How to Incorporate Doodles and Art Into Your Bullet Journal

A Bullet journal has evolved from a simple organizational tool into a canvas for creativity and self-expression. Incorporating doodles and art into your bullet journal not only makes it visually appealing, but also enhances your willingness to engage with the content.

Whether you’re an experienced artist of someone who’s just beginning to explore their creative side, adding artistic elements to your bullet journal can be a rewarding experience.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to incorporate doodles and art into your bullet journal.

1. Understanding the Basics

Before diving into doodling and artistic elements, it is a good idea to understand the basic structure of a typical bullet journal. A bullet journal normally consists of the following components:

  • Index: A table of contents for your journal.
  • Future Log: A place to record events, tasks and goals for the upcoming months.
  • Monthly Log: A calendar view of the current month with tasks and events.
  • Daily Log: Daily entries with tasks, notes and events.
  • Collections: Customized pages for tracking specific things like habits, books to read, movies to watch or fitness goals.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Having the right supplies can make a significant difference to your journaling experience. Having high quality supplies ensures the pages you create will be less likely to bleed and ghost. Here are some essentials:

  • Journal: If your going to be drawing using pens and markers or painting in your bullet journal, ensure the journal itself has a high GSM paper.
  • Pens: A variety of pens, including fine liners, gel pens, and brush pens are great for different types of doodling and lettering.
  • Markers: High-quality makers can add vibrant colors to your pages.
  • Pencils and Erasers: For sketching out designs before committing with ink.
  • Ruler: To keep lines straight and layouts neat.
  • Stickers and Washi Tape: These can add decorative elements without much effort.
How to use art in a bullet journal
Image: Bullet Planner Ideas

3. Start Simple

A lot of us haven’t done any art since school. If you’re new to doodling, start with simple shapes and patterns. Basic geometric shapes, lines, and dots can be used to create some fantastic layouts. Here are a few simple doodle ideas:

  • Borders: Use straight lines, zigzags, waves and dotted lines to create borders around your page or words.
  • Dividers: Use small icons like starts, hearts, arrows, or flowers to create sections and dividers.
  • Headers: Simple hand-lettered headers can be enhanced with underlines, banner, or shadow effects.
  • Stencils: If you’re still not confident to free-hand draw, use stencils to create shapes and letters.

4. Practice Doodle Techniques

As you gain confidence, you can start incorporating more complex doodles and drawings into your bullet journal. Here are some techniques to practice.

  • Floral Doodles: Flowers, leaves, plants and vines can add a touch of nature to your pages. Start with simple flowers like daisies and gradually move to more intricate designs.
  • Animal Doodles: Cute animals like cats, dogs, birds and rabbits can make your pages more fun and engaging. Cartoon and doodle versions can be easier to draw then more realistic designs.
  • Icons and Symbols: Draw small icons to represent different tasks and events. For example, a book icon for reading, a dumbbell for workouts, or a fork and knife for meal planning.
  • Scenes and Backgrounds: Create small scenes or backgrounds to add depth to your journal pages. For instance, a beach scene for a summer month or a cityscape for an urban theme.

Incorporate Art Into Different Sections

Not every page in your journal needs to be covered in art. Start with a few doodles in certain places. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate art into various sections of your bullet journal.

Monthly Log

  • Calendar page: Add small doodles related to your theme for the month. For example, leaves and pumpkins for October or sun and waves for July.
  • Monthly Overview: Use decorative headers and borders to make this section stand out. Highlight important dates with small icons or symbols.

Weekly Spread

  • Headers and Dividers: Use different lettering styles for the days of the week. Add dividers between each day with doodles or washi tape.
  • Task Lists: Use icons to represent different tasks. For example, a shopping cart for groceries, a laptop for work tasks, or a yoga pose for exercise.

Daily Log:

  • Event Highlights: Doodle pictures related to events or activities. For instance, draw a cake or balloon for a birthday or a plane for travel plans.
  • Mood Trackers: Create a mood tracker with different facial expressions or color-coded symbols to represent your mood each day.

Collections:

  • Books to Read: Draw books in a bookshelf or stack and write the titles on the spines.
  • Travel Plans: Sketch landmarks of where your are going, maps or travel related icons to make this collection visually appealing.
  • Fitness Goals: Use motivational quotes in fancy letting, and doodles of weights, running shoes or yoga mats.
putting art in a bullet journal
Image: Bullet Planner Ideas

6. Use Color Wisely

Color can bring a page to life, but it is essential to use if wisely to avoid overwhelming the page. Here are some tips:

  • Color Themes: Choose a colour theme for each month or week. This creates a cohesive look and makes your journal visually pleasing.
  • Highlighting: Use colors to highlight important information. For example use a bright color for deadlines or special events.
  • Gradients and Shading: Experiment with gradients and different shades of the same color to add depth to your drawings.
  • Use Contrasting Colors: These are colors on opposite sides of the color wheel which create high impact when put together. Colors such as purple and yellow, red and green, or blue and orange.

7. Get Inspired

Sometimes, finding inspirations and ideas of what to do can be the hardest part. Here are a few places to get inspired:

  • Pinterest and Instagram: Follow bullet journal enthusiasts and artists on social media for endless inspiration and ideas. (Like our Pinterest and Instagram pages).
  • Books and Magazines: Looks for books and magazines on drawing and hand lettering. These can provide step-by-step tutorials and new techniques to try.
  • Nature and Everyday Life: Take inspiration from the world around you. Nature, architecture and everyday objects can spark doodling ideas.
  • Blogs: Blogs just like this one can give you fantastic ideas for your next spread.

8. Embrace Imperfection

One of the most important aspects of incorporating art into your bullet journal is to embrace imperfection. Your journal is a personal space and it’s okay if your doodles aren’t perfect. Remember to doodle and draw things you enjoy, because it is your journal. Here are some ways to embrace imperfection:

  • Practice Regularly: The more you doodle, the better you’ll get. The best way to improve your artistic ability is to keep drawing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; they are part of the learning process.
  • Use Pencil First: Sketch out your design or doodles in pencil before committing with ink This allows you to make adjustments as needed.
  • Accept Flaws: Not every page will be perfect, and that’s okay. Focus on the overall process and the joy of creating.
using sketches in a bullet journal
Image: Bullet Planner Ideas

9. Explore Different Styles

Don’t limit yourself to one style of drawing or creating. Experiment with styles to find what you enjoy the most:

  • Minimalist: Simple, clean lines with minimal color
  • Whimsical: Fun, playful designs with bright colors and lots of details.
  • Vintage: Old-fasioned desings with sepia tones and intricate details.
  • Modern: Bold, contemporary designs with geometric shapes and patterns.

10. Combine Doodles with Functional Elements

Combining doodles with functional elements can make your bullet journal both beautiful and practical. Here are some ideas:

  • Mood Trackers: Create a mood tracker that incorporates doodles of different facial expressions or symbols to represent various emotions.
  • Habit Trackers: Use doodles to represent habits you want to track, such as water droplets for hydrations and water intact, or books for reading.
  • Gratitude Logs: Draw things related to what you are grateful each day. This can be anything from a cup of coffee to a sunny day.

Incorporating doodles and art into your bullet journal can transform it from a simple planner into a create outlet. Whether you’re a seasoned artist of just starting, there are endless ways to add artistic elements to your journal.

Start with simple shapes and patters, practice regularly and don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles. Most importantly, have fun, let our your inner creativity and enjoy the process of making your bullet journal uniquely yours.

Happy journaling.

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