You’ve gathered your supplies.  You’ve printed and cut your perfect paper.  You know you want a planner and journal that can house all of your awesome with room to add more as the notion strikes you.  You are ready to Bullet Journal in your Arc notebook.

But how do you start?

The question I see pop up the most in the planner and Bullet Journal community is “How do I start?”

The thing to remember is that this is your journal and as you use it, you will inevitably change it to better suit your needs.  Things that don’t work can be forgotten and removed.  Things that you think will work better can be added right in.  It is a fluid thing.  Don’t be afraid to let it be.

I found when I started it was easier to just copy what someone else had done as a solid foundation and modify from there.  A lot of my inspiration came from Boho Berry and her work in a Leuchtturm 1917.  I copied it almost exactly and ran.  Now that I’ve been using the system every day in my life, I’ve changed some things, kept some things and obviously now use an arc notebook.  So I wanted to offer the same thing.  For those stuck on where to begin, I offer you an in-depth look at how I’ve started mine.

How to Start Your Arc Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling really requires very few things to get started:  Index, Key, Rapid Logging, and Forward Planning.  But even that is fluid and not necessary.  To be a bullet journaler, I feel like the only requirement is that it works for you to feel more organized and in control of your life through lists, planning, and journaling.  There is no wrong way to do it.

That said, this is how mine is set up:

The very first thing I like to put in my bujo are the things that I know aren’t going to change much throughout the year.

Year View Calendar

2016 year view arc bujo

Holidays and Birthdays and Key

holidays and key arc bullet journal

Future Planning (Calendex)

arcbujo calendex
See the above link for more information about what all this Calendex Business is all about.

Wish List & Brain Dump

brain dump wish list bullet journal

Books To Read & Pen Test

books to read pen test arc bullet journal
A Pen Test page is essential if you’re worried about different pends bleeding or ghosting through your paper. 32# paper prevents almost all ghosting.

Once you have your first section set up it feels a little easier to figure out the rest of it.  The beauty of the arc notebook system is that if you don’t like something you can absolutely take a page out, change it, move it, or try it again.  I will be posting more detailed looks at the rest of my bullet journal soon!  But first I wanted to show you this and have you on your way!

The very next section in my bullet journal is where I start showing my monthly and weekly spreads.  This is the meat and potatoes of my bullet journal and where I feel like I spend the most time every day and where the bullet journalling method really shines.  Things in this section can change a lot based on what you need.  I will show you how I set up my monthly and weekly spreads and hope that it might inspire what you need.

Monthly Spreads

july monthly spread arc bullet journal
I love having a traditional month-view calendar to easily see events and appointments at a glance.

I will spend a little time transferring any Future Plans from my Calendex onto this calendar for the month.

july bullet journal trackers

Following that I like to put all of my trackers on the same spread so its easier for me to hit as many of my things as possible.  When my health tracker was on a different page it was too easy to forget about and skip.

After these pages I have a single pages for my meal plans, memories, a gratitude log, want list and spending tracker, #planwithmechallenge Instagram prompts, #ptldoodles spread, and a #zenartchallenge spread.

Once those monthly spreads are in I start on my weekly spreads.  And from the first week to the second I changed up my spread significantly and have changed it slightly again since then.  The beauty of the bullet journal.  Change it if it isn’t working.  Change it if it is working and it just isn’t fun.  Change it because you can.

july week 1 spread arc bujo
July Week 1
july week 2 spread arc bujo
July Week 2

I hope this helps you find a way to start setting up your brand new Arc Bullet journal.  As the month goes on a bit more I will be posting an August Plan With Me post that will include a July flip-through so you can see how these spreads filled in as the month progressed.

As always, I love to see what you’re doing in your Arc Bujo.  Use the #sariecherries hashtag on Instagram so I can find you and see what you’re doing and how the arc notebook is working for you!

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Hi, I'm Sarah. Some people call me Sarie. I love bullet journals, being creative and organized, and lately I've been getting into Arc discbound journals! I started this page to share my adventure with you and show you all the cool stuff I find in the hopes that it sparks an adventure for you, too!