Hello Planning Mashers!
Starting something new can be very scary, so the first page of a Bullet Journal is always a challenge. Even now when I’m already on my 3rd journal, there is still so much anxiety around it!
That’s why I want to share here 9 ideas for your Bullet Journal cover page so that it’d be a bit easier for you to jump in and start creating.
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First let me tell you, that as scary as it is to start a new journal, it’s totally worth it. I actually wrote a whole post on Different Techniques to Fight Bullet Journal First Page Fear. I hope you’ll give it a look as well and get ready to start your own planning journey right now.
The best way to fight the first-page fear is to be prepared. It’s much easier to just jump into it if you know what you want to draw on the page and have your inspiration and all the materials.
Bullet Journal Supplies
First, let’s start by getting all the materials prepared. Of course, you’ll need a journal. If you’re not sure which one to choose, I have a guide on How To Pick A Perfect Bullet Journal Notebook as well as a list of 13 Notebooks You Should Try For Your Next Bullet Journal.
Second, you’ll need some good fineliners. Fineliners are the basis of any doodles or drawing you will make, so make sure to get a few, preferably with different tip size. This will definitely give dimension and help you with the setup. Among my favorite fineliners are Sakura Pigma Micron and Staedtler Pigment Liner.
Finally, you probably will want to add some color. I would offer to get some brush pens, like Tombow Dual Brush Pens or Sakura Koi Brush Pens. I also absolutely adore Zebra Mildliner Highlighters, they have two different tips and their colors are so so pretty! For a bit of more budget option definitely check out Crayola Super Tips Markers, they are great and you can use them for lettering, as well as coloring.
Write Current Year
When I’m thinking of my journal cover page, I know what I want. I want it to reflect basically what’s in the journal. I believe just writing a current year is pretty telling. If you plan to start it in the middle of the year, you can always write two years. If it’s your second notebook this year – just add part two.
I find that this is the most useful front page for Bullet Journal and in the future, it’ll be pretty helpful to sort out my journals. I also believe it’s the most neutral idea as well – it won’t define the whole journal style, it’ll just simply state the date.
This is my cover page from 2021 Bullet Journal Setup, as you see I decided to decorate a page with a year by adding tons of color blotches and some geometrical shapes.
If you decide to do something similar in your Bullet Journal you can totally do it in a more aesthetic way by using muted colors or maybe just shades of gray.
Wondering how to decorate your page with a number of the year? Well, you can always just use craft paper. Create little banners like above, or maybe just add little pieces of craft paper to the corners.
What I love about using craft paper is that you can get it anywhere, it can be simply your shopping bag!
I absolutely love this incredible cover page, and how the artist actually combines my idea of the year with my next idea of a quote.
An Inspirational Quote
Who doesn’t like a good quote?! Find one that motivated you and start your new planner life with it! Use the power of words to help support you in your new adventure.
Loved this little quote so much, that I had to create this page in my journal.
I decided to add to this quote some pretty flowers because I feel like flowers are a great sign of hope. Would you agree?
It was very interesting when I got my first Archer and Olive Kraft Journal, so of course, I had to start it by creating a quote page.
If you want to learn how to easily create quote pages in your Bullet Journal, check out my post How To Create Inspiring Quote Pages In Your Bullet Journal.
Affirmations are very powerful, especially if you write them down. So think of something you’re struggling with and write a positive affirmation about it. That’s a great way to kick start your journey to a more productive and intentional life.
If you’re not sure, check out these 10 easy affirmation ideas to get a general feeling of what it is.
Mandalas are great, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. It’s extremely therapeutic to draw one, and maybe that’s exactly what you need when dealing with your first-page fear.
Another advantage of drawing a mandala – it’s really not something that has to be done in one sitting. So you really don’t have to worry about finishing it up fast. You can turn it into a yearly project, and do bit by bit any day you feel like it.
If you like this idea be sure to check my post How To Draw Mandalas In Your Bullet Journal.
Eva really is a queen of mandalas and her mandala cover pages are aways absolutely stunning!
I love how she decided not to go with just one mandala but add lots of smaller ones. It must be hard to get such strong black but doesn’t it look absolutely amazing?
Another mandala cover page again by Eva. It’s impossible to look for mandala Bullet Journal pages without choosing her photos.
This is how you can create a stunning cover page with just one mandala. It still looks gorgeous wouldn’t you say?
My One Word For This Year
A very interesting practice I’ve found when I started Bullet Journaling is to actually pick a word to be your word of the year. This means – pick one word which would describe what you want to become and achieve by the end of the year.
