Bullet Journaling Carrie Crista How To

What is Bullet Journaling?

bullet journal

In my last post, I mentioned that bullet journaling was something I did regularly and I wanted to go into a little more detail about what it is. I have a three part series on YouTube that shows you how to start a bullet journal, step-by-step, but I also wanted to write about it a bit more to touch on some things.

  1. What the heck is bullet journaling?

    Bullet journaling is a form of planning that was originally created by Ryder Carroll. A bullet journal isn’t a specific notebook, but a system. You can purchase any notebook (I’ll list some of the most popular ones- along with other supplies- below) and use the bullet journal system to keep yourself organized.

  2. What goes into a bullet journal?

    Bullet journals tend to have a few main parts: spreads, collections, and trackers. A spread is what bullet journalists call their pages. Spreads usually are in a daily, weekly, or monthly format. This is what you would see in a regular planner, it’s just drawn or written out by the person using the journal.

    bullet journal weekly spread

    Here’s an example of a weekly spread.

    A collection is a list of things you want to remember. Things like “Books I’ve Read,” “Motivational Quotes,” and the “Gratitude Log” are some of the most common collections in the bullet journal community, but general lists of things to do could also be seen as a collection.

    Trackers are just that- ways to track progress or habits. Habit trackers are probably the most common trackers, but people also create fitness trackers, saving/spending trackers, you name it!


    bullet journal tracker

    Health Tracker

  3. What if I’m not artistic?

    The beauty about bullet journaling is that it is 100% customizable and you can make it 100% your own. If you don’t have great handwriting or you aren’t artistic, who cares? The bullet journal exists as a way for you to keep yourself organized. There are a ton of minimalist style bullet journals out there. On this note- if you mess up, move on! Bullet journals do NOT have to be perfect! The mistakes make them yours!

My biggest tip for bullet journaling: Make it yours! Use your own style. Find what works best for you. What works for other people may not be what works for you and that’s 100% ok!


Here’s a list of some things that are popular in the community and that I use and have found helpful!


*Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Dotted Notebook in Lemon   This is my go-to notebook. Particularly this color, but if you’re not a fan of yellow and you still want the Leuchtturm, make sure you’re getting the hardcover, A5 size, dotted notebook! 

*Tombow Brush Pens These dual brush pens are, in my opinion, the best on the market at a great price point. There is a brush tip on one end and a bullet tip on the other. Perfect for anything!

*Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens – Hard AND Soft These are my GO TO lettering pens. The hard nib are a bit stiffer and take a bit more pressure to get a thicker downstroke, but they are popular because you can write normally with just the tip. I LOVE the soft tip for lettering and coloring in because the tip is much more flexible so the thicker strokes are a little easier. I would recommend getting both because they are both very useful. I use both of them literally every single day.

*Pentel Fude Touch Pens  These are another really popular brush tip pen. I really love the colors of these and they are very easy to write with!

*Kokuyo Pencil Case This pencil case is great! It folds up compactly and then lays flat when it’s open so you can see everything in it. It also holds a good amount of pens!

*PrismaColor 24 Set These are the best colored pencils out there. They can get a little pricey, but they are so smooth and they do last, especially if you’re not doing serious colored pencil work. I’ve had a set since 2007 (no lie, I got them for Christmas before going to college), and I still have them and they all still work. I use them to add a little color to some of my spreads.

*Folding Ruler Perfect for storing in your pencil case to get those straight lines wherever you are.

*Stabilo Point 88 Fine Pens These are my favorite fine liners. They are inexpensive, pigmented, and come in so many colors. 


Questions for you:

  1. Do you have a bullet journal? If not, what kind of planning system do you use?
  2. If you have a bullet journal, what is your favorite kind of spread to make?

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