What is the ideal number of pages in a bullet journal?

8:46 AM


How many pages should my first BuJo have? What is the ideal number of pages a journal meant for bullet journalling should have? 

Those are some of the many variation on the pages number question I saw floating around Quora recently. And, if you are starting out, this is a valid question to ask yourself. 

The part where it gets complicated is that there is no right or wrong answer to that question and before deciding on a notebook, you need to ask yourself a few questions about what you want out of your journal.

A basic journal with few trackers and spreads will require a lot less pages than one with a lot of them. You also need to figure out if you are a "One year, one book" type of person, or if you don't mind starting a new book as needed even if you finish filling one before the year is over and simply carry on in the new book knowing some of your yearly trackers might be in the old book. 

I'm a "One year, one book" person

I might be fairly old school, but I like my whole year to fit in one book and start with a fresh notebook as we ring in the new year. 
This first year I did try bullet journalling, my journal was a basic notebook (ruled no less) and had 192 pages : 

It was a fill as I go kind of journal, I would make section up to 4-5 days in advance and by the end of that year I still had a lot of blank pages at the end.

I had a movie and book tracker at the beginning along with a very simple looking "Future log" and then each month started with a "Monthly log" before I went on filling the pages for each day in that month. 

The year after that, I had a better idea of what I wanted in my BuJo, but didn't think 192 pages would limit me, so I got my first dotted grid notebook and started with a future log, the book tracker, movie tracker and added a monthly log, before putting 2-3 pages of trackers and then a week on one page. 2018 is the year I ran out of space before the end of the year! December simply would not fit in that book. So I bought a notebook with a lot more pages. 

The Matrikas Signature dotted grid notebooks (Amazon affiliate link) are the only budget friendly, made in India journals that have 248 dotted pages and a few more ruled pages at the end. I did fit all of 2019 and December 1018 in that book. It was the year I switched to have all 12 monthly logs at the beginning  instead of doing a future log. 
I kept with a lot of trackers and toward the end of that year I switched to a new type of weekly spread. A weekly spread I kept in my 2020 journal, yet another Matrikas and proved to be putting the binding through the grinder. 

2020 is going down as the year of the most complicated weekly spread, with a half page between two full pages with cash expenses and trackers on both side of the full pages. It was the year our lives changed forever and I ended up not using the cash expense tracker much, if at all. And with all the days spent at home, the swimming/walking tracker was utterly useless. 

After this complicated year, I was looking forward to simplifying my BuJo for 2021, plus I really wanted to do it in an Archer & Olive, which in India is available exclusively with Bigger Dreams Co a small business you totally want to support.

Archer & Olive journals have either 160 or 192 pages, and have super thick paper. The one I went for in 2021 is a 160 pages book, and it looks like it's going to just fit my year with no wiggle room. 
I went with the 12 monthly spreads at the beginning, and each month start with a double page to log my goals, books I read, movies I watched and Skillshare classes I took before going through the weekly spreads which fits a week on a double page. There is nothing else in that journal, so as far as spreads go, it's very basic and quite minimalist for me. 

As much as I like it, I find myself wanting a bit more pages to track things every month and I know that it will not be possible to do so in a 160 pages book next year, and probably not in a 192 either. 
So right now, I find myself divided between getting a 192 Archer & Olive to plan 2022, or go for a Leuchtturm which has 251 pages and is quite light compared to the A&O or even the Matrikas.

I started a Leuchtturm for my 2nd volume of the "Life journal" and I quite like it so far. Leuchtturm is available in a wide array of colors with Bigger Dreams Co as well, so this is the place you want to check if you are planning to get one. 

Ultimately, you can start with just about any notebooks if you are new to bullet journalling, you'll figure out what works and what doesn't work for you as you go and you'll find out that how you go about it will change over time. I went from super simple spreads to overly complicated ones and back to basics in the 5 years I went for a BuJo and I'm already thinking of trying new things in the 2022 edition because what I need out of my journal changes every year. 

Most basic journals on the market have around 180/192 pages but options with more pages do exist. As you can see from my experience, lots of trackers in a journal will eat through the 192 pages most books have to offer before the year end, and a 250 pages book will hold everything, even complex spreads nicely.

Here is a breakdown of the most popular BuJo available in India in terms of pages : 

- Archer & Olive is available in both 160 and 192 pages version, they also have 144 pages in their "TN" size. 

- Matrikas Signature Elite and Marvel both have 248 dotted pages, a few ruled pages and stickers

- Matrikas Premium has 232 pages of 100gsm paper (thicker than the Elite and Marvel)

- myPAPERCLIP has 192 pages

- The Mood Twister which I haven't tried but came as recommended has 160 pages of 120gsm paper

- Leuchtturm 1917 has 251 dotted page plus some index pages. The also have a "Official Bullet Journal" edition that has 206 numbered page and 120gsm paper.

Then there are a lot of different generic brands available on Amazon, most of which have the standard 192 pages, some of them less than that. 

Some of the links in this blog post are Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and buy anything, I get paid a commission at no extra cost to you. 

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