Tools and Tips for Creating Your Bullet Journal

Tools & Tips for Creating Your Bullet Journal


Welcome back to our 4 weeks of How to Use a Bullet Journal and Spring Giveaway!  We appreciate your interest in Bullet Journals and the giveaway.

Here in Ontario, stores are closed for in-person shopping but we are always happy to see our lovely customers for curbside pick-up. 

Online we are open 24/7 and do so appreciate all our subscribers. We continue to do our best to offer interesting and timely blogs and news on a variety of topics. If there is ever anything you would like to know more about, simply leave a comment and we will be sure to get back to you.


We did already touch upon collections in last week's blog. They are the place for you to add everything that doesn’t fit into any of the categories you’ve set up. Collections can be: 

  • Lists
  • Information dumps
  • Maps
  • Projects
  • And more…

They are a great place to get information written down on a page that you don’t necessarily have anywhere else to add. Putting something into a collection can help you simply get something out of your head and onto paper.

Setting Up a Collection

Setting up a collection is as easy as turning to the next blank page, putting a title and starting to write. Always remember to add it to your index so you can find it easily in the future.

An alternative is to add your new collection to the back of your Bullet Journal so it doesn’t interfere with the flow of your dailies, weeklies, and monthlies. It’s your preference that counts the most. Some people even keep a separate journal just for their collections. Remember there is no right or wrong way as long as you feel your choice helps keep you organized and moving in the direction you want to.

Here's a great video that shows some collections:


4 Collections That Will Inspire

1. Memory Collection

A bonus of creating a Bullet Journal is the fact that it becomes a sort of time capsule. Flipping back through the pages will help you remember moments of your life through your goals, appointments notes, and doodles. This is a benefit that you can take advantage of in a unique way.

After each monthly, you can set aside space for a memory collection. As you go through your month, make a note of any events or thoughts that you can benefit from in the future. We forget so much, so quickly - do you remember what you did last week Thursday? This will help you go back and recall even small events in a day that had an impact, however small, on your life. 

Over time, certain memories may fade or the memory may evolve. This way you can keep track of it and the date it happened.

2. Meal & Recipe Planning

Figuring out what to make for dinner, keeping track of recipes, and creating a grocery list can be some of the most challenging tasks in our daily lives. Maybe it comes easily to you, but not to the majority of us. 

A meal or recipe collection is the perfect place to track recipes you come across and also to jot down ideas for your next meal. Having them in a collection can really help when planning. 

Here is a great system you can try using sticky notes from our unique collection:

sticky notes for bullet journal

Each time you have a new recipe you want to try, jot it down on a sticky note. Go to your Meal & Recipe Collection and stick it on the first page of the spread. The first page can be recipes you want to try. Once you’ve tried a recipe and like it, simply move it to the opposite page. The opposite page can be meals you’ve enjoyed and want to incorporate into your regular rotation.

If you are really into meal planning and recipes, having separate collections is an option. The thing to keep in mind is it has to work for you and enhance your life.

3. Gratitude Collection

From Oprah to your friend on Facebook, it seems that many people talk about keeping a gratitude journal. Like exercise and eating well will improve your life, so will being grateful. Not to blindly jump on this long-living trend, there is proof that keeping a gratitude journal does help.

According to Berkley Univerity’s Greater Good Science Center, studies have shown interesting benefits in keeping track through writing, things we are grateful for. Some of the benefits are less illness, more happiness, and better sleep. Click on over to the Greater Good’s website if you want to find out more about keeping track of gratitude and how to make it work for you.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Focus on events that are interesting or surprising.
  • Think of people rather than things.

4. Goals

Like New Year’s Resolutions, it seems that goals are destined to fail. However, writing them down (in your Bullet Journal), and keeping track of them can help you to reach them.

Before you take the next two pages and write “Goals” across the top, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First of all, your goals should be SMART!

smart goals

In an article by Positive Psychology, goals play an important role in the way we see ourselves and others. You are more likely to have a positive approach to life if you are focused and goal-oriented. Studies have also demonstrated that if you train your mind to focus on what you want in life and take steps to make it happen, your brain will automatically rewire itself to make it part of your self-identity.

When you’re ready to set up your Goal Collection, here are 4 steps that will help you along the way:

  1. Plan - don’t just expect things to happen without putting steps in place.
  2. Explore Resources - Consult with experts, find a mentor, do research.
  3. Accountability - Pair up with someone you have to be accountable to and you will be less likely to fail.
  4. Rewards - Having a reward makes sticking to your plan easier. 


