Bullet Journaling YOUR way, A Tailored to You Planner! Beginner's Set Up. | Jessica Owinyo | Skillshare

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Bullet Journaling YOUR way, A Tailored to You Planner! Beginner's Set Up.

teacher avatar Jessica Owinyo, Creative Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Flip Through


    • 3.

      Bullet Journaling Tools


    • 4.

      The Key


    • 5.

      Make A List


    • 6.



    • 7.



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About This Class

Have you ever tried to start bullet journaling, or bought planner after planner only to quick half way through... if you even get that far. Well this is the beauty of bullet journal. It moves with you, so you don't have twenty something pages of empty calendar days that you missed. 


Bullet journaling can be a little overwhelming. Good news is, it doesn't have to be. Because it's YOUR journal and it can be modified to what works best for you! It can be super simple or a super creative planner! You just need the right start to nail down your method so there is no juggling to be had. This quick and easy class will show you how to:

  • Choose tools
  • Brainstorm before you start your journal
  • Lay the foundations of a journal that is tailored to your needs Come along and create a journal that will help you learn how to be the best planner for your life, and have fun along the way!

Don't forget to either print or write out your worksheet at the bottom of the page. We will work through it in the class - this will help you start nailing down your method! 

Links to the tool options I talked about in the class - But remember all you absolutely need is a pen and a journal!... but a straight edge is a huge help! 


DOT journal - $5



Duo tip pen - Tombow - $3.19



Pigma Sakura Micron Pen - $4-5



Protractor - $5

(or a few dollars at your local store)



Stencil - $14

(A ton of options out there if you want to use this as an addition to your "toolbox")


Colored Pens - $5 - $20

Depending on what kind you want, you can get them at almost any craft store. Some you might order online. I have several types, which I walk through in another lesson, but the ones I show in this class can be found here:


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessica Owinyo

Creative Entrepreneur



Hey there,

This is a small glimpse into my life as a creative entrepreneur. Currently my husband and I live and travel in a 1976 Airstream Sovereign that we renovated in three months and hit the road to head to grad school! All of my videos are filmed inside the our little home as well as all my other work... Well, I also spend a lot of time in coffee shops! My small business is called "Genuinely Ginger", if you don't get it now, you will! I create with my hands, hand letter, design, teach, and share. It is a huge privilege to do and I am so thankful for the ways God has opened doors for me to walk through.  

