Bullet journaling, also known as BuJo, is a creative planning system used in place of daily or weekly planners.
It began with the book The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll who developed it when she found other planners difficult to use with her ADD.
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Bullet Journals are far from standard planners with endless checklists and to-do lists. Bullet Journals encourage you to examine your goals, tasks, and responsibilities in a holistic way as well as reflect on how they make you feel.
How to find the best bullet journal for you
BuJo allows you the flexibility to pick your own journal style. If you already have a notebook you love, that’s a good place to start. However if you’re new to bullet journaling here are some tips on what to look for in a journal.
There’s no rule as to what the pages of a bullet journal should look like. If you’re more of a writer, ruled paper might work best for you. More of a visual person? Try blank pages. A little of both? Grid dots can be a good compromise between structure and freedom.
Since this is not your average planner, you will also want to look for heavier paper. Ideally, you should be able to draw with markers without showing through.
Finally, consider the cover and binding. Lay-flat binding can be more expensive but when you’re writing in it everyday, it feels well worth the investment not fighting with the spine to keep it open. Find a cover and material that inspires you to journal. If you love your journal, you’re more apt to keep up the practice.
Our Favorite Overall: Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Notebook
The Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Notebook is our go-to notebook. While it might look like any other journal, it has a number of details that make it stand out. Starting at the beginning, the organizationally minded will appreciate that the pages are numbered and a blank table of contents is included in the front to allow easy reference.
The sewn-binding is lay-flat making it easier to write and less likely to start shedding pages than a glued binding. The paper is soft ivory that’s easy on the eyes, acid-free and ink-proof. There’s an expandable pocket inside the back cover, a ribbon bookmark, and an elastic band for closure.
The dotted grid pages beloved by bullet journalists give you the freedom to create your own designs but the structure to keep them organized.
It includes 249 pages plus eight perforated pages which can be used if you need to tear out a page to give someone or write throw away notes without damaging your journal. It comes in a rainbow of solid colors.
The Classic: Moleskine Classic Notebook
For many, Moleskine is the gold standard of notebooks. They’re well designed and well-loved. Artists love them for sketchbooks, writers love them to take notes. You really can’t go wrong with a Moleskine notebook.
The cover is a durable leather-like surface that’s easy to wipe clean. Thoughtful extras include an elastic band to hold the pages closed, a large pocket in the back to hold memories or scraps of paper as well as a ribbon bookmark to keep your place. The paper is a soft ivory with just enough texture to be perfect for writing with a pen or pencil. The paper is a little thin for using markers though.
Best Bullet Journal Set: Bullet Journal with Washi
This set comes with a lay-flat hardcover journal, 12 colored fine liner pens and 12 rolls of washi tape. A great starter present for someone new to bullet journaling or a fun way to add washing to your existing journaling practice.
Best-Budget Friendly Bullet Journal: Paperage Journal Notebook
If you’re looking for a balance of quality and affordability, try out Paperage’s journal. It has a classic design that includes features from journals that cost twice as much.
They don’t skimp on the extras such as an elastic band to keep the book closed or lay-flat sewed binding. The paper is 100gsm acid-free in light ivory and is thick enough to survive watercolors (if you don’t make them too watery).
Best Eco-Friendly Bullet Journal: Lemome Natural Cork Notebooks
Lemome has gone to lengths to make their journals as environmentally friendly as possible without sacrificing quality. It has the standards of good journals like lay-flat design, a pocket, and an elastic band enclosure. However it also has unique extras.
While the cover might feel like leather, it’s made from real cork and 100% vegan-friendly. Due to the nature of natural materials, each cover will have slight variations. Another feature we like is that the pages are micro-perforated cream acid-free paper. So if you do want to tear a page out of your journal, you can do so without ruining the entire book. Plus it an elastic loop to hold your pen.
Best Spiral Bullet Journal: Rhodia Reverse Book & Dot Book
Whether you’re left-handed, want to tear out pages, or paste more to the pages than an average sewn binding will accommodate, there are lots of reasons to love a spiral-bound bullet journal. Rhodia makes this sturdy wire-bound notebook that will hold up to even the most dedicated bullet journaler. It’s also square so you can use it vertically or horizontally.
Best Bullet Journals with Decorated Covers: Eccolo Style Journal
From the cheeky “Plans for World Domination” journal to colorful patterns and watercolors, you’ll find a bullet journal that will inspire you. The journals come with 256 acid-free cream color pages and round corners.
Best Color Your Own Cover: ColorIt Doodle Notebook Journal
Whether you recently rediscovered the calming effects of coloring or want a journal that’s easy to personalize, ColorIt Doodle journals are for you. The covers are matte, come in a variety of patterns, and will not smudge once dry. While the cover make this journal stand out. The interior is equally high quality.
The pages are 120gsm and printed with dot grids. The book includes an elastic band to keep your journal closed and safe in transit. A pocket to collect small papers and a ribbon bookmark are also included.
Best For Cat Lovers: Miliko A5 Kitty Series Softcover Notebook
This cute series of cat notebooks by Miliko is perfect for an animal lover. It comes in 4 softcover notebooks of 80 pages each. The notebooks are fully recycled and include stickers. The pages are soft ivory and acid-free.
Mikiko has tested the journals for bullet journaling and it should withstand most writing tools without ghosting or bleeding. Because of their small size, they’re great for travelling or a person who likes to journal on the go.