To learn more about it check my post Why You Need Your Personal Word Of The Year and How To Choose It.
This is a great practice to get some kind of direction to follow the whole year. For example in 2019 my word was success. I work on my blog, I plan on taking some classes, and moreover – I have several new projects in mind. So my main goal and direction for the year is to be successful in my endeavors.
I find it a great way to start your journal – a little reminder of what you want from yourself and your life and that you need to work on all the time. Surely your Bullet Journal is one of the main tools in making your goals come true.
This is my word of the year for 2021. as you see I decided to add some more things to it by adding the meaning of the word.
I think it’s kind of a good thing because each word can have so many meanings for each person, so it might be more powerful to actually write down how exactly you want to interpret this word.
Another cool way to decorate your work of the year page is to repeat the word, basically creating a pattern out of the word.
I think the image above illustrates perfectly how such an approach can look really cool and stylish. You can use color, or maybe just fill out some of the words with patterns to add a bit more spark.
What does your journal usually start with? My Archer and Olive ones always start from a “this book belongs to” page. You can use that as your cover page, or just create one in whatever journal you have.
Ok technically this page combines several ideas I mention here, but I want you to concentrate on the lettering of the name – isn’t it beautiful?!
This is a very simple decoration idea – just use some pretty lettering for your name and you’re all set.
Alternatively, you can just create a welcome page, so your journal always welcomes you back when you open it.
Really love this idea! I think I’ll try to use it in my next journal maybe. It kind of makes you feel warm when you open your journal to such a welcome.
Bullet Journal Key
Key is a very useful page since the symbols there are the ones you’ll be using all the time. Starting your journal with a key will be both useful and less stressful.
What I love about the key page is that it can be super simple and you can just use some pretty lettering to decorate the page.
For my key in my 2019-2020 journal, I also added the years when I started my journal and when I finished it (not added yet on this image).
That way it’s easier to catalog my journal, when I open it I’ll be able to see right away when did I use it.
What I love to do with my key, is to always make sure I have some space left, in case I need to add some extra symbols later.
Also, here is a cool trick: you can make a separate key and attach it with some washi tape. That way if you don’t like it or need a new one, it’ll be pretty easy to fix.
Of course, you can always just draw something. Floral drawings are a very popular theme for the Bullet Journal title page. You can find a lot of amazing tutorials that will help you create a beautiful floral spread ever without any previous artistic experience.
Get the links to some amazing tutorials and tips in my post on How To Draw Beautiful Flowers In Your Bullet Journal even if you’re a complete beginner.
Always perfect and neutral cover page idea is to draw flowers. With a black and white color scheme all you need is just a black pen – doesn’t it sound so easy?!
Another drawing and another floral page. They are just the best for drawing!
I love how the year was added in cols ink, it just looks so stunning in the contrast with the black background.
Another type of illustration you can do is this type of landscape ones. They look amazing and so aesthetic!
On this image the artist used paint, but you can achieve a very similar effect with other materials, like Tombow Dual Brush pens.
Something else you can create as your cover page is a pattern.
Creating patterns is just as calming and meditative as creating mandalas, and it can be pretty simple too. All you need is a pen and maybe a ruler.
Adrienne is amazing in patterns and how interesting she makes it look by just changing up the colors.
You can do so many with the patterns! Just fill out the page with them, or maybe add a year in the middle. Another way would be to choose a word or letters and use patterns to decorate inside of them.
If you want to go more artistic with your patterns, you can always create a floral or pretty much any other pattern. Just choose a doodle and keep repeating it with a certain interval.
You can also always just skip the first page and head straight to the planning section. The first page is actually overrated and not as important as it seems when you sit to make one. So don’t let your fears hold you back from being productive and planning for success.
I know for sure, that the first page will never be the best one. Simply because with experience you get better and your future pages get prettier. You’ll notice I’ve included only one my own cover in the post, and that’s for the same reason – I just don’t like any of my covers anymore, I got a bit better and those don’t look that pretty to me.
So maybe you can just leave it blank for the moment and come back to it later when you’re more confident and it doesn’t give you any more anxiety.
I really hope this post was useful and gave you some ideas. At any rate, I just want to make sure you know we all share those fears and have to fight that anxiety. But if you’re prepared I promise, it gets better. Hopefully, my ideas helped you to prepare a bit.
What did you use for your cover page? Or planning to? Looking forward to reading your comments below.
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A BLOB.