I can't help but to create, and I especially love serving others and using my gifts to bless others as I have been the recipient and blessed b... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. INTRO: Hi. My name is Jess. I'm the owner designer of a creative business. Cold, genuinely Ginger. I love bullet journaling and really with a crazy creative mind. With all these different ideas and projects to manage floating around in my head, I got to just put it on paper. So if you're the type who has to put stuff on paper than welcome cause you're in the right spot now, well, drilling could be a little overwhelming, but I do have a way to narrow it down and get it down to a method that works for you. Let's edit this. Let's narrow it down to something that you want to come back, Teoh. A tool that's actually helpful and you want to use. So I hope you come along because I'm really excited to share this method of mine and hopefully get you started on a bullet journal that you love 2. Flip Through : I want to run through a bullet journal real quick. This is my current bullet journal, and it's nothing too fancy. I kind of was lazy about it when I first started. But here you are. Welcome to see the mess that is my bullet journal. Here's my key in my index. This is my year overview. I've got lots of notes Gold Pages, analytics, Project pages was me finances Page. But I didn't do very good at keeping up with ideas. Christmas orders, doodles, no, lots of notes, thoughts of brainstorming. And here's when I was just doing weeks by themselves. I wasn't including much other tools or tracking things, except for I guess I did meal planning on that one. This is a month overview client page again, off more weeks, and I started to get a little bit more detailed here. You can see again weeks and weeks. This is a day page where helps him get a little bit more routine. Ah, list idea. Here's a page that I will show you how to dio one of my other videos. A page for essential oils for those of you out there that like that. Come on here. You can see I get a little bit more detailed about tracking things. This is a project page and gold tracking. This is a doodle page. Um, a week. Lots of weekly spreads. This one's one. My favorite set ups. I like having an vertical on tall, but I still like to switch it up. So yeah, that's kind of around Through wearing that current we, And just to give you guys an idea of what a bullet journal looks like if you haven't really seen past the route one. 3. Bullet Journaling Tools: So now I'm going to run you through just a couple of the tools that you might need for bullet journaling. This one obviously, is the book, and I just showed you the past hero of the book in just a couple of my ideas and a lot of my mistakes. So you guys can see nothing has to be perfect, but I will say I really like this book. It's not your typical bullet journal in the sense that it's not like the brand name or anything like that. It's not. The original started one, but I really like it cause the flexible cover. I take it with me everywhere, so it's pretty durable. I like the band on it, and I also like that has a pocket in the back, lets me store some of my tools. The other thing to keep in mind is the type of paper this one has the typical dot grid, which I find to be the best and most helpful. You could use a grid if you like that better or even blink. But I don't recommend it just cause it's really hard to keep everything straight. So that is the journal and the next tools that you lied is obviously you'll need pens, so this one is a really popular choice. It's a micron pen, and this one's 05 had the neighbor on it, or tip is actually a little bit larger than a lot of people would probably use. But I like the size, and it's the size that you'll see in my bullet journal, so you can just reference that it's great. It doesn't sneer. It's waterproof aid prove it doesn't lead to the pages, really, especially if you have a decent paper thickness. So this is a good choice, a little bit more expensive online. It's like $5 a pen, but you can go in store and get it for, like 3 50 This is a pen that I go to every day. It's the Sharpie pen, and they have the ones that look more like this with the caps on them. But I like this click and I like I do actually like the thicker barrel as well. But I like these because they're pretty inexpensive and they last a long time. I have this one. I started in October, and between this one and one other. I use it pretty regularly, and it's April, so it's doing pretty good. The name is very similar to, uh, this one, but does wear down. They both were down, and they often where in the angle of your hand that you're writing. So just be aware of that. If that bugs you, you might wanna try something different. Just I would do some testing on it. I'm left handed, so I have to worry about smearing. If you have to worry about smearing, I would definitely test out your pun before digging in and using it in your boardroom. So those are my two recommendations depends. Another tool I absolutely highly recommend you have is the protractor. Now, I don't mean to use this for any sort of math. It's mostly because of its size and the straight edge and the fact that it just has the nice tick marks on their for ruling. So I like it to make my weekly grid to make any sort of lines. I need just to keep things straight and precise. I tend to lean towards starting out minimal, and then I embellish as the week goes on, so starting out with nice straight lines Definitely AIDS that I also recommend getting more than one. Because I will tell you I lose mine all the time. And so I have a back up. This is actually my backup, but, um, yeah, don't really hurt him and having to their pretty inexpensive and you can actually buy them in pairs. Next is a tool I actually don't use. But I saw in a thrift store thought I would grab it because it's pretty cool has a lot of the symbols you might use for both. Journaling