The Dorky Diva

fandom. fashion. fun.


Welcome to The Dorky Diva! I'm Savanna, a Star Wars fanatic who tries to sprinkle fandom into every day life. Follow along for new cosplay updates, outfit inspiration, beauty reviews, convention coverage, and more!

Bullet Journaling Basics

Back in January of this year, I became more aware of this creative planning method called bullet journaling. It was all over my Pinterest feeds and Instagram ads. I was instantly intrigued by this journaling method because I've tried year after year to stick to a traditional pre-made planner, but it never worked for me longterm. After my friend Caitlin sent me a video of her 2019 bullet journal, I was hooked. She flipped through the pages and explained how she sets up her journal and why it's been so beneficial for her. She kindly offered me an extra journal that she had accidentally purchased for this year and I immediately started using it. After nine solid months of using my bullet journal on a daily basis, I can confidently say that this new practice in my life has been transformative in so many ways. 

 So, what is bullet journaling?

The bullet journal is an analog system created by Ryder Carroll, a designer based in New York. In his words, the bullet journal is meant “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

The bullet journal itself is a blank journal filled with a dot grid pattern that serves as a simplistic guide to however you want to design your journal. Some people use their journal traditionally to express their thoughts and feelings. Others use it more like a planner to keep track of their personal and professional lives. I use it for a mix of those two things! You can set up your journal however you'd like and change it along the way as needed. I oftentimes visit Pinterest and Instagram for ideas on how to make my journal more organized and effective.

If you've listened to episode three of The Working Diva, you've already heard about how bullet journaling has really helped my productivity this year. I briefly talked about bullet journaling in that episode, but I've been meaning to go more in-depth about the topic, so here we are!


Why Bullet Journaling?

Why does bullet journaling work for me? Here are the three biggest reasons why I love it!

Habit tracking and goal setting // I had never attempted habit tracking prior to bullet journaling this year, but I have been big on goal setting for the last several years. This year, I created four segments of goals in the very first pages of my journal. The goals were split up into these categories: personal, career, finance, and health. Once I created 3-4 major goals for each of these categories, I wrote down little habits that I could form throughout the entire year that would keep me on track to reaching these goals. It definitely worked! Some of my habits each month consist of taking daily vitamins, making my bed, going for a walk, or simply remembering to eat three meals a day- it's definitely not a complex system. I create new habits each month based on what I want to accomplish for the next several weeks. It's been highly effective for me and I've already crossed off fourteen of the sixteen major goals I set for the year.

Task management // As a self-employed business owner, I always have dozens of tasks to get done every day, meetings to schedule and attend, emails to send out, etc. Before bullet journaling, I attempted to use a digital task manager to keep track of all my to-do lists, but it never seemed to work for me. I think it was mostly ineffective because my task-manager internet tab would always get covered by the other things I was doing on my computer, but having a physical journal that sits open on my desk all day is always there for me to see. I use my bullet journal to set up a weekly calendar. I color code all of my tasks for the week and write down every single thing I need to do. Meetings are highlighted in orange, invoicing is highlighted in yellow, actual work tasks are categorized by client, and so on. It's very organized and I rarely (if ever) forget to complete a task for the week because it's always written down in front of me with a due date attached. This has alleviated a lot of my stress and I feel like I sleep better at night because I'm not constantly worrying about things I may have forgotten to accomplish that day. 

Creative outlet // This is one of my favorite things about bullet journaling! I don't consider myself an artistic person, but bullet journaling has helped me tap into my more creative side by wanting to coordinate color schemes, pick out patterned washi tapes, and pair them with cute stickers for a cheerful spread in my journal. I love to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour just planning out the week ahead and giving my weekly spread a fun theme. Some people may find this to be tedious, but I find that it's very therapeutic and relaxing to plan my journal each week. It forces me to sit down, unwind, and mentally focus on what I have ahead of me for the next seven days. It also helps me immediately jump into my work day on Monday morning rather than trying to figure out what I need to work on first.

