What Should I Have In My Bullet Journal

The point of keeping a bullet journal is to get yourself more organized and move on to healthier and more productive habits. However, in order to make your journal functional, you need to include necessary pages that will allow you to use the benefits of keeping a bullet journal. Otherwise, it can get messy, and your bullet journal will not work in your favor.

To make your bullet journal functional you should include mandatory pages, such as an index, daily log, monthly log, and a future log. Once you have these pages, you can decide on optional elements, like collections and trackers that will help you develop better habits and make you more productive.

If you are a bullet journal rookie, you probably do not know where to start when it comes to including things in your journal. To make your life easier, we have created a type of guideline that will help you create an organized and functional bullet journal. Keep reading to find out what kind of pages you need to add to your bullet journal!

What is a bullet journal?

If you haven’t heard the term before, a bullet journal is a mix of a planner, to-do list and reflection diary. It is a journaling system designed by Ryder Carroll who wanted to design a system to “help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

Bullet journals are not only a list of things you need to do for the day, but are designed to help you keep track of everything including achievements, goals and thoughts. It’s not only helpful for keeping you organised for the day-to-day and on track for your goals, but also a place to brain dump your mental load and cut through the overwhelm.

Essential Pages You Need To Have In A Bullet Journal

There are things that a bullet journal must have, and things that are optional, so journal enthusiasts can choose whether to add them or not. However, some pages are considered essential to a bullet journal, meaning you cannot omit them. These pages will serve to keep your organization on point and aid you in fulfilling your daily tasks more easily.

The essential pages can always be customized to your needs, but they need to be there so your journal can serve its purpose. Therefore, the following things need to be included in your bullet journal:

  • Index page
  • Future log
  • Monthly spread
  • Daily spread

Index Page

The index page is the first page of your bullet journal and it contains all of the content that is inside your notebook. The purpose of an index page is to allow you to navigate through your journal quickly and easily. This means that you will have to number the pages in your journal, but it also means that you will be able to find every page in a second.

bullet journal index page minimal
index page by @jihielephant

However, the index does not have to contain every single detail of your journal. You just add the most important pages that you need to find quickly every day. As you make your logs and spreads, you will simultaneously add them to your index page as you put numbers on the pages where you create the spreads.

Future Log

A future log is also known as a calendar page and it serves to present all upcoming events and tasks you may have throughout the year, or a time period of your choosing. The important thing is that you have this page in your bullet journal because it gives an overview of all your tasks for a month.

minimalist bullet journal future log spread
Future log by @bulletby_r

These pages do not include detailed information but only the big things or essentials. It is more of an overview about what you have coming up. Therefore, whenever you need to see what you have on your agenda, you will have everything in one place. In other words, a future log allows you to keep track of your future scheduled events, goals and tasks, but is not a blow-by-blow description.

A future log in your journal is similar to a yearly desk calendar. The only difference is that your desk calendar will be inside a notebook, and that notebook can be carried around everywhere you go. So, whenever you want to check your schedule, you have all of the information with just a glance.

Monthly Spread

A monthly spread is a page in your bullet journal that contains all your appointments and tasks for a single month. Many people claim that it is basically a future log, but if you design this page carefully, you will get a different result than what you have on a future log.

April Monthly Calendar Spread with yellow block letters in a bullet journal
Monthly spread by @bujobeyond

For instance, as you put dates and days of the week on these pages, you will have a certain amount of space for each day of the month. Therefore, you will have the chance to include a bunch of details for a specific event, rather than just an overview as you do on a future log. You can customize it to your needs and add additional elements that you need for your productivity.

Daily Spread

A daily spread is basically your to-do list for one day. A bullet journal will not function without this kind of page inside of it. A daily spread is basically what keeps you on track and improves your productivity throughout the day. We can say that the daily spread is the heart of your journal, and it is a must element in it.

minimalist schedule layout
Daily by @estudio_arco

As you are already aware, our lives cannot be planned on a monthly basis, i.e. you cannot plan everything beforehand because each day brings new tasks. Therefore, in the daily spread, you will be able to list everything you have to do in a day in more detail and add all of the things you were not able to add to the monthly spread.

