Art bullet journaling ideas are not just for the person with art skills. Whether you’re a type-A, linear, Excel wizard or a creative maven with an extensive colored pencil collection… Art is a proven, great tool for our brains. And adding artistic elements to your BuJo spreads can help spark new ideas.
Turns out, art helps our brains learn new communication methods and information processing techniques. Girija Kaimal, professor at Drexel University has done research on art trauma therapy. In an interview with NPR, she said,
"Anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you.”
Something as simple as a cute doodle, faux calligraphy, and a little bit of washi tape can work wonders for your brain. This splash of color and texture is actually helping you develop new ideas and inspiration that can be used in other areas of your life.
11 Artistic BuJo Ideas Anyone Can Try
We’ve compiled a list of some great examples for easy reference of bullet journal layouts that are more art forward. Our favorite part is that you can interpret these however you like. They can be inspiration for your own blank pages when you’re making your next monthly spread.
1 - Create a Gratitude Log
Spreads like this may be good places to practice adding more art to your pages. Especially if art journaling is new for you, dedicate certain areas of your bullet journaling system for practicing and adding art.
A gratitude log is a page that doesn’t have to follow any specific bullet journal layout. You can make it more long-form like a gratitude journal. An open page with some doodles around the edges for a border. Or you can structure it more linearly for logging and tracking specific gratitude instances and things you love.
A simple header and some colorful lines, and you've got a spread dedicated to logging whatever you like - a gratitude log is just one example!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Your gratitude log can be artistic and still minimalistic. Easy ways to embellish this page are to add some stickers or a title using faux calligraphy. When keeping track of your favorite things and what you’re thankful for, challenge yourself. Try new art layouts each new month on these types of pages of your BuJo.
2 - Use BuJo stickers, stamps and washi tape
An easy way to add color and texture to your bullet journal is with new materials. There are entire bullet journal system stickers and stamp collections. Many people love using these because they take the art skill requirement off the table. All you need is a sticker pack, some stamps and ink pads, or some washi tape, and you can easily find ways to add inspiration and fun to your bullet journal spread.
Stickers and washi tape are so fun! A great ways to add more complex designs without much effort.
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: For some of your spreads, replace hand-written headers and doodles with stickers. Stamps are basically pre-drawn doodles. You can even try using sticker dots in your habit tracker or mood tracker instead of writing hand-drawn checks or exes. Find a sticker creator you love on Etsy and buy a few packs to try. Also check out YeonCharm for her beautifully artistic rubber stamps!
3 - Brush up on some hand lettering (pun intended!)
There are lots of books and resources on how to learn hand lettering. And it can be an extensive acquired skill to master your scripts, swashes, base lines, cap height… there’s a whole language of hand lettering terminology. But you don’t have to be a professional calligrapher to add some faux calligraphy to your BuJo spreads.
Hand lettering takes practice, but anyone can do it. Leaving a blank page for a motivational quote is a great way to practice!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Watch a YouTube video like this one on hand lettering for beginners. In just a few minutes, you’ll learn the basic few tips and the right brush pens you need to add at least a little bit of hand lettering to your pages. And if you dive deep and want to take a hand lettering course, here’s a great one for just $20!
4 - Create a vision board layout
Another bullet journal layout idea that gives you the opportunity to incorporate art is a vision board. Vision boards are their own visualization practice apart from bullet journaling. It’s where you create a blank page or space to add ideas pulled from different sources and mediums.
Your reason for starting a vision board can be anything you want: new year resolution, bedroom redesign, spring wardrobe overhaul, garden design, or future self journaling. But by adding to it overtime, you’ve collected great examples of what you want to achieve and the direction you want to go in.
Vision boards are wonderful ways to add mixed materials, shapes, color and texture to your pages!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: If you’ve never done a vision board before, do a little research on how to do a vision board before starting. Then buy some relevant magazines, get a glue stick or glue dots, and leave a two page bullet journal spread to start curating your board. This can be so much fun when you let yourself dream, hope and plan for the future!
5 - Make an easy reference doodle page
One of the best bullet journal ideas we’ve seen when it comes to art journaling is a doodle page. This is where you dedicate one page to adding some ideas for different doodles. It acts like a bullet journal key for doodling. You can then go back and easily reference it throughout the month ahead. It’s also a fun way to practice some doodles before you go straight to adding one on a bullet journal spread you’ve designed.
You could do a doodle reference page of title styles or even banner boxes similar to these colorful examples!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: You can put these pages at the end of your journal or the very beginning as a type of index page for your entire journal. Or you can just add them throughout your journal as you come up with new doodle page ideas. Either way, you can have entire dedicated doodle pages to banners, titles, lines, squiggles, boxes, borders… the options are endless. Just like the Instagram posts we shared up above!
