I used to review curriculum, now I create it

GIVEAWAY: How to Start a Bullet Journal in 3 Easy Steps

If you have been wanting to start a bullet journal but don’t have the motivation, money, or know-how to do it, I am going to break it down into 3 easy steps. The best part is, this post is part of a 31 day series ALL ABOUT bullet journaling. So you can find lots of inspiration over on the landing page here. You can find more comprehensive lists out there, that is not my goal today. My goal is to take you from having nothing to a functional bullet journal (for you) in just a few steps. The more you can simplify your planning, the more successful you can be in the long term. I always suggest people build a strong foundation, a habit of planning, keeping it as basic as possible. Once they have built that foundation, it is much easier to add in your own unique flair and get more creative. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Stay tuned for a huge giveaway at the end!

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Start a Bullet Journal Step 1

The first thing that you really have to have in order to bullet journal is a notebook. Let me clarify that there is a HUGE range of notebooks out there. There are ones that are specifically designed for this kind of planning in that they have an index and page numbers and thicker paper so that your pens don’t bleed through. But in theory, any notebook will do! The notebook that I use for my blog bullet journal is from Goulet Pens. It is called a Leuchtturm1917 and I chose the dot grid style (though regular grid is available as well). This is one of the most common bullet journal notebooks out there, there are a ton of bright colors available and it is high quality. The paper is thick, it comes with an index, and it is wide enough for lots of space as you put together your collections. For more information on the notebook, take a look at this post with videos and pictures.

Start a Bullet Journal in 5 Easy Steps

Start a Bullet Journal Step 2

The next thing you need is a pen or some sort of writing instrument. I know it seems basic (because it is, bullet journaling is based on simplicity) but it is worth talking about quality pens that will flow across the page. The one I am using as my main “workhorse” right now is the Pilot Metropolitan in gold with a fine nib. This pen is affordable and the tip is very fine, perfect for small handwriting. It is a fountain pen, it is sturdy as a pen and yet not too heavy (which doesn’t bode well for the amount of writing I do). The best part is that you can get a converter to allow you to fill the pen with your own ink. This means that it is a pen that can last you through your bullet journal journey. It is available in a variety of colors and sizes. For a video walk through of the pen’s features and how to refill it with ink, take a look at their post here. Below you can see a spread in my blog BUJO (bullet journal) where I used the Pilot Metropolitan.

Start a Bullet Journal in 5 easy steps

Start a Bullet Journal Step 3

Once you have your supplies, there is only 1 more step and that is to get planning! The main bullet journal method is to have your collections (things you refer to often, want to track long term), your monthly planning and your weekly planning. Often people will do yearly and quarterly planning as well, but if this is your first bullet journal, I recommend starting off a little more simply. The beauty of the methodΒ is that you can add in something anywhere in the book and just refer to it in your index so you can find it again. It doesn’t have to be in order, you can set it up the way your life and brain naturally flow. And I promise you, it will only get better the longer you do it! Weekly planning can be as simple as writing down the days of the week and making lists. Don’t get overwhelmed by the artsy bullet journal spreads out there, start off with what is manageable for you and give yourself grace to grow! If you want some bullet journal inspiration, come follow my bullet journal ideas board on Pinterest. This is where I pullΒ most of my inspiration and I add to it weekly.

start a bullet journal in 3 easy steps

If you want more information on the different inks you can purchase or aren’t sure what to look for, they have an awesome post on ink and pens here.

Start a Bullet Journal with this HUGE Giveaway!

I am SO excited to be partnering with Goulet Pens to offer this amazing giveaway! For the next 2 weeks, you will have the opportunity to enter to win everything you need to start a bullet journal of your own! They are generously donating an emerald dot grid Leuchtturm1917 and a fine tip gold Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen just like the pictures above! All you need to do to enter is use the simple form below and then stay tuned. Make sure you provide a valid email address that you check often as the winner will have 24 hours to respond with their address or I will choose another winner! This giveaway is open to both the USA AND Canada. Good luck!


Learn How to Brush Letter with Me!

Tomorrow is going to be awesome! I have an amazing free brush lettering package for you with the entire alphabet in both capital letters AND lowercase letters to practise. You can print off a few and keep practising until you build some muscle memory! I can’t WAIT to see your brush lettering pics. Make sure to tune in!

Did you know this is part of a 31 day series? There will be a post each day this month showcasing how I use bullet journaling. We will talk about the tools you need and I’ll review some of my pen hoard (including my brand new flex fountain pens, eeeeek!). There will be videos, pictures, hand lettering practise pages, doodle challenges, journaling prompts, some amazing giveaways, and hopefully a TON of inspiration to get you writing in your planner, whatever that may look like for you! How can you get on board?

