How to Bullet Journal, the Complete No-Frills Guide for Busy Moms (Infographic)

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I have been seeing pictures of bullet journals floating around on pinterest for a long while now. And my first impression was “Wow, that is beautiful!” and then I thought “I don’t have time for that! I’m not an artist. Who are these people that have all this time to decorate their planners so perfectly?”

What I didn’t know is that these instagram and pinterest artists were merely embellishing on a very simple, yet mind-blowing, way to organize your life.

The best planner for busy moms is not a planner- it's a bullet journal. It's a great way to stay organized and juggle all your responsibilities.

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What is a Bullet Journal?

It is an organizational system that uses a simple blank notebook and pen.

Essentially, it is a planner. I know. I hate planners. I made that very clear here. But it does the job that a planner is supposed to do, but much better- because it is not rigid.

You don’t have to conform the way your mind organizes your life to fit into the lines of a packaged planner or even customized inserts.

What is a Bullet journal? a planner for busy moms

Who is a Bullet Journal for?

Everyone! Especially people who are busy, like order, like to make lists, have multiple roles, and lots of things to keep on top of. Sounds like a mom, right? That’s what I thought. I’ve been using mine for only two months, but I can tell I will be a life-long convert. I’m already imagining a bookshelf full of my old Bullet Journals packed with all the memories and things I care most about. Bullet Journal for fiction writers

How Do You Bullet Journal?

Want to be a BuJo Convert too? You can start your bullet journal in 5 steps.

1. Get a notebook and pen.

  • There is a debate about which notebook is best for Bullet Journaling, but I went with the Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover A5 grid paper journal. They also come in bigger sizes or with lined or dot grid paper- not to mention all the different cover colors. I chose the Leuchtturm1917 because of it’s features- an index, numbered pages, archival quality paper, archiving labels, and a pocket in the back.

  • I also use a regular ball point pen- but I made sure it is archival quality so the ink won’t fade and it’s also water-resistant. The Uniball Signo micro pens are my favorite. These are the pens that I’ve used since college. They write smoothly, they’re easy to find at any store, and they feel nice in my hand.
  • There’s no need to get fancy though, ANY blank notebook and pen will work.

Bullet Journal must-haves

2. Create an Index and number your pages.

  • If you go with the Leuchtturm1917, it already has an index in the front and numbered pages. Hence the main reason I chose this brand- it saves time! But if you just want to try it out, grab a spiral notebook and any pen lying around and give it a whirl.
  • The Index is where you will keep track of where you put your monthly and daily logs and any lists you make so you can easily find it again later. If you start a list (or collection) called “books to read” on page 19 and then continue it on page 105, you just make note of it in the index: “19, 105 Books to Read.” You can also go back to page 19 and draw an arrow and write “pg 105” as a note to yourself that this collection continues on that page. This is called threading.
  • Using the index and threading is what will keep your sanity. There is no need to guess how many pages you will need to allocate for a certain month or idea. You don’t need to worry about keeping it orderly or perfect- a must have for busy moms! Nothing in our lives is orderly or perfect. Except maybe our pinterest boards…

Bullet Journal Index

3. Make your Future Log

  • The future log is used to make note of upcoming events and appointments. Start your months where you are- not necessarily at the beginning of the calendar year.
  • When a new month begins, you will migrate these tasks and appointments to your new monthly log- which I will talk more about later.
  • To create your future log, just divide up your pages with enough room to dedicate to each month. Use more space if you have lot of things to keep note of, less if you have less.
  • I also use my future log to put in my monthly recurring tasks so I don’t forget them.

Bullet Journal Future log- keep your monthly recurring tasks here so you can remember to plan for them in the months to come

4. Make a Monthly Spread

  • Make a monthly log by writing a column with the numbers of the days of the month on one side and the first letter of each day of the week on the other. Next to the dates you fill in your holidays, events, and appointments you made note of in the future log.
  • The 2nd page of the monthly spread is a task list. You might find this unnecessary, I use it only sometimes when I have a lot going on that month.
  • I have personalized my monthly spread by adding a small column for my “focus.”

