A few years ago when I returned to work after maternity leave, I found myself struggling to balance my new full-time jobs: mom and librarian. I’ve kept a bullet journal ever since, allowing me to keep my calendar, to-do list, a running list of questions for my pediatrician, and meeting notes all in the same place. My bullet journal has helped me prioritize work tasks, remember funny things my kids say, and train for a half marathon. While my bullet journal is plain and practical, for many it’s an opportunity to incorporate artistic expression and even mindfulness into daily life.
While it’s great for keeping track of a busy to-do list, bullet journal spreads could also be super helpful for life in lockdown. If you’re one of the people living your best life during quarantine, bullet journaling can help you plan projects, set goals, and track progress. If you’re just trying to get through this, make a list of self-care activities for easy reference when you need a boost. I’ve gathered some books, websites and blogs that helped me get started with bullet journaling. Just a note: some of them offer books, supplies, or printables for sale. They are listed here only because of the free information found on each site. All you need is a notebook and a pen.
And, if you happen to use any of your bullet journal pages to record your COVID-19 experience, don’t forget to share through our Documenting COVID-19 project!
For bullet journal beginners, the first stop is the website of Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal method. Here’s the how-to page from the site. If you just want the basics, this is really all you need to get started.
Ryder has also written a book on this topic, The Bullet Journal Method, if you want a really in-depth look at the process. It’s available as an eBook on OverDrive.
Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s Dot Journaling—A Practical Guide is another detailed how-to book. This extensive overview includes a variety of spreads for everything from meal planning to travel. It’s also available as an eBook on OverDrive.
This Buzzfeed article on how to start a bullet journal is an approachable introduction. I used several of their tips when I started years ago.
I’ve found inspiration in Kim’s Tiny Ray of Sunshine blog. For example, this self-care challenge post is especially timely. She also offers a guide that goes into more detail about the bullet journal method.
Reddit hosts two subreddits dedicated to bullet journaling, where a community shares pictures and answers questions. While r/bulletjournal showcases artistic journal spreads, r/bujo favors function over aesthetic. These are great places to observe how others have structured pages for a given topic, like budgeting or redecorating your home.