Don’t Tell My Bullet Journal, But I Bought A New Notebook.

Before I started using the bullet journal system three years ago, I would carry around as many as 4 notebooks/calendars with me at one given time. A small pocket calendar for my purse. A large planner for my work bag. A large journal/sketchbook. A small notebook. But the wonderful thing about the bullet journal is I can do everything I need to do in ONE notebook that fits in my purse. GONE are the days of second mortgages on houses to pay for 14 planners or calendars a year (because no ONE planner or calendar ever fit the bill completely) and 72 notebooks. Nope! One notebook! All the time!

Until recently.

This is very hard to admit. But I have decided the bullet journal doesn’t work perfectly for everything.

It started because I wanted to start logging my food as my running/training has changed and I need to readjust my calorie intake so I don’t gain 50lbs because I’m still eating like an ultra runner. Well, two pages into the food log in my bullet journal and I was thinking: Why am I wasting pages on this? To Do lists at least give me a later snapshot of my life. But my food/calorie log? This is a terrible waste of space.


So, I bought a 3-pack of small notebooks. And I started writing down my food/calories one of them. Now it didn’t feel like a silly waste of pages in my bullet journal where one whole week of planning took up one 2-page spread but 7 days of food logging took up 3 times that. Instead? I just log in this guy which can be disposed of without any guilt.


But I also realized it works for the long grocery lists too. I keep a section on my weekly spread “TO BUY” to note when we run out of things or when weird stuff pops up I need throughout a week, but when I sit down and put my meals in my daily spread I need to write down the associated foods needed and I don’t really want to waste a full page on my bullet journal for that either. And since I have this tiny notebook already floating around my purse, I’ve started doing grocery lists in that.


This makes it easier for my daughter to help me too, because she likes to be in charge of marking off the list as we go throughout the store. It’s harder for her to do that carrying around my bullet journal.

But I feel like I have to justify myself TO MY BULLET JOURNAL.

Dear Bu Jo, You are still the top in my world, but you’re so important I don’t want to waste pages in you with things that are not necessary for the whole #PlanDocumentCreate motto. Please forgive me.


Tools I Use:
Notebook: Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Hardcover Dotted
Cover: Custom cover with trail marker from my favorite local race. Made by Makers South
Pens: Currently loving the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pens, Fine Point

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  1. When I converted to a plant-based diet, I had to relearn how to feed myself and my family. I felt the need for a breakout section to keep track of recipes I needed to try, and to track the recipes as I tried them and tweaked them over time. My solution? I switched to a Traveler’s Notebook. If you’re not familiar with this, just do an internet search (or try Pinterest). I have a booklet for my buJo, one for random collections, one for my recipes and one for a commonplace book. Each booklet is easily removable (i.e. for your shopping list). My cover is gorgeous (a sparkly gold vinyl), and you can choose to use dotted for one booklet, blank for another, and grid for yet a third, so that each section can be ideal for its purpose! I will never go back to any other BuJo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I bought 4 spiral dotted notebooks so I can do fitness bullet journaling. They come tomorrow (hopefully! I am relying on FedEx for this ;)). I’ll start tracking next Monday ๐Ÿ˜€

    I find I work better with full-size (and that breaks my heart because I have an unopened pink 1917 sitting here :'(

  3. I started using a travelers notebook / midori system. It has separate notebooks for collections and I loooove it! Right now I have a weekly insert, monthly insert and just a notebook for random things (mostly “shrimpieisms”, doodling, etc. eventually, I transfer things worth saving into their own collection notebook (I have one dedicated to Shrimpie’s funny sayings, but don’t fewl the need to always have it with me).

  4. Magan Lakeway says:

    I have a little muji notebook that lays nice and flat (like the Leuchtturms do) that I keep for each Bible Study my small group does. It only has 30 pages of paper (30 pages to write on) but it’s a nice size to keep track of prayer requests and verses and quotes that I want to remember. And did I say it lays flat open?? But it’s only a great size for when I am intentional about carrying it around. It is not allowed to camp in my purse.
    I can see where a much smaller notebook would serve your purpose better — easy to keep in your purse all the time.
    I will copy some verses and quotes over to my bujo (I put them in my dailies, but I stick a big shiny star by them.) I’m wondering if that might be work for others – carrying highlights from the small notebooks to the dailies (or a dedicated page) in the bujo. I have a place where I keep all my recipes — but two dedicated pages in my bujo for favorite smoothie recipes. Just to make them easy to find.
    Thinking out loud.

  5. Diana says:

    I am about to start using an Arc System from staples which has the notebook where the pages are detachable. It’s a pretty cool system. Check it out. This way you don’t feel like you are wasting pages and you’re not destroying your journal by tearing out pages.

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