When you are new to bullet journaling, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out ’the right way’ to bullet journal.
In short, there is no right way - however a lingering question may be what bullet journal is best?
That question can be interpreted many different ways, from notebook, paper type, or bullet journal style. In this article we will help you figure out what type of bullet journal is best for you so that you can start living a more organized and productive life.
It would be hard to start a bullet journal without having a notebook handy. A notebook can also be a big investment, depending on the brand or size, so it’s an understandibly overwhelming choice to any newbie.
The most popular size of notebook in the bullet journal community is A5. The size allows for the journal to be easily carried around, yet there is still enough room on each page to jot down all the important things.
A5 isn’t the only choice, however. There’s also A4 which is significantly larger, or A6 which is classified as a pocket size. Below, we have narrowed down the reasons why you may choose each of those sizes, and hopefully it helps in your notebook buying journey.
A5 would be right for you if..
- You want your journal to be portable. A5 notebooks easily fit in a purse or backpack. Portability is a huge consideration in purchasing a notebook, as your journal needs to be easily accessible in order to be useful. If you can’t carry it around with you, and instead leave it at home, it will be more likely for tasks to be forgotten.
- You want tried and true - there’s a reason this size is popular amoung the bullet journal community. You’re also likely to find almost any brand of popular notebook in this size.
A4 would be right for you if…
- You work from home, or don’t find yourself travelling often. Bullet journals are often used for a mixture of work and personal tasks and appointments. If you have a home based office, theres a high chance you don’t need your bullet journal to leave the house with you. A4 journals provide significantly more space so if portabibility isn’t a concern you may appreciate the room within an A4 notebook.
A6 would be right for you if…
- You like bare bones planning. A6 pages don’t allow for a ton of writing space. If you are attracted to the original bullet journal method (i.e. bullets and tasks lists), then an A6 notebook may be perfect for you!
- You simply need somewhere to jot down your to-do list. Alloting one page per day, an A6 notebook may be a perfect choice to keep your running to do list.
If you want to compare the paper sizes, checkout this cool tool.
There is a lot to consider when choosing which bullet journal notebook is right for you. You may even want to go against the grain with an increasingly popular trend - a digital bullet journal using an iPad and a program like Goodnotes.
We won’t venture down that rabbit hole today, but it is important to note that there are so many different vehicles with which to bullet journal.
Once you have chosen which notebook you want, you often have the choice of paper to consider after. Common paper types in notebooks include blank, lined, graph, or dot grid. The most common type of paper in the bullet journal community is by far dot grid.
Dot grid paper allows for almost endless journaling possibility - while still providing the structure that blank paper doesn’t have.
Dot grid paper is generally faint enough that it doesn’t distract from the writing that is on the page. Armed with a pencil and a ruler, and dot grid paper can help you create the bullet journal of your dreams.
Dot grid paper, however, might not be the right choice for you. Just because seemingly everyone else uses that paper, there may be a reason you go down a different path.
If you are a brand new bullet journaler, you may not want to invest a ton of money into a new notebook. I am willing to bet that you have a lined notebook sitting around. A lined notebook can be a great place to start when dipping your toes into bullet journaling!
Blank paper can be a fun choice for those artistic bullet journalers, or those who want to glue printables (or stickers!) into their notebook instead of creating the layouts by hand.
Bullet Journal Style
The last thing to consider when answering the question what bullet journal is best, would be bullet journal style. The amazing thing about bullet journaling is that there are so many different styles. Scrolling through popular hashtags on Instagram, or Pinterest, you will be faced with so many different ways of creating a bullet journal.
Typically those who bullet journal can be placed in one of two seperate groups of people - the creative planners, and the minimalist planners. Typically, it all comes down to time.
How much time to do you have to spend on your bullet journal? If you are absolutely swamped, and can barely take a second to breath, you might want to focus on a more minimalist way of planning.
After all, your bullet journal is supposed to help you be more productive, not take away from your productivity. Typically a more minimalist bullet journal is akin to Ryder Carrol’s original bullet journal method.
Creative planning typically works for those with more time, or that include setting up their planner as a method of self care. Creative planning can also be a fantastic way to spend unplugged time away from the screen (perhaps before bed, or first thing in the morning).
Minimalist journals will usually be more black & white, while creative journals involve lots of colour and doodles.
However, if you think you fit more into the minimalist group but want to add some flare, washi tape, stickers, and printables can be a great way to spruce up your notebook while racing the clock.
At the end of the day it is important to think about what ways your want your Bullet Journal to help you.
The question which bullet journal is best can be very complex, and it ultimately comes down to the ways you want your bullet journal to benefit your life.
I suggest figuring out what your priorities are, and how you envision your bullet journal will help you, in determining which bullet journal is best for you. What is best for me, or someone on Instagram, will not necessarily be what is best for you.
I hope that by breaking down the different notebooks, paper types, and styles of bullet journal, you are ready to take the first step.
The flexibility of a bullet journal means that you can always change your mind, and you are not locked in to a full year like you would be with a preprinted planner. There is no better time begin than the present.
What type of bullet journal is best for you?