has the school numbers, And I know for some people who don't feel very artistic or get frustrated that this could be a good tool tohave if you just search online for bullet journaling stencils. Oh, my goodness, You're going to get so many crazy things on. And I just want to put a word of warning out. You don't wanna have something super complicated or a ton of these because you want to keep your toolbox small. In a sense, you don't wanna have to rip out all of your tools and make a huge production every time you want to update your bullet journal, so don't make it too complicated. But yeah, this is definitely a tool you can use, and they are again pretty inexpensive. Lastly, I'm just going to talk about some pens for making things a little bit pretty. So I like these pens just because I like neutrals a lot. And umm these are a actual brushed coloring pen for more for like, illustrating and drawing coloring, Kind of like a watercolor type feel when you first write it and it gets darker as you shade , but they have brush tips, and they are. They said neutrals kind of a Grady int. They have beiges and greys and really pale colors. Um, and the flip through earlier you would have seen them used in a few pages, and here they are, on paper what they look like. I really like this, but yeah, I do recommend getting some pens to just Teoh pretty up your pages and put some color in, or neutrals. If you like me, I'm sure in the summer I'll get a little bit more on the colorful side, so ah, pack of these can run on a very large array of prices. But, um, I want to say a pocket. These is more like $15 but you can certainly get different brands and cheaper brands. Just as long as they don't play through your pages, you're going to go. 4. The Key: next step in the tutorial is to talk about the key. So I'm gonna talk to you about a sample key I have here and my even my own method. But if you have that worksheet that I talked about earlier, go ahead and take it out. And if you just wrote down your own version, that's totally great. We're just going to talk about that first section, The key. I don't write anything down there. We're actually gonna talk about this first and then you can start to refine your own key. So I'm gonna run you through a mind that did real quick. And then I'll show you some other more universal symbols. So when I go to work on Ebola Journal, I used this symbol of the most. And remember that the key is kind of like your map to bolt journal. It reads things for you. So this for me means a task or something. I need to do something you need to accomplish backing the floors, work on a project with a client. Whatever it ISS, this one is for me again. Appointments, meetings, maybe a call I need to be on. And I like this one because it's a triangle on it makes me think of a tent. So that's how I associate it. And that's why I chose that symbol toe work that way for me. Sometimes I'll put on exclamation point on it. Some people, this one's more universal, but I like this one, and I'll put it on on a task because I need to remember. Maybe that day is super crazy. And if I get nothing else done, that is the item that I have to accomplish. Sometimes we have days like that, and we just have to get one thing done. So that's what the exclamation point is there for me events. I actually don't use this for events. That's just a really common one, So I listened it that way. I actually use it for goals. So in my weekly spread I will put squares or little boxes meeting with a list of gold that I might want accomplish, And these are goals that I'm working on over a period of weeks or even months, and I just want to take some steps toward it that week, and so I'll put it up there. It's not a do or die situation. It's not as important as this, but I do want to. If I have free time, I'll look at my bullet journal. Go. I'm gonna work on that takes a step towards that goal. And if I did all Philippine or and over after the accordingly, if you're in school, this is a good one or even the clock here that has due dates are you know, the different times of the day. You can do that, or, if you're going somewhere, there's a balloon or a birthday candle for birthdays. Um, really, The sky's the limit on this impulse. They just have to make sense for you. One thing that you really need meat need to make sure you have when you choose your symbols , is that they have to be interactive. And what I mean by that is you have to be able to change them as you go to show your progress or completion. So because this is the one I use most often, I chose it as the example. When it's completed it, I fill it in, and when I've made some progress on it or every I started it, it's just not quite done. I'll feel halfway in. Sometimes I think this one's just for me. So I could feel like I did something. And this one is for what? I need to move it over there. He didn't get it done that day. Or I realized this is not a good day, for I'm gonna move it to a different Dane or you need to postpone it because the whole project got postponed. Something along those lines. Now I'm just gonna put an arrow through it. And in my method, I usually just move it to the next day or somewhere else in that week. If I'm gonna move it farther along, I'm gonna put the date by it and an exclamation point because I'm going to come back to it when I make my new spread and moving over. And if it's the next month, I'm gonna continue to move it over until I get to that day. So it's always there. I never forget about it, but it's always but it's written down, so I don't have to worry about now. This one is if I cancel something, the task just no longer needs to be done. Maybe I no longer have that appointment. It got cancelled. Then I will cross it out. Now all of this goes with all of the different symbols I use. Goals may be cancelled. The goal of the appointed got moved. I put an arrow through it. It all has to work and be interactive with all of your symbols. So now I