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What is Bullet Journaling?

What is Bullet Journaling?

Awhile back, I shared a post about bullet journaling topics. When I shared it in my Facebook group, a bunch of people wated to know, what is bullet journaling, anyway? So I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on bullet journaling…sort of a Bullet Journaling 101, if you will.

What is Bullet Journaling

Here’s the super short version – the term “bullet journaling” was coined by a website called BulletJournal – they use the term to describe an efficient sort of journaling and using a notebook to schedule out your day and manage your to-do list. But then the creative/artsy types ran with it, and to be honest, I believe it’s morphed into something completely different. In fact, my “bullet journal” is really more of an art journal (with some functionality!) than anything else.

What is Bullet JournalingYour bullet journal can be so many things. You can use it as a fully functional to-do list and schedule. Or, you can spend hours unleashing your creativity onto the pages. And speaking of pages…

What is Bullet JournalingWhat is Bullet Journaling

While this can be *any* old journal you have around the house, you’ll find that many people love to use a dotted grid journal (those are the ones I make…I wanted something with super nice paper and a coil so it would open flat – use code BLOGREADER for 15% off your purchase!). If you’re going to be using mixed media (paints, markers, stickers, glue, etc.), you’ll want something with sturdy paper that can hold up.

What is Bullet JournalingMost bullet journals include a Table of Contents (or, you could do an index). If you want this to be a functional journal (some people replace a planner altogether with their journal), this is important so you can easily find the pages you’re looking for.

Check out this fun post about how to start a bullet journal from Mainly Homemade for some layout ideas.

Some people keep journals that are truly functional, and nothing more. Others create beautiful works of art. And many of us fall somewhere in between. If you want a journal that is both functional and cute, my advice is to make it functional first, and then go back and add in the fun details. 

Truly – it can be anything you want it to be!

What is Bullet JournalingI use mine entirely as a creative space. Many of the pages are functional (like this “Movies I Want to Watch” page), but I keep my day-to-day to-do lists and schedule in my day planner. So for me, my journal is a creative space. I’ve stopped spending time on social media in the evenings, actually – instead, I’ll play in my bullet journal.

What is Bullet JournalingHere are a handful of ways you can use your bullet journal:

  • Lists (of literally anything)
  • Habit trackers
  • Favorite things
  • Quotes you love
  • Daily schedule
  • Vision boards
  • Routines
  • Meal Plans

For more than 70 bullet journaling ideas, see this post.

Dotted Grid JournalTo see what other people are doing (and get lots of inspiration!), head over to Instagram and check out these hashtags: #bulletjournal #handlettering #bujo #bulletjournalinspiration #artjournal

For all kinds of planner fun, I’d love to have you join me in my Shop Carrie Elle Planner Group on Facebook. You can also follow us on Facebook for fun planner content, tons of free printables, and healthy recipes.

AND…if you’re into bullet journaling, I think you’ll love the posts below! 🙂 Bullet Journal Ideas

Dotted Grid JournalPaper Planner





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The bullet journal website calls this “rapid logging,” which makes it sound WAY more complicated than it is. It’s simply taking quick notes on any number of things, and then marking those notes with simple symbols to easily categorize and track them.

Where do I find a journal with grid paper? I really like a 3-ring binder type better than a spiral bound.

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