I was sitting at my desk the other day, looking at my list of bullet journal post ideas, trying to figure out what to post today. It occurred to me that I had not done a challenge in a while, nor had I addressed bullet journaling beginners. So today I will be challenging both beginners and pros (though this will be particularly helpful for beginners) to a 30-day bullet journaling challenge! Let’s get started!
Getting Prepared for the Challenge
Before you can begin this challenge you need a few things: a journaling notebook, colored pens or markers, other tools (stickers, washi tape, stamps, etc.). There are no specific tools that will work for everyone, some people might use a blank notebook and still others might use lined, gridlines, or dotted and that is okay! Below are my bullet journal tools of choice. You can also click here to read about the best bullet journal beginner's notebook!
Now that we have everything we need, let’s start with day one.
Day One | Create A Plan Of Action
What is a plan of action you might ask? Well, you plan out your first few pages. For me, this means planning out the order of my started pages. My starter pages always include a title page, key, index, and year at a glance. Planning them does not necessarily mean finalizing them, but you can if you’d like. I like to at this point simply choose which pages are which (aka the order they will go in).
If you are not interested in using some of the starter pages I use, then do your own thing! Maybe add some list pages. Today is just for planning, so if all you do is pick some page types and order them, that is fine.
Day Two | Pick Your Symbols and Colors
Now we will tackle the key page. For some people, they choose to stick to the generic bullet journal key. Others, like me, like to go a little crazier and include additional symbols, rules, and colors. For some inspiration check out these bullet journal keys:
Day Three | Design Your Title Page
Today we will be designing your title page! Before you start designing your page, get inspired here. Next, be sure to start in pencil just in case you don’t end up liking it or in case of a spelling or positioning error. After the design is drafted completely in pencil you can finish it in black pen or color (or whatever else you want!).
Day Four | Design Your Key Page
For some people, this day will be easy, while for other’s it's more complicated. It’s very important to draw this one out in pencil first and to have completed day two first. Once you know what you want on your key page, draw it up! Here is some inspiration
Day Five | To Index or Not to Index
Did you decide to include an index? If no, then today, design any other of your starter pages that you’ve planned. If yes, you need to design it. Do you need to manually number your page? Do you want to set aside several pages for the index or make it a broad index? I chose a two column, color-coded, multipage index.
Day Six | Take a Break
Designing your bullet journal pages is tedious and can easily burn you out if you don’t take some time off. So today, set aside your journal and spend some time taking care of yourself.
Day Seven | Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Let’s Plan!
Today we are starting our regular planning pages. To do this you have to decide what pages will be included in your monthly, weekly, or daily planning. Head over to Pinterest for some inspiration. Today is a planning day so you don’t need to start a design, just have a general idea of what you want that layout to include (monthly title page, monthly calendar, goals, weekly spreads, daily spreads, mind dumps, financial planning, etc.) and how many pages it will require.
Day Eight | First Month Designing
Now that you’ve planned your monthly layout, design it. Just like before, start with pencil and get inspired! Check out these simple layout designs!
Day Nine | Catch-Up Design Day
Get caught behind the schedule? That’s understandable, I did too. Use today to catch up!
Day Ten | Use Your Journal!
Your journal is ready for use, so start using it!! At this point what you do with your journal is 100% up to you, no need for guidance. When it comes to using your journal from here on out, I suggest you take a few things into consideration.
- Try to stay about a month ahead in your monthly spreads as to be prepared for the month to come
- Experiment with various designs, colors, tools, etc.
- Change up your layout, regularly
- Add list pages
- Add tracking pages
- Keep it realistic
- Have fun!
- Don’t freak out about mistakes, turn them into art or cover them with a sticker or some washi tape.
- Join a community like Bullet Journal Junkies, Bullet Journal Inspiration, Minimalist Bullet Journals, Bullet Journal Spreads, and Bullet Journal Share
What did you think of the challenge? Was it helpful? Let me know in the comments!