Writing and Teaching English

My First BuJo


Do you experience Pinterest fail after Pinterest fail so that your house looks like a toy workshop? Have you read tips on how to keep your toddler from biting the brat on the playground and instead he bites you? Have you read “10 Ways to Encourage Your Husband” and instantly made him feel terrible about himself? Are you so out of touch with what is in that you thought the BuJo was something sexual? Well, so did I until I found the Bullet Journal. 

A genius created this system to be straightforward and minimalist, and everyone else has decided to complicate the heck out of it. Now, the idea is that this “journal” contains all OCD memorabilia–planners, habit trackers, lists–wrapped into one (yes, one) notebook. Here’s how the life-saving BuJo begins in a number of steps that I didn’t take time to count.

Watch the original video. That genius has a fantastic video on how to do this and many other things well, and then I do it however I want. It’s called being an Adult American.

Pick a Notebook. Once I saw the error in my ways, I moved aside four stacks of unread mail and unpaid bills to find the closest blank notebook. I chose to use what I already had because that is free, and I am broke. Another cheap option is to make your own even if you don’t have any sewing or stapling skills–just Pinterest it. You could try for the first time and give up on this Bujo idea before you get to the next step. Still, even if you select an ugly, unoriginal journal, you can make it pretty later. (We know how “later” goes, so I grabbed the prettiest one just in case.) 

I was feeling floral for summer, and these borders make me feel like a real BuJo-er.

Number the pages. Next, I numbered every single page of the notebook—from one to as many pages as the notebook had. If you get distracted or count incorrectly, keep going with random numbers. My kids can’t count, and no one else is flipping through my Pinterest fail in progress. This is another reason the BuJo is so wonderful; it’s personal and personalized until I decide to post it all over God’s Green Internet. Oh yeah, here it is.

Title Page. As every good journal-keeper does, start with a page that claims this notebook as yours and puts a hex on anyone who dares to open it. Also, I’ve read that a cash reward in the case of loss is a nice gesture, so be rich.

Plan Pages and Start an Index. I thought I’d use my BuJo for a year, but I’ve used it to improve on my adulting skills so much that it will likely only last a few months. Again, this is a benefit of the Bujo: you have freedom to make another whenever you want.  You can lose your pink pen and start writing in black. You can count forwards for three items and then start counting backwards. No one else cares. This is a secret diary. See?


Create a Key. These are the most minimalist emojis known to man, and I only use two of them regularly because the others are too cool for me.


Set Up Layouts. This is where you can show off your craft skills and spend gobs of time doodling instead of being productive. When I am seeking more pressure to not suck at life, I search “Bullet Journal Layouts” or “BuJo Inspiration” and on Pinterest or Instagram. Then, I go back to my journal with borders and don’t have to take an art class. I mostly use one brightly colored pen for page titles and one black pen for everything else. I’ll show those off in another post solely dedicated to how I am bad at life right now.

Creating the best BuJo wasn’t my goal, and I don’t want my time to boil down to turning dots into Xs. Still, this popular system is working for me in that I feel more with-it lately, and grace is here for the not-so-pretty learning process.


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