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05/25/2024 03:44 pm GMT

Bullet Journaling (aka BuJo) is a practice meant to help you live a more organized and productive life – without spending a ton of time.

The routine helps you clear your mind, process the present, figure out what works in life, and take more control.

Bullet journaling uses a system of checks, bullets, and dashes to help you get thoughts from your head onto paper. It’s a pretty strict practice, but it’s most definitely a worthwhile one.

To be honest, I’ve gone through seasons where I’ve relied heavily on bullet journaling, but more recently I’ve moved my productivity system online. That said, I have picked up a bullet journal from time to time when I prefer a more analog approach.

The Ample Benefits of Bullet Journaling

The benefits of BuJo are clear and undeniable. It’s super flexible, letting you track daily tasks, long-term goals, and personal reflections all in one place. What’s cool is that you can customize it to fit your style – whether you’re artsy or minimalist. It’s not just about keeping to-do lists; it’s a creative outlet that helps reduce stress and boost productivity.

And – one of my favorite things about it – reviewing your bullet journal at the end of each month, quarter, and year makes you feel super accomplished.

  • Enhances Organization: Helps in managing tasks, appointments, and goals, reducing feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
  • Boosts Productivity: Encourages a focus on priority tasks, fostering a sense of accomplishment and efficiency.
  • Promotes Mindfulness: The act of journaling can be meditative, aiding in staying present and mindful.
  • Improves Mental Clarity: Helps declutter the mind by transferring thoughts and tasks onto paper.
  • Encourages Self-Reflection: Regular journaling allows for introspection, aiding in personal growth and self-awareness.
  • Stress Reduction: Acts as an outlet for venting frustrations, reducing stress and improving overall mental health.
  • Enhances Creativity: The customizable nature of bullet journaling stimulates creative thinking and expression.
  • Tracks Habits and Moods: Useful for identifying patterns in behavior and mood, which can be crucial for mental health monitoring and improvement.

Choosing the Right Bullet Journal for You

Let’s be honest, you can bullet journal on just about anything. You could write on a cave wall with a stick if you wanted.

But there’s something special about opening a crisp, well-designed journal each morning to start your bullet journaling routine.

I’ve used a handful over the years (4 of them are listed below), and for me, having a great journal is a game changer. It helps when you don’t feel up for it or find your discipline starting to wane.

Here are the most important things to consider when choosing your journal:

  • Page Weight: If you like to use the front and back of each page, you probably need pages that are at least 100 GSM. Anything less will likely bleed through if you’re using heavy duty pens. You might get lucky and not have any bleed through using a lightweight pen on 80 GSM, but I’d recommend playing it safe and going with 100+.
  • Accessories: If you’re a traditional bullet journaler, you probably don’t need any of these. But things like page dividers can come in handy and help further organize. If you like to get really creative and stray from the strict system, you might like some stickers.
  • Pockets: You may or may not need pockets, but I sometimes find that I like to throw other things into my journal to help commemorate certain seasons. Pockets help with that.

Last thing I’ll say: all of these journals are dotted (or bulleted, if you will). But you could follow the bullet journal method with a lined journal if you wanted.

Our 7 Favorite Bullet Journals on the Market

Best Value

RETTACY Dotted Bullet Grid Journal

$12.99

These two-pack dotted bullet grid journals offer great quality, durability, and versatility for anyone looking to enhance their journaling or note-taking experience. It comes with 120 GSM paper and a sturdy leather hardcover. Nothing fancy or out of the ordinary here – just a really solid journal.

  • 120 GSM Paper
  • Stencil Included
  • Faux Leather Cover
05/25/2024 04:42 pm GMT

Lemome Eco-Friendly Bullet Notebook

$5.9940

This journal boasts an awesome corked cover, lays flat, premium, & thick paper that doesn’t bleed – great for bullet journaling. It has a sturdy sewn elastic pen holder, expandable pocket, elastic closure strap, and a ribbon bookmark. Everything you could need in a bullet at a reasonable price – plus you get the added benefit of an eco-friendly product approach.

  • 120 GSM Paper
  • Cork Eco-Friendly Cover
  • Comes with Page Dividers
05/25/2024 04:48 pm GMT

PAPERAGE Dotted Journal Notebook

$11.95

This journal features 160 pages of light ivory colored sheets designed for multiple writing tools, including pens, pencils, and markers, without ghosting and bleed-through. The thread-bound spine makes for a lay-flat design, which makes bullet journaling a breeze.

  • 100 GSM
  • Inner Pocket
  • Faux Leather Cover
05/25/2024 04:12 pm GMT
Best Overall

LEUCHTTURM1917 Official Bullet Journal Edition 2

$29.45

The LEUCHTTURM1917 Bullet Journal Edition 2 is a must-have for both beginners and experienced journalers. What makes this bullet journal stand out is the inclusion of built-in BuJo features like the Bullet Key, Index, and Future Log, as well as a pocket guide that serves as a helpful reference, especially for those new to bullet journaling.

  • 120 GSM Paper
  • Bullet Key & BuJo Reference
  • Comes with a Sticker Sheet
05/25/2024 03:44 pm GMT
Best for Accessories

LOPWO Bullet Dotted Journal Kit with Accessories

$23.99

This is a solid bullet journal – what makes it stand out, obviously, is its assortment of accessories that come with the journal. It comes with colored pens, stickers, stencils, washi tapes and other accessories.

  • 100 GSM Paper
  • Faux Leather Cover
  • Lots of Accessories
05/25/2024 04:39 pm GMT

Jumping Fox Design Premium A5 Dotted Journal

$17.95

This journal has a little bit of everything: nice cover, lays flat, has a bookmark. But what separates it is the paper – great thickness, and its pages also have glossy edges which is a nice touch. The cover is also pretty unique – one of the only on our lists not employing faux leather.

  • 120 GSM Paper
  • Leatherette Cover
  • Very nice packaging and branding
05/25/2024 04:52 pm GMT

Moleskine Classic Dotted Notebook

£11.99

The classic Moleskine dotted notebook – loved by travelers and creatives – is great for bullet journaling. Its dots are a little lighter than some others and can be easily lost. While it's cool that it has a real leather cover, the pages are a good bit thinner than similar bullet journals – so heavier pens will bleed through.

  • 70 GSM Paper
  • Leather Cover
  • Big Back Pocket
05/25/2024 05:27 pm GMT

How We Evaluated and Chose These Journals

 

Our criteria for choosing this list of best journals is primarily based on first-hand experience. I (Brooks) have spent a lot of time with journals, and have used most of those on the list. For the few that I haven’t, I’ve relied on reviews from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

That said, I’ll admit I have not used every single bullet / dotted journal that’s out there on the market. So if there’s a really great journal that I missed, please let me know! Contact info is in the footer!