The best part of Bullet Journaling is making something entirely your own. It’s up to you to include what you need to stay organised and productive. Sometimes though, with unlimited possibilities, it’shard to know where to begin! Read through to my conclusion to discover the do’s and don’t’s of Bullet Journal Trackers!
I’ve used all of these trackers in some form in my Bullet Journaling. What’s important however is whether they would bring value to you in your Bullet Journal. While they are all useful, they probably won’t all work for you, so don’t be afraid to pick and choose!
Jump to Bullet Journal Trackers for:
Mood tracking goes hand-in-hand with the journaling aspect of a Bullet Journal. It’s not just a great mental health tool, but also an index to your daily logs. Using a mood tracker as a reference makes it easy to go and re-discover great days. They can also be used to locate ‘bad’ days and used to identify patterns and routines that may impact your moods.
To set up a mood tracker, all you need is the moods you want to track and a key. I generally use a key of five different emotions; Happy, OK, Stressed/Annoyed, Sad and Sick/Tired. By keeping myself to a small range, I’m able to keep things effortless. Simplicity is essential for a mood tracker as it ideally should be completed daily; it’s hard to remember if you had an OK day or a stressed day when it was last week!
Monthly or Yearly Mood Tracking?
While there are two main ways of setting up a mood tracker, I suggest monthly for efficiency. When I started tracking my mood in my Bullet Journal, I used the ‘Year in Pixels’ layout. While I enjoyed its aesthetics, I discovered that as it was at the front of my journal on its own, I forgot to complete it regularly! I also found that as space was limited, I could only record one mood a day, which hampered accurate tracking.
A monthly tracker provides space for tracking more than one mood a day and additional flexibility. What you’re tracking may change from month to month; for example, one month you may focus on stress, another on sickness. Using a monthly tracker, you’re not confined to the key you set up at the start of the year.
As always, a mood tracker is what you make of it. Click here for an example of a completed ‘Year in Pixels’ spread from my last Bullet Journal. While for a completed monthly tracker, check out this mood tracker example from my July 2020 setup. Both provide the same information, but in different forms. My suggestion would be to try monthly tracking first to see if t works for you.
Health and Fitness trackers cover a huge range of ideas and topics. From an exercise routine tracker, to tracking weight, periods or medication, the possibilities are endless. I am by no means a huge exerciser, so I limit my fitness tracking to a couple of items in my habit tracker (I’ll talk about how adaptable it is later!) and recording my daily walking distance. If you’re an exercise fiend, however, a dedicated spread showing which day is leg day might be perfect!
Both mood and sleep trackers are health-related, but as they have become fixtures of Bullet Journaling, I have decided to keep them separate. From what I’ve seen, heath and fitness Bullet Journal trackers generally fall into two categories; schedules and milestones. Schedules include recording appointments and routines; including ideas such as your gym fixtures, physiotherapy appointments, monthly cycle or marathon attendance.
Milestone trackers are the opposite of schedules. Instead of planning by date, goals are recorded and then dates filled in as they are achieved. Examples of this could be for weight loss, timed running over a certain distance or weight lifting. Milestone trackers are also great for content or financial tracking so I’ll be coming back to them later!
If you’re overwhelmed by all the possibilities of tracking your health and fitness, I’d recommend starting small. As mentioned at the start of this section, the only health item I track is my miles. It doesn’t require a separate tracker, I just incorporate it into my monthly log. If, however, after reading this, you think that’s how to get my fitness routine organised; go for it!
A huge percentage of people don’t get the recommended average amount of sleep. Seven to nine hours for an adult, more for children and teenagers if you were wondering! While everyone is different, getting the right amount of sleep is important to how you function and your underlying health. Everyone has different sleep needs, and a great way to figure out what they are is with a tracker!
I know that if I get less than seven hours of sleep, I will be grumpy the next day! If I compare my sleep and mood trackers, the correlation between insufficient sleep and a bad day following is clear. It’s also clear that when I’m stressed, my sleep is impacted. Tracking your sleep enables you to spot these patterns.
How to track your sleep
There are obviously lots of different ways to track sleep now. I personally used a Fitbit. Aside from smartwatches there are also sleep tracking apps, but you can always go tech-free. To track manually, you just need to check the time when you turn in for sleep and then again when you wake up. This will give a rough idea of how many hours you’re asleep which is a great place to start. You could also rate how you slept; five for out like a log, or one for tossed and turned for hours then woke up at 3 am and couldn’t get back to sleep!
Remember, only include what works for you into your Bullet Journal trackers. I sleep eight hours on average, so I don’t really need to, but I find it interesting. If sleep is something you struggle with, however, tracking what’s happening can be a great way to start improving.
Reading & Watching Trackers
Phew, onto something a bit lighter! This is for all those bookworms, TV bingers and movie enthusiasts! There are two key types of tracking to chose from if you’re looking to record what you’re reading and watching. Firstly, there’s the to-do tracker. Somewhere to record all those recommended TV shows, upcoming movie premieres (when they start happening again..) and the twelve books you got for Christmas but haven’t got around to yet!
These lists can then track when you got to the book or film and what you thought. This type of tracker would work for people who need to record all the recommendations they’re getting, who also like to have a bit of reflection or review afterwards. I’d imagine it’d be great if you were a member of a book club!
