Bullet Journaling; What Is It and How Is It Done?


By Raine Jeff

October 30, 2020

Bullet journaling is used by many Glasgow students to organize thoughts, ideas, events, and much more.

What is Bullet Journaling?

Bullet journaling is utilizing a notebook (usually dotted paper) to make customized pages or spreads to organize activities, feelings, information, lists, ideas, etc. Ayesha Gulzar describes it as, “Not as stiff as an agenda and it gives you the option to make it your own.” An agenda is used for planning out upcoming days/months/years while a bullet journal includes planning and making lists, art, notes, and more. The best way to start bullet journaling is to go to https://bulletjournal.com/ and clicking the ‘Learn’ tab to learn more about the topic and how it is used.

What Materials Are Needed?

The most common notebook used is a dotted paper notebook with thick pages. “If you’re looking to get into it but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can use other notebooks,” says Maclain Monsky. Other options are a lined notebook, a graph paper notebook, a moleskin notebook, or a blank notebook. Other than a notebook, pens are used (calligraphy, ballpoint, gel, etc.). Extra materials for bullet journaling include markers, washi tape, stickers, colored pencils, and stencils.

What Goes On the Pages?

There are two main things to remember:

1. There aren’t any ‘set in stone’ rules, it is adaptable to the bullet journalist’s needs

2. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s supposed to be personalized, not perfect. “I like to remember that it is supposed to be functional for ME and ME only, so I recommend not worrying so much about messing up or making mistakes,” says Korina Horvat.

The pages in a bullet journal are not provided with the bullet journal, the pages must be created/drawn/written by the bullet journalist. Inspiration for spreads can be found online or in a location/doing things that stimulate creativity. A spread is a group of pages that all contribute to a specific topic such as 3 pages for books to read or 2 pages for a calendar layout. Some spread ideas are mood trackers, book lists, daily logs, meal plans, exercise tracking, and quotes. For each spread, specific colors, aesthetics, and designs are worked in. “If you find an aesthetic for each month, it just makes it more fun,” says Ayesha.

Must-haves to classify a notebook as a bullet journal include an index (at the beginning, not the end), a calendar, page numbers (either located at the bottom or top of the page), and a key (for the symbols used to organize). In the key, create symbols used for certain notes (eg. ❤= inspiration, 🔺= event, ▪= to-do).

Other Information

Bullet journaling was created by Ryder Carroll because of his low attention span. He had been using multiple notebooks to organize his thoughts, but he added them all together into one dotted bullet journal. He then created his website and made a video explaining his process to others.

If Glasgow students want to learn from Glasgow teachers about bullet journaling, they can attend the bullet journaling Open Campus activity.

“I like to listen to YouTube or music, or watch a show,” Maclain says, explaining a tip she uses during bullet journaling.

In conclusion, bullet journaling is a creative way to organize and plan out future events and ideas in a single notebook.