If you’ve recently scrolled through Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest you’ve probably seen the term ‘bullet journal’ popping up.

Put simply, bullet journaling is a method of note-taking that is based around a bullet point structure. Doesn’t seem too mind-blowing, does it? Haven’t we all been summarising in dot points for years?

Well, from what I understand, a bullet journal is unique from other methods of journaling because:

  • The main idea is jotting down quick notes instead of writing long sentences

  • It’s a to-do list, a planner and a diary all in one
  • A symbol and key system shows where you’re up to with a task

  • Each feature (year-long calendar, monthly calendar, to-do lists, ideas) is organised and divided into sections using an index and page numbers
(Photo: successaesthetics.tumblr.com)

While the official website seems to be where the trend started, it doesn’t really explain what is it or what to do. Buzzfeed journalists (pardon the pun) have put together a brilliant article that introduces, easily explains and tests out the concept:

“I like bullet journaling because it’s a great way to track my day-to-day activities and experiences, as well as my long-term goals. Planners/to-do lists typically only focus on what you’re doing in the future, and diaries typically focus on what you did that day. But all of these things [organised together] give us the complete picture of who we are.”

One of the key reasons bullet journaling has taken creatives – and “bullet journal junkies” on Instagram – on social media by storm is the way some people are decorating them with drawings, stamps, washi tape, stickers and stencils. Hours of effort are being put into by making these journals not only functional but a work of art as well.

(Photo: instagram.com/jennie.pae)
(Photo: instagram.com/jess_studies)
(Photo: instagram.com/nicoles.journal)
(Photo: instagram.com/emschwartzrdn)

So many #journalgoals ahh!

Some words of advice, though, from journalist Rachel W. Miller, who warns not to get too overwhelmed with making your pages Insta-perfect:

“…bullet journaling is not something that takes a lot of time (unless you want it to)… I knew if I got too precious about layouts and colour-coding, I’d be less likely to actually do it. After a month, I felt OK adding some colour. Then a couple months later I started doing more involved weekly layouts. But it’s totally, totally fine to take a more minimalist approach.”

Although I feel like I’d spend the majority of my time decorating rather than actually completing the tasks on my to-do lists, I can see why people are hooked; it’s fun, it’s creative, it’s easy, it’s useful AND it’s another excuse to buy pretty stationary you don’t need!