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How To Start A Minimal Bullet Journal

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Today I want to share my process for setting up a minimal bullet journal. I use small, minimal bullet journals when I have lots of work to be doing. The small size means I don’t feel pressured to make my bullet journal look nice. It’s purely functional and when I have a lot going on it really helps me organise my time.


I like using a small A6 notebook for my minimal bullet journals. There are lots of notebook brands you can choose from but I can’t see past the Leuchtturm 1917. I own 3 or 4 notebooks at A6 size now and I love them. The paper quality is really good, the pens and other media I use in my notebooks work well with the paper. And the notebook fits easily in my pencil case.

The other items I use are a gel pen, I prefer black ink to blue. I try to use very little colour in my minimal bullet journals. If I do need to add colour I will use a coloured pencil, the Caran d’Ache pencils are my favourite just now. I use a pencil rather than a highlighter because I found the highlighters would make the ink from my Muji pens smear. I also tend to use a ruler and an ordinary mechanical pencil as well.


Because the A6 notebooks are so small it forces you to change the way you would normally use a bullet journal. Bullet journals allow you to plan whatever way you want. But I’ve found a minimal bullet journal works best if you follow the guidelines set out by Ryder Caroll.

You can try doing a regular calendar layout on two pages. But you then don’t have much space for each day of the week. I prefer to set my bullet journal up vertically. With each day taking up a line in the notebook. I’ve found leaving a line between each week helps to spread the month out.

The Leuchtturm notebook doesn’t have 30 lines to a page. So you’ll need to continue the month onto the right-hand page. But this also leaves you a little space to keep notes.


The small size of the notebook means you can dedicate a day for each page. If you don’t have as much to do during the day no worries. I use a highlighter, or pencil to make the dates stand out against everything else on the page.

Because the notebook is so small, and you could be using 4 or 5 pages for a single week. I find it’s useful to set up a page as a weekly overview. You can divide the page into seven sections and note down any important items. Or you can pop into Muji for this tiny set of weekly sticky notes. I haven’t been able to find these online so you may have to search a bit for them.


The great thing about using a minimal bullet journal is it takes the pressure away from having a proper bujo. You can focus on the important things and nothing else. I also find that using this system makes it easy to integrate a planning aspect into a notebook you may already be using. And the size makes it perfect to carry everywhere with you.


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