Exercising My Creativity with a Bullet Journal (and Getting Organized in the Process)

When a girl with a lifelong passion for pen and paper collides with a fun and practical way to use said pen and paper, a new hobby is born.

A week into it, and I can see that keeping a Bullet Journal (BuJo to the growing number of enthusiasts) will become more than a hobby. If I use it right, it could be a major tool in my quest to live more intentionally.

The Bullet Journal concept has been around for a few years. Developed and promoted by entrepreneur Ryder Carroll, the standard BuJo is simply a small notebook, such as a Moleskine, with dotted graph pages rather than lines. The pages are set up with monthly and daily plans and logs, along with lists. The idea is to contain all our many notes, lists and planners in one convenient location.

Ryder’s BuJo looks like something a guy would design and use.  Practical, but a little boring.


Enter the female version of BuJo (this one by blogger Boho Berry).


I discovered the BuJo through my online friend Plaid Fuzz, a blogger from South Dakota who is a fellow planner fanatic. She pointed me to BoHo Berry. I caught their excitement and was inspired by their journals. After a little research, I decided it might be the tool for me.

It turns out I’m not alone. There are online communities and Facebook walls where thousands of BuJo fans share ideas, prompts and new products.

I love color, so my BuJo will have colorful accents throughout. I’m also adding inspirational quotes, scripture and art. The best aspects of planning and journaling by this method are that it is flexible and personal. In the pages where I’m planning and journaling for January, I’m inserting lists and goals that can be referenced or repeated throughout the year — whatever I decide I need as the year unfolds. The format of my planner/journal pages also can change if what I’ve designed at the beginning isn’t working for me in, say, June.

Of course, to get the greatest benefit from my BuJo, I’ll have to actually USE it — to record plans and thoughts, as well as to track progress on things like reading, writing, and developing healthy lifestyle habits.

I’ve purposed to live more intentionally in the past, but never had a tool to hold me accountable and to visualize my progress. I think the BuJo just might work for me.

Besides, it’s fun!

Here’s a tour of my very first BuJo.


This is a Leuchtturm1917 (ordered on Amazon) in lovely orange! I’m still settling on which pens work best, but I love the vivid color of the Pilot G2. I’m also using colored pencils.


Highlighting my “life verse” seemed to be the perfect way to begin the year. The picture on the right is covering a major “flub”, but I really love it. Snatched from an old day journal I couldn’t bear to discard and secured with decorative tape.


Goals for the year and an annual calendar. “Allow It” are my words for the year (more on that in a future blog).


A couple of lists (also called collections) will replace the many lists I make and lose almost every week! Again, part of my quest to become more intentional.


I’ve created a 3-month planning calendar, followed by this daily journal. I think next month I’ll insert a monthly calendar between the two. We’ll see. The “dailies” will also evolve, I think.


Because I follow and appreciate the blogger/author Ann Voskamp, I’m inserting a couple of her downloadable graphics for inspiration and beauty. I’ll keep my “gratitude log” in my BuJo and I’m working on things I “purpose” to do in 2016. You can find her lovely free illustrations @aholyexperience.com

So, there you have it. I’m also tracking some healthy habits, giving myself a space to “brain dump” and at the end of the month I expect to journal the highlights of the month, as well as plans for February. I realize that as I’m posting photos from my BuJo, I’m also letting you into my personal world a little bit. I know you’ll treat me with kindness and respect.


  1. Lynn Marie

    I love Journaling but had not heard of this particular style before although I think what I am doing already would fit right in. I am definitely going to look into this further. Happy New Year, Ingrid.

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      I’ll still keep my prayer journal, but this suits me because I’m not big on structure. I think I’m going to keep this one going simply because I can make it whatever I want/need it to be! Happy New Year, Lynn!!

  2. Mikaela D'Eigh

    I hope you keep sharing some of your pages – they are beautiful!! I think you need to be one of our workshop leaders next year – on hand lettering. 😉 Thanks for sharing this – I hadn’t heard of this style of journaling before – going to try and incorporate it this year.

    • inkspots53@hotmail.com

      Why, thank you! I’m still learning, but it’s a lot of fun. It could become an obsession, though. Gotta be careful to protect my actual “writing” time.

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