Bullet Journal 101

by - Friday, May 18, 2018



Year after year I find myself in a frenzy over never finding the perfect planner. Does anyone else feel this way? You hunt and hunt and scrounge through the store shelves and eventually find yourself dissecting each planner, hoping that it is organized by the hour, day, or week. And let's not forget about running out of room for notes and choosing between the planner with inspirational quotes or floral designs.

As I was debating on what to do for my planner this year, I started hearing more and more about bullet journaling. I researched the trend and immediately fell in love. Bullet journalling focuses on YOU designing your planner to best suit your work schedule, style and organizational system. Hello, pretty, personalized, and perfect planners!

Weekly Layouts


A new week, a new spread! When it comes to creating cute and efficient weekly spreads, realizing what organizational system works best for you is key. 

While some enjoy an hour by hour breakdown of their schedule, others may enjoy everything organized by week. If you are stuck on what type of layout you like best, try them all! Each week, switch it up from daily to weekly, weekly to hourly, hourly to daily... You never know until you try!


In addition to the traditional "to-do list" spread, you can also add room for an exercise tracker, meal planner, weekly goal, notes, and so much more! I love trying out new things and seeing what makes my planner ideal for me. The possibilities are endless.

Page Ideas






Bullet journaling is more than just a journal filled with appointments, homework, and tasks. From weekly expenses to monthly habit trackers, you can fill your bullet journal pages with anything and everything! Want to create a bucket list? Make a page for that. Want to track your water intake? Make a page for that.


My personal favorites are my "Spending Log" and "My Cooking List" spreads. Each week I record my expenses--groceries, gas, eating out, etc.--into my spending log. Not only does this allow me to keep track of my expenses, but also reach my monthly savings goal. I love finding new recipes that are simple, healthy, and delicious, but I often find myself losing the recipe on my Pinterest or forgetting about it all together. This is why I love having a "My Cooking List" page! Whenever I want to cook something new, I pull out my bullet journal and whip up one of the tasty recipes that I have written down. There: cooking made easy!

BuJo Products


If you are like me, then you obsess over the prettiest and most aesthetically appealing pages. And of course, you make sure that you have the cutest pens, pencils, and highlighters in order to do so. 

I love having a collection of different pens. It gives me such variety in designing my spreads. My top picks are the Sipa 0.38mm Fineliner Color Pens and the Stabilo 0.4mm Fineliner Pens. The Sipa pens have a softer, fiber tip that makes my writing easy and fluid for when I want to jot down a quick thought. On the other hand, the Stabilo pens have a thicker and sturdy tip that is great for when I want a bold and sharp style. Having a variety of pens allows your page headers to stand out, draw attention to specific details, and add variety to your spreads. 

Colorful highlighters or mildliners add just the right amount of color to your bullet journal! The Zebra Mildliners and Stabilo BOSS Original Highlighters are the absolute best! The Zebra Mildliners have a finer point, but sometimes smear your writing if you do not wait for your ink to dry. The Stabilo BOSS Highlighters never smear other inks but may run out of ink sooner because they are shorter markers. All in all, highlighters and mildliners are awesome for marking off a completed task, indicating importance, or simply turning your journal into a journal of color!

There are tons of pens and highlighters out there, but make sure that you invest in ones that do not bleed through your pages.



I never thought about having a set of stencils until I noticed how perfectly straight other peoples journal were compared to mine. Safe to say, I immediately added a pack to my Amazon cart! The ones that I use are the GEOTEL Bullet Journal Stencils. I am convinced that these are the WORLD'S best stencils. Why you may ask? These stencils are: thin and lightweight, so it fits into my bookbag; semi-transparent, so I can see where I am tracing in regards other writings; are the exact size of my journal, so I never have to worry about the traces being disproportional; they are made of soft plastic, so if I happen to get marker on the stencil it easily wipes away! Stencils are extremely helpful for keeping everything aligned and drawing perfect, clean shapes.


Lastly and most importantly, use a journal that you adore and that is large enough to last you the entire calendar year. This will help you avoid re-drawing your trackers and/or important informative spreads. It is also important to note that some journals have dotted pages, lined, gridded, or plain. I use the Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Journal. I love the dots because they are small enough that they do not clutter the pages but still keep everything aligned. If you want to stay super-organized, go with the dotted or gridded pages. If you want to keep things simple yet effective, go with the lined pages. Or if you want clean and versatile spreads, go with the plain pages. The choice is yours!




At first glance, I thought that bullet journaling might cost me too much time instead of saving time. However, by intentionally setting aside time on Sundays to layout my journal for the week, I have a better grasp on what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. I have realized that I am much more motivated and prepared for my work since I jumped on the bullet journal bus. I spend more time planning out my days the week before, and less time stressing about my schedule between classes and work. I find myself no longer worrying about what to cook for dinner, when to fit in a workout, or how much money I spend on Chick-fil-a. Of course, bullet journaling allows me to stay on schedule and focused, but it also allows me to be creative and organize my work in a way that best suits me and my #workflow.

When in doubt, bullet journal it out.

- Ely

How do you stay organized? Let us know in the comments!

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