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Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together
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Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  6,286 ratings  ·  696 reviews
Organize your life, record what matters, and get stuff done!

What the heck is a dot journal? It’s a planner, to-do list, and diary for every aspect of your life: work, home, relationships, hobbies, everything.

Early adopter Rachel Wilkerson Miller explains how to make a dot journal work for you—whether you find the picture-perfect examples on Pinterest inspiring or, well, in
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 31st 2017 by The Experiment
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  6,286 ratings  ·  696 reviews

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Start your review of Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together
I've been doing a dot journal (bullet journal) for almost a year now, and going online for tips can be overwhelming. This book is the antidote: clean, simple, and, most importantly, finite. Although the book mostly keeps to the basic notebook-and-pen approach, it occasionally strays into the product-centric privilege so prevalent in the online community ("empty iPhone boxes are the perfect size for storing washi tape!"). Still, it's one of the best overviews I've read, full of practical visual e ...more
Elizabeth A
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, art, non-fiction
I am one of those people who got on the bullet journal bandwagon early, so was interested in seeing what this book had to offer. It's simply BuJo by another name. I did not learn anything new, and am actually rather disturbed that the author does not seem to credit Ryder Carroll, who created the system, at all. There are tons of people on Instagram and online with BuJo spreads if you are in search of inspiration, and if you are part of this world already, you know that spreads can be as plain or ...more
Emma Sea
the dot grid pages in the back are a nice idea, but if i'm too scared i'll screw up a blank journal, the alternative of screwing up a printed book someone else might read is in no way reassuring ...more
Trying to learn dot journaling from Instagram is like trying to learn how to swim by watching Michael Phelps at the Olympics. Fortunately, Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together is a no-frills how-to that won't intimidate you with over-the-top decorations and embellishments, but rather just gives you basic instructions for creating and customizing your journal format. Its emphasis is on util ...more
Yes, you can get all of this content hither and thither online, but - I just really like having it all in a single place. The book is fairly bristling with sticky tape flags marking things I want to remember or reference.
2019: I reread this since I was reading The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future - Miller's book is a nice example of a slightly different way to bullet journal. And her many layout examples are frequently more helpful than those of The Bul
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book feels like a Pinterest page of bullet journal spreads - which is so much better to use, instead of getting lost in a Pinterest hole and wasting time! Miller has dozens of example pages to try out, encouraging snippets for beginners, and fun and informative historical facts about journaling through the ages. I plan on keeping my copy for inspiration every month, to try out different spreads, depending on what my upcoming schedule looks like.
This book is totally Marie Kondo of journaling! The author is hands-on and really, really has tried everything she is talking about.

She has written for the obsessed. (me, me!)

I always used to have one notebook going where I write everything down but I realized in the past few years, I was using different media for different things I used to write down in my notebooks (Wunderlist for TO DOs, Evernote for pretty much EVERYTHING, Goodreads for Books, Google Calendar and an ongoing excel file for
Pam Lemke
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Resource for Getting Started With Bullet Journaling

I got interested in bullet journaling as a way to track habits. I initially turned to the internet and Pinterest for ideas, but found myself intimidated by others' superior design skills and calligraphy! This book reminded me that the bullet journal is meant to be an organizational tool, and that my bullet journal didn't need to be beautiful and sporting advanced calligraphy in order to be useful to me!

It also gave me some ideas about how
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to find this title in our bookstore as I didn't really think bullet journaling is a thing in my city and I agonised whether this is a book I should spend my money on, mainly because I knew there's tonnes of similar information online, which I have been checking out mainly on YouTube. I bit the bullet (heh) and purchased it and as someone else in the review section said, the great thing about this guide is that it's finite. So once you've read it, you can just put the book down an ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to make the switch from a pre-printed planner to the bullet journal/planning method for awhile now but have been ridiculously intimidated to attempt it. This little gem of an e-book (free with my Kindle Unlimited account) has given me the incentive to give it a go. Such a great, helpful little book! I've decided I need to purchase a paper version of the book and maybe even get the book set. Really excited about switching to this style next year. This is a great book for anyone ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Jilly
Shelves: nonfiction, tidying
Before a friend sent me this book, I had briefly come across the bullet journal concept before and been intrigued. As I love diaries, lists, tidiness, and notebooks, the appeal was obvious. This book certainly makes a strong case for bullet journals as an organisational tool. The argument for them as an artistic outlet is less effective, although the examples shown are certainly pretty. I was most interested in the mentions of bullet journals as a return to the diary norms of hundreds of years a ...more
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
Dot Journaling—A Practical Guide was my first intro to journaling. I originally wanted to read it to help me with my overflowing list of NETGALLEY reads. With over 50 books on my shelf I really need to find some organization.
This is just a simple pretty basic look. I liked the authors examples and found most of it helpful. I borrowed this from my local library but will want to check at least one more guide before I feel good about starting this. This was also useful for my SOAP method through t
Courtney R.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
The original creator, Ryder Carroll, has all of his trademarked content (what is found in this book that has been stolen and renamed to make money) posted free at

Calling Miller an "early adopter" is laughable; bullet journaling predates her "dot journaling": Carroll created his trademarked bullet journaling method in 2013. Miller's first article about bullet journaling on Buzzfeed, "WTF Is A Bullet Journal And Why Should You Start One? An Explainer [sic]" was written on May 3
A great, fast read on dot journaling (what some others call "bullet journaling") - what it is, how it works and sample layouts for you to try.

I've been curious about this all-in-one format of planner, to do list and diary, but found most explanations overly complicated and confusing. Miller boils things down very simple with lots of examples.

