by Ryan Hart
Updated on September 7, 2018
In this post you’ll discover 29 Bullet Journal ideas you can use to get more work done and help you stay organized.
Many people worry that Bullet Journaling looks too complicated or too time consuming, so they avoid using the system all together.
But in reality the Bullet Journal system is very simple. It was designed to help you keep track of your to do list with simple bullets or symbols. That’s all.
Over the years, others have taken the Bullet Journal idea and added drawings, watercolors, washi tape, and stickers to spruce up their journal. But if that’s not your thing, don’t let it discourage you from getting started.
Below are layouts I’ve designed that you can replicate in your journal. If you decide to use these layouts in your journal please share a photo with me on Instagram: @CallRyanHart
In addition to the normal Bullet Journal daily task list, I like to add a column which reminds me of my schedule for the day. Although I use an online calendar as well, having a quick reference of my day ahead helps keep me on schedule.
Similar to my day at a glance journal layout, I also like to review my week with my appointments penciled in. This helps me visualize how busy my week will be and how much time I will have available to finish the tasks on my to do list.
The month at a glance layout page is really useful when trying to plan my vacations or large projects. I can also easily see if there are any big events coming up during the month and transfer those to my weekly and daily layouts. I like creating my month at a glance layout to look like a calendar because I can better visualize the dates in my head, rather than a vertical list of dates like some Bullet Journalers prefer.
There are many ways you can layout your Year at a glance page. Having 12 tiny little calendars is not helpful for me so I’ve chosen to layout my year with just 12 open blocks. Inside these blocks I can add birthdays, vacations, holidays and other big commitments. Then I can transfer the relevant items to my monthly layout, then to my weekly and daily layouts as needed.
If you have an irregular work schedule or a part-time job, a dedicated layout will help you keep track of your upcoming shifts. This type of layout would be great for waitresses, bartenders, or even baby sitters so you can see your work schedule all on one page.
Keeping up with assignment due dates can become overwhelming when you are taking a full load of classes. Make it easy to see when your assignments are due by creating an assignment page in your Bullet Journal. Feel free to create one page for each class or put all of your assignments for the quarter on one page.
I graduated from college a few years ago but every once in a while I still have dreams where I panic because I realize I missed my final exam. Has that ever happened to you? Psychology Today says it’s very common among U.S. students. Well, a great way to avoid missing a big test is to keep track of all of your exams on one page. Then, you can easily see when midterm and final exams are so you can start studying ahead of time, instead of the night before.
Create a spread that shows your entire quarter or semester at a glance so you can easily see your assignment due dates and exam schedule all in one place. This type of layout was really helpful for me in college to make sure I wasn’t filling my plate too full. It was important to leave enough white space on my calendar to spend time with friends and go camping, otherwise I would have burnt out.
Even though classrooms today are filled with laptops, I still think the most effective way to take notes is by hand. I found that the process of writing down lecture notes helped me memorize topics much quicker. One advantage of writing your notes on paper is that you can draw and diagram concepts in ways that you can’t when you are typing notes in a Word document. Leave an entire section open in your Bullet Journal for each class, or take notes throughout the journal. Either way, just remember to keep track of where the notes are located in the Index of the journal.
During my years in college it seemed like I had more pages that I was required to read than there was enough time in the day to complete the assignments - and I wasn’t even an english major! Keeping track of your reading assignments on one page in your Bullet Journal is a great way to stay ahead on your reading and not fall behind like I did.
There’s no denying that college is expensive. One way to help offset the growing costs is with scholarships. While lots of personal finance “experts” love to say that it’s easy to pay for college with scholarships, most students know that it is much more difficult that it appears. Rather than passing on those lucrative scholarships, create a page in your Bullet Journal to keep track of when scholarship applications are due and the requirements to apply. Before long the scholarships will be rolling in.
Keep track of important birthdays in one spot in your Bullet Journal, then transfer them to the corresponding month and week. When you have all of the birthdays you need to remember on one page it makes it easy to copy them to next year’s Bullet Journal without having to hunt them down in your monthly calendar.
My wife and I plan out our dinners each week and it has turned into a habit that also helps us save money on groceries. You can easily create a page in your Bullet Journal to plan out your meals and gather dinner ideas. Then, when dinner time rolls around you know exactly what to cook and won’t have to stress about coming up with ideas on the fly.
Are there any new habits you want to start or bad habits you want to stop? Dedicate a page in your bullet journal to track habits on a weekly or monthly basis. I created a list of 29 Goals to track in your habit tracker that will give you some ideas to get started.
The best way to stay motivated to reach your goals is to measure your progress along the way. Progress creates momentum and momentum generates motivation to keep going. Keep track of your weight loss progress in your journal and watch the pounds fall off.
Feel like you are throwing money away when you go to the grocery store? One way to lower your grocery bill is to make a list before you walk through the front door. This helps me stay focused on only buying the ingredients I need and resist the temptation to buy junk food.
Being grateful for the things you have in life is the key to happiness. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught comparing our lives to others on Instagram and Facebook, which ultimately leads to anxiety and frustration. Instead, keep a log in your Bullet Journal of the things you are grateful for each day. You’ll be amazed at how much this small habit improves your mood.
Feeling sluggish and low on energy? Drink more water. Staying hydrated is the best way to increase circulation and therefore improve your energy levels without caffeine. If you find it difficult to drink that much water, start by drinking 3 or 4 glasses per day and work your way up. Keep track of how much you drink in your Bullet Journal and see how much better you feel at the end of the month.
I love reading. It seems that I have a never ending list of books that I want to read, so I started keeping a list in my Bullet Journal. Now I when I get a good book recommendation I just add it to my list, then put it on hold at the library. The Books to Read list is also fun to reflect upon at the end of the year to see how many books I read and if there were any major themes that connected the books.
