What is a Bullet Journal Anyway? (and how to get started)

The “Bullet Journal”. I’m sure you’ve heard the term by now. And, like me, you probably thought “what is it?”, when you heard it. I did a little research and I’ve set up my bullet journal for Back to School to help both me and my girls stay on track, on schedule and organized for the new routines that are a natural part of September through winter and beyond.

I managed to get a little (fun and colourful) help from Sharpies at Walmart for this post, because who doesn’t love markers and gel pens in every colour of the rainbow!?

As an aside, if you had told me when I was a young girl that some day I would get to write a post about creating a colourful and creative journal as part of my job, I would have flipped right out. I have always loved paper, stationary, pens, markers, colouring, stickers, and journaling.

So here it is!


A bullet journal is a notebook with just dots inside, not lines. And, you’ll want to find one that has page numbers too, because a table of contents is supremely important in a bullet journal because things can be in really any order at all.

Look for one where the inside looks like this:





Bullet Journal

Image Credit Connie Peters


Be sure to add your name (and email/phone if you ever lose it!)


I started with months’ dates at-a-glance Fall Calendar in mine.

Add some colour!

These Paper Mate Ink Joy gels are great because they don’t smudge at all as you erase the pencil.


And then I added a detailed September Calendar using a ruler, pencil and counting out the squares.


The Table of Contents is a few pages at the start of your bullet journal. This doesn’t get completed first, believe it or not, you complete this as you go, adding any types of pages you want to have in your bullet journal.


I discovered that you can ‘fake’ calligraphy with markers.

  1. pencil write your word
  2. trace over with your marker
  3. widen each letter’s downward stroke to create a fake heavy stroke using your marker’s wide angle


The possibilities with a bullet journal are truly endless. You can scribble, journal, list-make and doodle your way to a full bullet journal in no time at all.

Looking for inspiration? Look no further, I’ve gathered a few Instagram accounts filled with bullet journal ideas (hint: be sure to also search YouTube, I found scores of handwriting, printing and doodling tutorials!)

GIVEAWAY! Enter to win here!

Sharpie and PaperMate Back to School Giveaway

*Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Sharpie/Paper Mate and have
received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.


  1. 1
  2. 3

    I have been seeing more and more about these bullet journals, it’s awesome to see it actually laid out like this. I need to get some Sharpies and a bullet journal now.

  3. 4
  4. 5
  5. 6

    Sharpies and Paper Mate always make the back to school list. I’d love to get into bullet journalling and would use them to create a visually appealing journal. Thanks for the chance.

  6. 7
  7. 8
  8. 9
  9. 10
    • 11

      Wanted to add that we use sharpies for our kitchen calendar. Each of our kids get a different color for their schedules on the calendar.

  10. 12
  11. 13
  12. 14
  13. 15
  14. 16
  15. 17

    I have been looking at bullet journals for a while. This post was really helpful in seeing how they work! Thanks!

  16. 18
  17. 19

    I would love to use this journal to create a custom calendar! And it would be super fun and colorful thanks to Sharpie!

  18. 20
  19. 21

    I’ve been wanting to make a bullet journal so I would use them for this purpose to hopefully bring some order to my life.

  20. 22

    I love using Sharpies and papermate as fun colors to color code things to keep organized. Until my system gets too complicated and I forget what I used each color for.

  21. 23

    Sharpie and Papermate products are must-have items for back to school and during the year. I can label everything and then use the products throughout the year for everything!

  22. 24
  23. 25
  24. 26

    I would use them to write the kids names on the things that I buy them for school such as their book bag and lunch box.

  25. 27

    I will share my Sharpies at the office–I love colour, and back-to-school time is an excellent time to brighten up labels.

  26. 28
  27. 29
  28. 31
  29. 32
  30. 33
  31. 34
  32. 35

    Never seen a bullet journalor ever heard of one

    But I’d love to partake

    However I prefer ofthe monthly calendars was already included in the journal instead of creating one ☝️

    Great idea for bullet form notes

  33. 36
  34. 37

    I’d use it to write in exercise books. I also keep track of things on the calender so bold sharpies would help.

  35. 38
  36. 39

    I’m not going back to school but we still need stationery products for our everyday keeping track of things.

  37. 40
  38. 41

    I would use our Sharpies to label Everything including backpacks, shoes, hats and the inside of mittens. And to stop and have fun with the odd art project. Who can resist a rainbow of colors 🙂 Thank you !!!

  39. 42

    Adding your personal touch or style/personality to your stationary and back to school products is so important; my kiddos would probably use the Sharpie and PaperMate products to create super-hero art or comic like designs on their notebooks and binders. Little things like this inspire and excite them to love their back to school time.

  40. 43
  41. 44
  42. 45
  43. 46
  44. 47

    I’d give them to my daughter. She’s in college and already has a journal. She’d love all the colors for her entries.

  45. 48

    I would use the Sharpies and PaperMate products to make my weekly lists, write a quick note to remind my husband of something he needs to do. I also love to doodle with Sharpies just as a way to relax.

