Beautiful teenage girl in bed writing notes in diary

Going through school, many of us had planners and diaries thrown at us by teachers demanding we use them to record homework and due dates. The first time I was given a diary was in grade 5, and I used it to record my homework and what I was reading. Once I hit high school though, I began to use my planners very sporadically, going through phases where I would write everything down religiously and other times where I wouldn’t even know where it was.

In December last year, I stumbled across a concept that I thought was fantastic, called bullet journaling. Created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from New York, the bullet journal is a diary, a meal planner, an address book, it can be anything and it evolves with you. The bullet journal system may sound daunting, and it’s quite difficult to explain it all here, simply because there is so much that I don’t even know about it myself.

In one sentence, bullet journaling is a planning system that uses a variety of bullet points and symbols as its backbone.

Please see below a video from Carroll’s website that explains the concept really well. And below that I’ve got a few examples of my own bullet journal.

What do I need?

You don’t just go out and buy a specific journal, although many journallers swear by Leuchtterm 1917 or the official Bullet Journal notebook. All you really need is a notebook, a pen, a ruler and your creativity.

My journal

My bullet journal is very simple in its layout. I only use a few different spreads and I don’t use very much colour, but you can make yours as colourful as you want! Here are some of my spreads in my journal.

Index Page


Having an index page can be very beneficial to your journal. I have all of my spreads and collections written down in my index.



One of the main aspects of bullet journaling is using a system of symbols and marks to make everything easier. Here is my key of all the symbols and marks I have. You don’t have to use them all and you can make up your own, that being the beauty of the system.



There are different ways of setting out a monthly spread, this is what mine looks like. Here, I have a quick overview of what my month entails.



This is the sort of spread that I use the most. You don’t have to make a page for every day, but I find this very helpful for planning and organising my day as I can see what tasks and events I have very easily.

There are so many possibilities for spreads in bullet journals. If you want to condense your address book, boom! Just create a new section in your bullet journal and you only have to carry one book with you. You can add anything you want into your bullet journal, you can write in your work rosters, your appointments, due dates, absolutely anything. Your mind is the limit.

If you want to get some more ideas, here are some Instagrammers you should check out:






– Eloise Derrett

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