How to create a bullet journal


As purveyors of readability, we love any solution that brings simplicity into daily life. Bullet journals are used by countless people to organise anything from day-to-day lists and long-term hopes and dreams. 

Part of their appeal is that its flexible nature puts creativity in your hands. You can create a journal that works for you. But, this can also make it hard to know where to start. Read on for some simple steps and examples of amazing bullet journal approaches to inspire you. 

What is a bullet journal? 

The bullet journal approach – sometimes called BuJo – was originally created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer and author. He created it as a way to track your past, order your present and plan your future. Little did he know how many it would inspire to use his method and put their own creative spins on it. 

A bullet journal is a blank notebook, sometimes squared or dotted, that allows you to plan your life your way. You can organise your notebook with a series of different logs – most commonly, daily, monthly, and future logs. 

How do I create a bullet journal? 

The great thing about bullet journals is that they’re accessible to anybody – it’s an organisation system, so if you don’t want to commit to it with a fancy, expensive leather notebook, you could start small. 

Simply get a blank notebook and the pen of your choice. Don’t forget to leave a couple of pages blank at the beginning of your journal so that you have room to write an index. 

Use the back of your notebook to track long-term plans which aren’t in your immediate future. You could also use the back pages for lists – for example, a list of books you’ve read. 

In the bulk of your notebook, you can create a calendar for the coming month to write quick notes on as an overview of your time and then create a weekly or daily schedule for your to-do lists – the choice is yours! 

What are some good examples of bullet journals? 

Whether you’re an artistic soul or not, you can make bullet journals work for you. They don’t have to be aesthetically pleasing or even neat – in fact, messy journals should be celebrated. 

With that being said, there are some bullet journals that have nailed aestheticism, whether it’s minimalist or maximalist in style. 

Here are a few inspiring bullet journals to get you in the mood for buying stationery… 

This example by @kelsey.doodles is a wonderfully Autumnal, Over the Garden Wall inspired month plan for a week in October. She’s got a reminders list of things to do overall in the week and for each day, she’s listed her ‘top three’ tasks. This beautiful journal blurs the line between journaling and scrapbooking and is a great way to bring art she loves into her daily mindscape. 

This example by @belanaart is on the more minimalistic side, whilst still being ornate. It’s an example of a spread that’s not overly fussy and allows plenty of room for your lists. 

Finally, this example by @amandaleighplans illustrates how you can track aspects of your health in your bullet journal in a way that’s easy to understand. She’s used a line graph across the month to track her mood, with happiness and contentment being at the top so it’s easy to see mood fluctuations throughout. Her habits are tracked with dots. This is a neat and fuss-free way to keep an eye on one’s health and is actually easier to look at than many health phone apps.