want you guys to go ahead and kind of think through some of the symbols that you want to use. Just make sure they're easy to write down. Easy toe, draw for you. Super simple stuff. Make sure you can associate with them and understand them that it makes sense for your brain. Someone else might use it for something. But it has to make sense for you, just like the tent meeting thing for me. That's why I chose that one. But most people use that for tasks so and then also make sure you can interact with it. So if you can't fill it in and move it around clearly, and obviously it's not really a good working symbol for your key. So okay, go ahead and start a brainstorming and we'll move on to the next step 5. Make A List: Now we start the fun part. Let's start playing the pages of your bullet journal. I want you to think in the constraints of a year, month, week and then even the day. But we're going to stop it week for now. So what are the things that you plan in a year that you have re occurring in a year, maybe birthdays or yearly events or parties a month? Maybe the sports schedule, your work schedule, things like that. And then in the week, you know, cleaning and meal prep and tracking how much water you're drinking, or things like that. And then we'll get into the other types of pages. But I want you to think in those three areas and make a big list of all the things you need to keep track of things you'd like to keep track of. Or maybe the things you like to see how you're doing in, like, how many vegetables my eating awake week or a day? Um, and then, uh, we can start nearing those down and put you into categories, so other page ideas are maybe some goals that you might have like a saving school or a a certain number of days a week. You want to exercise things like that? Birthdays. Maybe you want to keep track of all the birthdays in a year and be able to add to it frequently idea pages just to put little sparks of imagination or idea that you might have coming up or a brainstorming page about a idea that you have. Those were good. People have project pages. Maybe you're painting the house and you need to have a page where you have price comparisons, phone numbers, maybe some ideal blocked out calendar dates, some tasks, things you're working on, digging out those tasks all that can be on one page and makes it easier to accomplish things. And to stand top of it, uh, notes paid. If you're going to sit down for a skill show class or maybe a meeting at work and it's gonna be something you're gonna need to reference back or something, you wanna learn a little bit better. I would highly recommend leaving a few pages in there for notes on being willing just to write him in as they come up. Finances budget. If you really want toe, keep track tightly of where your money is going, or to see how your budget is balancing out. It's a great thing to put your vote, you know, because again, it's all in one place. Future plans. Maybe there's a list of movies you want to see restaurants you want to try places you want to go, books you want to read. These are really great pages that could be fun and creative. And you get really artsy with, um so I definitely recommend. Having a few of those ideas later actually, is a great one to, if you ever have, like, I just need to write this down. He stick it on a sticky note and then you forget report that sticky note. But you knew you needed to write it down and you've lost it Well, Having your page in your bullet room for just jotting things down or doing things is a great idea because it doesn't have to do with anything. You just know you had to get on paper real quick, and you always know where it is cause it's in the binding of the book tracking progress. If you're maybe you're trying to up your water intake or you're trying toe up the amount of times a week you exercise these air great things to track. Maybe you're a freelancer. You need to track your hours for work. That's also a great thing to have in here. I do several of those myself and I'll show you some cool ways. I have lots of other, um, classes that can show you how Teoh put those into your weekly spread or even their own page event planning. Maybe you're getting married, and in that case, maybe should have your own bullet journal for wedding planning. But or maybe it's a birthday party or a work event that you're in charge of planning. These are great things. Toe have vendor phone numbers, pick up date, drop off dates, um, again, price comparisons. Dipping out tasks. All of that again is a really great thing to have on a that planning page. So let's see. I think they're covered all of those, But truly the sky's the limit. Come up with every idea you can think of that you might want to track, and it doesn't have to be a page and yet could be even the tiniest minute thing that goes on in your day or your week that you might need to be reminding somebody of something or writing yourself of something. Write it down, make a massive list go crazy, and we'll get down to categorizing and organizing it in the next video. 6. Categories : So now that you have your list, go ahead and write it down on your worksheet and you don't have enough space, which I probably wouldn't if I was making the list. Go ahead and write it down on a different piece of paper and just keep him to get it. Now we're gonna work him into categories, so you know how to put them on into your village journal. So if you think you're gonna work better off of a monthly grid, then you don't have to use the week. You don't think you're gonna have time to make a weekly spread every time? Don't worry about it. Just do monthly here. You could do yearly if you would want on and then other. That's gonna be things that are not falling into the category of a certain day like brainstorming. So for me, I do use a weekly spread, and IAC usually use a monthly spread. But I always have other pages as well. So now you're gonna take things from your list and you're