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How a bullet journal can help keep you on top of your life

Ryder Carroll's bullet journal technique, made to aid productivity, has taken on a life of its own and is dominating a whole section of the internet, and there's a very good reason why.

What is a bullet journal?

If you spend a lot of time on Instagram, chances are you've come across something called a bullet journal. For those that haven't, they're basically extreme notebooks. They're a place to lay out your yearly, monthly and weekly logs in order to track events and tasks. Carroll's method involves using short sentences paired with symbols that denote tasks, events, and notes. You can track the progress of your to-do lists and review your productivity for the day.

Bullet journals are great if you're struggling to keep up with everything going on in your life. It's the place to record what's going on for you throughout the year, and to keep a track of what needs doing on a day-to-day basis. With a bullet journal, you'll never forget a birthday, never miss an appointment and always keep a track of what needs doing. The technique is minimalistic, but there is a community of people on the internet who are a little more creative with their journals.

Here are a few ways people have revamped the bullet journal method:

View this post on Instagram

Hello my lovelies! Thank you for checking out this little account? and of course, thank you to the talented creator for blessing us with this! Creator- @craftingwitch Follow me @journal_ly if you’re interested in receiving regular updates on bujo, art and other study notes on your feed ?? #bulletjournals #bujo #studygram #bulletjournalling #bulletjournalss #studyblr #bujoweeklyspread #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #art #bulletjournaling #journal #bujoinspiration #calligraphy #lettering #bujoideas #studygram #handlettering #stationery #study #bujolove #planneraddict #love #bulletjournaljunkies #bujocommunity #aesthetic #bujoinspire #drawing #studyblr #bts #bulletjournalcommunity #study #notes #bulletjournals #bujo #studygram #bulletjournalling #bulletjournalss #studyblr #bujoweeklyspread #bulletjournal #bujo #planner #art #bulletjournaling

A post shared by Journally (@journal_ly) on

Scrolling on the bullet journal hashtag, you can see how much people love to add colour to their bullet journals. Through washi-tapes, pictures and stickers, people make their journals really lovely to look at. For the more artistic journallers, it's a great place to doodle and draw. You can also colour-code your events to make it easier to track your week at a glance.


For all you stationery fans, this is an excuse to buy all those fancy pens you've had your eyes on. A lot of people love to practice fancy lettering to make their headers stand out. A good place to start for learning to letter would be the Crayola Supertip pens as they're so inexpensive.

Habit trackers
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Happy last day of February! I am so excited for this month’s theme and all of the spreads I made, so here is my habit tracker! I went back to the individual trackers this month, and so far I like the way this turned out! Also. It took the longest time to write out all the calendars so I hope you like this spread and you can get inspiration! • • • Materials used: - Pigma Micron 03 and 005 - Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Pen - Tombow Dual Brush Pens 772, 912, and 991 • • • #bulletjournal #bulletjournaling #lettering #calligraphy #brushlettering #moderncalligraphy #bujo #bujoinspiration #bujoideas #bujoinspo #bujomonthly #bujomonthlyspread #bujomonthlytracker #bujohabittracker #habittracker #thejournalcuration #bulletjournaljunkies #thepalepaper #bujocollector #bulletjournallove #showmeyourplanner #bulletjournalamino #journalinspo #littlemoreplanner #stationaryisland #bujosss #youneedadiary #plslars

A post shared by Veronica ♡ (@bulletjournal_veronica) on

There are so many little things throughout the day that we deem important, but not enough to track very rigidly. Habit trackers are used in bullet journals to keep note of things like how much water you drink. When formatted correctly, they can provide a useful insight into how you're living every day, and from there you can review how to improve. Mood trackers are particularly good, especially if you have mental health issues. The best part is you can have as many or as few trackers as suits you, so there's no pressure to keep up with them.

Inspirational quotes

One thing that can really aid productivity is surrounding yourself with things that motivate you. Whether it's in a fancy font or just scribbled in the corner of the page, bullet journals can be a great place to keep a note of things you hear that inspire you. If you think of your bullet journal as a place to log anything you like, then it will quickly grow to be something very special.

Make it your own

As beautiful as all these things are, they're not necessary. You don't need to spend a lot of money or have a lot of artistic abilities to keep a bullet journal; all you need to start you off is a notebook and a pen. You can experiment with logs and trackers, find what is useful to you and what is best for tracking your time. You don't have to implement everything someone else does if it doesn't help you. Your journal should aid your productivity, and factor into your day easily and without effort. Above all, it should be a convenient tool.

For people scared to approach this method because of the pressure to make every page beautiful; just start! You are the only one who needs to see your journal. In the beginning, it's okay for it to be messy whilst you figure out what you want to use it for. After you've figured that out, you can start to make it look pretty, if you want to. If you make it your own and use it at your own convenience, then the bullet journal method might just help you to completely order your life.


There are so many other ways to make your journal special to you. And if you're stuck for ideas, there's a huge community on Instagram and YouTube of people who share their bullet journals. 'Plan with me' videos are a great way of keeping up with new methods of tracking your life. They're also really relaxing to watch!

Featured image: Estée Janssens on Unsplash