How the heck should you start your Bullet Journal? – 2023

Let me guess. You heard about this thing called “Bullet Journaling” from somewhere on the internet so you decided you would throw yourself into it more and found pretty pictures and productive people who are using this method all the freaking time.

That’s actually not that far from the truth, but there are some things those pretty journals hide from the eyes of the “muggles”.

Some dark sides of Bullet Journaling.

But thaaaat’s a topic for another blog post.

Today I’m here to show you the way I like to set up my Bullet Journal for the up coming year.

Let’s go through my step-by-step guide and some useful tips to make the most out of the start of the year.

And it doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or you’ve already been into Bullet Journaling, you will find some useful tips later on.

0.Choose a journal

If you already have every stationary you might need, go ahead and skip to step two.

And if you don’t, shame on you. I thought you gonna come prepared here! You really don’t know a thing about Bullet Journaling right? *sighs*

Okay, I will start from the basics just for you… yep, you should consider that as an honor.

I’m starting my third Bullet Journal, but I’m a gal with precise needs when it comes to journals.

(I’m not kidding. My 2022 Bullet Journal was a handmade, personalized disc-bound journal with custom cover designed for me, thicker paper than every other journal the creator made at the time and with specially requested page number… and no it didn’t cost a fortune at the time! In fact the Leuchtturm1917 journal I bought for myself this year, have cost the same…)

So what should you consider when choosing a Bullet Journal?

1.Paper thickness: That should be at least 80 gsm, but if you want one of those aesthetic Bullet Journals you can see on Pinterest, you might want to get something thicker.

2.Page number: Honestly if you really get into Bullet Journaling and manage to create a system that works for you, you will probably have a bunch of pages every month, like me, so it’s likely that one journal is not going to be enough for the whole year.

3.Cover: I always recommend hardcover. Especially if you plan to use your Bullet Journal and you won’t keep it just for aesthetics. I mean don’t get me wrong! That’s fine too, I’m just saying that you might want to choose a softcover then, because it’s much cheaper and you won’t need the durability the hardcover provides.

Also if this is going to be your first Bullet Journal, don’t go with a fancy notebook at first. You might won’t even need a dotted journal. I would choose a more simple, cheaper, gridded one, because it won’t hurt you that much if you decide that this is not for you after all and you ditch the project.


Or you may find it as grid spacing. This will change your life, I promise. If you’ve been Bullet Journaling for some time you know that it can be a real hustle to count the spacing of your grids in different spreads.

If you feel the pain then you need this spread preferably at the first page of the Bullet Journal. Count your page’s width and height, after that, divide it the number of times you need it. I went from 2 up until 6 (you won’t really need more grids than that).

Use my setup as an example.


This is optional of course, but I do like to add some design elements to my BuJos and I also need to know the years for my different BuJos.

I love how this turned out, even my friends said that it does really suit me.

At this point you might see what I mentioned in the 0th step. This year I went with the Leuchtturm1917 journal which was considered as one of the best notebooks for Bullet Journaling. The paper is too thin though for my taste and the ink is showing through. Some people like to glue their pages together, but honestly, I use my Bullet Journal for efficiency and glueing pages together doesn’t seem too efficient. Even if it means a prettier look.

3.Page ideas

The next couple of pages are not necessary, I just put them in for fun so if you like any of them, feel free to go for it!


For some people this might not be that useful since Facebook has been around, but I’m not a big fan of wishing happy birthday online. Some of my close friends don’t even indicate their birthdays on FB so I found this spread really useful. It also let’s me plan ahead if someone’s day is coming.


This spread is purely for fun. If you are anything like me, you have your favorite song go on constant repeat until you find a new favorite which usually takes about a month. So I thought it would be nice to see what I vibed for each month.


How do Bingos work in a Bullet Journal you may ask. It’s the same as a normal Bingo. You have to cross out four either horizontally, vertically or across. And what you get when you win? Probably a pat in the shoulder by yourself. But it’s a fun little game, I promise!

I have two types of bingos for 2023. A reading bingo and a Formula 1 bingo (Yes I got into it during 2022 and I will follow it next season too).

If you want it, I can write a blog post about ideas of what to put in your different bingos. Write me a comment if you would be interested.


As a bookworm I do have a couple of pages to track my books and reading. One of them is a Library where I will write the titles os each book I’ve read during the year and the other is a spread where I will keep track of books I would like to read at some point.

Content Creation

I also like to use my Bullet Journal for tracking things about my different social media platforms, mostly statistics.

You can find me on Instagram @carmenwrites_ and if you like this post so far I would really appreciate if you could check out my profile. I would like to reach 3000 followers in 2023 so your help is needed.

I only started TikTok this year and honestly, I just post whatever comes to my mind. It’s a bit of a mess, but hey! At least I enjoy myself. Check out my idiot head here if you want to.

I’m only tracking in my Bullet Journal the statistics for Instagram and this blog, because I don’t feel like I need it for TikTok and Pinterest. Yet. If I change my mind during the year, well… that’s unfortunate.

3 goals/month

If you are a first timer here, you probably don’t know that I’m all about planning and goal setting. (Click here if you think you know how to set goals.) I created this formula back in 2020 when I wrote down three short-term goals for every month that I wanted to achieve by the end of the specific month.

I highly recommend you use it even if you have a whole year goal. You can break down every goal into smaller tasks, or you can just write deadlines for yourself which will help you stay on track towards your goal.

Future log

I kept my future log nice and simple. The future log is where you can track dates and event that are already fixed throughout the year. I already have a couple of dates and deadlines so this is going to be a highly used log for me in 2023.

And that’s about it! If you still have some questions feel free to ask me anything in the comments or check out my blog post on how to create a Bullet Journal system that works for you.

Also I’m going to share my first spread of 2023 on Tuesday so if you want to check that out too, follow me somewhere or sign up to my newsletter to get updates.

If you need inspiration for your future spreads, check out mines that I did in 2022.

Thank you so much for reading my blog post. I really hope you managed to get some value out of this, because that’s what I’m here for. Let me know how your Bullet Journal journey goes and feel free to write to me about any concern you have. Have a great day!

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