A TOUR OF MY BULLET JOURNAL

Saturday, October 29, 2016
The craze of bullet journaling caught my eyes a few months ago. Everything about it seemed cool -- bullet points, lists, tasks, doodles, check boxes, pretty headers and handwriting... but yet I didn't know where to start. 

There are plenty of Pinterest boards out there of bullet journals (like this one, this one, and this one), which gave me lots of good inspiration for my own. I began to realize with all of this research -- after looking at spreads on Instagram, Pinterest... even YouTube, that there is no one way to make a bullet journal. 

Bullet journals are an organization system that you can customize for your own needs. After I realized this, I finally took the plunge and started one. (hint: it's awesome.)


My "bullet journal essentials" are a notebook, my favorite pens, and a ruler so I can draw neat graphs without it looking like a three-year-old drew it. I just got my journal from the dollar section in Target for starters. I didn't want to spend twenty dollars on a notebook and then decide that bullet journaling wasn't my thing. (like this one I'm eyeing. Or this one.)

I prefer dotted, graphed, or blank paper, just since I have more freedom to draw and go "outside the lines," but do what works for you!

WHY A BULLET JOURNAL?

Why not a bullet journal? I love bullet journaling, because it makes me feel organized, despite being a very non-organized person. Bullet journaling has helped me keep track of goals and tasks in one central place, instead of scattering sticky notes throughout the house and just losing them in the couch cushions only to find them three years later. Oops.

You don't have to be artsy to have a bullet journal. It can be very intimidating at first, but if you can write somewhat legibly and make check boxes, you're more than qualified.

Bullet journaling is a nice way to reflect. I love doing it right before I go to bed while listening to soft music or instrumentals. It helps me unwind and see what I accomplished (or didn't accomplish) that day and jot down little memories and happy moments.

Below is what a four-day spread looks like for me. I have a time chart on the side of each day, connecting to my to-do list/activities for the day, and then memorable moments on the side.

(i'm just realizing that I drew the arrow to "read" instead of "work" on sunday and whoops I did not read for six hours that day :P)

I use my bullet journal for a lot of random things. Goals, a calendar, blogging schedule, books I read, sleep tracker, random journal entries for special events, little charts... I plan to start a chart for funny quotes/moments in November and a word count system for NaNo that I'm still figuring out. xD


Whenever I try to keep up a regular journal, I struggle with consistency. It was too easy to push off one day, and the next, and then next, and then a month would go by with the journal collecting dust on the shelf.

I was worried that bullet journaling would be just another "task" and add on to the craziness of my week. But it's been more of an excitement than a burden, which is awesome. Bullet journaling is great, since it doesn't take very long. If I want to spend a half an hour on it making it look all nice and pretty... I can do that! If I'm tired and just want to sleeeeeeeeeep, I can do that too! It's very flexible, which is nice for this insane life. xD

(above: a little "welcome" page to the month. I like having the month's dates so I can check them off as I conquer each day.)

Overall, I feel like bullet journaling has helped me be more productive. It's helped me look ahead to the rest of the week, and realize what tasks I need to get done now since I won't have time to procrastinate on them later. 

Having the little check boxes/to-do list for each day has worked well for me. I like seeing them all filled so everything matches, so it's more of an incentive to get allll the things done. :P



Above is my monthly spread, and that is definitely my favorite page. It's fun to be able to look at the month in one image, seeing how often I worked and the fun events that took place. (Though, I will not talk about how awful it was trying to make all the boxes even and the same length. Mathing is hard. -.-)

So there's my bullet journal. If you're like me and have been looking for a way to combine EVERYTHING into one place, maybe this is your thing! It's fun to give it a try regardless if you want to continue it forever or not. :P

Though this was a shorter post, hopefully it provided some inspiration or was just fun to look at. :D

// katie grace

Do you keep a journal?

67 comments :

  1. I've been seeing a few bullet journals around but haven't fully understood their potential or how to make them, but this was really insightful for me. It sounds like something I could use. I'm definitely considering making my own. This is a great post. :D

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    1. You totally should! It's very confusing on how it works at first, but once I realized that it's made for customization and basically doing whatever works best for you, it was easy to start. :D

      Thank you, Anna! <3

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  2. Oooh. OOOH. So I never thought that bullet journaling could really be my thing? But now I'm rethinking that. Because it seems so flexible, and if I want to quickly recap what made the day special or go into an in-depth entry on something I learned, I can do either. :D

    And ACK. YOUR PICTURES. ALL THE PRETTY. ALL THE AESTHETIC. Your arting skills are fabulous. <3 (and your ability to take such cute photos of a notebook!)

