Bullet Journaling Terms Every Beginner Should Know

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Welcome to one more post in my Bullet Journaling for Beginners series.

Are you new to Bullet Journaling and feeling overwhelmed by all of the terms and concepts that come along with it? Bullet Journaling really has its own language, and you’ll see it all over in all the books and blog posts related to the topic.

Don’t worry: I’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, we break down some of the most common Bullet Journaling terms so that you can jump right in without confusion or hesitation.

Here, we’ve collected all the primary information that you need to know about this creative and addictive hobby. Whether you’re new or a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to discover in the world of bullet journaling.

You might be familiar with some of the information here, but there are always new terms to explore.

For your convenience, I’ll divide them into basic Bullet Journal terms, stationery-related terms, and other journaling terms that are connected to different tips and mistakes in your journal.

And be sure to scroll until the end to get more resources and a free course on how to start a Bullet Journal.

Basic Bullet Journaling Terms

Let’s start with some basic terms that will help you grasp the core concepts of the Bullet Journal system.

Knowing these will be enough for you to start your first BuJo and actually understand what all these step-by-step guides for beginners are talking about.

Bullet Journal – The Bullet Journal is a method where you use a single notebook with specialized spreads and elements for all the things in your life to get organized and productive.

Bujo – A shortened version of the word Bullet Journal.

Spread / Layout – any page that you created in your journal.

Log – another term for spread; just like you can say weekly spread, you can say weekly log.

Collections – pretty much any page in your Bullet Journal can be called a collection. But often times you could use the word collection for your non-planning related pages.

Collections Journal – a separate journal where you just create your non-planning pages.

Index – a table of content for your journal. This is the page that allows you to now worry about how you separate your journal and plan as you go,

Key – a page with the symbols you use when writing in your journal; basically, it’s the key to deciphering your Bullet Journal entries.

Signifier – an icon to label certain types of data in your journal

Future Log – this little section of our journals keeps us on track with all of your planned events, goals, and dreams for the months ahead.

2021-2022 Bullet Journal Setup, future log | Masha Plans

Tracker – a chart, graph, drawing, or table used to keep track of anything, from habits and moods to sleep and water consumption.

Monthly Spreads / Layouts – these are usually pages you use to plan out your month. It includes pages like a monthly calendar, monthly to-do list, monthly habit trackers, and anything else you feel like using in your journal that month.

Weekly Spread / Log – this is a page to plan your week. Usually, it includes daily boxes to plan your day-to-day tasks and any other elements you need. For example – a weekly to-do list, notes, weekly meal plan, and so on.

Migrate – to transfer the information between spreads, pages, or journals.

Rapid Logging – a fast way to add information to your journal with symbols and short entries.

Theme – design elements that unify the whole monthly setup.

Stationery Related Terms

The world of stationery is vast! And if you want to spend your money only on good supplies you’ll love, you’ll need to get some of this terminology.

I wish I had known that before since I ended up buying quite a few journals that definitely were not what I needed simply because I didn’t understand the descriptions.

But you won’t have this issue! Here is what you should know.

Dot Grid – this refers to the journal grid, and this is the most commonly used type of grid for Bullet Journaling. It will provide you with enough direction but without bringing too much attention to it.

GSM – this refers to the density of the paper. The thicker the paper, the fewer issues you’ll have with your pens being seen on the other side of your page and such, but it also means that the journal will be heavier. I would recommend getting at least 120 GSM, but my go-to is 160 GSM paper.

A5, A4, B6 … – these are all the sizes of notebooks, but some brands also have non-standard sizes, so be sure to check that. The usual, most popular size is A5.

Disc-Binding – this is a type of binding when pages are held together with rigid disks, kind of like a Happy Planner. It’s not the most popular binding for Bullet Journaling, but it has its own benefits for sure.

Thread Binding – this is the binding you can find in most notebooks for Bullet Journaling; it’s when pages are sewn together with threads.

Ring Binding – another type of binding where the pages are held together by rings. Usually, these notebooks allow you to move the pages around, which can be beneficial.

Lay Flat – this refers to the way a notebook lays when it’s open. When it’s lay flat, it means when it’s open, it’s laid completely flat, you can comfortably plan, and it’s easy to take journal pictures.

Speaking of stationery, there are a few terms on possible issues you may face with your pens and notebooks.

Bleeding – it is exactly as scary as it sounds. It basically means that your pen or marker bled through the page. Horrific!

Ghosting – this is like a distant cousin of bleeding. There is no stain and that huge of damage, but it means that on the other side of the page, you see the traces of the pens of markers. This is not a big deal, but it can be a deal breaker for some people.

Feathering – this is something that can happen with your pen ink, especially if you’re using a fountain pen. it basically means that the ink spreads a bit beyond the limits of the letters you wrote.

Other Journaling Terms

This is a lot of terms, but don’t worry; we’re almost done! Just a few important terms to help you with your Bullet Journal.

Threading – Imagine you have this awesome collection of books read on page 7 of your journal. But as time goes on, you fill up pages 7-56 with all sorts of other important stuff. Panic sets in because you don’t want to lose track of all your amazing reading achievements!

That’s where threading comes in. You simply start your book collection on page 57, and draw a little line or symbol on page 7 followed by the number 57. Now you can flip back to page 7 and easily find your books by following the thread to page 77.

It’s like a little breadcrumb trail for your journal!

Dutch Door – imagine a spread where some of the pages have been cut down, giving the illusion of a door that opens independently of the bottom half. But the best part – you can cut the page any way you want!

Besides looking aesthetically pleasing, Dutch Door spreads can also be useful. You can create more space on one spread and make your Bullet Journal even more organized.

Free Course “Bullet Journaling For Beginners”

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re interested in starting a Bullet Journal, and I’ve got you covered with a free course.

This course will walk you step by step through creating a journal of your dreams, and again, it’s absolutely free.

Sign up in the form below, and once you confirm your subscription, all the information on how to get started will be on the way to your inbox.

More Resources

If you’re looking for some more blog posts about Bullet Journaling, I’ve got you covered.

Check out next these few posts for beginners:

What other terms do you want to understand better? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to add them to the list.

Hope this post was interesting. If you find it so, please share! If you enjoy my content and want to show your appreciation, please consider supporting me with a cup of coffee.

And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob!

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    1. The literally meaning is a drop of thick liquid, but here it also kind of a person who is just a couch potato and not doing anything, which is totally fine as well btw. But I believe with BuJo you can do and achieve more =)

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