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Beginners Bullet Journal Set Up

So you’re a beginner and you want to learn how to do your first bullet journal set up? You came to the right place! I got really into bullet journaling for a few years, so learned the ins and outs of bullet journaling pretty well.

See how I set up my last bullet journal. If you want to just watch the Youtube flip through video, scroll all the way down. 

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bujo setup cover dutch door

Do I have to get really artsy?

No! The beauty of bullet journaling is you can get as complex as you want or you can keep it ridiculously simple. Your bullet journal is 100 percent yours to do whatever you want with! 

If you want to learn about the concept of bullet journaling and how it works, read my Intro to Bullet Journaling post. 

Does mu bullet journal have to be dotted?

No! Again you can do whatever you want. My first bullet journal was actually just a regular lined notebook. You can use whatever you have. There is no need to go out and get a “proper” journal. 

If do really want a journal with bulleted paper, I got this one from Amazon and I loved it.

bujo setup index

How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal: Index & Key

Let’s talk about set up! Most people who bullet journal have an index at the beginning of their journal. An index can help you get to pages quickly. It really just helps you stay more organized. 

The picture above is my index and key. If you plan on staying consistent with your planning, you should set up a key too. 

All my tasks are boxes, events are circles and appointments are triangles. Once completed I check it off. If it’s migrated I put an arrow through it. Important things to remember have a star in front of them. 

You can choose whatever symbols you want, just make sure you stay consistent in your journal wth what you choose. 

How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal: Goals & Reviews

If you want to set up goals, I suggest doing that page right after your index and cover page. It’s like you are starting off your year with your goals in mind. After a goals page, you can have another page to write notes on the steps you are taking to achieve those goals. 

And then you can do a quarterly review page to go over what happened during the year. It’s for events you want to highlight in your life. 

If you want to see the additional pages I mentioned, scroll down and watch the flip through on youtube. 

bullet journal setup future log

How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal: Future Log

A future log is the next spread in your bullet joural set up. This is where you will put all the important dates for the entire year. 

Mine is split into two spreads, each taking 6 months to cover the whole year. The picure above is my future log for july through december. I have a little calendar with the dates highlighted and then each important event is written out. 

bullet journal setup reading log

How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal: Yearly Trackers

If you have heard of bullet journaling before, then you definitely heard of people doing mood and habit trackers each month. But there are also some yearly trackers you can do. 

I loved doing a reading log for the year. I set up this whole cute bookcase and each book I read was written onto one of the spines. I had my goal on the bottom. 

You can do a financial tracker too. If you watch the flip through video below, you’ll see the savings tracker I have on the next page. 

bullet journal setup monthly

How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal: Monthly and Weekly Spreads

So you have the rest of the bullet journal set up. Now it’s time to move on spreads you will be making on a regular basis, your monthly and weekly spreads! This also includes your habit and mood trackers which you can see mine in the bullet journal set up flip through video below. 

My monthly set up always includes a cover page and then I have space to put important events, tasks and goals for the month. My weekly spreads include a food log, quick jot down box for highlights of the day, tasks for each day and notes. 

Bullet Journal Set Up Pages:

Here is a list of the pages you can choose to do your first bujo set up. 

  • Cover Page
  • Index and key
  • Goals
  • Future Log
  • Yearly Trackers
  • Monthly/Weekly Spreads

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Watch the Youtube video below for my full Bullet Journal Set Up Flip through. Tell me what spreads you plan on doing in the comments below!

Bullet Journal Set Up

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