A bullet journal is one of the best ways to keep track of your thoughts and organize your life. You don't even need to be into journaling to get started with it. All you really need is a notebook (and maybe some stickers) and you can start bullet journaling today.
That being said, getting started with bullet journaling might be easy, but having good bullet journal ideas is a different task altogether. From using your bullet journal for time-management to jotting down your deadlines in your journal, there are simply too many good bullet journal ideas out there for you to try. It's hard to decipher the signal from the noise and really figure out what the best bullet journal ideas truly are.
That's what this post aims to do. In this post, you'll find 20 unique bullet journal ideas that you can try out and implement. Ready to get organized and start to accomplish more with the power of bullet journaling? Let's dive right in.
20 of the Best Bullet Journal Ideas
From journals that are made so that you can do note taking more effectively to ones that help you sort out your daily tasks, you're sure to find something on this list that's helpful to you.
According to Healthline, it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit. Why not make this process easier for yourself by tracking your habits in your bullet journal? All you need to do is list out all of the habits you're trying to form, and check-off them daily if you've hit it. This will give you a sense of accountability and increase the likelihood that you'll actually follow through with the habits you're trying to build.
One of the coolest bullet journal spread ideas is to turn a couple pages into a customized wish board. Sure, spreads about school and assignments are useful, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to open your bullet journal and see all your dreams and wishes laid out in one neat design.
To create a wish board, all you need to do is ask yourself what it is you want in life, then create little designs and illustrations on your bullet journal that reflect on these things (or remind you of these things). It's easy, fun, and will keep you motivated whenever you look at the spread.
The Daily Spread
A daily spread is a great way to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. What is in a daily spread? Typically:
- Daily tasks that you need to get done (eat 3 meals, reply to emails, etc.)
- Recurring intraday deadlines
- Appointments that you need to make
- And anything else that you do on the day to day
With a daily spread, you can color-code your work so that it stays organized. Also, be sure to leave lots of room for notes in case you need to adjust anything or add anything.
The Weekly Spread
When it comes to bullet journal ideas, the weekly spread is probably the most popular one. This is because so many people benefit from seeing how their week will be laid out. Having a weekly spread will help you with budgeting for time, staying on top of your procrastination, and helping with your task management.
There are tons of ways you can design your bullet journal to fit your goals. You can simply jot down all of your goals on one page and call it a day. Or you can set up a goal tracker to track the progress you've made on all your goals. You can even just leave your goals page undated and scribble down ideas for your goals when the come to mind. The options are truly limitless.
Good bullet journal ideas should be both fun and practical. A budget tracker truly takes the cake in both of these avenues. When most people think of a budget, they picture a fancy computer software or app with tons of crazy charts and graphs. In reality, a paper planner will work just as well (especially if you spend the time to really personalize it and make it your own).
You can use a bullet journal budget to keep track of your expenses, get out of debt, or even to save up for a large purchase (like a car or a house).
One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to meal plan. A bullet journal can help with this!
You can do this in one of a couple ways:
- Create your meal plan directly in your bullet journal (with separate pages for different recipes and a week long plan for you to follow).
- Use your bullet journal to jot down your shopping list and make sure you get all the right ingredients.
- Add your meal plan directly to your weekly spread.
Lists of Books
There's something inherently cool to jotting down lists of books inside of a notebook. One way you can do this is to draw out little miniature bookshelves and (either with stickers or just with a pen) label the books on the bookshelves.
Having a list of books in your bullet journal is an easy way to keep yourself motivated to read and also to track all of the books that you've read (for future reference).
Have you ever heard a really good quote and just thought to yourself “darn I wish I had somewhere where I could store all the cool quotes I've heard”?
Well, with a quote page in your bullet journal, you can! Now when your friend says something profound about gratitude, you can jot it down in your bullet journal, toss a timestamp on it, and bring it up in the future when they refuse to lend you a pencil!
How good does to feel when somebody wishes you a happy birthday? (Pretty darn good, right). Yet, for all the joy that birthday wishes have the potential to bring, remembering other people's birthdays is hard.
That's why this bullet journal idea is so powerful. You can include a page in your bullet journal which is just a roundup of all the birthdays of your friends and family. Never miss another important birthday again!
Getting things done is hard. Even if you know that in the long term, a goal is beneficial, it can be hard to keep going when you can't see any progress. That's why using a journal to visualize your growth is one of the best bullet journal ideas on this list.