    Basically I'm rethinking whether I should try bullet journaling or not. o.o It actually looks beautiful and fabulous and like the perfect thing to combine doodles and writing aesthetically pleasing prettiness. I SHALL LOOK INTO IT. :D

    (also, I loved enlarging the post photos and reading what you wrote. everything was so lovely. i really loved when you mentioned that a lady said, "your smile made my day; thank you for that." so sweet. <3)

    Anyway, EEP, this post has really intrigued me as to considering bullet journaling! Although it is hard to find cute notebooks with dots rather than lines. I got an absolutely beautiful one, but it has lines. *sigh* But I guess that could work too. :P

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    1. And I'd love to hear more details sometime about how you will organize the NaNo spreadsheets. BECAUSE THEY SOUND AWESOME.

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    2. EXACTLY! For the most part I'm doing little recaps, but if I want to journal something bigger I can do that. (but I'm more likely to put it in my other journal rather than in my bullet journal. Still figuring out if I want to have two or not. :P)

      EEEP THANK YOU. It was very fun to make them look nice and aesthetically pleasing. :P

      (AH YES. It was the sweetest thing ever and just asjdk;f I love nice people and it inspires me to be the same way)

      Gah, isn't it? I spent soooo long searching Amazon and Etsy for bullet journals, but it was hard to find the perfect one. It would still totally work with lines... or a blank journal shouldn't be hard to find! Like a sketchbook? Hm. Now I'm giving myself ideas. :P

      YES well I'm trying to make them look pretty and awesome but currently they're a little bit of a flop. But I am trying. XD

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  3. It's adorable!! and now I wanna bullet journal...question though, where did you find that fantastic notebook to do it with!?!? It literally stays open without you holding it -- idk why but that's a huge thing to me *laughs*

    btw THE PHOTOS ARE GOALS

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    1. I just found it in the dollar section at Target. XD Wasn't expecting to see it there, but... hey! I'll take it!

      AH THANK YOU AJDKSLF;. <3

      Delete
  4. Oooooooh, (to be honest I didn't really know what bullet journaling until now, I mean, I had heard of it of course but I had never really looked into it) Yours looks so awesome though! I might have to look into bullet journaling now...

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    1. You should! It's super fun and a nice way to let your artistic self come out. :D

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  5. (*races off to turn rarely used diary into a bullet journal*)

    Also, did you just look in the little dollar section at the front of a Target? Because it sounds like something wonderful that I must check out. ;)

    ~Liv
    oliviakfisher.blogspot.com

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    1. (YES do the thing)

      Yup! That little dollar section is always a great place for hidden gems. :P

      Delete
  6. Wow I've never heard of this before. I've always thought these things aren't for me because I'm an organized person, but now that I look at this I think I could use something like this!!

    This post was very helpful though! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    Bernie
    www.uniquelyyou1.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes! It's a super organized process so I think you would like it if you appreciate neat and orderly things.

      Thank YOU for reading! <3

      Delete
  7. GAH I LOVE YOUR JOURNAL!! It's gorgeous! I am doing a "trial" bullet journal until the end of the year, and if I love it, I will invest in a nicer one and do it!! I have tried so many different types of planners, but so far, bullet journaling is my favorite. So awesome!! ♥

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    1. YES! That is exactly what I'm doing and it's so fun to do a trial bullet journal so I can free myself to make mistakes and all that. xD

      Delete
  8. I NEED TO DO THIS. I love it! And then I need to hire you for your cute handwriting and leaf-drawing skills. :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YES YOU DO.
      If I can hire you in return for your book writing skills... DEAL. :P

      Delete
  9. THIS IS SO COOL!! I really wanna try this!

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  10. GAH your journal looks so good!! Thanks for the "tour". xD
    I'm one of those people who hates planning and keeping track of things, yet I sort of like it (and need it!) anyway, so I'm planning to try this soon!

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    1. You are very welcome. *bows* :P

      Gahh, same. It's so hard to keep track of things and I would rather just go by the flow, buuut. Not really possible. So this is a nice artsy alternative.

      Delete
  11. Wow, your journal is so aesthetic and inspiring! Thank you for sharing! This looks like a really great idea . . . it's just a matter of whether I can commit myself enough or not. ;)

    Sophie

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    1. Commitment is always the hard part. Thankfully it doesn't take too much time, so I think I might be able to stick with this alright. And you can always try it out for a month or a week and see how it goes!