I say imagine, as I track my reading and watching the second way. While I’m as guilty as the next bookworm of having books I’m yet to get to, I prefer to track books, movies and TV shows as I finish them. I use a very simple spread and colour-code by media type so I can see clearly what’s what. I’ve only been tracking since the start of 2020 but it’s really satisfying to see what I’ve read and watched across that time. I also find that tracking after the fact is fantastic when you like re-reading or re-watching favourites; is it too soon to re-read Harry Potter again for example? (Definitely not, I’ve not read it this year!)
2020 has been an exceptional year for the volume I’ve been able to read and watch. I’ve really enjoyed keeping a record and referring back to it for monthly favourites so this is a tracker that I will keep using!
Content tracking isn’t for everyone but is great for side hustlers. Whether it’s social media followers, blog comments or shop purchases, writing down your results can be a great mood boost. Milestone trackers are a great way of tracking your side hustle goals. Whatever they are, you can itemise them, then cross them off as they are reached. Having a visualization of your goal journey can be hugely motivating and more interesting than a list of numbers!
However, if lists of numbers are your thing that’s great! Content trackers don’t have to be a standalone spread; they can be incorporated into monthly logs easily. Just record your chosen figures, however often you need to. I’ve found having a physical tracker and organiser for my blog great, particularly as it gives me a break from screens!
Any list of Bullet Journal trackers would be incomplete without mentioning those for finance. Like health trackers, these are so varied that I couldn’t cover them all here, but I’ll give some examples that are great for different things.
These are very straightforward milestone trackers that can be used for just about any savings goal; pick your total, divide it into reasonable chunks then fill in each as your savings grow! Using a savings tracker is great if you hate numbers and ledgers; it keeps things visual, which can be really helpful for some people when managing money.
If you’re trying to work out your living costs, these are excellent. I’ve found that writing down every purchase is a great way of getting a big picture. If you’re a big spender, all those entries may be more obvious than a bank statement! This tracker is as quick as writing a date, item and amount, and can easily be reviewed at the end of the month to see where exactly your money is going!
Thirdly, is a budget tracker. It displays your budgets for certain spending areas, which you can then compare to your actual spending. If you have no idea what you spend per month, I’d suggest running a spending tracker for a while beforehand. Big-ticket items like rent and utilities are a priority, and then you can figure out your spending around them. For example, in this post, I talk about how I set aside 10% of my income for ‘splurge’ spending.
Lastly, I’d like to mention progressive tracking. This is something I’ve decided to start as I want a physical version of my spreadsheets. As I have multiple accounts, I’m tracking what I have in each at the end of the month. This way I can see what’s growing, what’s not, and where I’ve had big expenses.
Whether you’re looking to motivate yourself to save for a holiday or get your budget sorted, there’s a tracker for you! One advantage is that it’s not a budget book or an excel spreadsheet, which can be intimidating, just something you can fit into your everyday Bullet Journal routine.
You may well be wondering why I’ve saved these for last, as habit trackers are the most well-known of the various Bullet Journal trackers. My reasoning is uncomplicated. Habit trackers can be used to enhance or simplify any of the trackers I’ve mentioned above. The trick to a good tracker is making using it a habit. The essence of using a Bullet Journal is only including what you use. This is where habit trackers come in.
A habit tracker is a list of tasks you want to do and space to mark whether or not you have. That’s it. Simple. The example here is from my first Bullet Journal and, interestingly, covers a lot of the topics I’ve mentioned.
It has times for getting out of and going to bed (sleep tracking,) doing stretches and walking a mile (health tracking) and not spending anything (financial tracking). As I’ve developed, I’ve added different habits such as reading for half an hour or completing my blog checklist. All of my other trackers are more detailed versions of the humble habit tracker.
Let’s get real!
You don’t need a fancy full-page tracker for everything I’ve mentioned above. If you want one, that’s great, knock yourself out, but where you can, keep it simple! The only fitness I want to track is stretching and walking so they’re daily habits. I currently don’t have to monitor my spending per transaction so I don’t.
If you’re looking for a tracker to start with this is it. As you can see, they’re easy to set up, you can track whatever you want and if you want a few days off (e.g. you can be lazy on holidays) just put a line through the days you’re taking a break over. You can also use habit trackers to track things less frequent than daily tasks, but it’s entirely up to you.
My main advice would be don’t track too many things at once; stay in single figures, and keep it reasonable. If it’s not reasonable to do something daily it doesn’t belong here. If you’re unrealistic, you’re just setting yourself for empty boxes and ‘failure.’ Aim for things you can fit into your day and then amend them as they become part of your routine.
Bullet Journal Trackers in Conclusion
Your Bullet Journal needs to work for you, not the other way around. What’s great is that you can change it up; try one thing next month and if it doesn’t work ditch it and try something else. It’s trial and error but that’s part of the process. All of the trackers I’ve mentioned here are great- if you need and use them. Don’t waste your precious time with trackers you’ll never use!
Some things also aren’t suited to Bullet Journal trackers. For example, unless you live alone, I wouldn’t keep meal and chore tracking spreads in a Bullet Journal. I used to, but all that meant was my partner had no idea what needed doing and I felt like I had to chase him to do anything. Once we started using a tracker that was out in the open it became a shared responsibility which was much better for our relationship.
Finally, then, Bullet Journal trackers can be great tools but that doesn’t mean you need them. If some of the trackers I’ve mentioned here sound useful, try them out, but ditch them if they don’t work. The beauty of a Bullet Journal is that they are unique, the challenge comes in keeping them that way. There are so many great ideas out there that sometimes we need to stop and think; does this work for me?