A Beginner’s Guide to Bullet Journals

Posted by Lauren Thompson on Apr 21, 2022 11:39:56 AM

Organisation. It’s something a lot of people strive for. Whether in our work or personal lives, it can be a challenge to get everything ticked off, whilst also keeping track of all the moving parts.

Perhaps you’re a bit of a stationery junkie, forever on the hunt for a life-changing organisational app, or maybe you’re old school and live by a good old fashioned pen and paper to-do list. Maybe you relate to all or none of the above, and are just looking for a system that works for you. If you’re still after the perfect organisational solution, perhaps bullet journalling is for you.

What is bullet journalling?

Popularised by Pinterest and discussed at length across social platforms, news outlets and forums, bullet journals are the feel-good organisational craze that simply won’t go away. 

Created by digital product designer and author Ryder Carroll, bullet journalling was introduced through his personal website in 2013. Little did he know at the time that his innovative new style of journalling would take off the way it did.

A hybrid cross between a daily planner, to-do list, habit tracker and diary all rolled into one, Carroll describes bullet journalling as a method to ‘help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.’

The appeal of bullet journalling can be put down to its adaptability. There are no hard-line rules for how to keep a bullet journal, as doing so is intrinsically about making the practice work on an individual basis. Whether your priority is recording your progress and achievements, jotting down daily musings, reflections and inspiration, or keeping track of your goals ⁠— bullet journals can effectively help you do these things in an organised and creative way. 


Setting up your bullet journal doesn’t have to take long. This short video tutorial by founder Ryder Carroll himself will help you begin laying out your bullet journal.

Bullet journal trends & styles

Bullet journalling involves all the standard administrative aspects as any other organisational method. However, what sets it apart from other systems is its multimedia element. This can include drawing and doodling, accessorising, and even painting. While these extra creative touches aren’t for everyone, they certainly add character to style to what is otherwise simply a tool. Interactive elements like placing stickers or washi tape alongside targets to measure progress are not only more aesthetically pleasing, but can prove to be a motivational way of gamifying your goals, and an extra level of enrichment.

According to research by the National Library of Medicine, journalling of any kind can positively affect memory retention by acting as a physical extension of your cerebral memory. Visual prompts and cues are also known to improve memory retention, with an estimated 40% of society thought to be made up of visual learners. 

With this in mind, many bullet journalling trends have sprung from the idea that designing your ideal journal to fit your visual and organisational needs can help you thrive. Some examples of popular styles are as follows.

1. Artistic flair

Perfect for people who love to sketch, or include eye-catching calligraphy among their lists. For those with less time or artistic talent who appreciate the appeal of an artfully placed image, US-based brand Designer Stencils offers a lovely range of reusable stencils suitable for all your crafting and journalling needs.

2. Minimalism

Simple and clean. This is a popular trend for those who like to keep things simple and practical.

Leave space to let the writing and lists to the talking. If you’re looking to intersperse the simplicity with occasional pops of colour, London-based brand Nolki offers the perfect aesthetic. Get organised with their variety of bold washi tapes. From punchy geometric designs for sectioning off different projects, to week-tracker tape, daily tracker tape, and organisational sticker tape. Who says you can’t have fun with a minimal aesthetic?

3. Crafty

Got a penchant for craft projects? Let that shine through in your bullet journal style with decoratives tapes and stickers. Devon-based Sarah Frances’ Days of the Week washi tape offers an adorably practical solution for pretty yet practical organisation. Bullet journal enthusiasts are sure to find something to suit their style amid her range of stickers and tapes.

For a more whimsical vibe, US-based brand Elyse Breanne Design stocks beautiful decorative stickers featuring everything from inspirational quotes to dreamy botanical designs.

Why stock bullet journals?

Bullet journals are a fantastic addition to any stationery or lifestyle product offering. Unlike their dated counterparts, bullet journals don’t expire. Useful year-round, their layout means they’re ready to be used any time of year. They’re also an attractive option for anyone simply seeking dotted notepaper, which has countless uses outside of the popularity of bullet journalling. Flexible without being seasonal, bullet journals are a pretty low-risk option when it comes to stocking your shop.

It’s also worth mentioning that according to Google Trends, demand for bullet journals does tend to peak quite consistently between December and January. As regular users seek to replace their old journal, new users may decide to hop on the bandwagon at this time of year for a fresh start. Consider stocking bullet journal accessories such as stickers, colourful tapes, highlighters, gel pens and more to keep your store front of mind for all those bullet journal enthusiasts coming back throughout the year.

Choosing your bullet journal

When it comes to choosing wholesale bullet journals to stock in your shop, there’s a whole world of options available to you. Below are some of our top picks, available to purchase from sellers in the CREOATE community.

1. Nathalie Ouderni

Based in: Barcelona, Spain

Shop wholesale: https://creoate.com/store/nathalie-ouderni/

Illustrated and designed in the home studio of Nathalie Ouderni, these nature-inspired bullet journals are just adorable. Nathalie is a French illustrator living in sunny Barcelona, and she loves working with vibrant colours to illustrate sceneries and patterns inspired by nature, animals and beautiful landscapes of the world. Her work has been featured in books, magazines, on packaging and more.

2. Pepa Lani

Shop wholesale: https://creoate.com/store/pepa-lani/

Pepa Lani stands for paper and space in Hawaiian, and offers customers exactly that with wonderful stationery: paper and space for the creativity of everyday being and acting. Founded by Thilo Kanther in Krefeld in 2020, Thilo had always dreamed of starting his own business. Pepa Lani was founded through his long-held passion for art and stationery. Pepa Lani’s goal is to create beautiful products while respecting people and the environment. Their bullet journals, as well as their various notebooks, calendars and home office products are designed to help customers find time for themselves, reflect, and find peace and tranquility in an overcrowded, overstimulated and overly complex world.

3. Ponderlily

Based in: Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom (UK)

Shop wholesale: https://creoate.com/store/ponderlily/

Ponderlily was founded by Carina Lawson, a Brazilian-born, Arabian Gulf-raised, Brit-wed, higher-ed executive and twin mum with a plan: to ignite joy, purpose, and empowerment in women striving for a life of fullness, not busyness. Frustrated by the lack of functional planners on the market, Carina sought a solution to complement the lives of busy, brilliant women. Women who are sophisticated, smart, and savvy—with a lot to keep track of. Ponderlily’s bullet journal offering is smart and minimal, perfect for those who value elegant simplicity.

4. Dzukou

Based in: Delft, Netherlands

Shop wholesale: https://creoate.com/store/dzukou/section/617/

An honest company with a sincere mission, Dzukou was founded by Lars and Prarthana with a vision to minimise plastic usage in our daily lives. Alongside the environmental benefits, well-designed products with eco-materials offer a better experience than plastic products. Dzukou’s bullet journals echo this ethos, with beautifully finished hardcover journals in bamboo and linen. The perfect companions for those who like to store their thoughts, ideas and plans safely in an eco-friendly product combining aesthetic, functionality and style.

5. Chickidee

Based in: Tonbridge, United Kingdom (UK)

Shop wholesale: https://creoate.com/store/chickidee-homeware/section/617/

Chickidee is a British independent home interiors brand, designing beautifully affordable interiors that positively affect how we feel. Proponents of mindful design, their vegan leather bullet journals encourage organisation and mindfulness, allowing you to creatively journal on dotted pages which are perfect for doodling, creating tables and writing lists.

Tags: Trends


Lauren Thompson

Written by Lauren Thompson





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