Library Blog

Bullet Journaling

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Bullet Journaling is a fun and creative way to organize your life!  Your journal is uniquely yours, and you can style it anyway you like.  Here are some suggestions to get you started on your Bullet Journaling adventure.

Health Benefits to Journaling:

• Relaxes you.
• Helps you clarify and organize your thoughts and feelings.
• Increases focus.
• Helps you unlock solutions to problems you may be experiencing.
• Encourages you to get in touch with yourself and your emotions.
• Soothes residual negative feelings.
• Reduces stress which may lower blood pressure and boost immunity.
• Boosts your memory (especially if writing by hand).
• Keeps you mindful and in the present.
• Gives you free time and quiet space to write and do whatever you feel like!

Getting Started With Your Bullet Journal:

1.  Numbering your pages. This will help you easily locate and flip to the appropriate page as needed.
2.  Creating an Index. The Index lists each section of your journal and the page it starts on. I recommend leaving a page or two at the beginning of the book blank, until your Bullet Journal is roughly established, and then return to fill it in later. This allows you to more naturally arrange the Bullet Journal the way you like, (rather than forcing your Bullet Journal to fit the Index).
3.  Using page dividers or decorative tape or other indicators to segment your sections.
4.  Using a Key of various symbols you might use for your appointments. Some popular ones include: dot, circle, star, X, checkmark, and others.
5.  Opening your Bullet Journal with a Future Spread. This spread lays out your long-term “Bucket List” plans. It’s a nice way to start, with an overarching view of what you want your future to look like, or things you might want to experience someday. You could try an annual, a 5-year plan, or even lifelong goals!
6.  Narrowing your Future Spread down to a Monthly Spread, and then down to a Weekly Spread. Set up the month or week in either a linear fashion (making a list of days down the side of the page, and highlighting the important dates)… or non-linear fashion (using any number of styles, including calendar-type traditional grids). Then log all to-do tasks in your preferred way: bullets or pictures or what-have-you. Don’t forget to leave space for goals or notes, and then a place to journal about your day later, (either on the page or in the following pages). And stick keepsakes in there as well, scrapbook-style!
7.  Labeling each page with pretty, bold headers.

Ideas for Creating Your Own Bullet Journal:

craft suppliesPage Ideas:
• Bucket List
• Daily, weekly, monthly calendars
• Daily, weekly, monthly to-do lists
• Things to look forward to
• Things to be grateful for
• Travel- plans and/or memories
• Notes
• Brain dump
• Sketches, artistic expression
• Fitness, Health or Water tracker
• Personal goals
• Memories
• Self-improvement
• Cleaning schedule
• Chores
• Budget
• Books, movie planner and scoring systems
• Seasonal fun things (e.g. Summer, Christmas, rainy day)
• Local fun things
• Freestyle
• Collections
• Meal plans
• Projects
• Party planning
• Time management
• Bill paying
• Spending, Time or Habit  tracker
• Wishlist

Decorating Ideas:
• Paper with grids, dots or lines
• Color
• Color-coding
• Boxes
• Borders
• Dividers
• Stylistic lettering
• Shapes
• Doodles

Materials You May Want to Use:
• Paper (blank, grid, lines)- thicker to prevent ink bleeding
• Pencils (for sketching)
• Rubber erasers (for erasing areas of sketch marks)
• Pens (black, colors, felt-tip, brush-tip watercolors, calligraphy)
• Markers, highlighters, colored pencils, crayons, paint (for color)
• Ruler (for straight lines)
• Other decorations (stickers, mementos, stamps, pictures), as desired
• Washi tape (paper tape in various colors and patterns, in various widths)
• Hole punch
• Pencil case


Kelly is a librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. As the Adult Programming Specialist, her focus is bringing adults the library programs they love.  (Kids can’t have ALL the fun!).  She reads strictly nonfiction and picture books.  She believes that anything you could ever need or want is located somewhere in the library.  Including friends.