      Delete
  12. Your photos are so pretty for this!! 😍 And I don't journal buuuut I'm going to start a bullet journal next year!! I bought a cheap journal and eep, I'm totally ready for this. I just hope I stick to it. :P I want to make mine more reading and writing focused and hopefully do a bit more art in it because I never make time to art and I really want to! But just STICKING TO IT...gah. I want this though! I love how nice and neat yours is. This post is all the glorious basically.😊

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    1. THANK YOU CAIT.
      asdjkf; you better do a post or two or three on your bullet journal because I am ALL the excited to see it! The little art I've seen you done is very awesome so I cannot wait. :D I bet you'll do wonderfully.

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  13. When you first mentioned a bullet journal, I was pretty much like, 'huh, cool, I should look into that'. AND THEN I LOOKED INTO IT AND IT'S SO COOL.

    BUT I have no arting skill whatsoever, so we'll see where I go with wanting to bullet journal. Though, it looks SO FUN that I might give it a shot anyways XD. AND YOUR BULLET JOURNAL IS SO COOL. I love all the colors and Autumn-ness (like ... your journal matches your blog 0.0) and ALL the organization!

    I'm actually keeping two journals right now - one that I haven't kept very consistently these last few months (*cringe*) and another that I just started two days ago for journaling NaNoWriMo 2016.

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm very proud of it matching my blog. :P I'm doing different theme colors for each month (for December it'll be red + green), so that's why I wanted to do the bullet journal post specifically this month so it would match. XD

      Oooh, that is SUCH A COOL IDEA. I love that you're journaling NaNoWriMo. Like, seriously. o.O

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  14. So to those who are wondering, Bulletjournal.com is where you can find the original reason for bullet journaling from the originator. Katie, I love the teal journal on your wish list. I started with a lined journal I had around home and it's working well for me so far but a dotted one might be fun to try next. You inspired me to try one of your page ideas...much different than mine that I showed you! Starting a bulllet journal has helped me close several opened tabs on my browser! There is a Bullet journal community on Instagram too. ENJOY!

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    1. Thank you for linking to it, Kathy! I meant to but then couldn't get the site to load and eventually forgot about it. :P

      Yes! I'm following a few bullet journal accounts on Instagram right now, but should search for a few more. I've gotten some ideas from over there -- and from you with your memory page! So cute. :D

      Delete
  15. I don't think I'll ever have a bullet journal, I keep a regular journal and write in it every day. It might be neat, but I don't think it's for me.
    Your journal looked awesome! [Love the leaves with it] <3

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    1. Wow, I'm SUPER impressed that you write in it everyday. How much do you normally write? o.O

      Thank you! <3

      Delete
  16. Woahhhhh YOUR JOURNAL IS BEAUTIFUL.

    I seriously want to start doing this, but I don't want to until I have like, an entire weekend to sit down and do it perfectly haha. I JUST WANT TO DO TONS AND TONS OF JOURNALING IT'S DRIVING ME NUTS.

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    1. AJSDKF;L THANK YOU GRACE ANNE.

      I know gahhh I basically stayed up really late (early...?) one night so I could just START on it. Then it didn't take quite so long the other days, thankfully. :P

      DO ALLLL THE JOURNALING. (Christmas break, maybe?)

      Delete
  17. OMGOOOSSHHH! I love this so much!

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  18. THIS IS SO CUTE. I've never heard of bullet journaling before this, and this is so cool. I love planning my week out in my planner (PLANNER = LIFE SAVER), but this looks more ARTSY and creative. Also like HOW ARE YOU SO GOOD AT IT?? It's so pretty <3 When I try to do that it looks like a three year old tried to sign their name. NOT THE BEST.

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    1. THANK YOU, AUTUMN. <3

      HA it took looking up lots of examples and sketching it out and erasing and doing it again and again and again to make it finally look nice. xD

      Delete
  19. Awh! Yours is so pretty! I love how you set it up! I'm trying to set mine up for November, but it looks a little sloppy right now. -.-

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    1. Ooh, I didn't know you started a bullet journal! (Or maybe I did and then forgot? I can't remember...)

      You'll totally have to send me pictures! And that's okay. My NaNo bullet journal is currently messy and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do for it. xD

      Delete
  20. CAN I DO THIS TOO? Thanks.

    I am able to keep a consistent journal (I'm working on #11 right now XD) BUT ALSO THIS LOOKS PRETTY AND FUN AND ORGANIZED.

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    1. YESSS DO THE THING.

      Number... Number ELEVEN? o.O *dies* That's... wow. That's commitment. I am thoroughly impressed. o.O

      Delete
  21. Oh I love your spreads, they are so beautiful!! I have my bullet journal for about a month and I finally find out what look I like, which pages I use and which don't so that's exciting. :)

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    1. Eeeep, thank you so much! It was so fun to do (and sometimes challenging, but oh well).

