What is a Bullet Journal?

Photo by Estee Janssens (Unsplash)

Have you heard of a Bullet Journal? Do you know exactly what one is? Personally, I had heard of them, mainly on YouTube, and recently found myself watching this random video of one YouTuber who was showing her 2017 Bullet Journal and I realized that I didn’t really know about them at all.

Surprisingly, to me anyway, the Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer living in Brooklyn, NY. You can go to bulletjournal.com to hear his story and the reasons behind the journal. However, I have got to say, what he has created and what is now all over YouTube is a colourful extension of a very useful journal about the past, current and future of the owner of that particular journal. Ryder does not use creative lettering or do any doodling, in fact he just sticks to one black marker pen the whole way through. I must also make it very clear that Bullet Journal is a registered name, hence why I am using capitals every time I mention it.

So, what exactly is a Bullet Journal? As Ryder explains, it is a quick fix for writing a journal by using topics, page numbers, short sentences and bullet points. Anyone can go and purchase a yearly diary but in all their shapes and forms, the diaries are not unique to the user. The Bullet Journal is designed in a way that you customize every page the way you want to. Some layout a page per day of every month. Others will make it more of a journey through the year with goals, movies to watch, books to read, even down to weight check-ins and how many Insta followers you have each month. From what I have seen, there are creatives out there putting hours and hours into these journals and will become an incredibly valuable keepsake for themselves and their families in decades to come.

Photo by Estee Janssens (Unsplash)

I did a search on YouTube of videos on Bullet Journals and there are 748 000 video’s, which is why I am not about to tell you which ones to watch, other than Ryder’s https://youtu.be/fm15cmYU0IM. But if you are inclined to find out more on Bullet Journals, then I do think you should invest some time into watching a few random video’s as they are all very different and personal.

Then there is the journal itself. You can purchase a Bullet Journal off bulletjournal.com for a very reasonable price. Moleskine also do a range of blank and dot lined journals that would suit. Leuchtturm also have a dotted journal. Honestly though, if you can get your hands on a blank journal booklet, then this will do. They are not intended to be mixed media journals and the paper weight is usually around 90gsm which is the same as a standard year diary.

Who is the right person to have a bullet journal? The good news is you don’t have to be a creative type, but it helps because you actually get to use all the gazillion fancy pens you have in your pencil cases, drawers, cupboards, bags and car! Bullet Journals are perfect for people who like to write ‘to-do lists’ on paper, who are into goal setting and habit tracking, who love the smell, feel and appearance of a journal (I mention smell because I smell all my art products and know I’m not alone on this), organized people who like to visualize their day/week/month, and also people who like to hold on to their yearly diaries to look back on the years hand down to the generations.

Photo by Mike Tinnion (Unsplash)

What you need to get started! Of course, you need a journal. Blank is perfect but if you can get your hands on a dotted grid, they just help with us perfect types who don’t like it when lines or letters are not straight. Ryder uses one black pen throughout his Bullet Journal but if you are the creative type, then go to town on your journals with an array of different marker pens and pencils. I wouldn’t recommend watercolours though as the pages are thin and not designed to work with wet media.

Need inspiration? Like I mentioned, go to YouTube and search for Bullet Journaling and also go to Instagram and search the hashtag #bulletjournal. The ideas for your Topic pages are seriously endless and if nothing else, it gets us all hand writing again not to mention spelling!

As mentioned in my last post, I have set up a group page called Mrs Red’s Art Accountability. It is here that you will find me mentioning that I am going to create a Bullet Journal for next year. I have just ordered a Moleskin and although it won’t arrive until early January, that gives me a few more days to plan how I am going to tackle this, be accountable for it and plan it so that it is achievable. I guess you could say it is my yearly goal for the new year!

Have fun!!
Mrs Red




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