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Bullet Journals: Creativity to Keep You Focused

It’s always been difficult for me to stay on top of my daily to-do list. I’ve tried traditional planners and found I never remembered to look at them even if I had written something down, and not having a list created an even bigger problem. Thus began my quest for the perfect way to stay organized and have a little fun at the same time: bullet journaling.

The problem? I’m not creative in the least. Instead I’ve resorted to stalking a few Instagram accounts and sighing in admiration at their hand-made spreads. In the meantime, I grabbed a ban.do agenda and have fun with stickers and fun little weekly tasks. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give bullet journaling a try, though. Here are some quick tips to get you started and an additional list of Instagram accounts to awe and inspire you!


Bullet journaling tends to have a similar supply list to scrapbooking. Use fun paper, colored pens and lots of stickers to attract your eye and give you a cute little page to look at during the day. If you’ve made something beautiful that you’re proud of, you’ll always be looking at your planner and never forget anything! You can also make a fun scrapbook of memories, which may need blank pages to create a fun theme for months or even a collage of fun things you’ve found online or in magazines. You can make pockets to hold tickets, important mail, etc. 

Basically, you need all. the. stationary

Keep it Creative

Create a secret code and leave yourself messages, or pass your planner off to some friends and have them make you a few surprises!

It also helps to color code your pens, assigning colors to specific tasks or classes. I use green for lit history, red for Shakespeare, blue for British authors, black for online media and red for First Amendment law. Pink is for Her Campus duties and orange for social plans I’ve made. I’ll use a thicker marker for shifts at work. Use symbols to keep you organized and make sure you’re keeping your ideas short and sweet to leave room for the fun!

You can alternate between cursive handwriting and your normal hand, as well as print out and paste fonts from the web. Leave space for doodles and sketching, or inspiring quotes from your favorite icons and heroes. Come up with a daily reward for crossing off all your tasks, or write a weekly goal to achieve that can be as simple as “try a new bar for drinks” or “Taylor Swift karaoke while cleaning your room”.

More importantly, leave room for pages that can be used for a better purpose. Keep a list of things you’re grateful for, or small occurrences that made you happy. Make a year at a glance calendar for months when important overarching events happen, like taking a vacation or going back to school. Leave the more detailed tasks for daily pages. Track your water intake, the amount of books you’ve read, what time each night you unplug, etc. You can run stats on mental and physical health as well beginning and ending each month or keep a food diary to hold yourself accountable for reaching your health goals!

Find your inspiration

Luckily, we’ve done this part for you. You’re welcome.


Graphics from Buzzfeed, 1st image, 2nd image, other images from accompanying Instagram pages.


    Hannah Strader graduated from the University of Kansas in December 2018 with a degree in journalism and creative writing. She has past experience as both a writer and editor for high school and collegiate level newspaper staff and spent the summer of 2017 in London working with Healthista, an online women's health magazine. Her passions include but are not limited to Harry Styles, Taco Bell, witchcraft and books. She has two cats and can recite all the U.S. presidents in order. She's proud to call herself a Her Campus alumni. Formerly the Editor in Chief, Senior Editor, and staff writer at Her Campus KU.
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