13 Inventive Bullet Journal Ideas

Layout Ideas for Newbies and Experts

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

A bullet journal is a productive tool that is the gathering spot for your schedule, thoughts, ideas, and goals, but it can work as a de-stressor, as well.

What Is a Bullet Journal?

A bullet journal is mainly a planner that you can tailor to your specific needs with creative page layouts and colors.

The key is in the bullet journal layout you choose to use. The sky is the limit for bullet journal layout ideas and what to put in them. But to get you started, we've gathered 13 inspiring ways you can begin to design your personalized book or online bullet journal.

  • 01 of 13

    Maximize the Impact of a Bullet Journal

    Bullet journal layout ideas
    Kate Louise

    If you're a non-artist and not very creative, don't let these bullet journal ideas discourage you. Instead, let these layouts inspire you to work on your penmanship and your planning. All you need is a little practice and patience to master this craft.

    Simple Weekly Layout Template from Kate Louise

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  • 02 of 13

    Get Started With a Simple Monthly Layout

    Bullet journal monthly layout ideas
    Page Flutter

    Bullet journals don't have to be complicated. When you're just getting started, experiment with different monthly layouts until you find one that works best for your lifestyle. Keep it really simple. Use a small ruler or a straight edge and a quality pen to tackle this monthly setup. 

    Monthly Bullet Journal Layouts from Page Flutter

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  • 03 of 13

    Log Monthly Utility Bills

    How to track utility bills using a bullet journal
    Blue Sky Design / Pinterest

    Keeping track of your utility bills is a helpful way to monitor spending. By keeping a page in your journal, it's easier to look back and make estimates for how much you'll have to spend in the future since these bills tend to fluctuate with the seasons.

    You'll also be able to spot trends much more readily this way. For example, if you see a significant and unexplained spike in your water bill one month, check to see if you have any water leaks. 

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  • 04 of 13

    Make Sure You're Eating Right

    Bullet journal ideas for meal planning

    @grey.and.copper / Instagram

    Anyone trying to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle usually has some poor eating habits they need to break. For most people, breaking a habit isn't as simple as making a mental commitment and sticking to it. Having some form of accountability as well as a visual reminder is a really helpful way to stay on task.

    This layout is straightforward with minimal bells and whistles—perfect for journalers of all skill levels.  

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  • 05 of 13

    Figure Out Which Habits Have Become Obsessive

    Habit tracker bullet journal idea

    @archerandolive / Instagram

    Habit trackers have become really popular primarily because of how helpful visuals are when breaking or creating new habits. There are plenty of smartphone apps that will remind you of things like to drink more water, but some might argue that the act of taking pen to paper is a more effective method. 

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  • 06 of 13

    Keep Your Savings Goals in Check

    Bullet journal idea for saving money
    Boho Berry

    When you're working out of one or two bank accounts, it's easy to spend money that is actually designated for something else. This bullet journal layout creates different buckets for your money based on bigger ticket items. When you're working hard to take that trip abroad (and you're reminded of the trip in your journal), you might be less likely to buy that expensive shirt you don't need. 

    Bullet Journal Update from Boho.Berry

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  • 07 of 13

    Practice Your Doodling Skills

    Doodle wreath how to for bullet journal

    @nicoles.journal / Instagram

    Once you get your basic layouts perfected, step out of your comfort zone and work on some more advanced doodles and lettering. There are tons of inspiration pages and tutorials out there that will show you exactly how to form certain shapes and symbols. Most of them are much easier to create than they look, once you know how to do it. 

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  • 08 of 13

    Write Down Your Top Goals

    How to set monthly goals in a bullet journal

    @journalrella / Instagram

    Goal layouts are a great way to practice some more refined lettering and doodling. Start your page with three semi-circles using a compass. Next, pick one of your favorite inspirational quotes to go in the center. Lastly, pick some simple floral or geometric doodles to accent your circles.

    Your goals don't have to be based on a month. Yearly and even lifetime goal pages are a great way to keep track of how your ambitions evolve. 

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  • 09 of 13

    Never Forget Your Parent's Anniversary Again

    Bullet journal ideas for birthdays and holidays

    @bujo.snowberry / Instagram

    This date layout doesn't take much time to complete, but it is one that can be looked back at many times throughout the year. One might argue that a phone or Facebook app can remind you of birthdays and holidays, but the act of writing out the dates could help you remember them. Also, who doesn't need a phone or social media detox every now and then? 

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  • 10 of 13

    Track Your Moods With Color

    Bullet Journal Mood Board

    @narcoticfairy / Instagram

    Moods come and go, and it's important to acknowledge and embrace them without being too hard on yourself. Tracking moods throughout the month, especially for a woman, is a great way to see if there are patterns. Perhaps you notice a certain color (i.e. anxiousness) showing up at the same time each month. Maybe it's cyclical. Keeping this chart can help you and your doctor get to the bottom of negative emotions as well as help you honor the positive ones. 

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  • 11 of 13

    Plan Your Next Adventure

    Travel plans in a bullet journal

    @faith_blossomedbujo / Instagram

    Travelling can be a spontaneous experience, but most of the time, a little bit of planning goes a long way. Create a layout of all the places you would love to see, things you'd like to do and people you'd like to visit along the way. 

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  • 12 of 13

    Express Your Gratitude Often

    How to create a gratitude bullet journal layout
    Testy / Pinterest

    Showing gratitude is a recommended way to keep our mental health in check because it brings our awareness to details of our life that promote a positive mood. It might seem easy to rattle off a list of things we are grateful for when we are happy, but the challenge is to create layouts like this when we are stressed out and not the best version of ourselves. Honing in on this exercise in these moments will have the most impact, but truthfully, anytime is a good time to practice being thankful. 

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  • 13 of 13

    Make a Cleaning Routine and Stick to It

    cleaning schedule bullet journal layout idea

    @my_blue_sky_design / Instagram

    Who doesn't love a clean house? Although, some of us are better at keeping a tidy home than others. Breaking down your household cleaning routine into stages will make household chores seem more manageable. First, get out of the habit of trying to clean your entire house in a day. Then, figure out which tasks should be done when and chart them out. Keep your plan realistic in order to make the most of this layout.