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Bullet Journaling for Mental Health

I think you all know by now that I love a bit of journaling. I’ve recently taken my practice to a whole new level. Have you ever heard of bullet journaling? No? Well, read on to find out more…

What is Bullet Journaling?

The bullet journal is an analogue system originally created by Ryder Carroll, a Designer based in New York. Carroll says the bullet journal is meant ‘to help you track the past, organise the present, and plan for the future.’

It’s a fantastic system you can use to record anything and everything! It can be your to-do list, journal, sketchpad, idea catcher, and health tracker all-in-one. As well as keeping you organised, bullet journaling is about being creative with pen and paper.

Although bullet journaling gives you the flexibility to do whatever works for you, the practice generally relies on four main features:

– Rapid-Logging

– Index

– Collections (Future Log, Monthly Log, Daily Log, and Curated Collections)

– Migration

To learn more about setting up your own bullet journal and how to use it, I’d recommend the starter guide on the official Bullet Journal website and this How to Bullet Journal video.

The Benefits of Bullet Journaling

While I still journal every evening, I also keep my bullet journal with me at all times. I’ve loved playing around, creating pretty pages, and taking time to doodle and draw in a mindful way.

We can all benefit from exploring our creativity and having a little fun. Bullet journaling allows you to combine this with some good old-fashioned organisation, so it really is a win-win! Take a look at all the bullet journal inspo on Pinterest for some simple, creative ideas.

I love a to-do list, but many of us create lists that are completely unachievable. Ideally, you should prioritise just three things each day that you want to get done. Noting down my ‘Big 3’ in my bullet journal has been so rewarding. Rather than agonising over an endless to-do list, I feel I’m actually achieving something each day.

Taking timeout from the digital world has also been a joy. Screens are part of almost everything we do these days and the amount of information and data being thrown at us is overwhelming and stressful. It’s a tonic to open my bullet journal and know I’m not going to be attacked by a pop-up, notification, or message.

Bullet Journaling for Mental Health

If you’ve already purchased my CBT Journal, you may notice the journaling sheets are inspired by some of the principles of bullet journaling. There are tick boxes to rate each day and record how you’re getting on with diet and exercise. There are also daily mood and anxiety rating scales, so you can track where you are and record your progress each day.

Mood trackers, anxiety trackers, negative thinking trackers, or trigger trackers are just a few of the ways you can actively learn more about your mental health. As I always say, awareness is the first step to changing unhelpful patterns. Writing things down gets your thoughts out of your head, reducing stress and helping you become more objective.

Bullet journaling allows you to focus on just one thing at a time, giving you space to think and process events, thoughts, and feelings. It’s also great for reflecting and keeping notes between therapy sessions – helping you get the most out of CBT. You can read more about journaling and mental health here.

Useful Links:

Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals

Mental Health Bullet Journal


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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at