Young Asian woman with albinism writing in her journal at a table

Bullet Journal Words – A Glossary of Common Planner Terms

Many bullet journal words are unheard of outside the journaling / planner online communities. In order to help you decode things like “bujo” and “future log,” in this post I’ll walk you through a few of the common terms and explain their meanings.

Bleeding – when ink flows completely through a sheet of paper to the other side.

Brain Dump – writing down everything on your mind, all your to-do’s. Can be done pertaining to a single topic { example: blogging brain dump, or wedding brain dump }

Bullet Journal – Originally a notebook-based system of organized lists that use different bullet points and other devices to maintain order, created by Ryder Carroll.

Bullets – typically dot, circle or dash symbols used to denote a task in a bullet journal.

Bujo – Just short for bullet journal.

Collections – pages containing lists or notes on a single topic.

Commomplace book – a notebook used primarily to compile knowledge, including quotes, recipes, facts, epiphanies, proverbs, and other notes from life

Daily / Dailies – the pages of a bullet journal used for a single day.

Dashboard – an inner cover for a journal used mainly to create a tidier presentation, but also sometimes used for inspiration, focus, or storing functional items such as sticky notes.

Digital Planner – a planner that’s completely digital, and usually containing hyperlinks to different sections. It can be used in the same way as a bullet journal or traditional planner, but the digital format makes it more secure, re-arrangeable, and also searchable. Here’s where you can buy digital planners.

Disc-bound – a way to bind pages using ridged discs that fit snugly into paper grooves.

Dot grid – paper printed all over with an array of evenly-spaced dots. The most common distance between dots is 5mm, but smaller and larger dot grid spacings are also available. I’ve got free printable dot grid paper you can download!

Dutch Door – pages cut or folded shorter than the rest, with the intention of being able to use them left or right-facing, while still being able to use the uncut spread that surrounds them.

Faux Calligraphy – A style of hand-lettering to make round-tip pens look like varied-width calligraphy. See this video for an example of Faux Calligraphy.

Future Log – pages of the bullet journal where events and planning for the entire year can be noted. { also known as the yearly overview }

GSM – Grams per Square Meter, referring to the weight of the paper. The higher the number, the heavier the paper.

Ghosting – when paper is thin enough that pen marks can be seen clearly on the reverse side.

Index – the table of contents for a bullet journal. Page titles and page numbers are listed. Bullet journal index examples.

Journal Prompt – A sentence to ponder as a suggestion for what to journal about.

Key – A reference that shows what different bullet points or colors mean in the bullet journal. Bullet journal key examples.

Lettering – commonly referring to modern-style calligraphy or other artistic ways of writing { also known as hand-lettering }. Check out my bullet journal fonts post for lots of hand-lettering ideas.

Leuchtturm1917 – a German notebook company that produced the official branded Bullet Journal. See my leuchtturmn1917 notebook review here. { sometimes shortened as LT1917 }

Level 10 Life – a method of measuring satisfaction in 10 different areas of one’s life, as described by Hal Elrod in his book The Miracle Morning. Grab my Level 10 Life printable.

Migrating / Migration – the process of carrying over important notes or pages from one bullet journal to the next.

Monthly – the pages of a bullet journal used for a single month. Can be shown as a calendar or a list.

Printable – a PDF file intended to be printed onto paper, typically by the end-user or customer.

Rapid-logging – a way to quickly list tasks, events, to-do’s, and other things which must be remembered; written in short, to-the-point lines { example: -take out trash, -mow lawn, -3:00 Dr appt. }

Ring-bound – a way to bind pages using spring-loaded metal rings that loop through punched paper holes, typically attached to the spine of a binder or planner.

Ryder Carroll – A digital product designer from New York, notably creator of the Bullet Journal and author of The Bullet Journal Method.

STM – Scribbles That Matter, a brand of notebooks available on, known for heavier paper perfect for people who like to draw in their bullet journal. See their journals on Amazon.

Signifiers – extra symbols added to bullet points to denote importance, urgency, or things that need to be looked into at a later date.

Spread – refers to two open or facing pages of a notebook.

TN – { see Traveler’s Notebook }

Themes – motifs or styles used for decoration for a duration of time in a bullet journal. { example: unicorn theme, summer theme, floral theme, Christmas theme }

Threading – a way to “link” together notebook pages on related topics. Page A will list the page number of related Page B, C, and so on.

Trackers – some type of graph or chart used to keep track of something over time, for example habit trackers

Traveler’s Notebook – typically a small, softcover notebook that can be inserted interchangeably into a leather or cloth cover. { abbreviated as TN }

Washi Tape – Japanese-style masking tape that is usually reusable and often printed in patterns, designs, or colors.

Weekly / Weeklies – the pages of a bullet journal used for planning during a single week. Here are some examples of YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 26 Bullet Journal Spreads You NEED To Try!.

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