Bullet Journaling Supplies

Markers, pens, stickers, and paper- oh my! I've been obsessed with trying out different pens and supplies since I started bullet journaling. These are my tried and true favorites.


When I first started out, I had no idea that the journal itself was super important. I almost ordered an inexpensive journal on Amazon until Caitlin stopped me and recommended Archer & Olive instead. These journals are superior amongst most because the paper is incredibly thick. You can use markers or even watercolor paints without worrying about the ink bleeding through the paper. For 2020, I've been using this Archer & Olive journal and I've absolutely loved it. I only have a few pages left in the journal though, so I started exploring other options online that might be a little more budget friendly. I recently came across Maisie Lane Co. and ordered one of their journals to use for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. I had mine personalized with my name (only $5 extra for personalization) and it's so gorgeous! The paper quality is great and it has 32 more pages than the Archer & Olive journal. It's also $8 cheaper than an Archer & Olive journal, so I think it's a better value with the same level of quality.


Pens and markers are my major obsession, so buckle down for a lot of links ahead!

Zebra Pen Mildliners // These are the best highlighters and colored markers I've found at a reasonable price. They come in tons of different colors and have dual ended tips, one for wide highlighting and a smaller end for finer details. I prefer these over any other markers because they are very precise and aren't too dark. I bought a multipack to have dozens of color options. Totally recommend these for first time bullet journalers!

Tombow Dual Brush Pens // These are a bit of a splurge item, but they are especially great for those of you who are good at calligraphy or want to practice more. I haven't perfected calligraphy yet, but I reach for these often when I want a bright pop of color in my journal. They are also dual ended with a brush tip and a rounded marker tip. The brush tip can take a beating, so don't be afraid to press down hard when you are doing calligraphy.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens // These are the best pens ever. I use them for writing everything in my journal and making precise lines with my ruler. They come in a variety of sizes for fine details or bold writing. I have a multi pack of the micron pens and I use all of the various sizes for different reasons. Don't skimp on these! I originally bought knock-off micron pens and they bled like crazy. It's definitely worth spending the few extra bucks for the brand name pens.

Sakura Gelly Roll Pens // Who doesn't love a good gelly pen? I have these regular gelly rolls and the glittery ones. I use them the least often out of all of my supplies, but they are super fun for shimmery details or bubble letters.

Stickers/Washi Tape

I'm a fairly new collector of washi tapes, but Maisie Lane Co. is my favorite supplier so far. I ordered a couple different sets when I ordered my latest journal and couldn't be happier with them! They currently have some beautiful fall designs that you can mix and match. 

Caitlin introduced me to Stickii Club this summer and I'm already addicted to it. Stickii Club is a subscription service that sends you a pack of stickers each month for $10. They have three different themes of sticker packs- cute, vintage, and pop. I originally subscribed to the pop pack, but recently switched to the cute pack for this month. Ten dollars is an extra expense each month, but it's fun to get a little surprise in the mail and they definitely send enough stickers that justify the price tag. I'm not sure if I'll subscribe to this service for years to come, but I'm having fun with it for now!


In addition to some fun pens, markers, stickers and washi tapes, I always have a few extra supplies on my desk each Sunday when I'm working on my journal. I highly recommend a Helix Angle and Circle Maker for creating perfect circles for habit trackers or any other circular designs in your journal. You'll also want a good ruler for creating straight lines, pencils for sketching designs, and a solid eraser for removing those pencil marks.

Inspirational Journalers

I've come across a lot of fantastic bullet journaling accounts on Instagram that have helped inspire my weekly spreads. These are just a few that I enjoy following!

I'm so glad that I found bullet journaling because it truly has brought so much joy and peace to this unpredictable year. It makes me feel very grounded and productive when I look back at my past weeks of bullet journal and can see all that I've accomplished. If you're looking for a way to get more organized, I think you should give it a shot. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about bullet journaling or want to share your experience using one!

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things that I truly love here.