I read it in one night and will be testing out dot journaling myself this week!
I love looking at journal spreads on Pinterest and Instagram but never really knew where to start, what layout to use, what designs to incorporate, and how to fully maximize the use of a journal. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure what a 'dot journal' was aside from all the habit tracker spreads I always see on my feed...

But that's why this book was so great! It's a great beginners' guide on how to get started with a Dot Journal/DIY planner with all the basics tips and techniques for keeping y
Oct 15, 2019 rated it did not like it


This is like the nonfiction version of crappy fanfiction. Basically, this is someone writing "Larry Potter," copying all of the original author's ideas with only mild riffs off of the source material, including one absurdly brief mention of J.K. Rowling without including full context, and selling it to make money for themselves on something THEY DID NOT IN
Jun 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

‘Dot journaling’ is just code name for bullet journaling. I’m so happy that I read this on Kindle Unlimited and not wasted money on this. You can find all this information from blog posts and YouTube videos.
Stephen Baird
Pretty, but go to Pinterest everything is there
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 4-stars
Clean, clear, concise, and classically comely (Too much alliteration? No? I didn't think so.), Miller (Wilkerson Miller?) has put together a really wonderful guide to beginner dot journalists and made a solid argument for implementing this practice into your life. Full of photo examples that are laid out beautifully without looking too pretty and overwhelmingly intimidating. Honestly, the overhead look at a journal on a desktop with various accoutrement surrounding it reminded me—and my nostalgi ...more
I have been considering journaling to help me organise information and was looking for ideas on how to proceed. This book contains much advice as well a number of examples which you can use or adapt.
Overall I have found this a useful resource.
If the Ryder Carroll, The Bullet Journal Method, book feels a little too detailed, and you just want a simpler, more accessible, quick-start guide to bullet journalling this might be a good place to start. That said, I'd always recommend the reader gives that, later book, a shot first.

I'd also disagree with a number of Rachel's approaches to BuJo too. I really can't get my head around her implication that doing both monthlies and weeklies is a good idea. That just seems like too much admin for m
Leigh Anne
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely, useful introduction to the current organization craze.

You'll learn stuff, too! This isn't just a how-to - it's a "why people have," interspersed with excerpts from famous journals and lots of tidbits about the lost art of journal-keeping. Well, mostly lost, as Miller is right here to revive it for you.

And revive it she does. Those already familiar with dot/bullet journals can jump right to the layout chapters and be inspired by Miller's lovely layouts (she includes a list of pens/suppl
Libby May
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was helpful, the guides and examples were soooo good. Rachel's notes and funnies were good. And most of her quirks that she had to work out when she started journaling I already figured out a long time ago, so it doesn't bother me anymore.
However, there were three instances of bad words, on *suggested* f bomb, and one diary entry that was recorded from a historian that was inappropriate in unnecessary.
Anyway, overall, great book. I just got to scratch out the parts that are bad and I'll be
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’ve ever been curious about bullet journaling, I would highly recommend reading this book. It’s a quick and easy read with lots of pictures of examples on how yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily spreads can be organized. I really appreciated that this book gave the basics of dot journaling and kept her examples true to Ryder Carroll’s methods. This book is well organized, has great references and ideas for possible spreads, habit trackers, and even what pens she has discovered to be neat an ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to be more organized and efficient
I had heard of bullet journaling, but didn't know what it was, and wasn't curious about it....until I learned two of the most organized people I know use it. After years of attempting to go paperless when it came to keeping my life organized, I was slowly realizing it wasn't working. Paper lists never really went away. I've also become more aware of how our digital world means I'm leaving little, if any, record behind of what my life is like. I no longer reflected on anything. Feeling a little o ...more
Itasca Community Library
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Carrie says:
Dot Journaling is a step-by-step guide to creating a bullet journal, a popular new way to design your own planner. The author provides so much helpful information and really good sample pages. I also liked that she emphasized that you can be as creative as you want to be. While I am not ready to give up my current planner, I am going to incorporate some of the ideas that I learned. The author's voice was conversational, and she's very funny. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone w
Colona Public Library
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, april
I started and stopped Bullet Journaling last year. I enjoyed it, but did not want to put a lot of work into it. This book gave me some ideas on how to organize and layout my pages to it was more helpful to me. This book gave me a lot of great ideas on how to set up my journal and ideas on what I should include in it. The pictures in this book of journal entries has given me the inspiration to try Bullet Journaling again. The chapters were divided into different sections. The first few chapters g ...more
I wasn't sure at first whether it was worth getting this book or not when one can easily search through pinterest and instagram for ideas on bullet journaling. But I'm glad that I did now. It is a light read, but also very informative.
Most of the book contains different ideas and layouts to try in your bullet journal. I found this useful especially for those that are just starting out or don't know what to put in their journal. The information on different pens and whatnot's was also very handy.
Westminster Library
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I've read a variety of books on bullet (or dot) journaling. This is my favorite! The author explains all the terms used and gives examples of how to set up a dot journal. She has a good sense of humor, which made this enjoyable to read. I liked the history of journaling and how to use your journal as both a planner and a diary. I've put many of her ideas to use, tweaking them to fit me, and I've become more productive as well as having a record of things that have happened. I've seen reviews sug ...more
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27 likes · 6 comments
“being organized is one way I practice self-care.” 2 likes
“Plus, the dots are typically very faint, so the book actually looks blank from far away—which means that people who glance at your journal in passing will think you are secretly a witch, because how else would you be able to write such perfectly even rows of text on blank pages?” 2 likes
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