us the inside scoop on bullet journaling.

Hi guys! While we might be well into 2018, we’re still thinking about our intentions for the year. And every year it seems “getting (and staying!) organized” tops that list. And for good reason!

When you’re organized and clear on what your goals are for the day, week, and month, all other parts of your life somehow seem more in tact. The power of organization is strong!

Well, today we have a special guest contributor, who most of you know from her own website and brand, as well as from our Wednesday Words of Wisdom series

Amy Tan is the woman behind AmyTangerine.com, and she is one of the most creative and talented gals we know (also a long time friend of Carrie’s!). She’s truly a gem of a person and such a joy to know. She’s also coming out with a book very soon (more info below).

And something you might not know about her is that she is incredibly into bullet journaling! 

If you are unfamiliar with bullet journaling, it’s a type of journaling that has taken the world by storm lately, and it is, plain and simple, a way of journaling and keeping organized, but it is so much more than just writing down your daily to-do list. 

Keep on reading to learn all about bullet journaling and why Amy loves it so much.

What I Love About Getting Creative with a Bullet Journal

Even though it’s the middle of February and you may be well on your way to succeeding at all the goals you set for the New Year (go you!), it’s never too late to be inspired by ways to enhance your life. Or perhaps you’re like me, and January flew right by, and you’re just now taking stock on the intentions you set for making 2018 your best year yet.

Though most of us have been trained from a young age to believe that we need to abide by a calendar to dictate when we can start things – on the 1st of the month, when we reach a certain birthday, or at the start of a new year – I don’t go by those “rules” at all. If you want to make a change or kick off a good habit, there’s no time like the present. Just start and begin with that first small step.

One of the simplest things I have done to bring harmony into my life is planning on paper. I believe our thoughts and words hold power, especially when we take the time to write them down.

I started keeping a diary when I was younger and then it morphed into a journal and then a planner for school and after that it’s seen many iterations. Right now my favorite way to plan, schedule and track goals is in the form of a bullet journal. I have had a variety of planners that have worked for me at different stages, but when I actually committed in 2017 to trying to keep just one book that I could have with me wherever I went, it was in a way, life changing.


What is a bullet journal?

What is a bullet journal? You can read all about the basics on bulletjournal.com and watch the video that helped inspire me to start one. To sum it up, Ryder Carroll, who developed the system, describes it as a way to: Track the past, Organize the present, Plan for the future.

The scrapbooker in me loves everything about that. Essentially all you need to start is a notebook and a pen. This dot grid journal is what I use, and right now my favorite pens are these Tombow MONO pens. There are also plenty of resources from amazing people like Boho BerryTiny Ray of Sunshine or Amanda RachLee.

One of the best things about this system, to me, is that it can change and evolve. I, personally, learn best by actually doing, and embracing the process. This is something that you can truly personalize and make your own.


Other supplies

While you can just get started with a notebook and pen, I have been inspired (through lots of trial and error) to make it work more for my style by incorporating other supplies. I’m never too far from a handful of colored markers or my trusty water brush that I keep in my Planner Pouch. Stamping using clear stamps is also a favorite.

I’ve discovered that spreading the weekly format over two side-by-side pages appeals to me from an aesthetic and practical standpoint and keeps me going week after week. I also really enjoy adding various memorabilia from my day-to-day life into my spreads as well as keeping a gratitude log because it enriches the overall memory-keeping aspect of bullet journaling (I’m a scrapbooker at heart, remember?).

That being said, there are also certain sections or features that I have tried because I saw someone else implement them only to realize that they didn’t work for me. For example, the monthly habit tracker with too many “habits” was something that I couldn’t fill in daily and I ended up abandoning it altogether since it didn’t suit my needs. The secret is to experiment and try different approaches until you find the best fit for your personal style.


Don’t feel overwhelmed

Some of the days and weeks will be better than others. The key to remember is that this should be a tool to help enhance your life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of spending too much time decorating or stamping, then those techniques are probably not for you. If you love doodling, incorporate that in little sections of your pages.

Remember, the whole is greater than the sum of its’ parts. I truly believe creative journaling has no rules, as long as what you’re doing is fulfilling and making you happy.

Come say hi on my Instagram and YouTube channel, and pre-order my book, Craft a Life You Love here.

A Couple More Things

Thank you so much, Amy!

We hope you guys enjoyed this as much as we did. Are you into bullet journaling yourself? If so, would love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below.

Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *