Bullet Journal Pages/Spreads

No Frills Bullet Journaling

Here is my first bullet journal, started 4 years ago this month!

In the four since since I’ve started this system (I’m currently on volume 14) I’ve made some really beautiful spreads and pages using washi tape and zendoodles and brush markers and stickers and hand lettering…and…and…

You get the point.

But most days? 99% of the time even? It’s just the basics. As a matter of fact, I haven’t done anything really pretty in awhile. I don’t have any fun natural lettering talents (although I’d love to learn some day), I don’t always have my washi tape on me, and most importantly? I don’t have the time. Most days I’m just working my way through my weekly spreads which I just barely jazz up with the only letter I know how to do. And it’s not even that great.

But you know what? That’s okay. We see bullet journalers on instagram with these gorgeous spreads marking words of wisdom or daily weather reports or beautiful lettering and sometimes it can freeze us into inaction. But the point of the system is simplicity. Is function. It’s whatever YOU need it to be FOR YOU and it doesn’t matter how pretty your handwriting is or how often you misspell “Tuesday.”

(I misspell Tuesday ALL THE TIME.)

Even when I have something fun I want to document (because remember, my motto is Plan, Document, and Create) I often just throw the memorobilia on a page with scotch tape.

More often than not, I’m writing and taping random stuff in there to help me remember things. We just bought a new house and during the sell/buying/repair/rennovation process I wanted to remember who we used for what. And then I also wanted to remember what I’m allowed to recycle and how I should do it. These things maybe could had been done in some artistic what worthy of an instagram photo but I really just needed the function at that point and didn’t have time to be creative.

So don’t be fooled if I randomly share out some pretty spread or art or lettering on my instagram account. I truthfully only have a few of those “pretty” pages per volume. Most of my pages are function that I sometimes spice up with fun ink colors. That’s the extent of my fancy bullet journaling: SOMETIMES I USE PURPLE INK!

Never Forget: It’s okay to be a No Frills bullet journaler!

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. Charlene says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been doing it only for a month and a half and I’m so overwhelmed!! It makes me feel better to know that sometimes it’s ok that colored pens are the most interesting thing in my journal!

  2. Vicki says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. I love my bujo and sometimes it’s fancy and sometimes it’s plain but it’s all mine.

  3. Carla says:

    My feeling: Form must follow function, or it’s just a pretty waste of paper.

    1. Charlene says:


  4. Chantelle says:

    I *love* this post! I’ve been bullet journaling about the same amount of time, and that’s always my biggest piece of advice: don’t get intimidated by what you see on Pinterest/Instagram – the beauty of bullet journaling is customizing it to make it work for YOU (not get tied up in Not Good Enough Knots).

    I use washi tape around my monthly spread pages to delineate the new month and coloured pens to keep track of stuff by family member (because colour makes me happy). Other than that, no frills.

    I love the idea of throwing mementos in your journal!

  5. Wendy says:

    You are so right…this is such a personal journal and if you are intimidated by what you see on Pinterest, etc. you will never even get started. So fellow BUJOers, just get started and make your journal what YOU need.

  6. Every now and then I get the urge to ‘decorate’ my somewhat-a-bullet-journal (currently housed in a hobonichi) and then I realize I want to use that time for something else, like gardening, knitting, reading, writing or quilting. But I do stick things in it all the time, which makes it interesting. And alternate between all different kinds of pens.

  7. I love this. My bujo often looks like this, down to a similar layout. Function takes precedence over form too often, but hey, it’s meant to be functional, right?

  8. Rachel Batres says:

    I love your bullet journal blog and the journey you have shared. I agree with you – it can be totally paralyzing if perfection is the goal. This all started as an organization SYSTEM. If people want to get all fancy, that’s great. It’s like the scrapbookers from 10 years ago. What started as a creative way to look at pictures turned into art competitions. Or at least, some of the parties I went to made me feel really unimaginative.

    Please keep sharing your tips, brainstorms and “what works for me” ideas. You have inspired me to get back to it and to STOP going on Pinterest for inspiration. At least for a little while. Too much pressure. Who needs it?

  9. Charlene says:

    Agree 10,000%

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