Bullet Journal Habit Trackers: Build Habits That Matter

Habits are what makes us. We’ve all been there, whether it is drinking a little bit more each day or just cleaning around a bit more. I’ve been reading up on bullet journal habit trackers to help you out.

What are bullet journal habit trackers? Bullet journal habit trackers are tools that allow an individual to track their progress and accurately judge their performance. Used in conjunction with bullet journals, one can use their logs to find patterns to improve their growth.

There are many benefits to tracking habits. And while it’s hard to develop new good ones, the impact the bullet journal has in developing them can have a significant difference.

Getting To Know Habit Trackers

One of the wider known components of bullet journaling is the tracker.

You can use it to track almost anything you want. From exercise, sleep, diets, or hobbies, you can log all your progress in your bullet journal through its trackers.

If you do a quick search,  you’ll find almost countless variations of the trackers, all keeping tabs on all kinds of hobbies and goals. You find them elaborately designed, painted and meticulously crafted to be as pleasing to the eye as possible.

This is one of the reasons why the bullet journal became popular in the first place. It’s picture-perfect posts on Instagram and Pinterest often found its way to virality and attracted many new bullet journalists.

While this has been good for the bullet journal community, or bujo community, it did have an impact on the overall idea people have of the bullet journal.

Originally designed to be a minimalist system of productivity, the community has since injected their artistic nature in its own bullet journals.

As this spread out through the internet, the bullet journal has been perceived to have the artistic embellishments as part of the system itself.

Ryder Carroll, the creator of the bullet journal method, originally designed the system to help him with his school work. Diagnosed with attention deficit disorder(ADD), he found himself struggling with his daily tasks, resulting in anxiety and stress.

Back then, he used to carry multiple notebooks, scrap papers, checklists, to keep on track. You can imagine how hard it is to juggle all these, as these are the standard task managing systems back then.

Over time, in an effort to reduce inefficiencies, the bullet journal was born.

Once the system was in place, Carroll found himself better equipped to handle all the work. He stopped carrying multiple notebooks and lists, significantly reducing the things he had to keep in mind.

This had another effect as well.

The system gave him a chance to become more mindful and self-aware because of how it offers the user a chance to reflect on the things they are doing. The migration process, and monthly and future logs allowed him to weigh the things and tasks that actually matter, letting him strike out anything that was redundant and unnecessary.

While it may have started as a minimalist system, it has since evolved to include people who also need a more creative outlet for their day to day planner.

As with the bullet journal way, both the minimalists and maximalists are right in how they use the journal. As long as it works for them, then that’s the correct way.

Benefits Of Building Habits

  • Better quality of life
  • Progress towards goals
  • Builds character

Better Quality Of Life

From better relationships to better health, good habits have always formed a strong foundation for a better life.

The groundwork could start with drinking just a little bit more water, skipping that last piece of pizza, or just sleeping an hour earlier. As long as it just starts somewhere.

That’s often what people overlook. They often complain about the things that bother them, but they never really act on it.

Developing good habits lets you take more control of your life, and become a positive impact everywhere you go.

Want to get healthy? Go to the gym three days a week.

Want to wake up earlier? Go to bed an hour early.

These are all things under our control. The sooner we get to developing that self-control, the sooner we get to reap the benefits.

You’ll find out pretty soon, that just by starting, you’ll already begin to feel better.

Progress Towards Goals

This is something related to having a better quality of life.

If developing good habits lay the foundation, then achieving our goals is the end result.

Just like how developing those good habits need consistency, consistent practice of those good habits lead to you achieving your goals.

It becomes clockwork to you, and you might not notice immediately, but you’re taking baby steps forward. And, once you build momentum, you’ll find that you’re taking bigger and bigger strides towards your end goal.

This is the process. And, like everyone, you have to embrace it and trust it to really move forward.

Builds Character

This isn’t a secret. This isn’t the hidden technique to success. It’s something everyone can do, they just don’t.

That’s understandable, it’s no easy feat.

It takes a consistent amount of effort and loads of dedication.

Each day you have to wake up and be disciplined enough to choose the right course of action to achieve your goal and move forward. If you fail on that day, you have to be accountable to yourself too, and move on.

It’s self-discipline, and that in itself is a good habit to develop as well.

But don’t fret. I may have framed this as something very hard, but you’ll see as you get moving and build momentum, it gets easier as you go.

The thing with habit building is that once you build a good habit, the effect it has on your attitude and personality adds up. The whole process builds your character.

As you build that character, you’ll find that the next habits you try to develop get easier and easier.

So don’t worry about it. Just try to hit your stride and keep your eyes on the prize.

Habit Tracker Basics

While you may get the impression that the bullet journal is only for those with the artistic talent and time to do those wonderful spreads, the truth is that it’s for everyone!

You can do a spread with something as simple as a list or table, as long as you are able to track whatever you want to develop, you’re okay.

With that in mind, whether you’re going for the artistic maximalist spread or the simple yet effective minimalist setup, the basics are always the best place to start.

Here’s what you need to remember:

  1. Take a blank page or two for your habit tracker, based on the time frame in which you want to track
  2. Number the page, and label the top
  3. Log in into your index
  4. Decide on the best way to track your activity, most of the time the choice is between a list or a table
  5. Log your progress accurately

And that’s it!

You’ve made your own habit tracker. It’s sort of anti-climatic based on the pictures you first, huh.