      Ooh, really? That's awesome! Will you be sharing pictures on your blog sometime? (or have you already and I just have been bad at keeping up at it? :P)

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    2. Yes, I want to share them on my blog in the near future. :)

      Delete
  22. Oh my goodness your bullet journal is so pretty. *flails from shiny lights* I'm always in a rush 24/7 and doodling is one of the things I love, but it's just so hard to commit because I'm literally trying to get somewhere all the time. Hopefully the first day of NaNo goes well!

    xoxo Morning
    Ups & Downs

    P.S. The q&a is up and YOU FINALLY GET TO SEE THE BEAUTIFUL GLORY OF MY CIVIL WAR MUG which, I forgot to mention, is HUGE.

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    1. RIGHT?! Doodling is something that I want to make more time for, because it's so fun to do. Most of my doodles are on the Church bulletin during service. Oops. xD

      (OOH REALLY? DUDE I NEED TO SEE THIS Q + A. asjdkfl;.)

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  23. Gah! Your journal is literal goals!! It's SO PRETTY!!! <3
    XOXO
    http://everythingisbetterwithpolkadots.blogspot.com/

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  24. Pretty pics! I actually decided to bullet journal in I guess a different way. I have my own to do lists separate, but for my journal I write down five things I did that day whether they were happy and sad. I tried to write pages earlier this year, but I fell out of the habit quickly, but so far this works, because it's quick and an easy record. ^ ^ I like looking back on journals after a long time and I think this works for me. :)

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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  25. OH MY GOODNESS Katie your bullet journal is so pretty and neat and GAH. I love it. I'll have to think about this method of journaling when I finish my current journal.
    I'm one of those scribble journalers, but yes, I do end up pushing it off one day... and another... and then a week... It's been at least a week or two since I've recorded events and my brain's thoughts. Bleh.
    <a href="http://www.jeniquablog.wordpress.com/>Jeneca Writes</a>

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    1. oh wow smooth look at that html that didn't translate because I left out a " in the code. XP

      Delete
  26. I started a bullet journal all because of you :D

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    1. I stayed up until past midnight hoping to be the first to read your new blog post. WHERE IS IT? lol :D

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    2. AWHH, really? I want to see pictures! That is so awesome. o.o

      OH MY GOSH I FEEL SO BAD. xD It's up! It's here! I hope you slept! :P I was writing until two o'clock, and then had to finish my blog post. *is dead* Usually I try to post it around midnight, buuut this post was posted at 2:30. Oops. xD

      But you make me so happy, Eliza! Awh, I got all the happy feelings that you stayed up expecting it. <3

      Delete
    3. Lol its fine... I was catching up on blog posts and I was just like, "Ooh! Once I'm done with these Katie will probably have a new post." :D

      Delete
  27. First of all, your photos and graphics are always so TOP NOTCH, Katie! Like, this post, and your journal, is gorgeous! I've actually never heard of bullet journaling...! This is the first time I've seen it, and it looks pretty rad! I may have to give it a try sometime... I'm always looking for better ways to get organized. I definitely feel ya about the hundreds of sticky notes, haha

    Loved this post!

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    1. asdfjkl;asdfjkl; Katteeee you are the best. I was just stalking your instragram the other day and as BLOWN AWAY by all the lovely pictures. I have major respect for you, girl.

      Yes! It's an amazing organizing system and you should give it a try. *nodnod*

      Delete
  28. Everything's so gorgeous *cries* I should probably get one next year. After all, new year, new me! xD

    You make me wanna get into art again. I missed art so much *cries*

    I believe it would help a lot with productivity. Yep.

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    1. EXACTLY. I am planning to get a nicer bullet journal before the start of next year and I am allll the excited. :D

      DO THE THING, GRACE.

      Delete
  29. Hi Katie!

    I JUST filled up my last journal, and feel like I am ready for a bullet journal. I have been looking for one, but can never find the RIGHT one. What do you suggest? Nothing with lines, defiantly.

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    1. EEEP EXCITING. I know, it's hard to find the right one. I would recommend this one -- https://www.amazon.com/Leuchtturm-Notebook-Hardcover-Dotted-Medium/dp/B002TSIMW4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1478887274&sr=8-5&keywords=leutchturm+1917+dotted

      There's lots of other different colors to choose from. I know 20.00 is a larger price, but they are soooo worth it from what I've seen in person. I can't wait to get one of my own. :D

      Delete
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