The idea of a minimalist bullet journal is very appealing to a lot of people. While a bullet journal can serve as an excellent tool for helping you organize your thoughts, achieve your goals, and stay on top of appointments and other to-dos, bullet journals can also be overwhelming — especially if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, or you’re not someone who has a lot of time.
What is a minimalist bullet journal?
A minimalist bullet journal is a simple, easy-to-follow bullet journal that doesn't require a lot of time and effort. Still not following? Close your eyes and think about what you imagine as a “typical” bullet journal for a moment. You probably imagine a formerly blank notebook now covered in meticulously drawn dots, carefully written down goals done in perfect handwriting with colorful, vibrants pens and beautiful drawings throughout the notebook, done with these same pens.
For some people, this bullet journal method is fun, effective, and an excellent way to unwind. For others, it’s intimidating — which is where the minimalist bullet journal comes in. By providing you with pages you can fill out (not draw and create yourself!) or very simple, bare bones bullet journal ideas, you can reap all the benefits of a bullet journal without the time-consuming, artistic aspect.
15 minimalist bullet journal ideas
Here are 15 minimalist bullet journal ideas to help you get started.
Utilize Silk + Sonder
Silk + Sonder may not appear minimalist at first glance. When you open your monthly S+S, you’ll be greeted by several different pages full of to-dos, from habit trackers and mood trackers to a monthly planner and an expense tracker. But here’s what makes S+S minimalist at its core: It does a lot of the work for you, while also providing you with an artistic outlet in the form of the coloring page. That way, you won’t end up spending hours designing your bullet journal.
Try a minimalist future log
Future logs can sometimes get very complicated. This minimalist future log, crafted in all black with a simplistic design, is the perfect minimalist option.
Use a planner
Planners aren’t technically bullet journals, but they have some similarities. If you use the simple organizational method of a planner as your bullet journal, you may find that the process is a lot less intimidating and more enjoyable.
Clean, easy to-do list
To-do lists can get very complicated-looking in some bullet journals. Try this clean, easy to-do list method for each day of the week — and feel free to skip the drawings!
Use a digital bullet journal
If you haven’t used a pen since high school, worry not: There are a lot of digital bullet journal options available. Whether you create your own bare bones bullet journal in a Google Doc or Excel Spreadsheet or use a tablet or iPad to draw with a stylus, you have a lot of excellent choices at your disposal.
Opt for simple squares
Bullet journals can get real complicated, real fast. To keep things minimalist, opt for simple square and cleans lines with space for a to-do list on the side — and maybe an inspirational quote, too.
Try a printable weekly spread
There are a lot of printable bullet journal options available on the internet, and most of them are free. Google “printable bullet journal weekly spread,” and you’ll be greeted with a handful of great options. Find the one that feels the most true to you!
Stick to clean lines
Open the bullet journals of some highly creative and artistic types, and you’ll find circles, triangles, and dozens of other designs throughout. If this isn’t you, stick to a very clear, simple design that’s easy to make and even easier to follow.
Try a simple calendar tracker
Trackers — habits, moods, expenses, meals — can get complicated fast. Try using a simple calendar design to track your habits, ticking off each day of the month to align with whatever you’re tracking as you go.
Devote pages to your favorite quotes
Want to tone down the maximalist look of the classic bullet journal? Devote entire pages to your favorite quotes. Not only will they serve as inspiration when turn to those pages, but they’ll make your bullet journal look less intimidating overall.
Devote pages to drawings and sketches
If you’re the creative type who likes to draw, don’t feel like every page needs to be jam-packed with to-dos and trackers. Dedicate an entire page to drawing! Or, if that’s too much for you, print out a coloring page (or if you’re a Silk + Sonder member, utilize your coloring page!)
Use your bullet journal to, well, journal
We often think of bullet journals as a space for planning, dreaming, and tracking. And it is! But you can also use your bullet journal to journal in the more traditional sense, meaning you dedicate specific pages to free-writing.
Create your own calendar
Sometimes, the calendars built into planners can be low on space. If you want to use a calendar to track everything, draw your own calendar, giving yourself as much space as you need.
Create a clean and simple intentions page
In a lot of ways, intentions are the bread and butter of bullet journaling. By crafting a clean and simple intentions page — no colorful pens necessary! — you can set yourself up for a month of success.
Create “dailies” pages
Ditch the complicated-looking to-do list: By creating simple but beautiful “dailies” pages in your bullet journal, you’ll end up with a to-do list that’s easy to write and easy to follow, and one that actually helps you get things done.