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GUEST BLOG Mindful, Creative and Joy-Sparking - Bullet Journalling for Newbies

 Colourful lettering 'bullet journal' and doodles - the first page of Ali's bullet journal

Bullet Journal newbie and diary-sceptic Alison McKenzie, shares her 2022 bullet journal journey so far! 

As December last year drew to a close, I turned my attention to what diary or planner I was going to invest in for 2022. After speaking to my stationery-loving friend, my interest in Bullet Journalling was piqued. My friend loaned me her book, The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, creator of the method, which I eagerly devoured as I realised that this was something that could really work for me.

Using nothing more than a pen and paper with the Bullet Journal method, you can “track your past, order your present, and plan your future”.

Part of the appeal of the Bullet Journal method for me is that it is highly flexible, and you can customise your journal in a way that suits you best. It can be used as a diary, a to-do list, a tracker, a creative outlet, or any combination of these.

Since starting my Bullet Journal at the beginning of this year, I find myself looking forward to that quiet moment each day, where I open my journal, and I can review and document what I have achieved, and plan what I still need to do.

I see my journal not only as a planner, but as a tool for self-care and reflection.

My journal most definitely serves as a creative outlet and I look forward to spending time creating new themes for my monthly and daily logs and spreads.Two bullet journal layouts - 1 for a child's birthday party with balloon doodles and pens and 2 an illustration of a house with plans for home improvements drawn in each roomAll you need to start a Bullet Journal is a blank notebook and a pen! I opted for a stationery classic, the softcover Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook in Port Red and erasable Pilot Frixion pen in violet.

A dotted notebook is ideal if you want to add creative flair and unique designs to your journal as the dots are not as intrusive as lines and are an excellent guide to help you draw straight lines when sketching or creating separations in your pages.Two images side by side - 1 of The Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Caroll, a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook and pencil case and 2 - a Springy styled March day-by-day bullet journal layoutYou can, of course, keep your Bullet Journal as plain and simple as you like, but for me, part of the appeal is adding my own touches with sketches and doodles.

Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media channels all have a healthy supply of Bullet Journal inspiration for the #BuJo novice to draw from. Stickers and washi tape are a super quick and easy way to add some colour and quirky highlights to your journal.


4 images showing a Valentine's Day themed February day-to-day bullet journal layout and a March Spring month bullet journal layout with doodles of snowdrops


The beauty of the Bullet Journal method is you don’t need to wait for the New Year to begin - you can get started at any time - as you are in control of what goes into your journal, layout and themes.

I am surprised at myself for sticking with the Bullet Journal. Most years I buy a new diary and then forget to write things down in it and it ends up in a drawer, almost unused.

I think the fact that my Bullet Journal is unique and completely personalised for me is the reason it is enduring for me. It promotes mindfulness and brings me joy as a creative outlet. It eases the stress of the mental load. I love my Bullet Journal!

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