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Can a Bullet Journal be a Diary? (Pros and Cons)

A bullet journal can be used to express your creativity through the form of art and different writing styles. As we know it, you can track moods, habits, to-do lists, schedules, meetings, and more but can a bullet journal be a diary?

The short answer, yes. A bullet journal can be used as a diary since you’re free to add anything that will enhance your journaling experience. There is no rule that states you have to include or exclude specific topics.

However, a diary is definitely more personal than a bullet journal.

Here we’ll look at the benefits of using a bullet journal as a diary but we’ll also take a look at some reasons as to why you might want to keep those two things separate.

Do note that if you choose to use a bullet journal as a diary or not, at the end of the day, it’s your journal.

You can toss it, scribble on the cover, fold the pages, or smother it with kisses, this baby is yours to do whatever you please with it.

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Let’s head over and delve deeper into this topic but also hang on tight because if you do decide to use your bullet journal as a diary, we’ll include amazing examples of designs and diary spreads that will make your mind up for you.

First, Decide If You Actually Like Keeping a Diary

Whether you like keeping a diary or not, I highly suggest you at least try it out because the journaling benefits are outstanding!

There is no need to journal every single day but I find a weekly entry or two (or even a monthly one) is a great way to express yourself.

I used to be a huge lover of writing daily but there were those days some when I just didn’t feel like it.

Most of those times, you tend to feel guilty and that could leave you feeling down.

When you’re using a traditional diary, they’re all pretty much predated so seeing empty and blank pages really weren’t something I enjoyed.

And to be honest, some memories are just not worth remembering.

It’s necessary to complete tasks you’ve started but here it was sort of adding additional pressure on me, especially when there was no time to journal.

Who am I kidding, I’m just lazy!

Of course, a simple and easy solution is to get a journal without the dates or a blank paged journal.

Nowadays, when I do journal, I’ll mostly jot down special moments or when I felt the need to let go of stress. It’s very therapeutic at times!

That brings me to the point, are you an avid fan of journaling daily?

Or are you just interested in adding a few diary entries to your bullet journal?

If it’s a yes for either one of those questions, let’s head over to the pros and cons of using a bullet journal as a diary!

Important Pros and Cons of Using a Journal

Why You Should Add Diary Entries In Your Bullet Journal

If there’s one quick reason as to why I think using a bullet journal as a diary would be it’s a fantastic way to fill up blank pages while also making the journal meaty with rich content of your life.

It also is a much welcome break from the usual mundane tasks of keeping track with logs or habits. In a way, it gives a bullet journal more life.

But more than this, when you write down your thoughts, it increases your self-awareness and self-reflection.

Often at times, you’ll be able to track down negative thought processes and replace them with positive thoughts.

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When you explore your feelings and interactions, it enables you to go beyond what your mind and inner dialogue dwell on about, gaining more insight and self-confidence in the process.

Unfortunately, with the usual bullet journal spreads, there isn’t enough space for long written feelings but if you delegate a few pages in your monthly spread, you can easily include short or long diary entries.

Sometimes all it takes is two pages and you can fit in a whole week of events which we’ll show you in a bit.

Another reason why you should use a diary in a bullet journal is also the fact that everything you need is in one place.

You events, schedules, logs, trackers, and of course, your diary entries too.

This way you won’t be using two different journals but just one.

Reason Why Maybe It’s Not Such A Good Idea

As beneficial as it may be to include diary entries in your bullet journal, there are a few things to consider.

Mainly, diaries are much more personal than a bullet journal where the former you’re pouring your heart and soul into it, expressing your inner thoughts and hearts desires while the latter plans your life out.

Of course, many people use a diary to give a count of they’re daily events but then there are those that love to write about personal thoughts you wouldn’t generally share with others – the kind you keep buried in the back of your closet in fear your parents or anyone will find it.

Now with a bullet journal, you’re practically going to take this everywhere with you (unless you generally only use it at home then please ignore this bit) and just note that you’ll be basically carrying your deepest darkest secrets around with you, open for anyone to read them.

So, if you plan to add really personal details about yourself which you wouldn’t want to have anyone else to read, then having a separate diary would be the right choice.

Another thing to consider is that diary entries take up a lot of pages and space.

If you’re like me and have many things to say, oh boy you’re going to need the space for it.

With a bullet journal, there are already other items to include such as various logs and trackers.

Before you know it, you’re probably going to need either a journal with more pages than usual or two more bullet journals to finish off the year.


When Should You Journal?

Now here’s a good question, when should you journal or which is the best time to journal? It all depends on your preferences.

