Does a Bullet Journal need to be expensive?

by | Dec 30, 2017 | Organising & Blogging | 40 comments

In a word no! A Bullet Journal certainly does not need to be expensive. You can still have good notepaper that feels like quality.  For more details see my Bullet Journal post where I chat about how a planner or diary can have you become discouraged when you don’t keep it up-to-date or filled in. A bullet journal is a much more flexible approach.

A Bullet Journal need not be expensive

This page does not include affiliate links. GI – See Disclosures

First a little about my Living for Less background

I rarely meet any people who are from large families who haven’t learned the skill of “Living for Less”. I myself having been raised in a large family meant that it became second nature to learn how to be economical. All through my posts, you will find these ideas. How I find the best ways (often not stinting on quality) to live simply, well and with our environment and your budget in mind.

Best quality for a good price has been my latest Notebook – A-la-Bullet Journal.

Types of Bullet Journals

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebooks is one I see as a most popular Bullet Journal choice.  But you will find those who swear by Moleskine Journals or Rhodias.  I by-passed these in my first year and went with a double size – spiral bound A4 lined notebook. Doing things with Graph paper might just be your thing which all those a-fore-mentioned here have.

To me, the concession to cost and me being in trial mode meant I was happy with the lined paper. Into my second year (my first actually had 3 years in the one journal)

I have now purchased one with thicker paper, better spirals and 3 pocket holders included.  (Pictured to the left here). The price was $3.50AU or $2.70US. It cost me half what the cheaper – lesser quality previous journal had. It pays to not jump in at the first ones you see or shop early (which I had done this time).

What other supplies do I need? so that I see a Bullet Journal need not be expensive.

Well with a notebook – it can be just with a pen extra! A little like the story of Stone soup though- it can get better and better.

I included 4 rolls of Washi tape (nicely colored and printed tape) and my ruler – I use it for columns.  Highly recommended for cost-effectiveness are Sharpie Pens for around $2US available at Office Supplies plus places like Walmart, Dollar General, and Walgreens.  These are non-bleed and available in basic colors. If you need other recommendations girls from my Facebook Bullet Journal group are always happy to oblige.

In my Notebook Bullet Journal, I use what I already have or what resources that come to hand:

  • rubber stamps
  • many magazine pictures & articles (of home decor, gardening, recipes, colors, clothing styles etc),
  • doodles (especially if I accidentally marked the page)
  • Then come written poems, words of wisdom, scripture verses, calligraphy, notes for blog posts etc.

This makes for a well filled and colorful journal that I love using so much for ideas and inspiration. I also download an A4 size monthly calendar for the year I am in to stick in at the beginning of the month. I mark appointments or events on this as well as in my “daily catch”.

What is involved in the covers of a Bullet Journal

  • Index (Put at the beginning – usually a one to two-page spread. Fill it in as you go along during the year)
  • To Do List (I do this as a monthly one – with my stick in calendar and also a weekly one I call my “weekly aims”.
  •  Notes (I put a minus sign and make a note of things I might want to remember. People’s visits, things I’ve done.)
  • Birthdays (This I put under the Future log – which is just after the Index. Also can be one to two-page spread.)
  • Future Log (As noted above this is put in a one or two page spread just after your index.) This includes – events, appointments or things you want to remember in a certain time frame.)
  • Trackers of Health/Finances etc (I normally put these up weekly for Trackers of health or any habits you wish to work on. It helps memory more than anything.  You can use the same weekly log of finances here if you wish – weekly.)
  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Log –  (This I put in a two column framework – since I have an A4 Bullet Journal this works very well.)
  • Projects (This I put towards the end of the section or at the back of my Journal if you use it for only one year. Mine can often fit in more than one year because of its size. A Project can include up to the top – Goals plus desired outcome. Underneath Plans/Strategy. Underneath is your To Do’s to get there plus what is needed)
  • Educational notes (This I leave pages towards the back for when I am taking notes from videos for example)
  • Collections (This is many and varied. Whether books or movies to look at. New contact details. Ideas. Garden notes of sowing and planting Graph for health and fitness. Household Tips. Software notes and to check out. Health notes. You can have quite a number at the back of your journal – but do remember that having lists is also very workable throughout your Journal ie Things to buy, Gratitude list, Things for hubby to do. Just pop them into your Index for easy location. If you find your list spreads to another page – just pop the number at the bottom of your page to link both.)

    Bullet Journal Stencil example

One of the simplest and easiest explanations  is here

Go through it slowly till you have what you think is the idea and after a while, you will fine tune it till it suits your personal aims and goals. Don’t compare yourself with others.

Never worry if you start something you do not like. Go forward to the next page and just try a different system or way. If it really irks you – cover it, change it or paint or draw over it.  It’s your Journal and “your rules”. Remember the paper you are using isn’t that expensive and helps with your health by doing it the “write down way”.

Well, now I have put simply how really you don’t need a lot in the way of expense involved in a Bullet Journal.  I think that is a good thing. I have added only to my supplies – 4 rolls of Washi Tape (as noted earlier) from my local KMart and textas and pencils I already had.

Bullet Journal Stencils from

This page contains no affiliate links

So what will I promote?

Melissa Dougherty and her family are a missionary family currently in Guatemala in Central America. They have come up with Bullet Stencils which of course can be re-used again and again! For maximum results, they recommend that you carefully use a fine liner pen on their more intricate cut-outs. This product is laser cut from a very thin .25mm food grade Mylar material.

The stencils are available from their site Bullet stencils I have been gifted a package and can’t get over how many areas they have covered that meet your needs of stenciling  (GI – See Disclosures )  Worthwhile having this set which has lifetime use and only the cost of buying at first is all you need to get yourself on the road to decoration, outlining and lettering.

Well – I’d love to hear your input about Bullet Journaling. Where you are at and your outcomes. Whether you think Bullet Journaling is your thing.

Till next time!

Deborah Hunter Kells

I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. As noted you will find a variety of topics covered (see Home page) My appreciation goes to my team and others whom I collaborate with to make this blog successful and resourceful. Thanks especially to my team: Sarah, Tina, and Billah (See footer for more of their details)

You may ask first #whatisabulletjournal and also #doyouneedtouseabulletjournalwithdots ? Find out both here and also that a #bulletjournalneednotbeexpensive