Still Not on the Bullet Journal Train? This Book Explains Exactly How to Use them to Get Your Life Together

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Workman Publishing)

Bullet journals basically do it all—they’re a totally customizable place to keep track of just about everything in your life, and they’re beautiful enough to be Instagram content (seriously, every time I look at a bullet journal I’m reminded that I need to up my penmanship game!).

There’s also so much bullet journaling content out there that, if you’re new to the whole concept, it can be a little overwhelming. Where do you start? Are there specific pens you should use? What should you actually use it for?

If you find yourself wanting to get into bullet journaling but you’re not sure how to get started or where your new bullet journal can take you, there’s a new book that can help. It’s as aesthetically pleasing as you’d expect, and written in a super relatable tone, too. It’s called “Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide” by Rachel Wilkerson, and it covers everything (seriously, everything) you could ever want to know about organizing your life into one simple journal.

This mega monthly tracker from the book shows you how to \see (Image credit: Workman Publishing)

Probably one of the most helpful parts of the book—once you get past learning all the ins and outs, of course—is Chapter 10: Financial Spreads. Many bullet journalers use their journals to track their finances because there’s essentially no limit to how you can illustrate and organize them. In the book, Wilkerson lays out several different trackers: a bill tracker for the year, a monthly budget tracker, a savings tracker, and a debt progress tracker. Each one comes with an illustration and a quick explanation of how they work—with a little bit of a pep talk added in, too.

These bullet journal budget trackers are comprehensive, but not overwhelming. The monthly expenses tracker, for example, allows you to plan how much you intend to spend and then keep track of how much you actually spent in comparison, organized by categories like groceries, bills, meals out, and more (but of course, those categories can be completely customized based on your needs—that’s the beauty of the bullet journal!).

“Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide” also has chapters dedicated to pretty much anything you can even imagine using your bullet journal for—planning out chores by week and even by year, meals and groceries, travel plans, beauty routines, shopping lists, reading and watch lists, health and fitness logs, tracking your sleep and habits, and more.

Wilkerson describes the bullet journal as a combination planner, to-do list and diary, so while you’re getting your entire life organized in your journal, there are also recommendations for writing prompts and advice for setting up and separating your diary section. The book also covers all the pens, highlighters and accessories any bullet journal master-in-training could ever need to know about, so it’s got you covered.

And if you’re worried about messing up your brand new bullet journal (you’re not alone, I would be too!) after you take in all this helpful information, fear not—the last few pages of the book are actually practice pages so you can try your hand at drawing up trackers and calendars before you even write in your pristine new lifesaver of a journal.

(Image credit: Workman Publishing)

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Find more of author Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s work on her website and on Buzzfeed.