Making the Bullet Journal Work for Me

I’m sure you have heard of the bullet journal by now. If not, it’s a lineless journal with dots on the pages to draw lists and to keep all kinds of trackers for daily or weekly to-dos. It pops up all over my Pinterest. A month ago, I scrolled through the bullet journal category on the app, and decided I wanted in. I am right smack in the middle of my Etsy ordered special journal, so I can’t jump to start another journal. I’ve kept journals consistently since I was 12, inconsistently when I was younger and writing in heart shaped diaries with flimsy locks. Little pretty books tend to pile up and accumulate dust if I don’t set a boundary for myself after 20 years of journaling. Consequently, I only allow myself to buy a new journal when I reach the end of my current one.

Because I didn’t want to bail on myself or spend money on it, I decided to bring certain aspects of bullet journals to my current, lined journal. Of the to-do lists, mood/mental health trackers, sleep trackers, etc., I focused on 5 things to track. These can be any habit you want to cultivate such as reading every night before bed. You choose a theme for the month, that may or may not have anything to do with what it’s actually tracking. The solar system theme rocks my world with a planet for each day of the month, or week of the month if you want to go broader with weekly tasks. Harry Potter themed trackers feel magical and fun too.

How it works: You draw one blank shape associated with the theme for each day of the month and then color in the shape when you complete the task. Over time, this supposedly helps form intentional habits.

I chose trackers for my daily tasks of watering plants, taking my meds, completing one task a day associated with the business I started (more on that in another future post), creative writing, and movement. My themes are weak sauce this time because I only saw the really cool ones after I made mine. For a week now, I’ve colored in dots each day. It’s incredible how much it helps me. This is the only thing I’ve found to assist with my consistency that actually works. Next month, maybe I’ll track blog posts 🙂


  1. You may want to pick 3 or 4 habits to keep it simple. Any more than that, and it feels like a long to-do list that I personally do not feel jazzed about.
  2. Try not to get swept up in beating yourself up if you miss an activity for a few days. That is not intended. Think of coloring in each dot as a win!
  3. Notice patterns. If you don’t complete tasks, this can show you which day of the week seems more difficult. Can you rearrange something to make more room on those days/weeks? Do you need to change the time that you do your tasks? BuJo’s can provide you with lots of insight that you might easily otherwise miss.
  4. Tell yourself you are proud of you.

What’s a habit you want to cultivate?



2 thoughts on “Making the Bullet Journal Work for Me

  1. I love seeing how different people journal in their own unique way. I myself have a hybrid between bullet journalling and long-form writing, and I use my journal as a log for my daily thoughts.

    Very rarely do I track habits, but I do write down certain things as they crop up in my daily log, such as how refreshed I felt when I woke up, or what my mood was like the entire day.

    Anyway, thanks for this post!

    1. Mae Goes West

      I love the idea of being more mindful about moods! That could really give you a lot of insight. Thanks for reading, friend!

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