You can implement a progress chart for almost any goal you have in mind, including if you want to:
- Lose weight
- Gain muscle
- Increase your strength
- Save up for retirement
- Read a book
No list of bullet journal ideas is complete without a to-do list. Whether your to-do list will be for yourself or for a spouse or for your kids, implementing them via bullet journal can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing while also making completing tasks that much more fun.
One of the best bullet journal ideas for students is to take all of your homework assignments and get them out of your head and onto a sheet of paper. Not only will you remember them better but you'll also be less likely to miss important due dates.
Sleep is one of the most important facets of human life and should be prioritized in everyone's life. With good sleep comes more inspirational mornings, more manageable days, and better work life balance.
A sleep tracker is similar to a dream journal, but all you have to do with the sleep tracker is simply jot down how much sleep you got every night (instead of writing a full journal entry every single day).
Forget about to do lists, calendars, reminders, and journal entries. Why not have some fun and use your bullet journal to doodle in! A doodle spread can be a great way to ease the mind and expand your creativity. You can involve different colored pens and even washi tape. This is the place to let your imagination roam free.
When it comes to bullet journal ideas, a brain dump can be a great way to both reduce your mental work load and to just fill up a blank page with (potentially) good ideas.
It might sound silly, but getting your thoughts onto a physical page makes them tangible and will help you organize them better. Some of the most successful people in the world do scheduled brain dumps.
Tired of using sticky notes to jot down recipes but want to stick with pen and paper (and don't want to upload your recipes online)? Why not use a bullet journal to manage your recipes?
A recipe tracker can be a great way to make a list of your favorite recipes that you can come back to time and time again. No more looking around the house for random slips of paper. All your recipes will finally be in one place!
Are you planning to take a vacation soon? Do you have a big DIY project coming up? These aren't necessarily recurring things, but they are important enough that they deserve some of your mental real estate. A bullet journal can help you to plan out these events and more.
You can keep all of your future events in one place on your bullet journal and slowly transfer certain tasks over to your daily or weekly spreads as needed. This way, you simplify the event preparation process and streamline your future occasions.
A bullet journal is the perfect place to do a write-down of your favorite movies and TV shows. Sure, to-dos and planners are important, but wouldn't it be cool the next time you're visiting a friend to whip out your bullet journal and show them your assortment of custom movies?
Things and Activities to Do
Instead of using your bullet journal as a task list, why not use it as a way to write about things and activities that you want to do? These can include:
- Having a self care day
- Buying that ring bound journal you've always wanted
- Sorting through your clothes and donating what you don't want to Goodwill
- Spending time with family and friends
- Picking up that hobby you've always wanted to
Everything that you've ever wanted to do, why not toss it into your bullet journal?
Recap: Bullet Journal Ideas
So there you have it: 20 of the best bullet journal ideas to get you started with your bullet journalling journey and help you get things done. As a quick recap, they are:
- Habit Tracker – improve your chances at actually building sustainable habits.
- WishBoard – a customizable spread that will keep you motivated.
- The Daily Spread – a way to make sure you stay on top of your daily tasks.
- The Weekly Spread – a method to organize your week.
- Goal Setting – write about your goals and what you want to achieve with the goal setting spread.
- Budget Tracker – easily track your spending and debt with this bullet journal budget tracker.
- Meal Planner – prioritize your food and nutrition when you implement meal planning.
- Lists of Books – keep a journal of all the books you've ever read.
- Quote Pages – quotes are meant to go inside of notebooks.
- Birthday Tracker – have a calendar view of your friends' and family's birthdays so that you never forget any of them again.
- Progress Chart – create a dashboard where you can easily see all the growth you've made toward certain goals.
- To-Do List – instead of a to do list app, just use your bullet journal.
- Homework Assignments – a bullet journal can be an awesome management tool when it comes to schoolwork.
- Sleep Tracker – an easy way to make sure you stay on top of your sleeping schedule.
- Doodle Spreads – put your pen to paper and start doodling to your hearts desire with doodle spreads.
- Brain Dump – stay organized with your thoughts by getting everything out on paper.
- Recipe Trackers – create a little diary of recipes with a bullet journal.
- Event Planner – make project management easier as you event plan in your spreads.
- Favorite Movies – keep a list of your favorite movies handy in your journal.
- Things and Activities to Do – a list of all the things you want to do and all the places you want to see.
Out of these 20 there's sure to be something that you're drawn towards. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start bullet journalling today! Your future (much more relaxed and focused) self will thank you for it!
Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.