A bullet journal, open on the page that details the daily routine. Some coloured pens next to the journal.

The little joys of bullet journaling

If you’ve ever scrolled through Pinterest or Instagram, you’re bound to have come across beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing bullet journal pages. They’re usually full of swirly writing and cute pictures that seem impossible to duplicate for those of us who are less artistically inclined.

However, as somebody who didn’t get past Year 9 Art & Design but who loves bullet journaling, I’m here to tell you that it’s more than just drawing pretty pages – it’s a fun, creative way of getting organised and practicing self-care.

What is a bullet journal?

At its simplest, a bullet journal is a dotted notebook full of organisational tools – such as to-do lists and schedules – that you create yourself. The name comes from the bullet point system that you can use to track your progress, for example putting a cross through a bullet point to indicate that you’ve completed the task.

What can you use it for?

You can include just about anything in your bullet journal, but here are some ideas:

Organising your life

We often have so much going on in our lives that it can be overwhelming trying to juggle it all. I dedicate one page of my bullet journal every month to all the tasks I have to complete, splitting it into different sections for uni work, freelance writing, and for miscellaneous tasks like buying birthday presents.

Compartmentalising my to-do list helps to clear my head and using the bullet point system is a great way of staying focused on key tasks and celebrating small steps of progress.

Keeping up self-care habits

In times like these, it’s easy to forget to look after yourself properly. Creating journal pages to track things such as daily water intake, hours of sleep, and exercise can help you form healthy habits and encourage you to stick to them. There’s no expectation to smash any goals or compete with other people – the pages are just gentle daily reminders to practice self-care in ways that you choose.

Remembering the little things

This could take the form of anything: a page of memorable quotes, daily affirmations, or even what you’re grateful for in life. Writing these thoughts down can often give them more power and meaning than when they’re simply sat in your head, and it also means you’ll never forget them.

Learning

I’m obsessed with language, so I like to dedicate a page every month to new, interesting words that I learn. If you’re learning a foreign language, this is also a great way of memorising tricky vocabulary.

Taking a mindful break

Just like colouring and all things creative, designing your journal pages is a great way of destressing. I love finding different fonts or types of lettering online and copying them for my page titles – even if it doesn’t turn out right (which is most of the time), it’s fun and gives my mind a break.

I find that having all of these tools in one place helps to keep me organised, but you can always buy multiple journals and use one for finances, another for personal growth, and so on.

There’s no one way to do bullet journaling, but if you don’t know where to start then you can find some inspiration here.