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Bullet Journaling! What Is It? Why Do It?

Updated on September 11, 2019
Ellison Hartley profile image

I'm enthusiast of all things journal and journal related Recently discovered bullet journaling and I'm excited to share what I have learned!

Mood tracking page of my September bullet journal!
Mood tracking page of my September bullet journal! | Source

What Is A Bullet Journal?

A bullet journal is a personalized way to organize and track things in your life. One might ask" couldn't I just buy a planner to do that?". Well, of course, you could...It would not though be designed to the smallest detail to your preferences and not nearly as fun as doing it yourself!

Calendar Spreads

Obviously, an organizer is most likely going to have a calendar in it. When you are bullet journaling you can make the page spreads so they work bests for you. If you need a larger space to write for each day and then a small monthly calendar, you can design it that way.

You could make a big calendar for the month with room enough to write whatever you need in the boxes. It is great, just think about your life and how you need to use the calendar and then go from there. The sky is the limit. There is no wrong way!

Monthly calendar and on the right the calendar space for each day. About a half a page because I write a lot!
Monthly calendar and on the right the calendar space for each day. About a half a page because I write a lot! | Source

You Can Make It As Involved Or As Simple As You Want!

If you just want something functional you can design calendar pages that work for you. Maybe a to-do list that you can check off. A bullet journal can be as simple or complex as you would like.

It can also be "all business", like you just keep important dates, and take notes of things to do. I love writing, journaling in general so I have added more page spreads for things that I think are fun to keep track of. It is all about what you want in your journal. In the beginning, you may not have a lot of ideas, so just start with a basic calendar the first month. When you use the journal, you will realize other helpful pages you would like to have. Or even some pages you just want to have in there for fun!

This is my daily tasks spread. I have a spread like this week for each week of the month
This is my daily tasks spread. I have a spread like this week for each week of the month | Source

Other Page Ideas?

The sky is the limit really! Beside my calendar page and my daily tasks spread. I also have quite a few other pages that are just for fun. I track the weather, I have a gratitude page, I have a "trash can" where I leave any negative thoughts that might be bothering me. I also like to keep track of all the books I read each month and then rate them. I'm a traumatic brain injury patient, so one of the things I track is my symptoms from day today.

Each month that I have done this, I started in April I think, I have come up with new and fun ideas of pages to add.

September TBI symptoms tracker
September TBI symptoms tracker | Source

Don't Be Intimidated!

I was shocked at how intimidating an empty journal! It was like I thought over and over about it before I started. Really you should just dive in, it's your journal and you can put whatever you want in it. Not to mention, make it look any way that you like.

You Don't Have To Be An Artist To Bullet Journal

Sometimes if you look at bullet journal ideas your mind will be blown by how much artistic ability some people have and how fancy-looking they can make their spreads. It really is cool to see!

On the flip side, artistic ability is not required! I certainly don't have any! I use stencils, stickers, washi tape. I have even been known to use photographs or cut pictures from magazines. Again, you can't do it wrong, it's especially for you! So do the best you can to make it the way you want it.

My non artsy page! Still looks pretty good I think and most of it I did with stencils and attempting to make my handwriting cool looking!
My non artsy page! Still looks pretty good I think and most of it I did with stencils and attempting to make my handwriting cool looking! | Source

What Type Of Journal Should You Use?

Honestly, you could use any journal for a bullet journal if you want to try it out and don't have anything fancy.

A dot line journal makes it a lot easier for designing your lay-outs and keeping them looking neat but it's not a necessity. My first couple of months were done in random journals and turned out just fine.

The Journal I Use Now Is The Archer And Olive Blackout Journal

The blackout journal by Archer and Olive is a dot lined journal with all black pages. Which makes it really cool, because you have to use pens that are specifically made for use on black pages. They are so bright and pretty it is so much fun! A really cool and different look than any other bullet journal I have used so far!

Start By Searching For A Dot Line Journal That You Like

You are going to be looking at it all the time, so make sure it is something that is attractive to you to look at. It may sound weird but sometimes I see empty journals that I'm just drawn to want to fill the pages of! Other times not so much, just find something in your price range that you are excited to get started in!

You Can Do It !

Don't let fancy pictures you see on Pinterest intimidate you from making your own bullet journal. It is all about making it work for you! Give it a shot, I bet you will have a lot of fun with it.

Even if it seems tough in the beginning or you feel like you don't know what you want in it. Be brave and just get started! Ideas will come, I promise!


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