A simple workout log is a great way to measure your progress at the gym. You can also create a more detailed workout log that includes the exercises completed as well as the results. Reflecting on how far you ran or how much weight you lifted last week can help inspire you to push yourself to the next level.
I like keeping a list of potential date ideas in my Bullet Journal so my wife and I always have a fun adventure to look forward to. Without a bank of ideas to work from, it can be difficult to think of a fun idea on the spot. Keep some ideas in your Bullet Journal and impress your significant other with a spontaneous date.
Studies have shown that keeping track of your progress is the key to happiness and fulfillment. If you want to feel better about saving money rather than feeling guilty that you need to save more, start a savings tracker in your Bullet Journal. Everytime you move some money into your savings account or put a $20 in the rainy-day jar, jot it down in your journal. Keeping track of your progress will help give you motivation and momentum to keep going.
Let’s be honest, budgets are tedious and not that effective for most people. Instead, I’ve found keeping a spending log is a better way to manage my money. Just like with my proven backwards goal setting method, “backward looking budgeting” is more effective and rewarding.
Keep track of your spending in your Bullet Journal, then at the end of the month look back on your spending and find ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary purchases. For example, if you are trying to save money by not going to Starbucks every morning it might be tempting to budget $0 for coffee this month. However, you are only setting yourself up to fail.
Instead, keep track of your spending and notice how many times you went to Starbucks. Then, you’ll can try skipping the Grande Cappuccino one day per week and watching your progress in your spending log. Soon it will be easy to cut down your habit to just once or twice per month and the savings will add up fast.
I love going on vacation. It’s fun, relaxing and a great way to reset the energy and excitement I have for my work. But to be honest, half of the fun of going on vacation for me is actually planning and dreaming about the trip before it arrives. One great way to get excited about your next trip is to create a vacation fund tracker in your Bullet Journal. First, estimate how much it will cost for airfare, accommodations and dining out. Then break this goal into smaller chunks, such as $100 increments, and start keeping track of your savings progress in your Bullet Journal.
When I first started my business I kept a daily business revenue log in my journal to help me keep track of my business growth. Depending on your business model, I found these trackers can be both helpful and discouraging at the same time. For example, when I was growing my client base it was encouraging to see the numbers grow on a weekly basis. However, when business was slow it was very depressing to see my numbers drop or stay stagnant each day. Eventually I stopped keeping track on a daily basis and moved to just a weekly and monthly review to make sure my business is on track to hit my goals.
Want to be a person that travels more? Keep a list of vacation ideas in your journal. Then, when you have a long weekend or a few days off from work, pick an idea from your list and go! Remember, the ideas don’t have to be grand vacations, they can be simple ideas, too. Like a weekend camping trip to a nearby state park or an AirBNB only a short road trip from home.
Have you ever sat down to watch a movie but got stuck in infinite scroll mode inside of Netflix? It used to happen to me all the time. I would be in the mood for a movie, scroll through Netflix for an hour and then be too tired to watch a movie. Now, I keep a list of movies that I want to see and when I want to have a movie night I look over my list. Then, it’s easy to see if that movie is on Netflix or if it is available for rent on Google Play. I highly recommend this method if you like watching movies but have a hard time deciding what to watch.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you hear a band you like on the radio and Google them to see their concert schedule. Sadly, you notice they were just in town last week but you had no idea! This happens to me all the time, so I decided to keep a list of upcoming concerts so I don’t miss my favorite bands when they come to town. Every few months I Google the tour schedule for bands I like and add them to my calendar. I also check out the websites for the most popular venues in my area and look for names I recognize.
Mood trackers are very popular in the Bullet Journal community. I’ve found they are a helpful way to keep track of how I’m feeling and notice patterns with my emotions. For example, it can be easy to notice that my energy and mood is low when I haven’t exercised in a few days. Without keeping track of these patterns in my bullet journal, moods can seem random when in reality they are usually caused by other event in my life.
Dreaming of the places you’ll go and things you’ll do throughout your life? Keep a list in your Bullet Journal just for your bucket list items. Then add that page to your index in the front of your journal. I like to include places I want to travel to like Australia, and things I want to do such as summit Mount Rainier. What’s on your bucket list?
I love blogging, but after a while it can become difficult to think of great blog post ideas. To help prevent writer’s block when I sit at my computer, I keep a list of potential blog post topics in my Bullet Journal. I also like to categorize them by topic and brainstorm ideas for potential titles.
My wife and I planned our wedding without the help of a wedding planner and my Bullet Journal was crucial to staying organized. You could use your Bullet Journal to keep track of dates, vendors or addresses of your guests. To be honest, you could probably fill up an entire journal with all of the details that are required to plan a large wedding, but I would suggest to keep it simple.
Bullet Journal enthusiasts are very ambitions. It seems that every page in their journal is filled with goals, habit trackers and full schedules. But what I rarely see is any layouts that are fun! Try printing out and pasting in a Sudoku puzzle, or draw one in yourself! I think it is a great idea to include several in the back of your journal so you can exercise your mind while you have some downtime rather than scrolling through Facebook.
Add a Word Search to your Bullet Journal for some fun in between your appointments and commitments. Either create your own and have your friend try and find the words you hid, or paste in one you find online. The opportunities are endless.
Love a good crossword puzzle? Tear out the crossword puzzle from this morning’s newspaper and paste it into your Bullet Journal. Then work on it throughout the day or save it for a rainy day when you need a distraction.
There are literally hundreds of Bullet Journal layout ideas I could have included on this list. However, I decided to limit my selection to a few of my favorite ideas.
Which BUJO layout idea was your favorite?
Are there any layouts you use each month in your Bullet Journal?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.