Art Journal vs. Bullet Journal

What is the difference between an art journal and a bullet journal? Which one is right for me?

These are great questions! And to be honest, a year ago, I don’t think I could have answered you. As it turns out, they can be as different or as similar as you want them to be. Anything with the word “journal” in it can be tweaked to fit you. There are no hard fast rules. Truly, if there were, who would be coming to make sure you are following them? Your journals, you make the rules!

But, still, what’s the difference?

Art Journal vs. Bullet Journal: What is the difference?

For me, the difference is found in the purpose.

Bullet Journals
The purpose of my bullet journal is organization, record keeping, and memories. I write what I’m reading in the Bible, what I am thankful for and the things and people I am praying for. I make a list of the seeds I’m planting and how many eggs the kids bring in each day from the chicken yard. Using a bullet journal helps me not to have loose papers all over the house.

Art Journals
The purpose of my art journal is to practice my painting and to make a memory. I follow prompts that help push me out of my comfort zone some days and other days I paint something special from that day. For me, there are no rules in my art journal and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just for me.

When they cross over
Sometimes bullet journals and art journals cross over, and that’s okay too. Remember, your journals are whatever you want them to be. Some people only put words in their Bullet Journals, others make them fancy with stickers and washi tape, while others cover them with original drawings or even tape paintings inside. I love seeing form and function married into a beautiful Bullet Journal, but that isn’t for everyone.

In the end, I do a little bit of both. When life is crazy, I do less decorating in my bullet journal and leave my art journal behind altogether. When I’m feeling creative but don’t have an outlet for it, I bring one or the other out and go crazy. πŸ™‚

Bullet journal for kids: Homeschool Assignments Pages

One more idea
We homeschool and I’ve started organizing my older children’s schoolwork bullet journal style. Until recently, I just made columns and filled them in, but in the last week or so, I’ve been trying to make them a little more fun. This week I asked my daughter what she wanted her theme to be and she picked cupcakes. She thinks it’s fun and I got to merge my form and function. πŸ™‚ (Note: I used kid’s markers for these pages and for some of my others. I just tape together two pages so the bleed through doesn’t show.)

Do you have a bullet and or art journal? How do you use them?

Gathering here.

Spread the love

24 thoughts on “Art Journal vs. Bullet Journal”

    1. What are your purposes of each? What do you want to use your Bullet Journal for? What kind of art do you do?

      My understanding is that the whole idea of a Bullet Journal is that it takes the place of a pre-made planner so you can make it whatever you want. If you haven’t before, you may want to watch this beginner video from the Bullet Journal guy himself: I found it a good answer to all my early questions. After that I just started watching bullet journal videos on YouTube until I found my prefered style and started copying them and adapting what I saw over time. I’m not really an expert, I’m still more of a beginner myself, but I have figured out what pages I like and which I don’t. That takes a little time. I created pages that were beautiful, then discovered that I never used them. It’s all trial and error. πŸ™‚

      For the Art Journal, I use a Strathmore Visual Journal 140 lb. Watercolor ( simply because I saw it at Michael’s. I’m sure there are other options, and they will change depending on what you are doing with it.

      Let me know if this helped or if you have more questions. I’m happy to try to help. πŸ™‚


      1. Thanks! I’ve ALWAYS kept journals. My my purpose is to marry the Organizer with the journal, I guess? In my planner, I like to write down the date when I start promoting each post, because you can only (generally) share 3 at a time on the linky parties. So I wait until one post β€œdrops off” to promote another. So I thought about a chart for that, and one for ballet and softball-two kids dance, and 2 play softball, so there’s a lot going on, plus I clean an Airbnb, and that has a schedule….

      2. You are busy! And what a great idea to keep a chart for linky parties!!! I’m always trying to keep that in my head. I would recommend you look at the videos I mentioned and they try to create some page ideas on regular paper first to see what you come up with. Then when you get a journal, you can put it in. I have also considered marrying a bullet journal with a 3 hole binder so I can remove pages and add some in as needed. The other benefit is you can easily incorporate printable pages you find online or make some on your computer that you use each month to save time. πŸ™‚ Just start experimenting. πŸ™‚ And let me know what you come up with! πŸ™‚

  1. Thank you for visiting my post today. I enjoy journaling too – I keep information in one, gratitude in another, dreams and daily thoughts in another. When I started I thought a journal was one book that I wrote everything. I love having many journals for different parts of my life. Thank you for showing your beautiful ways of recording.

  2. I’ve never had a journal unless you can count my diary as a young girl. Thanks so much for partying with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 31! Shared β™₯

  3. I’ve used a bullet journal (I use Evernote) for a few years and I’m seeing the payoffs. Now, when I write my musings and gratitudes I can see what my day was like in the previous years. I love that.

  4. I LOVE the bullet journals. They look so much fun!! I have been seeing them more lately and I feel like I don’t know how to start one. Or I haven’t figured out what more to put in there besides a calendar and a to-do list which I use my phone for. I am very curious:) love it! Thank you for describing the difference…I was confused!

    1. I’m glad this was helpful! I too use my phone for those sorts of things. I’ve had to get creative. This next week I’ll try to share the pages I am setting up for March. I hope you’ll follow along so you don’t miss it. πŸ™‚


  5. I love love love this post!! I love journals, and yours are wonderful. I always look forward to coming here to see your beautiful creations. Thanks for sharing with us at Thursday Favorite Things!

      1. I remember some of those rough homeschool mornings… You are doing a wonderful thing, mama. (My little homeschoolers are now college graduates!) Wanted to let you know that I’m featuring this post at Thursday Favorite Things tomorrow!

  6. This is shaping up as a popular post so we will feature it in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. Keep up the creative sharing we love it.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  7. I love bullet journals as well as art journals! I take it by spurts! Wonderful ideas! Thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 32

Tell me what you think!

%d bloggers like this: