If this is your first introduction to bujoing, welcome! I’m so happy to help you to answer this question of what is a bujo?

What is a bujo – literally?

Picture of a bullet journal. The title says - what is a bujo? Discover the magic with this ultimate guide.

Literally the word ‘BUJO’ is a combining of two words – Bullet Journal.

So what is a Bullet Journal?

A Bullet Journal is a journal or notebook that is customizable, making it a personal productivity tool.

The concept started with Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer, as an analogue solution to the overwhelming amount of information and tasks we find ourselves contending with.

You can read the books about the original bullet journal method here.

What makes it magic?

Let me answer that by telling you my personal planning story..

I grew up loving planners, pens and all things stationery. I loved to make lists, I loved to be organized.

But.. every year I would go planner shopping. I would love looking at all the different diaries, and planners and pick out THE ONE.

I would be so excited, I’d get home and start filling out all those opening pages.

But my love would soon lead to utter disappointment when the planner just didn’t have what I needed to organize myself.

Then I discovered a bujo.

My friend answered the question for me of what is a bujo? Then I got to work.

The magic is you make your planner to suit YOU. It’s customizable.

Every single month my planner changes. I never stick to the same thing every month. That is the magic of the bujo.

I am like a man who never stops tinkering in his garage. I never stop changing and tinkering with my planner.

How does it work?

Picture of pens, highlighters, note paper and other types of stationery. 
Part of an article - what is a Bujo? Discover the magic with this ultimate guide.

This is the amazing part, it works how YOU decide it to.

But just for the sake of information – I’ll give a little guide as to how people usually use their bujo.

Step 1.

Get your chosen journal [usually dot grid, but doesn’t have to be]. Get the tools you want to use in your bujo, like pens, markers, stickers, stamps etc.

Step 2.

Decide on your initial pages. Some like to have an index [this means having all the pages in your journal numbered]. Some create a key page, or a quote page. Some go straight into making yearly planning pages. This really is up to you.

If you are starting your first bujo, it would be better for you to read “Starting Your First Bullet Journal”

Step 3.

Then set up your monthly/weekly/daily planner pages or spreads as you need them. Many choose to do a monthly calendar, habit tracker etc. Then they create a weekly dashboard that works for them.

It is important to remember that it will probably take some time for you to decide which planner layout and spreads you actually use and want to create each and every month, so be patient at the beginning.

Advanced Guide

So that was the basics, but what other things do you need to know about a bujo?

Here are some of the things I wish I knew before I started bullet journaling..

Picture of a pile of books on a chair. Part of an article - what is a bujo? Discover the magic with this ultimate guide.
  1. Get to know about paper thickness and what happens with different pens and markers. I didn’t realize that alcohol based markers absorb through most papers and so aren’t a good option for a bujo. I learned that pencils can rub off on other pages when you write on the back. These are little tips that you get to learn along the way.
  2. A bujo does not need to be limited to calendars. You can create collections in a bujo, for example, a popular trend at the moment is making a book journal. You can create many different functions with a bujo and it’s important to think about the function you want it to have.
  3. Although many people call it creative planning, it is not a must. You do not need to draw or create art just because other people are doing. It’s important not to get carried away in the bujo community and lose the goal of making this work for YOU.


Remember that this productivity system had a start. Originally it was a way to keep tasks and information organized. The creative art planners have come later.

You don’t need to stick to the usual way of setting up a bullet journal. You don’t need to have loads of supplies.

But you can – you can let your imagination go wild. Thanks so much for learning about the bujo here with me today.

It you want some practice paper – try this printable paper pack:

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