Many have found journaling in the morning can help kickstart your day and give you a positive boost of self-esteem before your daily activities but you could also journal at night, to let go of the day’s events and relieve stress.

However, it doesn’t matter when or what time should you journal. Try out both and see which one fits best.

You’ll only really know what works for you when you give it a shot. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

How To Incorporate Diary Entries In a Bullet Journal

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons, I’m sure you’ve made your choice by now but if you need an idea of how things will work if you use your bullet journal as a diary, then these tips and spreads will indeed be of help.

Before we get to the good stuff, here are a few journal tips you’ll find useful:

1. Know your pace

If you’re committed to writing journal entries, don’t beat yourself up about missing a few days. It’s totally okay!

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a mess with keeping up with diary entries but when I feel like those days where I really need to get my thoughts down on paper, that’s when I tend to go all out.

2. Begin small

You don’t have to write down your whole history or your life memories in one go.

Pick a few topics you’d like to talk about (if you don’t want to write about daily events) and do it.

Even if it’s a few words or sentences, a great habit will form if you do this daily.

3. Just be you

Listen, you don’t need to be A student in English or be afraid of the grammar police.

Your journal is yours alone and you have every right to just be yourself and most importantly, be honest.

This isn’t the time to be shy, let your pages know your feelings, girl! At the end of the day, you’re going to know yourself inside out when you’re done.

What should I write about in my diary? (List of journal entry ideas)

Writing about the same thing every day (like a daily routine) can be tedious.

Which is why I like to change things up so you’ll never have to fall into the ‘diary slump’ or writer’s block.

Here’s a list of topics to include in your journal entries for a fresh breath of air:

  • Things you excited for
  • Things you love (also things you love about yourself)
  • Things you hate/dislike
  • Your goals and aspirations
  • Challenges
  • Solutions to challenges
  • Dreams
  • Important lessons learned
  • Important/memorable events
  • Things you’re grateful for
  • People you’re grateful for
  • Places you want to see
  • Favorite childhood memories
  • Write a letter to your future self
  • Inspirational quotes

How To Decorate Diary Pages

Decorating journal pages are easier than you think. Especially, if you’re not good at drawing or handwriting.

There are many tools and tricks you can use to make your pages look attractive and neat.

1. Use washi tapes

Washi tapes can be used to decorate the borders or stick photos.

You’ll see in many journal spreads, there are a few small pieces of tape used to make a spread look more unique and pretty.

2. Stencils are your best friend

I’m terrible at drawing boxes correctly or large alphabets (like bubble letters) and I found that using stencils make a BIG difference in the way your bullet journal spread looks. It’s neat and a whole lot quicker!

3. Make use of stickers

If you’re not very good at drawing cute things, then I’d recommend adding in a few stickers just to make the page look more alive.

You don’t have to go out and buy expensive stickers.

Just grab a few vectors online and print them. Works just as good.

4. Invest in the correct bullet journal supplies

When I first started bullet journaling, I used cheap supplies but when you use the correct bullet journal, oh what a difference!

Not to mention the pens.

If you really want to up your bullet journal game, then get pens that won’t bleed through the page as well as those fancy color pens and brush pens for special effects. You’ll definitely see a massive improvement in quality.

5. Keep it simple with a minimalist spread

There’s also a smart way to skip the decorating and keep things simple. Take a look at this brilliant idea designed by Dan.

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If you love black and white spreads or just minimalistic spreads, then you’ll love this daily log.

You can keep track of all the things that happened in the week on one page.


As you’ve seen, there are many ways you can use a bullet journal as a diary with some amazing designs that will improve your journaling experience.

You’ll be able to go far beyond that through a journey of self-discovery with journaling.

But what remains to be decided if you want to use your journal as a diary or keep things separate? Either way is acceptable but the decision remains with you.

So, what your plans and let us know what your thoughts are on using a bullet journal as a diary?

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  1. I have half of my left lung removed due to cancer. This beast inside of me has spread to the lymph glands. This being the case I will be starting chemo as soon as I heal from the surgery. After the chemo then radiation.
    So I feel I need to find a way to cope with my journey. I have been reading a lot about bullet journals and I like drawing and writing so I thought this may be a help to me.
    I feel that this may be a great venue for me to put my feelings on paper so that I can face this battle that I’m going to have to fight. I feel like if I put my thoughts down and my fears that I will be able to find away to put things in perspective.

    1. I’m so sorry you have to go through this Kathleen, and I wish with a sincere heart that you have a full recovery. Journaling is one of the best ways to work through your feelings so you’ve definitely made the right choice. If you have any other questions, please feel free to share them with me. Take care of yourself <3

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