  46. 49
  47. 50
  48. 51
  49. 52
  50. 53
  51. 54
  52. 55
  53. 56
  54. 57
  55. 58
  56. 59

    The best way to differentiate my kid’s belongings from their classmates is by writing down his name on his items ie. lunch bag, backpack, pencil case etc with a Sharpie

  57. 60
  58. 61
  59. 62
  60. 63

    I’d use Sharpie and PaperMate products to get ready for back to school by writing down things such as what to buy and what I’ve got to do to prepare for the upcoming school year.

  61. 64

    My kids love sharpies and playmate products. We label our kids belongings with sharpies of course and they use them for their projects at school. We also use Sharpies for our children’s wooden growth chart which has moved homes with us 4 times now and will always be a fixture in any home that we live in.

  62. 65

    I would use them to organize all the house activities daily. This truly is needed in the house I live in for sure.

  63. 66
  64. 67

    I will color code the kids activities and use the Sharpie colors of their choice. So many beautiful colors to highlight and cheer them on with encouraging words and praises

  65. 68

    ohhh the sharpies would be great for labelling, My daughter loves to colour coordinate her notebooks per class, these supplies would be amazing! Papermate products are amazing, we always buy lots of papermate pens for school as they seem to last the longest 🙂

  66. 69
  67. 70
  68. 71

    I would use Sharpies and PaperMates to write out my to do lists and for notes to leave in my son’s lunch. My son would use them for art.

  69. 72

    I don’t have back to school needs but I use sharpies to label stuff in various colors so I know what they are about.

  70. 73
  71. 74
  72. 75

    I would use them to personalize school supplies and to create unique, individually designed tools for the kids. 🙂 Thank you.

  73. 76

    labelling everything! Our first born is headed to JK this year (tear) and I want everything that gets sent to school to be brought home. We use Mabels Labels but the Sharpies will come in handy for everything else!

  74. 77
  75. 78
  76. 79
  77. 80

    I would give the Sharpie and PaperMate products to my youngest son who is returning to University. He could always use my supplies as University is so expensive.

  78. 81
  79. 82
  80. 83
  81. 84
  82. 85

    To make and leave notes for the kids, post new rules or directions on the fridge, use them for recreational fun times

  83. 86
  84. 87
  85. 88
  86. 89
  87. 90

    We love Sharpies at our house – we’re never without Sharpies. Great for labelling everything! Thanks for the chance to win!

  88. 91

    Sharpies make things so much more colourful! With the trend of having classrooms in neutral colours, Sharpies bring the classrooms to life. I keep a set of sharpies in my school bag and use them when the opportunity exists!

  89. 92

    We love Sharpies for colour coding schedules & labels.
    Thanks for the info on the Bullet Journal, I didn’t know about them.

  90. 93
  91. 94
  92. 95

    Kids like to personalize their notebooks and everything they take to school. And we will probably get a couple colouring books, too.

  93. 96
  94. 97
  95. 98
  96. 99
  97. 100
  98. 101
  99. 102

    I would use both to do reminders for my kids and myself and for my drunk friends that pass out at my place beware because my kids and I will become artists on your bodies. 😛

  100. 103

    I just love Sharpies… I use them to mark all my shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels so that when friends come to the family cottage, and the bottle containers all look the same,especially, when the colours are the same, they can instantly identify with what they are needing to grab for, in the shower.

  101. 104
  102. 105

    I would use the different color Sharpies for different events on the calendar like sports practice and after school events. Everything would have its own color.

  103. 106

    I love sharpies, colored ink pens and making lists. I have been addicted to the Pintrest Bullet journal pins for a while and have been looking for a good ‘portable’ planner to get started. I color code my lists and calendar days. It makes it much easier to find the related ideas in my journal. I currently am addicted to the Sharpie fine point pins that don’t bleed through the paper. They are the perfect balance of good ink and fine tip for good readability.

  104. 107
  105. 108

    This is something my daughter could use–she is much more of a journal person than I am, and already has a tendency to ‘bullet’ items!

  106. 109
  107. 110
  108. 111
  109. 112
  110. 113
  111. 114
  112. 115
  113. 116

    They’d be a gift to my niece for the new school season. She will have many art projects these would com in useful for.

  114. 117
  115. 118
  116. 119
  117. 120

    I would use Sharpie and PaperMate products to get ready for Back to School by labeling all my school supplies so I would be nice and organized for the first day.

  118. 121
  119. 122
  120. 123
  121. 124

    How would you use Sharpie and PaperMate products to get ready for Back to School?

    Since I am not in school I would donate them to the teacher in my building for her class to use.

  122. 125
  123. 126

    I could totally use a bullet journal! Between my kid’s programs, mother in law’s appointments, hubby’s appointments/work and my work schedule… I need something like this to stay organized! I’ll have to pick one up soon!

  124. 127

    I use Papermate to fill out the many forms I have to fill out at the beginning of the school year. I use Sharpies to label what needs labeling.

  125. 128
  126. 129
  127. 130

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like