How to Create a Minimalist Bullet Journal

Minimalist bullet journal

By: Salena Salomone of @salenasbujo

Hello everyone!  I’m Salena from @salenasbujo and I’m here to show you how to start a minimalist bullet journal. If you’re anything like I was a few years ago, you’ve seen bullet journals online that look useful, but the thought of actually putting pen to paper to create your own spreads seems like a daunting task. Today I hope to show you that it doesn’t have to be, and that a future log and monthly spreads are great ways to stay organized if standard planners just don’t work for you.

Gather Your Materials

What is a future log?

A future log is a place in your journal where you can look ahead to schedule events, birthdays, appointments, and anything else worth noting in the future. I typically like to have a spread that spans 12 months so that I can see everything at a glance. I chose to start with the month of September for this spread because I am an educator about to start a brand new school year.

Future bullet journal log in pencil

Future Log Tutorial

Step 1: Sketch out your calendars

Sketch out your mini calendars using your STEEL M-301 Mechanical Pencil. I always start with a pencil on spreads like this to make sure that everything will fit nicely and is numbered correctly. These pencils have a great weight to them that give you plenty of control while doing a quick sketch.

Using the dots on my journal as a guide, I fit each mini calendar within boxes that were 8 squares by 8 squares. I did similar spacing on the right-hand page to further describe which events are taking place each month.

 

Future bullet journal log in pen

Step 2: Outline your calendars

Using a set of Zensations Technical Drawing Pens, begin going over your pencil markings to create your calendars. These pens come in a variety of sizes, but my absolute favorite and most used pen size is the 0.1. This pen has a very fine tip, and it’s perfect for writing out these little numbers and month titles.

I also used one of my Zensations Brush Pens in the extra fine tip to write out my page titles. The fine tip on this brush pen is so easy to control which makes it great for brush lettering in a small space. A fun way to experiment is by stretching out your writing. On this spread I chose to leave extra space between each letter in my titles, and it gives everything a whimsical style.

 

Future bullet journal log with color

Step 3: Add color

Add a little color with a few Mildliner Double Ended Highlighters. I absolutely love these markers for highlighting because they have a chisel tip on one end, and a bullet tip on the other. The bullet tip was perfect for drawing circles in my calendars, and the chisel tip is great for titles. I love the color selection of these markers, as there are plenty of mild colors to choose from to suit your personal taste.

I chose to use Mild Grey from the Cool & Refined 5-pack to highlight the name of each month. Next, I chose two colors to organize my events. I used the color Mild Dark Blue from the same Cool & Refined color pack to highlight any events in my personal life, such as birthdays, holidays, and appointments. I chose the color Mild Blue Green from the Fluorescent 5-pack to highlight anything for work, such as days we have off in the schoolyear.

On the right hand page, I used the same colors to note what event was happening on those days. This helps me stay organized at a quick glance.

 

Monthly Spread Tutorial

At the beginning of each month I like to draw a larger calendar spread.  This helps give you a place to write more detailed plans all in one place.

Bullet journal month spread in pencil

 Step 1: Sketch with a ruler

I chose to make each calendar square 6×6 using my dot grid notebook and ruler as a guide. I also left an extra space for notes along the right side, perfect for writing quick reminders and upcoming tasks.  Once again, sketch everything out with a pencil first, and then trace over with your Zensations Technical Drawing Pens and Zensations Brush Pen, just like steps 1 and 2 in your future log.

 

Step 2: Add a hint of color

Finish it up with a hint of color using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighters on the titles and numbers. I chose to use the same colors from my future log for this, but with so many color options you can customize this to your liking. I often change colors each month to mix things up!

 

Bullet journal quote

Step 3: Feature a quote or doodle design

Get creative while using your journal! I love to add fun details throughout my bullet journal, and this quote page is just one example. Inspirational quotes or doodle designs can really make your journal your own, and it’s a great way to customize.

I hope I have inspired you as you begin your bullet journal journey. For more inspiration, check out How to Create a Mind Map and Brain Dump in Your Bullet Journal.