Bullet Journaling – Why It's So Great

“What in the world is bullet journaling?”

So many people ask me this question whenever they see me working away in this little black notebook I have out pretty much 90% of the time. I’ve actually even been asked if I’m writing Death Notes, and it’s made me laugh pretty hard; I’m not gonna lie. So basically, a bullet journal is essentially a planner, scrapbook, whatever you want it to be wrapped into one notebook. It’s saved me so much time and so much money when it comes to buying planners because really, who wants to spend more than $5 on a planner when you used to get them for free or cheap in high school, you know?

So, you can use any old notebook, a pen, pencil, and that’s really it! Of course you can get fancy with markers, brush pens, crayons, etc., but that comes with time and practice. Starting a bullet journal seems incredibly tedious and terrifying at first, but with time it becomes less of a chore and more of a fun activity to take your mind off things and balance your life out. You begin by creating a key, which is a list of images that you can use to correlate with certain ideas or situations in your journal. It helps you keep track of certain things and differentiate between the things you’ll be writing in the journal.

From there you can create a title page if you’d like or leave it blank. Most people create an index in which they write the pages where certain collections or months land on, but I personally don’t find it useful. You then should put in what is called a ‘year at a glance’. It’s exactly as it sounds. You write the months from the one you are starting, and you can go up to the remaining months of the year or just play it safe and go 6-8 months in the journal to give yourself leeway in case you run out of space. Once you write the months, you leave a few spaces and write important things happening in the months you’ve written down. This can range from birthday, concerts, trips, or important due dates for college assignments.

This brings me to collections. These are basically the “anything you want” part of the bullet journal. It’s a way to keep track of different things or expand your creativity. I left a few pages blank at the beginning of my journal, past the title page, to include some collections. It’s essentially you keeping a collection of things, exactly as it sounds. Many people have collections of books they’ve read, birthdays, movies, songs, writing or art pieces, you name it. These are a few of mine.

Once you pass the collections you want, you can go into the monthly spread. I’ve been bullet journaling for 3 years now, and it’s still a little tricky sometimes, but it’s worth it in the end. You spend some time at the beginning of your week to set it up and then you have a planner that is more fun to be creative with than a regular old school planner. A monthly spread includes normally a cover page for the month to separate it from the others, a calendar of your preferred format, possibly some smaller collections that you want to keep track of monthly rather than yearly, and of course your week to week plans.

With that you basically have a bullet journal. It’s important to note that it doesn’t have to be something that only people who can draw are able to use. You can make it the way you want it. Minimalistic, full of art, or even full of washii tape. There are a lot of youtube accounts and pintrest accounts dedicated to providing inspiration to people beginning bullet journals and simply being interested in bullet journaling. It really takes the stress of life away when you’re working in your journal, and gives you a sort of outlet from the hardships and stress of life. It’s helped keep me in check, and though I use it for more of a personal use, and I simply write my homework in my calendar app on my laptop, it’s still a great way to keep school work in check as well. I hope you find some inspiration, and begin your own journal as well!

Here are a few youtube channels that help inspire me and can help you start your own journal, and a few photos of my journal dealing with the subjects discussed above.

  • Amanda Rach Lee
  • Studywithinspo
  • MyLifeInABullet
  • Miss Louie
  • Journalspiration