The thing to remember is that out of everything else, the most important thing is the effectiveness of it.

If you’re looking for more examples, I’ll show you some minimalist and maximalist ideas that you can try down the post!

Tips For Better Bullet Journal Habit Tracking

  • Make a sample page
  • Start with a short time frame
  • Find what works for you
  • Find patterns
  • Have fun with it and celebrate small victories
  • Try Printables and Stickers

Make A Sample Page

Despite being maximalist or minimalist, it’s probably best to make a sample page on a separate piece of scratch paper.

If you’re new to this, or you still don’t have a set template, make sure to clear out some space in your schedule to make sure you make the right layout for you.

Consider which parameters you want to track, the length of time, the format for space and ease of reading.

Not to put pressure on you, but you’ll be using this for a period of time. Depending on how long the layout might make it harder for you to track your habits, and ultimately be the cause that you don’t follow through.

Start With A Short Time Frame

This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above.

Starting with a short time frame leaves you a suitable amount of margin for error.

By doing this, you won’t have to obligate yourself to stick to a layout that’s hard to read and log your information on.

Find What Works For You

You won’t get it the first try, and this will take some getting used to.

You might find that certain layouts make it harder for you to follow through. That’s okay, the solution is simple.

Just change it until you find what does!

Find Patterns

This is the best thing about using a bullet journal to track your habits.

The main advantage of using a bullet journal to developing new habits is that you can run your progress against the activities that may have affected your patterns on that day.

For example, say you want to track your sleep cycles.

For seven days, you’ve been tracking your sleep schedule, wanting to make it so you get used to sleeping earlier. At the end of the week, you find that 3 out of the 7 days, you fell asleep late.

With the bullet journal, you can check your daily logs for that week, and trace why you failed on those days.

Say, on the night you failed, you see that you spent too much time checking emails on that day. Now you can ask yourself why it took extra long for you to get to those emails.

You check the day before and find yourself playing a little longer on the computer.

Armed with that information, you can now act accordingly and move towards changing that pattern.

Have Fun With It And Celebrate Small Victories

Building habits is a process.

If you’re too hard on yourself, you’ll find that it’ll get harder and harder to reach your goal.

So start small, and celebrate the small victories.

You’ll find that you will be celebrating often and that the victories are getting bigger and bigger each time!

Try Printables and Stickers

In the bullet journal community or the bujo community, printables and stickers are something that you can buy online.

Using them will allow you to have a set collection or tracker in your notebook you can tape on or stick.

There are various designs and themes, and this will let you have that nice notebook even though you aren’t that artistically inclined.

It will save time and will be a tried and tested template.

Habit Tracker Spread Ideas

Because of the nature of habit trackers, and how they change with each habit they track, the best way to get ideas is through others’ examples.

Here, I’ll show you samples of minimalist and maximalist trackers. I hope you get some ideas from this and understand that these tools are accessible to everyone who wants to improve themselves!

Book Trackers:

This book tracker is a very minimal setup that is accessible to all, as well as easy to replicate. As you can see, it can be as simple as identifying what you want to track and making a table for it.

After that minimalist spread, I wanted to show this very elaborately designed maximalist spread. You can see that a lot of time and effort has been poured on to this, as well as a certain artistic talent is needed. These types of spreads are often made by those who also need an artistic or creative outlet to practice mindfulness. It’s like combining art and productivity.

Who says, you can’t have the best of both worlds? This spread proves that meeting halfway leads to a very effective as well as nice looking spread. It’s very clean, as well as easy to track.

For more on book trackers, check this article out!

Mood Trackers:

Mood trackers are often a very visual affair. Take this one for example. It’s minimalistic but utilizes colors for easier tracking. If you want to stick to a pen, you may want to substitute the colors for emoticons or smiley faces to portray your mood.

Here’s a more maximalist spread. You can see that it also utilizes colors but is aiming for an aesthetically pleasing end product.

For more on mood trackers, I made this article as well.

Fitness Tracker:

Here are two Health/Fitness Trackers that are minimalistic, easy to make, but very effective. Once again, it’s as simple as knowing the parameters you want to keep track of and listing it on a table.

The next tracker is a good example of a maximalist fitness tracker. It’s very pleasing to the eye but each element, though artfully made, serves a purpose. If you are an artist seeking to make a fitness tracker, consider having each element contribute to the overall tracking of said activity.

The next is a good combination of the maximalist and minimalist approach. It’s clean, accessible, and repeatable given a certain amount of artistic skill.

For more on Fitness and Health Tracker For the bullet journal, I also made a post that might help you!

What Kind Of Spread Should You Go With?

Seeing all those trackers and understanding the basics, should give you a good perspective of how you want to go about habit trackers.

Given the flexible nature of both the tracker and the bullet journal, it’s mostly just about you finding what will work for you.

Personally, I’d like to go with the balance between the minimalist and maximalist spreads, as shown in some of the examples.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for balance.

Just remember, as long as it works for you, then that’s what you should go with for a bullet journal.

scribblerplanet

Jm here! I run the Scribbler Planet website. If you're new to bullet journals and journaling, I think I can help you out. I've always had problems with keeping on track with what I'm doing, so when I heard bullet journaling could help I tried my hand at it. Here we are about a year later and I'm glad to say it significantly helped. Here's hoping I can help you do the same!

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