Bullet Journals and Why Anyone Can Use Them

With the trying times at hand, a newer way of organizing and manifesting one's life and goals, plus its benefits, are explained

Honey%2C+Honey%3A+this+is+the+May+cover+page+with+the+bees+and+honeycombs+design

Morgan Kromer

Honey, Honey: this is the May cover page with the bees and honeycombs design

We all have habits: good ones we want to keep, and bad ones we want to eliminate. For pretty much forever, people have been trying to fix themselves, and of course, I of all people don’t fall short of that human imperfection, because we must all do something for the betterment of ourselves. And what better way to fix oneself than to let our creative juices flow while doing so? 

That’s right, I’m talking about bullet journaling. I am not some super artistic person. In fact, as a senior in my last quarter of high school, I can say I have managed to only take one semester of the basics of art before I washed my hands of it (and the art which was produced). Lord knows I’m not some life coach, I’m just a human with a journal and some supplies. And if you are like me, hint, you’ll need a lot of Wite-Out.

Bullet journaling is something I stumbled upon approximately a year ago on Pinterest. At first, it seemed daunting because of how amazing these layouts (or as bullet journalists call them, spreads) looked. But it’s not. It is simply a way to plan, track, and manifest your life and goals. And like I said before, I am by no means considered artistic. But I still love my bullet journal. Because let’s face it, everyone needs some improvement, whether we like to admit it or not. So what better way than with some mild art therapy? 

First, pick out a journal that speaks to you. I like to think my journal looks classy with its marble and gold features. After you have a journal you are not going to get tired of seeing day after day for about a year, gather your supplies. I like to use pens and markers for my colors, but any coloring utensil works. I’m talking colored pencils, crayons; I don’t know, maybe oil pastels? You name it. You are also going to want a ruler, a regular pencil with an eraser, and like I said earlier: lots of Wite-out. 

So now we open the journal and you have a blank page, what do you do? Here are some tips: every bullet journal needs a title page like simply “2020”, and for each month, the month also has a title page (my examples are my May pages of this year). So there is a “May” or “May 2020” page, whichever you prefer. Each title page has a theme which makes sense to the month. My May page is bees and honeycombs, a spring/summer sort of vibe since this is the last month of school. 

Then it’s time for some good, new-fashioned self help. Some people also use their journals as planners, so there are entire spreads for that. I, however, do not. I have a mood tracker page which is mountains and each day is a ray in a sunrise. You color in the ray every day. I have done flies in a mason jar. I’ve seen someone do lemon slices before. The possibilities are endless. Then I had specific habits to track, both good and bad. There were four categories, each ranging from having 3-7 habits in them. 

Mental and spiritual habits will obviously be different for everyone based on their religion and many other aspects. Do you have trouble praying? Track it. I am tracking praying, meditating, reading my Bible, writing in my gratitude journal, spending quality time with my pets (because this supports better emotional well-being), and reading at least one chapter of a book.

Health habits are based on what you are trying to change. I am trying to lose weight so I am tracking things like exercising, water intake, eating well, and not drinking soda or energy drinks. On the same track, my next category is just good habits in general. This includes schoolwork, taking showers, acts of self-care, cleaning, and working. For working I left the check-boxes blank instead of writing numbers to color in because there are more things that could happen than just “Yes I worked” or “No I didn’t.” I could have not been scheduled, I could have called off, and I also wanted to track when I took an extra shift. 

The last category is bad habits. I’m tracking crying, binge shopping, and binge-watching shows. I’m sure there are many other bad habits I have that my friends and family could tell me I have, these are just the ones I notice and personally want to fix. Some other spreads that can be made are finance spreads (there are many ways to implement these), best thing that happened each day spreads, goals spreads, or a sleep log. There are, of course, so many more to make. 

In the end, anyone can do it and everyone should do it. It boosts creativity and organization, motivates us to accomplish our goals, it’s customizable

Morgan Kromer

 to your lifestyle and budget, and inspires productivity. It’s not only a tracker for your current short term progress, but a record of long term progress. You think and work better on paper than with apps or even just the notes section of your phone. It isn’t even about how it looks, it’s about how you progress with it. The beauty is, it’s yours. No one can tell you what does or doesn’t belong or that you’re doing it wrong because as long as you’re improving yourself, you did it right.