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What is a Bullet Journal and How to Do It

bullet journal layout idea
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If you haven’t started a bullet journal, you are missing out.

I am a lover of planners. I keep a few planners for different types of planning but my bullet journal keeps me the most organized. It offers the flexibility to be creative, structured, and extremely intentional.

The best part is it saves me time by combining several journals into one.

What is a Bullet Journal?

Bullet Journal, or BuJo as it’s called in shorthand, was developed by Ryder Carroll. It’s purpose is to simplify our lives while also bringing a sense of meaningfulness to them. There’s a special shorthand used in traditional Bullet Journaling to make things as efficient as possible.

But over time, some truly creative folks got their hands on these journals, which make use of dots in the place of grids, and completely personalized them. In addition to calendars, modern journals have pages for mood trackers, habit trackers, routines, and anything else people can dream up.

NOTE: If you want to get the whole story of Bullet Journals, here’s a five-minute video:

Why do I love Bullet Journals?

Between my job, working out, planning meals, running this site, coding classes, and occasionally socializing, I have a lot to do. My BuJo keeps everything in one place so I can look at-a-glance at what I need to do. And unlike traditional planners, I have complete control over how each page is used.

For example, maybe on a Wednesday I’m compelled to brainstorm upcoming articles. I use the next page instead of having to find a NOTES page tucked at the beginning or the end of a planner. I have complete flexibility.

The other main reason I love Bullet Journals is because I am intentional about each page since it takes time to design and make the page. This forces me to think about if each list is really worth making. It also makes me think about if my list of tasks will get done as I write them.

What is the Best Bullet Journal?

As with every “best of” list, that comes down to a person’s preference, but here are some options to help you start.

My favorite: Muji Double Ring Notebook — This notebook is cheap, sturdy, has the classic BuJo dots, and I’m a sucker for all things Muji.

The classic: Bullet Journal — Get your Bullet Journal life started with the original equipment. I think these are wildly overpriced, but I also understand when people want to support a movement.

You can find more Bullet Journal rankings here.

If you want some fun ideas for your Bullet Journal, check out my Pinterest board full of them.