You can always use different characters and symbols to present events, tasks, and notes in your daily spread, so you can easily differentiate them. The daily spread will help you do more things in a day and make sure you do not forget anything.

Optional Elements You May Want To Add To Your Bullet Journal

Once you have included the essential organizational pages in your bullet journal, you can think about adding optional elements that will work according to your needs and preferences. These elements can make your journal more functional but should know that you need to include only those who are really necessary for you. If you add elements that you do not use, then your journal will easily get messy, or you will end up using up pages without any reason.

The following elements can be added to your bullet journal and increase your productivity and lifestyle:

  • Weekly log
  • Healthy habit tracker
  • Goal tracker
  • Meal plans
  • Memory log
  • List of read books and watched movies/ TV shows
  • Brainstorming log 
  • Travel Log

Weekly Log

Many people consider that having a weekly log is not necessary for them since they already have a monthly spread, a daily spread, and a calendar page. A weekly log will help you organize your week and make a plan of what it will look like. However, if you already have your essential journal pages, you might realize that a weekly log will only take up space in your journal.

Healthy Habit Tracker

Although a healthy habit tracker is an optional element, we recommend that you include it in your bullet journal. A healthy habit tracker will allow you to incorporate new healthy habits that will be beneficial for the quality of your life. You can also use the tracker for habits you already have but you want to improve them.

Habit tracker by @drawingmavi

You can use your healthy habit tracker for things, such as daily water intake, healthy eating, and sleeping hours. You may already do some of these things, but when you have it on paper you are more motivated to keep going. Therefore, our advice is to give it a try!

Goal Tracker

There is no greater satisfaction than accomplished goals. However, when you set your goals in a particular place, in this case, your journal, you will be more inspired and motivated to accomplish them. Listing your goals and then accomplishing them offers a great deal of satisfaction, and it gives you a great overview of your achievements in a year.

A goal tracker will help you see everything you have accomplished, and it will give you ideas of how you can improve. Therefore, you should include a page in your bullet journal that is dedicated to your personal goals. 

Meal Plans

Have you ever tried eating healthily, but found it difficult due to busy schedules and poor planning? Well, when you have a meal plan page in your bullet journal you can easily make eating healthily an easy job. You get several benefits from keeping a meal plan page in your journal.

First, you get to plan your menu for the whole week, so you do not have to think about what you will eat each day. Second, when you know what you are eating the next day, you can prepare your meals beforehand, i.e. the night before. Lastly, you will not have to go shopping for groceries every single day because you can do your shopping at the beginning of the week.

Memory Log

Your bullet journal is not only a place for storing your tasks and appointments. It is true that its main purpose is to keep you organized, but it is still a journal, so it must have some personal things related to events that happened in your life.

Therefore, having a memory log inside your bullet journal is a way to keep your greatest memories in one place. You can always look at these pages when you want to remember some great things from your life, or when nostalgia hits and you want to go back in time.

While you are filling out your memory log, it is a great way to reflect on what you’ve been doing, so you are not always so focused on moving forward and ignoring the accomplishments you’ve had.

List Of Read Books And Watched Movies/ TV Shows

If you want to keep track of everything you read and watch, you can simply add a page to your bullet journal. You can modify this list by incorporating only favorites, so you will document what you have liked in a particular period of time. It is always a good idea to look back into this list when you want to watch or read something that you have already done before.

Books to read by @plansthatblossom

Brainstorming Log

A brainstorming log will allow you to store all of the ideas that come to your mind once in a while. There are moments in your life when you get truly inspired, but you can quickly forget your ideas. Having this kind of log in your bullet journal will help you remember your ideas and realize them when the time comes.

Travel Log

If you are a passionate traveler, you probably like documenting your journeys. You most likely do that by taking a bunch of photos with your camera. However, sometimes photographs are not enough to depict the moments you have experienced during your trips.

That is why it is a good idea to keep a travel log in your bullet journal and store all of your experiences in one place. After some time, you can get back to reading about these experiences, and learn what you can do for your next trip to make it better and more joyful.    