gonna categorize them. Now, if you're gonna work on it on a daily basis, then you're gonna put it in the spread. You're going to be working off on a regular basis, Whether you chose month or week. I chose week on, and that's what I work off off. So if it's a daily item, is gonna go under the week. So I just need a sample one. This isn't my list, but I tried to pull a little bit from different people's lives. So ah, work schedule. Without something that happens, I probably get that maybe a month at a time or a week at a time. So I go ahead and put that under a month, and then I would move the times over to the week. Once I said, Oh, my spread their school events for kids, I would probably put that into, um, month as well and then just reference it when I go to make my weekly schedule grocery shopping. I do that once a week. So I put that under weekly, um, birthdays. That's going to be up its own completely. Other page doorman put that under other Just jot it down. That's that page I talked about. If you just need to write something down and it's a total score bill page, it really doesn't make any sense, but you'll know what it means because, you know, you just had to write it down. Or if you just needed a doodle something out to see how it looked, that's gonna have its own page as well. Excuse my about hand reading down here. Um, if you're gonna work out, this is I put this there because that's something I'm gonna track where I want to make sure I do. So when I put in my weekly spread I list Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or whatever that week's gonna look like and then I actually list out those days and then I can help them off. So I put that under weak, have a C notes that's probably gonna have its own page, and that might come as you go. So if you're like me, I like to leave a couple pages in between my pages as I go along for inserting things like notes or brainstorming or goals that I didn't think of when I was initially setting off a bullet journal. So I like to make you know that. Okay, I want notes page for short, different, then draw because it's going to be like for a class or meeting with 1/2 and then you can separate into small chunks or just have a couple pages. Ah, goals page. Yeah, definitely gonna go under other savings. Some people like to draw a big jar and then, you know, put like, you know, $100 appear $50 year, $20 here, and they can fill in the chart as they go up. So that's kind of in the category of a progress page that we talked about earlier. So again, that's gonna go under other, um, some other things that you might have in your week are just two DUIs, like a dry cleaning. Sorry again for money generating. Um, maybe meal prep for the menu. Um, for the week. Maybe you need to clean the house. Maybe you need Teoh client meetings or calls. I'm going there your month. Maybe if you're scheduling state nine. So, for people with families, I definitely see month working better when you have multiple schedules to manage, including your own for me, and pretty much just manage my own schedule. As far as what goes into my bro bullet journal in the things I need to accomplish on daily basis. So that's where the weekly spread work so well, for me, this is kind of a short list. So if it was just way longer than this, that's totally fine. Go ahead and continue to categorize it. And remember of these things might change as you get better, you're belittling. My process certainly has been refined, and yours will definitely need to be refined, too. So this is just a good starting point to get you going, so it's not too chaotic and enrollment to manage. 7. Index: So the next thing we're gonna want to do is get into our bowl eternal good. It started. So if you already have the book, go ahead and start by numbering the pages. And I would just go ahead and do page one through, maybe 15 maybe 20 depending on how far you want to go. I do want against going too far, because guess what. If you mass up and you end up deciding to take a page out, which I do not recommend doing often at all, then you're gonna be almost up with your page numbers. So don't go too far. When I first started, I just did, like, page one through 10 or something. And then I you just keep adding is go now I'm on pitch like 1 14 or something. I've updated recently, but I still hold behind. I don't You referenced my index a lot, but some people do need to just depends on how your mind works. So go ahead and do that. Your index can either be on its own page or it can be on page number one. I have my page turning on, uh, the year so it just depends. I think a trouble with General probably starts with index page one. But for me, as a modified volitional, I started on the year so started however you want. If you don't have the book, that's totally fine. Go ahead. And we're just gonna work through it together on the pages category over here. I think this is a good way to do it either way. But if you have the book, it's a little bit easier because you could go through and say 12 Okay. I wanted to look this way together. So all reference that again, if that's not very clear. Okay, so basically, my page one is not my index. So I basically be looking at my index right here by page one is a yearly, so you can do index if you want. Um, you'll have Teoh now. My yearly starts has two pages in it, so I'm gonna leave number two blank or that bothers you could do that. See, You know what continues on the next page three. Um, I probably would do a random page over here so weakly basically is going to go into either your weekly where you monthly spread. If you decided I don't have time to make the weekly spread every week, then don't worry about this. They kind of actually get molded over with your month. But we're not gonna make pages out of all these. You can't if you want and decide. I want a date night page for ideas. Then go ahead and put that over here as well. But for now, we're going Teoh be doing these. These