Bullet Journals for Beginners: Choosing a Journal (Part 2) Tul
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Starting a bullet journal can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. This is the second post in my new series Bullet Journals for Beginners. Through the course of this series, I’ll be going over everything you need to know to start a bullet journal from choosing the journal to finding the right pen and pages.
I started bullet journaling almost two years ago, and I’ve never looked back. It is hands down my favorite way to stay organized. But, like most things that are new, it can be intimidating. I searched and searched for how-to’s on starting a bullet journal, and there are some good ones, but most of them were complicated and intimidating.
So I’m starting with the basics and working my way up to the more complicated (and fun) stuff. Let’s get started!
Choosing a Journal
There are hundreds of journals out there. To be honest, you could probably use most of them as a bullet journal and do fine. However, there are a few tricks and tips I’ve learned that I think can help you be more successful.
Today I’m reviewing the Tul Junior Size Note Taking System. This beauty entered my life as a birthday present. It’s probably the most flexible journal you’ll find. Seriously, there’s a long list of additional accessories, and some of them are delish.
Journal #2: Tul Junior Size Note Taking System
The Tul comes in full and junior size. I liked the junior size because it fit better in my purse. The full size was…well it was full sized, like carrying around a full-sized notebook, which would have been too much for me.
Purchased from: Office Depot (It can be found on Amazon)
Price: $10.49 but that’s only the cover. Paper and all accessories have to be bought separately. I think my configuration cost around $25-$30.
- Pen holder
- Removable lined paper (included)
- Cover storage pockets
- Small binding rings (large binding rings shown in picture were purchased separately)
This list doesn’t include all available accessories, but these are the ones that I used (except for the full-size cover and dotted paper)
- Pocket dividers
- Grid paper
- Dotted paper (full-size only)
- Tab place markers
- Different sized binding rings
- Different sized cover
- Mini list paper
- Full-page list paper
- Versatility: There’s an accessory for just about anything you can think of with this journal. My absolute favorite was the mini list paper. I used it for weekly meal planning. On one side were the meals for the week while on the other I made my grocery list. The thing is, with all the different papers available, you can customize the Tul any way you want.
- Paper options: The grid on the graph paper was a good size. If you remember, a grid that was too small one of my least favorite parts of my first bullet journal. Writing and designing pages was easy on this grid. I also used lined and list paper. I didn’t try the dotted paper as it only came in the full-size. All of the papers were thick and heavy. There was no bleed through. Gotta tell ya, I love thick paper. It brings more joy to my heart than it should.
- Storage: The cover has pockets which are dynamite for storing stuff. I also bought the pocket dividers and looooooved them. Seriously, I still miss them. I kept everything from business cards to a random dandelion given to me by my son. Those pocket dividers were gold for keeping stuff organized.
- Pen holder: Journal manufacturers out there, hear this: ALL JOURNALS SHOULD HAVE A PEN HOLDER. A pen holder means never having to look for your perfect pen.
- Ruler: I bought the clear Tul ruler separately. It snapped onto the rings but after removing it a few times I was afraid I’d break off the tines so I kept it in the cover pocket.
- Favorite additional accessories: There are so many additional accessories available by Tul. Now, I didn’t buy them all, but, of the ones I did, there were a few favorites—the ruler, pocket dividers, and mini list.
- Awkward ring sizes: The binder rings came in two sizes which were too small and too big. Maybe there’s an in-between size, but I never found it. I had the small rings when I started and switched to the large rings, which were, of course, too big. It made it hard to open my bullet journal, especially if I was in a hurry.
- Bordered paper: All of the paper has a border. The thing is, the pages aren’t that big, and a border made them even smaller. I felt like I used up so much paper simply because there wasn’t much space for writing.
- Old pages fall out easily: The paper is designed to be taken in and out. That didn’t work so well for permanent pages. My index, for example, began falling out after a few months. No bueno.
- Storage of old pages: I’m not sure if it was because of the thick paper or the big binder rings, but it seems like this bullet journal filled up fast. But then I didn’t know what to do with the old pages as it got full? Some of them I threw away but others, like my ‘Kid Quotes’ page, I wanted to keep. I could never figure out a good way to store them. With my other bullet journals, I simply keep the whole journal like I do my personal history journal. Old pages created a dilemma.
When it might be right for you:
You really can’t beat the versatility of the Tul. I used it for eight months, and I liked it most of the time. BUT, as much as I loved this bullet journal, it didn’t end up being what I wanted. I like rereading the funny stuff my kids say, and sometimes it’s useful to look back at what I did a month ago. I couldn’t do that with this bullet journal. I filled up pages too fast, leaving me with too many pages and nowhere to store them. However, if you’re looking for an incredibly versatile planner with some seriously great paper, you’d probably be happy with the Tul.