Bullet Journaling for the not so Artsy Folk.

A friend asked me the other day that she wanted to start a bullet journal and that she wasn’t very artsy or creative. She told me that she couldn’t draw and felt a little lost in this process. No worries my friend I am here to help.

First I told her to read The Bullet Journal Method, by Ryder Carroll. He invented the whole system of tacking notes, dates, tasks, etc. I showed her that at the roots of bullet journaling is truly is very minimalistic. It is a system designed to move information in an analog format seamlessly to help focus the mind, otherwise known as rapid logging.

Example from “The Bullet Journal Method”, by Ryder Carroll

So the first step is to read Carroll’s book to fully understand how rapid logging works. The next step is choosing a journal or notebook. Notice in Carroll’s examples there are no fancy doodles or stickers, etc. Bullet Journals can be very minimalistic or very lavish. That I leave for you to decide, after all, it is your journal and every one is unique.

There are thousands of journals out there. Some people use little spiral notebooks and some spend quiet a bit of money on high quality paper in their journals. So let’s break it down.

Journals can be put into a few categories: size, the weight of the paper (gsm), interior paper design (dot grid), and predated or undated (monthly, weekly, etc.) The following journals already have been set up by monthly, weekly and other spreads. This takes away some of the anxiety of creating layouts yourself and it saves time. Also with these pre-planned journals, you can decorate them with stickers, washi tape, and photos. Some of these companies have coordinating accessories to go with their notebooks.

  • Hobonichi
  • Cleaver Fox
  • Erin Condren
  • Scribbles that Matter
  • Traveler’s Company
  • Taroko Enigma A6 Notebook (Tomoe River Paper 68gsm)

These notebooks will help get beginners started with bullet journal basics. They are set up in ways which allow you to be productive while letting you dabble with your creativity. Like I have said before DO NOT COMPARE yourself to others. Your art is personal and should be celebrated. When browsing social media it is o.k. to get inspired by others’ work, however don’t get trapped in the “it needs to be perfect” syndrome. Keeping a bullet journal is a process, one where you learn to navigate through your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks and put them into a coherent visual representation. The beauty of the bullet journal system is that the information can up updated, moved, and tracked throughout the notebook and is as organized as a computer spreadsheet.

If you have any questions about bullet journaling please feel free to drop a line. All the notebooks I mentioned are from my own research. In fact I thought I might pick up one of these notebooks to try them out. How else do learn about planning and journaling? (O.K. it’s another excuse to buy stationary!) Till next time…

Artfully yours,


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