BOOKMARK THE LANDING PAGE (that is where all the posts will be added throughout the month)
FIND ME ON INSTAGRAM (I’ll be posting the daily posts there)
USE THE HASHTAG: #PlanWithRebecca and #planninginspiration4u on Instagram for a chance to be featured on my page!
JOIN THE NEWSLETTER (if you want an short update on the latest post in your inbox)


  1. I am so excited about this blog series! I started a bullet journal about a month ago and have loved it so far! I’m still in the leaning phase of journaling, trying different styles of pages, pens, lettering etc. this series came at a prefect time for me!

  2. Looking forward to learning all kinds of neat stuff this month- thanks for the great opportunity to win, too!

  3. The link for Goulet pens does not seem to be working…but my favorite is the aurora optima in Nero perla. Such a beautiful instrument.

  4. Great blog Rebecca! I love this idea of Bullet Journaling. I have to write everything down to put it all into perspective. You’re so very talented and the pen is beautiful. πŸ™‚

  5. It’s so hard to pick just one pen! I love pens…especially ones that have a fine point & have purple or a dark red ink.

  6. I’m loving this planning series! I’m currently using a Leuchtturm dot grid and it’s just about full, and I’ve been dreaming of my first fountain pen! I’d love to win the giveaway!

  7. The pens are beautiful! I haven’t started bullet journaling but I’m loving all the posts so far! My favorite pen would be MONTEVERDE POQUITO in pink of course!

  8. The Edison Pen Co is amazing. Thank you for introducing them to me. The Edison Nouveau Premiere “Autumn Embers” is beautiful.

  9. I recently found you on FB and I enjoy your posts tremendously. I am a disabled single parent homeschooling my 4 yr old daughter on a very tight budget. This is the first time I’ve heard of bullet journaling and I think it will be amazing for me. I have a menu planner app, a schedule app, diary app, chore organizer app, budget app and more lol on my phone and all of them were used fanatically till the first time I couldn’t update them cause the phone was out of commission. Now everything is just on different loose pages of notes all around the house. Kinda like a grenade went off in a bullet journal already.
    A few months ago at the grocery store I had to fill in the cashiers ledger for her because she didn’t have a pen and the one I carry in my purse is a fountain pen and she was intimidated by it. I love fountain pens too, so please pick me, pick me.
    Head on over to Goulet Pens and comment on this post what your favorite product is!

  10. I loved the peacock set up on Goulet Pens Facebook page. Thank you for doing this series! I cannot wait to see what the rest of the month brings

  11. I think I’ve been bullet journaling and didn’t even realize it. I have a very basic yet functional style and am learning that I can do so much more with it. I would love to have everything in one place instead of spread out over several different books and planners. My favorite product from Goulet Pens is the metropolitan rollerball pen. I would love to try a fountain pen!

  12. Beautiful products. I would like to try their KARAS KUSTOMS INK FOUNTAIN PEN in SILVER ALUMINUM. It was a little overwhelming looking at the wide selection that they carry!

  13. Bullet journaling looks like the best way to keep homeschooling things all working together. I’ve been hacking old journals into bullet ones (adding indexes), but it would be nice to just start from scratch.

  14. The rollerblade pens look neat! I’m glad Ive been getting your emails; it’s really an inspiration and motivator!

  15. Truthfully bullet Journalling is intriguing yet scares me! I hope to learn how to do this….would love to win. I love all the Aurora pens. But they’re all so beautiful really!!!!

  16. I’m not sure I could pick just one thing from the site!!!! However on their blog they had a peacock theme and I think I fell in love with just about everything on that post!!!! My wedding theme is peacock and I think it is so glorious. I think my favorite would be the pilot metropolitan fountain pen retro pop. Cute and functional.

  17. I have never had a real “fountain ” pen.. But they look so amazing! I prefer the Parker or Pilot pens I think..For the bullet journals I am using a regular notebook, but I would love a Midori some day!

  18. When I looked at the website I was a little overwhelmed by all the great stuff there but I think my favorite thing I saw was these small notebooks APICA CD-7 NOTEBOOK – BOLD ASSORTED COLORS, LINED (2.83 X 4.02)!!

    This giveaway would be sooo awesome to win as I am just learning to do this journaling thing πŸ˜‰ And I am following your blog to learn different techniques and also I LOVE the brushstrokes tutorials!

    Thank you for all you are doing in your blog and with your emails! I am so excited to see them each week!!!

  19. I love the EDISON NOUVEAU PREMIERE FOUNTAIN PEN – AUTUMN EMBERS . What a pretty pen! πŸ™‚ Enjoying your blog and loving all of the useful info!

  20. I have been wanting to try bullet journaling but haven’t yet. I love the Delta Journal Fountain Pen in Matte Blue!

  21. I love it all! My very favorite thing was the olive green fountain pen… when I was a little girl my great-grandfather always carried one very similar to it. It was my life’s ambition to be able to one day write with a beautiful pen such as his. He had the most AMAZING penmanship. Alas, that pen’s bladder dried out and it was lost to the mists of time and memory. I would love to try any of these products with help learning to bullet journal. THanks for the give away opportunity!

