Whimsical and Artistic Bullet Journal Borders

I don’t know anyone else who does bullet journaling the same way I do so I’ll explain my method and show a bit of what other people are doing with bullet journaling these days. With bullet journals, the possibilities are endless and for me at least, the goal was to find a way to use mine in a sustainable, habitual way. I needed something that works for me.

Bullet journal history

Bullet journaling became popular with people using the internet because of the original bullet journaling site based on the work of Ryder Carroll, who created this method to be more productive despite learning disabilities. Since then many creative people have come up with variations on his work including weight trackers, habit trackers, reading trackers and so much more.

My bullet journal history

I learned about bullet journaling (from the site I linked to above) five or six years ago and started my first bullet journal in a Moleskine journal. I decorated the pages with washi tape, mostly, and stuck to the prescribed basic bullet journaling format and marks. Then I skipped a few years and decided to go back to bullet journaling.

I went to a Christian bookstore looking for a bullet journal and nearly gave up looking for the perfect journal, then tried one more, and it was perfect. It is A Time For Every Purpose made by Ellie Claire of the Hachett Book Group. The following year I bought a similar bullet journal from the same manufacturer. It is called All Good Things. There are many other fine journals out there but these two are perfect for my needs with Christian themes I love, page numbers, an index section at the front, and even a page with sample bullet journal marks you might want to utilize. The dotted grid is a favorite for bullet journalers these days. I prefer them to plain lined journals.

It was at this time that I started making videos showing me making my whimsical and artistic borders for my bullet journal pages. I’ve made quite a few at this point. Here’s one that’s less than 4 minutes long, with a golden heart border.

[These videos are from my Linda Jo Martin “Adventures in Creativity” channel on YouTube.]

Here’s my most recent bullet journal border video. It is also my favorite so far. I’ve upgraded my camera recently (I’m now using a GoPro Hero 7) and had fun editing the video using music and increasing the speed to make it easier for viewers to watch.

Art supplies list

Here is a list of some of the art supplies I’ve used in my bullet journal for making page borders:

Noodlers Ink either painted on or in a Twsbi Eco fountain pen

Gelly Roll gel pens — trying their many varieties like Moonlight, Souffle, Stardust Galaxy and Metallic

Uniball Pens: black, white, gold and silver

Mildliner Pens by Zebra

Zebrite Bible Highlighters by Zebra

Sakura Micron Pens (black and many colors)

Acrylic paint (I’m using the liquid paints found at Walmart)

Kuretake Watercolors (professional grade)

Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketchers Watercolors (travel set)

Tombow Watercolor Markers

Water brushes (mine are made by Xpassion)

Watercolor brushes

Acrylic paint brushes

What’s inside my bullet journal?

I have a book list and yearly goals at the front of my journal, then start my decorated pages which normally contain a few to-do’s and a lot of ta-da’s as I like to keep a list of things I’ve done each day. I do that because I don’t like to get to the end of the day and wonder, “Where did that day go? What did I do? Did I get anything worthwhile accomplished?” Now I can look back and see what I’ve done every day of the year.

Sometimes I break away from the pattern and dedicate a page to books I want to read (a TBR list) or things I wish I had, or a floor plan for my maybe someday home, or whatever comes to mind. A bullet journal is a great place to keep track of daydreams and plans for the future.

This video shows some of my bullet journal pages that have already been written on:

Here’s a monthly page I made for June 2019:

Pink and yellow page border made with Tombow markers, Gelly Roll pens and a carbon pen

Don’t hesitate to get started with a bullet journal

If any of this appeals to you, don’t hesitate to get started. Try it out and find out what works for you and what doesn’t. You don’t have to be just like everyone else. Do it your way. Do what works for you and what makes you happy.

Where to learn more

There are many online resources for learning new bullet journal ideas. You can find groups on Facebook sharing page layouts and tips with each other. You can look at some beautiful pages from bullet journals at Pinterest or on Instagram. Just use their search engines to find what you’re looking for. There are also other bullet journaling articles here on Medium.

You can watch all my YouTube videos about bullet journal borders. There are a lot of other videos there about bullet journals too. Just use the YouTube search engine to find them. You can read the original bullet journal site and download their app for your phone. Most important, you can start now and teach yourself as you go along. There’s nothing more educational than trying things out for yourself. You may find the bullet journal life works perfectly for you.

Here are some ideas other bullet journalers posted to Instagram

A travel planning page:

Habit tracker:

A planning calendar:

Your imagination will take you there

Whatever you want to do with your bullet journal, go there. Do your own thing. Make your bullet journal your happy place, like I do with my whimsical and artistic bullet journal borders (not all of them are on video). Make room in it to record the things that are important to you. We’re all different. Be inspired by others but remember, there’s only one you. You’re unique so your bullet journal will be too.


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