6 - Design a mood tracker
If you don’t already have a mood tracker as a part of your BuJo, they’re a great thing to add. And like anything with the bullet journal method, you can customize it and add artistic elements to track however and whatever moods you want. It may be more strictly based on mental health tracking or it could be less structured.
Either way, a monthly mood tracker is a great tool to review at the end of a month to see what days were difficult and which days were invigorating and fun. It’s a great tool for self-discovery and personal growth. Plus there are lots of art bullet journal ideas for mood trackers!
This whimsical fruit-themed mood tracker shows how you can fill in your moods while sticking to your monthly spread theme.
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: For a monthly mood tracker, draw or doodle an open shape for each day of the month. Then create a color code corresponding to your mood. Then use the mood tracker to daily fill in how you’re feeling on that day with the correct color. You can decide how many colors and moods you want to account for - as many or as few as you want. And you can also use fun open doodles or shapes that correspond to the season or holiday, like hearts for February or clovers for March.
7 - Swatch all your pens and markers
One of our favorite art bullet journal ideas we’ve seen is a dedicated page to swatching or sampling your pens and markers. It’s a neat way to scratch that itch to open all your new pens when you get a brand new set to see how they really look on thick paper. Plus, it’s a great way to create one page that’s a rainbow of color.
This idea in particularly is easy, approachable and doesn't require much artistic skill. If you're intimidated by some of the more doodle-centric art bullet journal ideas, then this one is for you!
A swatch page is one of the easiest ways to add color to your BuJo without much effort or artistic skill!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Bullet journal supplies and accessories are everywhere! But there are a few that have risen to the top as the best brush pens, colored pencils, and watercolor pens. We have a journal lovers gift guide where we list our favorites. Check it out! We highly recommend every art journaler have a set of nice pens.
8 - Practice art on monthly spread cover pages
This art bullet journal idea is great for bullet journal beginners. If you are just starting a bullet journal, one technique to add to your to-do list is leaving space for cover pages. This is a type of bullet journal key for your month ahead. And a lot of bullet journalers add a cover page to these monthly spreads. And it's a great idea for adding art to these pages.
Cover pages are great places to practice adding art and define your monthly spread theme!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Many people love to pick a theme for each month of their bujo spreads. And it doesn’t have to be seasonal. You can do jellyfish, fruit, balloons, robots… whatever you want! Use a cover page to add more art than you might throughout your weekly spread or other bujo spreads. Then carry those elements throughout your other page layouts.
9 - Use highlighters for easy pops of color
This idea is an easy one! So if you don’t try any of our other art bullet journal ideas, try this one! Using a highlighter instead of a black pen is a great way to add a pop of color to any of your bullet journal layouts. A highlighted line can help differentiate your rows in a tracker page. It can also be what you use to ex out or complete a task on a to-do list instead of a check mark.
This expense tracker is a great example of how just straight easy highlighted lines add color and structure to your BuJo spreads.
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Before you go all highlighter crazy, we recommend restricting your use of highlighter colors to two (maybe three) per page. Otherwise it can start to look like a visual explosion of color. The goal is to add some color in place of monochromatic black lines without overwhelming the eye.
10 - Try a doodle challenge
There are some bullet journal ideas that are more artistic than others, and this is one of them. If you like doodling and want to try more, then try a doodle challenge. These bujo doodle challenges are self-driven, and you can doodle whatever you like. There’s no assigned doodle for each day, you just let your creativity take over when you sit down to complete the day’s doodle.
Create a one page or two page spread where you number the days of the month (if you want to do a monthly challenge). Start with a clean black outline doodle, then fill in with color.
Doodle challenges are great ways to practice art bullet journaling and can be as complex or as easy as you want them to be! This one is impressive and Halloween themed! :)
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: Check out the #bujodoodlechallenge on Instagram for inspiration and to see what other bullet journalers have done for these! Need doodle tutorials? Check out BujoBabe for step-by-step instructions on how to draw things like socks, acorns, and lips. Or a Shihori Obata and her 40 Easy Things to Draw for your BuJo blog post.
11 - Make a photo collage page
In a lot of ways, the bullet journal system is the new scrapbooking. But arguably with more intention than simply memory keeping. That said, your bullet journal is a great place to catalogue memories and moments. One great art bullet journal idea is to make photo collage pages. After you go on a trip, a special date, a friends’ wedding, a family holiday, take time to print out the photos and add them to your bujo.
A photo collage is a great way to add mixed materials and memories in a simple way!
Artistic Bullet Journal Tip: One thing to add to your bullet journal supplies list is a small photo printer. Cannon makes the Ivy Mini Photo Printer for smartphones, and there’s the HP Sprocket as well for bigger printing purposes (also listed in our journal lovers gift guide blog post!).
For more artistic bullet journal and even minimalist bullet journal tips and resources, check out the Silk+Sonder blog!