    Bullet journaling is a great idea. I’m going to try it!

  23. Great post! I absolutely love the dot-grid Leuchtturm1917 notebooks (especially the emerald ones)! I haven’t ever owned one, but I’ve written in a friend’s before. They’re amazing!

  24. What a collection of pens! At first glance, I really like the NOODLER’S KONRAD REFILLABLE ROLLERBALL PEN – GALAPAGOS TORTOISE. Now, if only I can keep track of my pens, instead of losing every single one!

  25. I currently have a notebook I’ve been using as a Bullet Journal but I’d love to have a Leuchtturm 1917!! I thought about getting one as my next notebook but always wished I could find one locally because I’m a touch it, feel it before I buy it, kind of person when it comes to certain things. Especially with my bullet journal. I’ve never used a fountain pen though. I’d love to try that someday.

  26. I have been wanting to start bullet journaling so this giveaway would be a hug even blessing! I am terrible at making up my mind but I do love the look and idea of the FILOFAX A5 NOTEBOOK – AQUA, LINED (6.34 X 8.43).

  27. Bullet journaling has been on my list of things to learn. I’m so glad you are having this series!!
    You are so handy, Rebecca! You are always speaking to my creative soul! Thank you!!

  28. Hurried to post a comment and didn’t read the rules! I met the Goulets at a planner conference this past spring. What amazing products they have! I love their inks and would very much enjoy their Fuji Mountain brush pen. It’s had to pick from so many wonderful options.

  29. I sorted their fountain pens by price and found this $5600 beauty! NAMIKI EMPEROR MAKI-E FOUNTAIN PEN – MURASAKI-SHIKIBU, FINE ………can you imagine what it must be to write with a pen like that? Gorgeous!

  30. As beautiful as some of their fancy pens are, I have to pick a rollerball for my favorite, just because it’s most practical: LAMY AL-STAR ROLLERBALL PEN – CHARGED GREEN

  31. Never heard of bullet journaling. I love list and pens. Will have to learn more about this. Thanks for sharing!

  32. This page is new to me! Everything is SO beautiful! I will have to spend some time looking, but so far I love the notebooks.

  33. I shouldn’t have gone that site.. I’m too weak to resist all the things! I now NEED (like the air I breathe) a Lamy Safari Fountain, medium nib in green or pink and the Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 in Emerald, dot grid. I have a feeling I’ll be the proud owner of both before the night’s over.
    Signed- Sucker for the Pretties πŸ™‚

  34. I love the EDISON NOUVEAU PREMIERE FOUNTAIN PEN – AUTUMN EMBERS because of the beautiful colors. Yet, actually I have no experience with any of this so….. I have no idea.

  35. I have been oogling over planners and am using a simple composition notebook for a bullet journal but when I run out of room I am purchasing a LEUCHTTURM1917 in Lemon and there will probably be no turning back to cheap notebooks to keep this busy mama organized.

  36. I would love to have the AURORA IPSILON FOUNTAIN PEN – GREEN. I haven’t used a fountain pen in forever! πŸ™‚

  37. I JUST got my first fountain pen, and I’m so addicted! I think my favorite product, the one I’d like next, would be a fine nib Pilot Metropolitan pen. I’ve heard so many good things about them, and I’d love to be able to have 2 pens filled with different inks!

  38. Hi love my fountain pens and Goulet is a great place to browse and dream. Particularly the Van Gouh starry night. Amazing

  39. I would love the chance to try bullet journaling, especially with these beautiful products! These pretties make me want to get organized!

  40. Wow! So many choices! I am really liking the Clairefontaine Basic Clothbound Notebook.. Especially the GREEN one!!

  41. This is awesome!! I love brush pens! Like painting, but without the mess. Would love to win this giveaway πŸ™‚

  42. What a great giveaway. I’ve just gotten into Bullet Journalling, and recently got a Lamy Safari in Dark Lilac. I’ve been eyeballing getting a new one. So my pick from Goulet Pens site would be Lamy Safari, just black.

  43. I am excited for this giveway because I am definitely lacking good pens! I am a big fan of pastels and color in general and so because I do not know a ton about pens I am going to say my favorite to try would be the pilot kakuno fountain pen! I love the colors and choice for “fine”. I like the look vs bolder letters on a page.

  44. I’m such a fan of Pilot Pens – so might have just fallen in love with the Kakuno Fountain Pens! Just glorious.

  45. Omg I can’t believe the gorgeous fountain pens they have! I want them all. Those are definitely my favorite items from their website.

  46. I was first introduced to bullet journaling and travel notebooks by YOU in fact. I was following your instagram and receive your newsletters and you went in detailed about your traveler’s notebook which you use as a teacher planner and for everything else. Since then I was on the hunt for what size I would prefer and settled on an A5. I have purchased, received and now using my LT1917 in my traveler’s notebook cover. It is addicting b/c I just bought another cover. See what you started!! πŸ™‚

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I used to review curriculum, now I create it!