are your actual pages right here. So we're going with those over over. Um, so next, maybe I'm gonna have a gold page on page three. See Page for I think I only want goals page to be one side of the page. So then the other side of income into savings schools, Maybe if you want to get to a certain point with that. Okay, so then I'll probably throw a notes page in there because I know that I'm gonna wanna have a notes page early on, and I want that to be to spread, so I'm gonna let that go over here. So now that I've got a couple down ministry that any business yearly has two sides, so that's one page and page two. And then if you go to see if I can find Well, here's the thoughts and ideas Page and I wanted it to be both sides, so I would have done, you know, car like notes five and six. So this seven inch here, Mrs Projects, I have two pages on it, and you can kind of go through out for you. Number your pages and go OK? Yeah. I'm not gonna put the month of October on pages 12 and 13 because it's on two different sides of the page. I need it to be on the same spread, if that makes sense. So this is where having the book handy, um, is really helpful. But if you don't have it, that doesn't mean you can't start thes and then just to make sure notches up when you go to do it. So let's continue. So let's see. Um, we've done goals. We've just savings notes. Let's put birthdays and birth E Zahra. Good thing toe. Have early on. And I would say I'm gonna go ahead and give that just one page. Depends on how you use. Depends on how you design it, but I think one page is probably sufficient. Maybe I'll do books to read on the other one. Now, I know for my own bullet journal if I'm starting newly on one than 78 or on the same page just from counting down the pages because you're gonna have the evens here. But if you start that first page that doesn't have the other side, you're going to be on the odd numbers. So because I started yearly with one and two, I know my even numbers. Seven when it ends on uneven number is going to be the double spread. That makes sense. Hopefully, it does. Okay, now we do birthdays, Um, let's do a project page. And personally, when I have a project page, I don't really want it to be shared with anything else. So even if I don't have a another project right now, I'm gonna go ahead and leave that open for another product or for that project to expand over into this page because I just don't want it sharing with other things. Okay, Projects is on there. Maybe you do want a, um a page for date ideas so you could do date ideas here. And since this is gonna end on even number, what would you want that to share it with? Hmm? Maybe school events. Maybe if you get all the school events on and you do want to have a page, you don't want to just have that in a month. Maybe you get them the whole year. And so you just you're not gonna go right every month of the year out can if you want to, but goodness gracious, that's a lot of work. Uh, then you're gonna wanna have a whole page that has all the dates down there, and it's in one place. And then when you go to write out your you know, November schedule, you just jump over to the school events page and log those dates into your month. Que So here we go there. I think I'm gonna go ahead and put a month, and so I personally, I've done months that, um, span one page of Dunham that they spanned two pages. You're not know what number I'm writing right here. Supposed to be 13. It looks like one b Excuse that. I apologize. Okay, So this is going to be a month. I again, I just don't like it to share. So for me, I wanted to have a full spread. If you want to do a month over here and a weekly over here and just to your re please one side of the page at a time, that's a great place to start into your week here. And then just do one sided as you go because I track a lot of things in my week. I like to have a double spread for my week so that I would start a double spread right here with 15 and 16 and traditional bullet journaling. Actually, you track your week so you could put weekly spread. Or you could just put Week one, because that's kind of how it goes. If you start in the beginning of the year, you can do week 13 52 or you can start anywhere in the year. And just know that that's your first week that you're recording thes things, and it's kind of like an accomplishment thing. I actually don't really use this because I don't have a lot of value in it. I don't really care which we kind of on. I just know that I'm gonna be doing this indefinitely. So, uh, if it helps you keep track and go Oh, I wanted to look back at week two because I really liked that spread. Then you can go back to your index and find out what page it's on, if you would like. So, um, that step 1,000,000 option I just put weekly spread and then a lot of times my weekly spreads run together, and so I don't even I'll stop here in my index and then I'll keep going, Keep going. And maybe I catch doing weekly spreads until, oh, when I were down at page, um, let's say 2122 I'm gonna do the next month and I would do you a month now. You may something like that, so or you could just put my it's really up to you so this it could stop here. And then as you continue, you number your pages as you continue, and then you record them down in here for reference. So that's how your pages work again. This is not like a solid thing. It's nice to have it done here before you go put it in your index and then you see all the scribbles that I had in my index. This is really the better way to start. So try this. If you have your book, go ahead and number one through 10. 15. I wouldn't recommend going past 20 unless you already know what those pages were gonna be. But again, the more pages there are, the more likely there is for mess up and the opportunity that you might need to tear a page out, which again you don't recommend. But go ahead a number up to that point and get started, if you will, with your index.