Simple tips for starting a diary with any notebook

fpfcorp 02/11/2021 1463

Are you interested in journaling, but not necessarily into the dot or grid journals that everyone uses?

That is okay!

Journaling can be done in ANY notebook - there are no limits when it comes to bullet journaling.

Perhaps you can’t get a dotted or grid notebook in your area, or maybe you’ve got loads of blank or lined notebooks already at home and don’t want to waste them.

Well do not worry, bullet journaling is a rule-free journaling experience with absolutely NO limits. Bullet journaling can be done in any notebook, including lined journals (which you probably have laying around anyway) and blank journals.

The origination of the bullet journal actually has nothing to do with the dots on the page. Bullet journaling refers to the bullet method of organizing information which is a method utilizing bullet points and other symbols to organize information on a to-do list.

To learn more about bullet journaling basics, check out

this article on the basics

or this

challenge for beginners


So, we now know that bullet journaling has nothing to do with the notebook.

Let’s answer the question,

can you journal in any notebook?

Yes! If bullet journaling has nothing to do with the notebook and there really are no rules about how to bullet journal, why would the notebook you use matter?

Now that we’ve answered the question “Can you journal in any notebook?” we need to talk about just


Keep a diary in these notebooks.

There are so many bullet journal Instagram accounts and blogs out there that focus on dotted or grid notebooks, so it can seem impossible to learn how to journal in other notebooks. Here we will discuss what seems so difficult.

Perfectly Penned Lined Notebook

Can You Bullet Journal On Lined Paper?

The short answer to this question is yes, of course, you can bullet journal on lined paper.

According to

Ryder Carroll

, the originator of the bullet journal method, bullet journaling does not refer to the dots on the page, but the method used to organize information.

The term “bullet” simply refers to organizing information using bullet points. That being said, of course, you can bullet journal in a lined notebook!

Examples Of Bullet Journal Spreads For Lined Paper

Now you have an idea of how to bullet journal using lined paper, check out these awesome examples of journaling on lined paper!

Image source:

Its Sarah Ann

Its Sarah Ann did an awesome job creating a future planning layout using lined paper. She was even able to incorporate colour and doodle art!

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Bringing the Sunshine

Here is a very basic bullet journal using lined pages. She used the basic bullet method to organize her days and fit her journal to her needs!

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Page Flutter

Page Flutter does an awesome job of discussing

journaling in a lined notebook

and provides some seriously awesome examples! Here is an example she shows off of a daily to-do layout on lined paper.

How to Bullet Journal with Lined Paper

Since bullet journaling is all about the method used to organize information and not the paper, there is no real answer to this question. At least, there is no answer that is any different from how to bullet journal in a dotted notebook.

Despite this lack of difference, the lines may present certain difficulties in designing and executing layouts which a

dotted notebook

might not produce.

For example, in a dotted notebook, dots fill the page allowing you to easily connect them to draw shapes. In a lined notebook, there are only horizontal lines which are often further apart than the dots are. This makes drawing certain lines and shapes more difficult.

All hope is not lost, though. There are dozens of ways to solve the vertical line dilemma. One of the first ways is to eyeball any diagonal or vertical lines you want to make. Bullet journaling doesn’t have to be perfect and neither do your lines.

A second way to solve this issue is with a ruler. Rulers can help you to draw straight lines even though there are not dots or gridlines to assist in this process.

The third and final way we will discuss here is to get stencils. There are SO many stencils out there these days that can help you to draw boxes and various shapes, even grids, for your bullet journaling experience no matter what journal you use.

Can You Bullet Journal On Blank Paper?

We’ve talked about why you can journal in a lined notebook, now let’s discuss journaling on blank paper. While journaling on blank paper may be more difficult that lined, dotted, or grid paper, it is still very possible.

Again, bullet journaling is less about the paper and more about the journaling. SO, why not try out journaling in a blank paged notebook. Some more artistic journalers may even find they prefer the look of their art on a blank page than they do on a dotted page.

Examples Of Bullet Journal Spreads For Blank Paper

Now that we’ve established that bullet journaling can be done using blank paper, check out these awesome examples of journalers doing just that!!

Image source:

Little Coffee Fox

Here is a prime example of someone using a blank notebook and still getting an amazing bullet journal layout done! You can’t even tell that there are no dots or lines here!

Image Source:


Here is another amazing layout with no dots or lines! Check out how this layout utilizing multi-media and most likely a ruler, to be a normal bullet journal layout!

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Here is one more amazing layout all done without any dots!! I imagine Claire drew lines in pencil to write on then erased them when she was done!

How to Bullet Journal with Blank Paper

As is the case for bullet journaling on lined paper, journaling on blank pages might be more difficult simply because there are no dots or lines there to guide you. That does not mean that it is impossible. There are several ways to combat journaling and still get the look you want on blank paper.

The first method I have to offer you isn’t realistic but it is an option. If you can’t get a dotted notebook, but you want the look of a dotted notebook, try using a ruler to draw dots in yourself. Advantages of this are the control over the spacing of the dots. However, this process is incredibly time consuming and in the end, it may be worth investing in a dotted notebook.

The remainder of the tips I have parallel the tips I mentioned for lined notebooks.

First, you can use tools such as stencils, rulers, etc. to draw lines and various shapes easily. Second, you can simply eye-ball everything.

This third tip is more unique to the blank pages than to lined pages. When it comes to writing out words, it can be useful to draw everything out in pencil first, including lines to write on. Drawing lines with a pencil using a ruler can help you to write straight, you can then erase the lines and no one ever needs to know!

Related Questions

Here are some questions, briefly explored, which you might have after reading this article!

How to use the bullet method

The bullet method is a really simple method. At the most basic level, this method simply refers to using bullets to list items on your to-do list. You may also use other symbols to organize this information better. Learn more over at

Ryder Carroll.

How to bullet journal

Bullet journaling is really easy. All you need is a notebook (any kind) and some kind of writing utensils (often pens and markers). Then you keep a daily record of your-dos, crossing them off as you go.

Learn more about getting started with bullet journaling by

clicking here

and get some awesome bullet journaling inspiration by checking out the

bullet journal round-ups

I’ve created.

Can you bullet journal using printables?

Yes! Printables can often be cheaper and easier to use than creating your own. You can find these layouts free or buy them online. Find layouts that fit your needs. You can then paste them into a notebook or hole punch them and put them in a binder. Simple!

What if I don’t have time to make a bullet journal?

There are several ways to solve this problem. First of all, keeping your bullet journal simple and fast to use is a simple way of effect. Second, try to use a printable or pre-made bullet journal style planner. If you still prefer something like custom bullet diaries, I can make one for you! I created a custom bullet log style planner to meet your needs and bullet log needs. View these custom journals at

Jihi Elephant Store



Bullet journaling has exploded in popularity and is usually seen done in dotted notebooks. Not everyone likes or has access to dotted notebooks, so can you journal in lines or blank notebooks? The answer is yes!

We’ve concluded that bullet journaling actually has nothing to do with the dots on the pages and instead its a to-do list method coined by Ryder Carroll. So there is absolutely no reason why you can’t journal in any notebook! Some notebooks, like the lined and blank notebooks, require some extra methods or tools. Using rulers and stencils can help you get straight lines without using the dots.

Bullet journaling doesn’t have to be done in a dot notebook, bullet journal in any notebook you would like!

Latest: Bullet diary on lined paper: how and why it works for you

Next: I try to use the sketchbook as a bullet journal

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