It’s important to note that there is a slight learning curve to get over when bullet journaling. One thing you might want to learn to organize or probably just make your bullet journal nicer is a Dutch Door.
What is a dutch door in bullet journaling? It’s not the kind you’re thinking of.
A Bullet Journal Dutch Door is a technique wherein you cut a portion of a page or paper in your notebook, allowing you to see the next page while being able to write on the remaining piece of the cut page.
Here’s a great example of a dutch door:
As you can see, in plain words, a dutch door is simply a flap you cut into your notebook so you can turn to the next page while being able to use the previous one.
It has many uses like organizing information, combining two or more spreads, or maybe simply for aesthetically pleasing purposes.
If you’re not familiar with the bullet journal, it’s a planner system that is completely customizable depending on the user. You can make your bujo as artsy and maximalist as you want, or you can make it as minimalist as you want.
It’s all up to you.
*Bujo is the shorthand for bullet journal. If you want to learn more about bullet journal terms, then check out our glossary here!
There are many tools and collections you can out into your bullet journal, as well. From habit trackers, mood tracker, grocery lists, and whatever else you can think of!
That’s where the dutch door comes in! No, pun intended…
Basically, since you might need information from one of these trackers throughout the week or month, to make it more organized and efficient you can employ dutch doors into your spreads. Now, instead of turning back and forth to your habit tracker, or maybe your book tracker, you can now simply turn a part of your page without losing where you are.
There many terms for dutch doors, a lot of people just call it as they know it or what information is inside it. For me, I simply divided it into two categories:
- 1 How To Make Bullet Journal Dutch Doors
- 2 Vertical Dutch Doors
- 3 Horizontal Dutch Doors
- 4 Bullet Journal Dutch Doors Ideas & Inspirations
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- 5 Bonus Bullet Journal Dutch Door Tips
How To Make Bullet Journal Dutch Doors
Dutch doors are conceptually easy to make. You cut a piece of your page off and use the one that’s left.
However, while it is simple you also have to have a plan of what you are going to do with that space. Here’s a great video Glechelle Micah, making one.
You’ll learn a lot just from watching her make a dutch door.
Also, here’s a great guide from Instagram:
Vertical Dutch Doors
The vast majority of dutch doors are vertical. There is a simple reason for this: it’s easier to cut.
All you have to do is measure the paper and draw a line to help you guide cutting it. On the remaining flap of paper, you can write whatever information you want on it. You can also draw on the paper, and just let your creativity flow.
Also, an advantage of vertical dutch doors is not having to worry about ruining the bindings of the notebook. This is simply because the area you are cutting does not reach the binding.
*For minimalists who want to make use of this but aren’t willing to go through the trouble, if you stick to the end I’ll give you a super simple hack that will be fast and efficient.
Horizontal Dutch Doors
Horizontal dutch doors aren’t as common because they take a little more time to make.
Another reason is that cutting your notebook takes a lot of courage. Since the notebooks many enthusiasts use are kind of pricey, and they’ve put in a lot of work into it, damaging the notebook is a big blow for them.
I’m a more minimalistic bullet journalist, and I’ve never cut my bullet journal. I have used the dutch door though.
A bullet journal hack horizontal dutch door bujo-ers use is simply cutting all the pages in the middle without taking out a piece. By doing this, you’ve effectively made a dutch door throughout your notebook. You can revisit trackers and collection on the bottom of your page, while staying in your daily spread on the upper part of the notebook.
Horizontal Dutch Door Tip: If you want to cut out a portion of the page, try leaving a small area by the binding. Since there are many kinds of notebooks, doing this will make sure the binding of yours won’t get ruined.
Want to try it out on your own? You’ll need a good notebook! Check out our shop to find notebooks perfect for bullet journaling!
Bullet Journal Dutch Doors Ideas & Inspirations
Now, if you’re decided and you want to make your own dutch door for your bullet journal, you’ll need some ideas and inspiration to work from.
While there are bullet journalists everywhere in the internet, some of the best places to find ideas and inspirations are Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit.
Below, you’ll find some of the best bullet journal dutch door spreads from Instagram.
Bullet Journal Dutch Door Tip: These are called tabs. They are a great and simple way to organize your bullet journal. It also doesn’t require you to take a large chunk of paper from your notebook, if you’re worried about that.
Bullet Journal Dutch Door Tip: There are many things you can record in the dutch door. You can use the space for habit trackers, mood trackers, exercise trackers, and so on for that month.
For some, if you love books and movies, you can use the space for book and movie trackers. Basically, you can list and track all the movies and books you have consumed in a period of time.
For more on that, you can check our article on book trackers here.
Bullet Journal Dutch Door Tip: While you can choose to use the space for trackers and collections, you can also use the dutch door as dividers for each month.
Some bullet journalists use cover pages to divide each month. With it, they can also switch up themes without having the bullet journal seem messy and incongruent.
For summer themes, you can check this out.
Bonus Bullet Journal Dutch Door Tips
Minimalist Dutch Door Hack: If you are a minimalist like me, you’d probably not go through the cutting and designing for some reason(mine is I don’t have the artistic skills and focus).
A simple solution to that is to go with the vertical dutch door and:
- Take the page you want to turn into a dutch door.
- Fold it in half.
I’d write more steps, but that’s all there is to it.
Now, you have a minimalist cover page, and you can also use the space inside the fold for trackers and other collections.
Artsy Dutch Door Hack: If you don’t want to cut up your notebooks there is also a simple solution. You will need some materials, and chances are minimalists won’t like this but artsy bujo-ers will.
- Washi Tape/ Magic Tape
- Paper(Your choice of paper, anything you want as the dutch door)
- Take the paper and measure how big you want the dutch door. Be sure it fits the notebook.
- Design the dutch door on the paper.
- Cut out the design.
- Using the washi/magic tape, attach the paper neatly on to your notebook.
And there you have it. You have a dutch door without cutting into your notebook!
This technique also makes it so that your dutch door is easier to design!
You’ll need a good notebook for this, so be sure to check out our shop to find a good one!