My New Obsession: The Bullet Journal

By Shaina Eldredge on October 10, 2016

I love the illusion of productivity. Walking into a home office store, buying post-it notes, index cards, those Pilot G-2 pens. Most importantly, I love buying planners. I think I get this love of planners from my mother, who hoards empty notebooks and half-filled notebooks, as well as planners.

However, in addition to this love for planners, my mother and I both have a problem with leaving these planners as empty or barely-used, and before we know it, the year is up and the planner is no longer good. This happened to me at the beginning of this semester, when the sad realization set in that my nice planner was no longer valid.

I considered purchasing a new student planner, when I was reunited with my best friend, Renee Johnson, who had started something called a bullet journal over the summer.

Let me tell you something: the concept of a bullet journal is amazing.

In addition to planners, my mother would have different lists in a junk drawer, most of them grocery lists, as well as notes. In another place, receipts and bills and junk mail clutter her side table. The bullet journal would not only act as a planner for my mother, but also as a place to keep receipts and notes and passwords and anything else she needed to put something all in one place.

Still not getting why a bullet journal is great? Maybe I’m not explaining well, then, so let me show you.

Let’s begin with the planning part of the journal

This is an example of a daily planner in my bullet journal, but you can also put in week and month overviews.

As you’ll notice in Renee’s bullet journal, she also has a gratitudes page. She has this page at the end of each month she has planned, where she, as you can guess, writes down everything she is grateful for in that month. A lot of people do this, and it is a relaxing way to keep a positive outlook on life and remember to enjoy what you can.

One of my personal favorites in the bullet journal is the habit tracker, where you can see if you are forming (or killing) a habit you want to have (or don’t want to have). It is so satisfying to do something and then be able to see your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Next to Renee’s habit tracker, you can see that she has a grocery list, one that she is not going to lose because she keeps it in her bullet journal. Also, she keeps track of what she paid for and how much of an item she bought so that she can keep track of her finances, which is another page she keeps in her bullet journal.

There are tons of things you can keep and track in your bullet journal. I like to keep a list of dogs I’ve seen on certain days, Renee has lists of places she wants to visits, some people have lists of movies they want to see. A bullet journal is like a planner, a list book, and a diary all in one lovely bound book.

So now you want to start one, right? My first bullet journal was handmade and bound by Renee, but soon after she bought me my first Leuchtturm 1917 gridded journal that I am absolutely in love with. It’s a hardcover, gridded paper-ed notebook with two bookmarks and numbered pages with a folder in the back. Big time recommendation if you are willing to spend a little bit more money than you probably would on a journal. However, it is your bullet journal — and that’s the best thing! There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Pretty much all bullet journals begin with a key, or a legend, and an index so that you can refer to different pages later.

Bullet journaling is a great, relaxing way to begin and end your day, letting it take up all of your free time, or just keeping it to keep track of your daily life. Either way, because of how personalized a bullet journal is, this book can be used by anybody. So get back on your abandoned Pinterest account and start getting inspired.

A dedicated artist and lover of reading and writing.

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