A very useful tool you can add to your Bullet Journal is a tracker. A tracker can help you to be more organized and stay on top of your goals. Keeping a tracker can help you to build a habit. There are trackers for almost anything you can imagine. From business to health.

water tracker bullet journal

Some tracker ideas for inspiration:

  • Water - stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Weight-loss - you are more likely to succeed if you keep track.
  • Mood - a helpful way to track your mood and become aware of your mental health.
  • Financial - a great place to keep your budget.
  • Travel - where you want to go when you finally can again.

Tips for Beginners from Experts


bullet journal tips and tricks


If you’re just starting out with your first Bullet Journal, a good piece of advice is to not try everything at once. Simply setting it up and adding in the first monthlies and dailies is enough to get started. If you take on too much at once, you are less likely to keep using your Bullet Journal.

If you start with a limited scope, you will get more used to it and then you can start adding in collections or trackers here and there. As you start to enjoy it more and see the results, you’ll look forward to adding in something new.


A Bullet Journal is not something that will immediately become your favourite tool. Like anything useful, it will come with time and it’s worth waiting for. Slowly you will be able to integrate your Bullet Journal into your life. It really is worth the investment of your time.

Mine is Better Than Yours

If you browse Pinterest, you can see so many examples of beautiful Bullet Journal spreads, collections, gorgeous artwork, and sophisticated organization. The thing to remember is it takes time to develop a really beautiful, artistic journal and that isn’t really the point of one, is it?

Getting inspiration from other Bullet Journals is a great idea but it's more important to have it actually help you organize your life rather than be something you want to frame. Although, we must admit, it's great to see what people have done! Next week we are going to look at some specific examples to give the artist in you an opportunity to be inspired!

Try it Out

Possibly the best piece of advice is to try out what you think you might like and practice. Your Bullet Journal skills will evolve as you try new things and get better at them. Changing up your Bullet Journal routine once you get the hang of it will bring you more rewards. 

Sometimes you can create a spread with the best of intentions and then never use it. Not every tool, collection or tracker we add to our Bullet Journals is used. What might look great may not actually be helpful.

Good Quality Journal

While it may be tempting to pick up a really inexpensive journal, you will find that paper quality does make a difference. Good quality paper will make your pages more useable with different pens, markers, even paint. You won’t get any bleed-through and you’ll be happier with your work. We offer journals at a range of prices and all good quality paper: Leuchtturm, Clairefontaine, Rhodia.


Leuchtturm bullet journal

Bullet Journals in a Time of Pandemic

Maybe you’ve been baking bread or starting a new hobby during the various lockdowns. Perhaps you’re feeling a little lost or out of sorts? This can be a great time to start a Bullet Journal! It can bring you a little comfort and structure in a time where there is often few other ways to get that.

Self-Care Collection

What better time to focus on self-care than now? Some of us even have more time than before. It’s easy to get caught up in the news and the stresses of these times. Not to diminish anyone’s experience but simply to offer some ideas. Taking a moment for yourself to either create a Bullet Journal or add a self-care collection to help to put things into perspective.

Next week will be our last installment in the Bullet Journal Series. We will also announce the winner of our Spring Giveaway $50 Gift Card to be used online.

Look to next week to learn about different styles, migrating, digital journals, and finishing your Bullet Journal!


Celebrating Spring with a Bullet Journal Giveaway!


As a thank-you to all our email newsletter subscribers, we are having a giveaway! 

 We will be giving away a digital gift card - value $50 -  to one winner. This can be used toward setting yourself up for creating a Bullet Journal or whatever you would like from our online store.

As an additional thank you, every one of our subscribers will receive 15% off their next purchase by using a special code which we will email to you.

 If you are currently a subscriber to our list, you are automatically entered. If you would like to subscribe, please click on the red subscribe button below. 


Contest Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. ONLY AN EMAIL ADDRESS is required.  By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor and Administrator. Void where prohibited by law.
Contest is open to legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority in their respective province or territory of residence at the time of entry. Employees or contractors of the Sponsor(s) and immediate family members of, and any persons domiciled with any such employees or contractors, are not eligible to enter. 
1 winner will be chosen at random using the Google Random Number Selector widget. The odds of winning will depend on the number of entries received. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. Administrators are not responsible for prize fulfilment nor for any technical failures. Winning entry will be verified. A list of winners will be displayed on the giveaway widget on the original contest post.
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Please contact Paper Papier for any questions.