5 Tips To Keep In Mind When Starting A Bullet Journal

The beginning of a bullet journal can be difficult, so a few tips related to keeping a bullet journal can come in handy (for more beginner journaling tips, find our guide here). You should know that even if keeping a journal seems easy, it can be time-consuming, especially at the beginning when you do not actually know what you are doing. Here are some useful tips that might help you find yourself around keeping a functional bullet journal.

1.   Keep It Simple And Stick To The Basics

If you have never kept a bullet journal before, you might find the whole concept overwhelming. If you want to do it right, then it is better to keep your journal simple and stick to the basics. Make sure that you add the essentials at the very beginning and then add new things each month. Do not expect that you will be able to handle everything at first, so just make sure to do things step by step.

2.   Consider Your First Journal As A Practice Notebook

As previously mentioned, if you are a rookie, you will never be able to handle everything properly at first. Therefore, it is a benefit to consider your first journal as a practice notebook. You will make a lot of mistakes, but that is how you will learn to become better at journaling in the future.

Therefore, do not spend a lot of money on your practice notebook. You can use just a regular one for your practice, and once you learn your way around your journal, you can select a specialized dotted journal notebook and truly enjoy it.

3.   Do Your Formatting And Sketching In Pencil At First

Considering that it is your first time, do not expect to do an excellent job at first, especially when it comes to formatting and sketching. That is why we recommend that you do all of the formatting and sketching in pencil at first. You may have artistic talent, but if you have never created a bulleted journal, you are surely up for a lot of mistakes.

4.   Expect Mistakes

Every first time is prone to mistakes, so expect that you will do a lot of them. However, this should not discourage you because it is a completely normal occurrence. Moreover, do not look at mistakes as your failure but as an opportunity to learn and become better.

5.   Search For Bullet Journal Ideas For Inspiration

There is not only one way to create a bullet journal. There are so many creative options to make your journal more interesting and functional. If you do not have an idea what your journal is going to look like, make sure that you explore the internet for numerous options.

This is a great way to get inspired and make your journal look just like you have imagined. Check out our spread inspiration section for some ideas to get you started. Instagram and Pinterest are also full of ideas for bullet journals, so do not miss out on the opportunity to save some screenshots and use them for your own journal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should Be At The Beginning Of My Bullet Journal?

Generally, your first page of a bullet journal should be the index page. This is the page that shows what is included in the whole journal. After the index page, you should consider adding the calendar page for the whole year.

How You Can Improve The Look Of Your Bullet Journal?

To make your bullet journal look pretty, first make sure that you use a lot of colorful brush pens and pencils. These are kinds of mandatory supplies. Even if you are not great at drawing, just adding a bit of color can really help liven up your journal. If you want to get your journal to the next level, you can try using washi tape, pastel colors, and stickers.

How Many Pages Should A Bullet Journal Have?

The number of pages included in a bullet journal depends on the notebook you select to be your journal. There are different types of journal notebooks, and the page range usually goes from 124 to 249. The Official Bullet Journal, which was created by Leuchtturm and Ryder Carroll, contains 185 pages.

But when you run out of pages in one journal, just get another and keep going.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you need to start creating your bullet journal by adding the essentials, such as daily and monthly spreads. Later you can move on to inserting more elements that you think will be helpful to your journaling process. Hopefully, our guidelines will help you begin your journaling adventure the right way!


Okay – I know. You are probably wondering ‘Why do I need a course to Bullet Journal?’ and the answer is that you don’t.. BUT if you want to get REALLY good at something you need to learn from someone who has done it before and is better at it than you are! Whitney and her team are those people that can teach you better than any Instagram or blogger can!

This course has 10 different teachers teaching you the ins and outs of starting your Bullet Journal and using advanced techniques inside of it to increase your productivity in 40 guided videos. On top of this they include 100 Printables that you would use throughout the course for your bujo!

Check out Whitney’s Journal You course – you will NOT be unsatisfied with the results it brings you!

If you want to see more from us then follow along:

Don’t forget to pin