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Bullet journals are all the rage right now and I have to admit, I had no idea what they were until a friend mentioned it was her New Year’s Resolution to start one. After a bit of research, I found out that I’ve spent a lot of years doing my own method of something really popular! It turns out that preferring graph paper over regular lined paper for writing isn’t unusual anymore.
For those of you that don’t know, the idea behind a bullet journal is to create your own system of organization that tracks everything in your daily, monthly, and yearly life. You can choose to track goals, finances, accomplishments, schedules, grocery lists, meal plans, and whatever else you choose. It’s a personal planner that documents your life and is often hand-created starting with blank pages. If you are curious, you can see some of my favorite examples on my Bullet Journal Pinterest Board.
The whole idea got me thinking that it could be a lot of fun for kids. Mine enjoy journaling and fill up countless composition books in a year, so how different would it be if they had a little organization to go along with it? They, like me, found the whole process of creating everything from scratch to be a bit overwhelming, so together we brainstormed what the pages in their journals should look, what to include, and are excited to share it all (and provide the free printouts for your use) today.
Bullet Journals – Outside
Bound or Binder
There are a few different options when it comes to containing all of the parts of your bullet journal, but the girls and I decided to use simple three-ring binders. You can use a smaller, half sheet binder as well, or could bind them together if you have access to a binding machine.
To separate the different sections of the binder, you can choose to use sticky notes to flag the pages, or you could get dividers. Keep in mind that your child (unless they are very organized) will likely thrash the binder as they use it, so don’t go spending a fortune to make it happen. We chose to use dividers because we already had them.
The girls each designed a cover for their binders and we tucked it into the front sleeve of the binder. There’s a template for one here.
Bullet Journals – Inside
When it came to the pages that would make up the bullet journal, we determined a monthly calendar was the most important thing. The girls asked if I would print one for each month so they could keep track of all their important dates over the course of the year. They added their birthdays, questions to ask on certain days, and all of the major holidays and events that are coming up. They have also used their calendars to track library book due dates, as well as free events they want to attend in the community.
They enjoy coloring in the boxes for each day, crossing them off, and can also be found illustrating the events instead of writing them out. It’s their journal, so they can do with it as they please and they love that freedom.
Weekly Habit Tracker
One of the more common thing to include in a Bullet Journal is a habit tracker. Typically, it’s just like it sounds: a list of habits you want to make or break and a checklist to determine whether you did it or not.
Each month, the girls list habits they want to break, things that matter to them, not necessarily to me. They list them out in the appropriate column and use a color system (one color for yes, one color for no) to keep track of successes. If your kids are younger, you might need to help them with this, but it’s definitely something they can have fun with.
Some of the habits my girls want to break/create for the month of April include:
Be nice to sister
Act like a lady
Don’t have a bad attitude
Play with cats
Put on deodorant
You get the picture. For younger children, you could include potty training habits and helping with clean up at the end of the day. The sky is the limit – so get creative!
This can easily be turned into a monthly habit tracker, but I’ve found that the kids aren’t quite as excited about it toward the end of the month. Keeping it fresh each week helps maintain engagement.
Weekly Chore List
Surprisingly enough, this one came from my youngest daughter. As I’ve mentioned before, we have a list of household chores for each member of the family. It’s nearly identical to the printable one here and has been placed in a plastic sleeve for use with dry erase markers. When I mentioned the idea of bullet journaling, my youngest wanted to have a copy of the chore list at her disposal so she could keep track of that on her own time. She still has to check it off in our family communication center, but she likes tracking her success privately each week as well.
This is a simple sheet with a weekly goal for personal, school, and family. Each evening they reflect on whether they made their goal for the day in each of the three areas and check yes or no. It’s a simple thing but has allowed us to have more discussion as a family about setting and achieving goals. Keep in mind, once again, that these are goals created by them, not be me.
Examples of Personal Goals
Act more mature
Have a good sense of humor
Have a good attitude
Use all my effort
Examples of Family Goals
Get chores done with a good attitude
Help Mom when asked without pouting
Hang out with Dad
Examples of School Goals
Act nicely towards friends
Don’t call people names
Keep desk clean
Get a good daily report from the teacher
Daily Reflection Sheet
For older kids, including a daily reflection sheet with goal reflection is a nice touch. My daughters were interested in having a daily food log so we included that along with some journaling-type questions. The final part of this daily reflection includes a space to add something that they are thankful for. We find it’s a nice way to end each day, and the girls enjoy looking back through their journals to see how far they have come.
For the younger kids, a daily reflection sheet will need to be a bit different. I’ve included a couple options and, of course, you can always come up with your own ideas. Option 1 involves drawing their “biggest feeling” of the day and Option 2 allows your child to draw an important event that happened. If you write a couple sentences (they dictate!) it can also turn into a fun memory book down the line.
Of course, using a daily reflection sheet is completely optional. If you feel the habit tracker and weekly goals are enough for your child, then leave it there. Pick and choose the items that your child will enjoy long-term.
Books To Read
The final addition to our bullet journals is a list of books to read. We love to go to the bookstore and the library, but sometimes there are just too many good book ideas and not enough time (or money) to get them. With this list, my girls are able to track all of the books they want to read in the future. (It’s also helpful when Mom and Dad are looking for Christmas or Birthday ideas.) They check them off on their list when they are done reading them, and even mark whether they liked the book or didn’t care for it. This makes it easy for them to decide if it’s a good book to recommend to a friend, cousin, or sibling.
Additional Items that could be Included
Of course, the sky is the limit with what you can add to your bullet journals. Additional items could include:
A Map (if traveling)
Bible Verse Collector
Best Word I Heard Today
Things I Want to Learn About
Memories I Don’t Want to Forget
Questions to ask when I’m _____ (a certain age)
The list could go on and on. Start small and let your children get creative! You can find all of the FREE printables for these bullet journals by signing up for our email list here.
Have you created your own bullet journal? Do you have ideas that should be added to this list? Share with us in the comments below!
Have a wonderful day!
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