If you’re ready to improve your life or your business, then it’s time you consider using a bullet journal. This article will break down the best bullet journals to try in 2023 and explain exactly how to get the most out of your bullet journaling.
The power of bullet journaling
Bullet journaling was introduced in 2013 as a quick method to “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” The basic idea is that you start with an index, then use numbered journal pages broken into sections to separate ideas into whatever format makes sense to you.
Most people start with a future log, monthly log and daily task list, but the genius of the process is that you are free to come up with the best bullet journal system for you.
The best bullet journals and bullet journaling systems give you a place to start, but remain open-ended in a way that can also feel overwhelming. One thing that helps shift the process from directionless doodles to a solid strategy is starting with good tools. That’s why finding the best bullet journal from the get-go is so important.
Let’s find the best bullet journal for your specific needs.
How to find the best bullet journal for you
So what turns an everyday notebook into the best bullet journal? As with most working tools, the answer will depend largely on what you are trying to accomplish.
From setting basic freelance business goals to generating ideas, setting financial goals to starting a business and managing projects, there are as many different types of bullet journals as there are people. So the best bullet journal will be the one that fits your personal style, budget and goals.
The best bullet journal can really be as simple as a blank notebook if you want to really personalize and decorate it to your tastes. Or if you are just getting started, something with a little more structure will likely be a better fit.
Here are some of the best bullet journals we’ve found:
Paperage Dotted Journal Bullet Notebook
This 160-page notebook has solid-feeling paper, grid dots to help you place things and eleven beautiful colors to choose from. The dots are on the light side, so if you want a serious grid, this may not be the best bullet journal for you. With a low price point, however, this is a great entry-level bullet journal notebook.
Clever Fox Dotted Notebook
Another affordable solution, this hardcover, dotted notebook from Clever Fox comes in seven colors and has pre-numbered pages, which gives you a head start on bullet journaling. Add to that lay-flat pages, and this might be the best bullet journal at a great price!
LEUCHTTURM1917 – Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook
Don’t be distracted by the long name – this simple notebook is quite possibly the best bullet journal out there for those looking for versatility. With more than 200 numbered pages, a whopping 24 cover colors to choose from and dotted, plain, ruled and squared options, this notebook from the 100-year-old LEUCHTTURM brand can do just about anything.
Dingbats Wildlife Dotted Hardcover Notebook
If you want a notebook that will work as the best bullet journal and benefit a great cause, this beautiful vegan-certified book from Dingbats might be for you. In the UK, a portion of sales goes to the World Wildlife Fund. Users rave about the high-quality paper, although it’s good to be aware that the pages are not numbered.
Dot Bullet Paper Notebooks
The dotted notebook from Keegood with 192 pages also comes in lined and blank versions. The pages come pre-numbered and the notebook includes a handy ruler and stickers to help you organize. But the real reason this might be the best bullet journal is the colorful confetti-designed cover, which cannot fail to make you smile.
Scribbles That Matter A5 Dotted Journal
If you’re still unsure about diving into bullet journaling, this notebook from Scribbles That Matter takes all of the guessings out of the process. With numbered dotted pages, a built-in index and key code page, a pen test page, and two bookmarks this product is seriously competing for the best bullet journal-title.
Moleskine Classic Notebook
Moleskine has long been a staple in the journal market, and it’s easy to see why. Great-looking covers and a high-quality binding are the features that put this notebook in the running for best bullet journal. Some users complain about the thinness of the pages, but others like the slim profile, so depending on how heavy your pen is, this can be a plus or minus.
Dotted Grid Notebook/Journal
If you’re looking for a simple bullet journal at the lowest possible price, look no further. This no-frills dotted journal comes in some beautiful color options, has high-quality paper and you really can’t beat the price. This may well be the best bullet journal for freelancers on a budget.
Minimalism Art, Premium Hard Cover Notebook Journal
Another budget option, this hardcover journal from Minimalism Art comes with numbered pages and a pre-printed table of contents. It may not be the highest quality, but the simple style makes it easy to get started, and with an 85% 5-star Amazon rating, this is definitely in the mix for best bullet journal.
The best bullet journal supplies you should check out
Once you find the best bullet journal, to really dive into the world of bullet journaling you need some high-class supplies to motivate you to continue.
Start with the basics: high-quality pens and a simple ruler are helpful. From there, you can add endless colors, stickers, washi tape, colored paper clips, staples, patterned paper…the possibilities are really endless.
Here are some of the best bullet journal supplies to consider.
Zebra Pen Mildliner
This highly-rated set of pens from Zebra has 15 different colors to help you organize, beautify, and create the best bullet journal you can.
Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
These bold pens from Paper Mate are known for not bleeding through paper––a coveted quality when creating a bullet journal that utilizes both sides of a page.
iBayam Journal Planner Pens
With 18 different colors, this set of pens was designed with journaling in mind. If you like to put fine details into your planning, these pens are some of the best bullet journal tools you can get.
STABILO BOSS Original Highlighter
Pens and markers help create the foundation of the best bullet journal, but highlighters help add a new dimension to your journaling. Using a variety of easy-to-see-through colors such as this set from Stabilo, you can shake things up.
Metal Stencil Bookmark
Is it a bookmark? Is it a stencil? It’s both! This hybrid tool allows you to use very consistent symbols and patterns, even if you aren’t that artistic. And having a straight edge around is always a plus.
Ultimate Productivity Stencil Set for Dotted Journals
Not all freelancers have mad drawing skills. This stencil set allows you to create a notebook to rival the best bullet journal without having to free-hand every detail. Helpful stencils include grids, calendars, symbols, patterns and more.
Finding that organizational groove in business can be tough all on your own. If you are interested in trying out something new, bullet journaling is a great option because there is an entire community surrounding the practice.
From Facebook groups and Instagram accounts to Reddit threads and full courses, you can find an endless array of ideas, startup guides and helpful tips online or in-person. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, find a group or forum that fits your vibe and just dive in.
Keep in mind that using the absolute best bullet journal tools or top-of-the-line notebooks is not necessary. Any notebook will do. And perfection is definitely not required.
Whether you carefully decorate every page and create a hand-drawn theme for each month, or you scribble down ideas as quickly as possible and move on to the next thing, having a place to organize all of your thoughts and daily tasks can only help.
Keep the conversation going…
Over 10,000 of us are having daily conversations over in our free Facebook group and we’d love to see you there. Join us!
Written by Kylie Burgener
Staff at Millo.co
Kylie Jackson Burgener is a mother of three and a freelance consultant, specializing in public relations, writing and content marketing. She is a cofounder of Measured Melodies, a leveled piano sheet music system for piano teachers and students. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her family.
At Millo, we strive to publish only the best, most trustworthy and reliable content for freelancers. You can learn more by reviewing our editorial policy.