Bullet Journal Monthly spread with this month's focus and task list

5. Create a Daily Log

  • This is where the “bullet” part of the bullet journal comes in. Tasks, appointments, notes, and events all live happily in the daily log together. They don’t need to be spatially separated because they each have a special bullet to help you visually differentiate which type it is.
  • You make your daily log one day at a time. At the end of each day I write down any memories from the day and then start a new log with the tasks and appointments etc. for the next day. I’m a journaler by habit- I love to write down memories and thoughts- and I love to keep track of my life with to-do lists. Both of these things being together under the same date is life-changing for me.
  • You can change the bullets to your liking- just write down a key so you can remember what’s what. For instance, the original bullet journal key has a separate bullet for appointments and events. I just combined them together because it’s simpler for me.

Bullet Journal key and daily log

Bonus Tips:

Make your bullet journal usable. Don’t limit yourself to only writing perfectly or trying in vain to use fancy ink pens and going crazy with washi tape- unless that’s your thing. When it’s okay to mess it up, you will use it more. Did you notice how not perfect and covered in white-out my journal is?


Make it personal. Add in some collections that give your journal purpose and soul. Like a gratitude log or a collection of funny things your kids said.

Bullet Journal Gratitude log


Organize your goals in a way that invites you to be better. Challenge yourself to beat your best and mark your progress.

Weight loss inches tracker and motivational quote


Use your Bullet Journal to plan more pages for your Bullet Journal :p. Also, I like to use simple embellishments on my headers just for fun. These are totally not necessary, but as I am thinking of what to add I usually doodle a bit. It’s very calming to me.

Bullet Journal pages to add blogger mom


Wreck it with pages dedicated to your doodles and art from your kids. I have found that as I organize my life with the bullet journal, my bullet journal becomes a reflection of my life. It is an easy and integral way to preserve memories and keep track of milestones of my precious young kiddos.

Brain Dump bullet journal doodles


  • Ryder Caroll is the original idea man for the bullet journal. Here is how he describes it:
  • Want your BuJo to be pretty, but you don’t have time or the skills to make it a work of art? Here are some easy ways to embellish your Bullet Journal:

The best planner for busy moms is not a planner- it's a bullet journal. It's a great way to stay organized and juggle all your responsibilities.

Have you ever tried Bullet Journaling? Let us know in the comments!









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20 thoughts on “How to Bullet Journal, the Complete No-Frills Guide for Busy Moms (Infographic)

  1. Thanks for simplifying a bullet journal for me. I kept seeing images of these crazy artistic journals and thought “who the eff has time for that?!?!” I mean, I still wonder if I’d have time for it (or make time for it), but the way you describe it seems so much more do-able!

    1. I was really intimidated at first, but the core idea of it is truly simple, right? I think the Bullet Journal is what helps me make time for everything else.

  2. This is amazing. I’ve never heard of this method. But I like to write things down and keep lists, so this might be really awesome for me. Thanks!

  3. I think this is really cool. I’ve purchased planners/journals in the past and they just sit there. My go to is a spiral notebook and I never understood why… until this post. I like freedom. I love the idea that you can customize yet still have structure to get tasks done. Pretty awesome. You have persuaded me to try. Favorite part: the brain dump feature. I feel it’s so necessary for creativity!

    1. Yes, the wonderful Brain Dump. It’s definitely a must for me. I like freedom too, but I was always losing my random notes. This system has saved my sanity.

  4. Hello,

    I find the bullet journal very interesting, the only thing I struggle with is the future log. I’ve always “worked” with a yearly overview. I need to get a quick view of upcoming appointments and things to schedule in between. But it would be strange to draw or glue a yearly overview into the future log section. Don’t you think?

    1. Louise,
      It wouldn’t be strange at all. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal. You can change it to fit your needs. Put in what you use, and leave out what you don’t.

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