Bullet journal collections can be one of the most versatile and useful parts of bullet journaling, but when you’re first starting out you may not know what to do with them or how they could work for you. This guide will walk you through getting started with bullet journal collections and how you might be able to use them in your bullet journal.
(If you’re just starting out in bullet journaling, and want an overview check out my ultimate guide to starting a bullet journal.)
What is a Bullet Journal Collection?
A bullet journal collection is a page or pages set aside in your bullet journal for a specific topic. It can be used as a reference, memory bank or to track something long term. Some of the most common collections you’ll see shared on social media include things like a reading or movie collection for the year. But there are so many other ways you can use this – from memories to quotes to more functional things like subscription renewal dates or doctor’s phone numbers.
You can let your imagination go wild when it goes to collections and come up with hundreds of different bullet journal collection ideas that you might want to try.
Where to Put a Bullet Journal Collection in Your Journal
The next thing you’ll want to think about is where you want to store the bullet journal collection in your notebook. As with anything in a bullet journal, you can put it virtually anywhere but picking a logical spot might be best.
One option is to just put it on the next available page. If you are dedicated to updating your Bullet Journal Index this can work really well for you.
Generally I opt to put them somewhere specific in my journal though, where I can keep them all together and easily find them (because let’s be honest I talk a good game about updating the bullet journal index but I’m not the best at keeping up with it!)
My favorite way to do this is to just start keeping my bullet journal collections in the back of my bullet journal and slowly work forward. If your pages are pre-numbered, you can still put all the info in the index but still easily know where to start flipping through if you don’t. It keeps things simple and organized, and I don’t have to worry about searching through monthly or weekly spreads to find a collection I want to add to.
What Bullet Journal Collections to Start
If it’s your first time trying bullet journal collections, I recommend picking only two or three things to start with. Depending on how much you’ll have to include in each one and how elaborately you plan to decorate – it can be overwhelming. Remember, you can always add more later.
I like to start with a couple of useful things like important phone numbers and my usual grocery list, and with a couple of creative things – tracking movies I want to watch and when I watched them and a bucket list for the year.
How Many Pages to Give Each Collection
Generally, I try to guess about how much room I’ll need for the collection. If my collection is keeping track of all the movies I want to watch for a year, and I know I watch about a movie a week – then I try to make sure I have space on my bullet journal collection page for at least 52 lines.
Then I usually give myself another page “just in case”. I know for some that will stress them out because it will mean the possibility of a blank page in the middle of your collections. But I look at it as another opportunity to create a drawing or a secondary collections spread.
Maybe I’ll use the second page to rate the movies I watched, or creating a ranking system from best to worst. Or maybe I’ll add a section on “movies I want to watch again”. In my opinion, its better to have blank pages you can fill up later rather than not having enough room.
Collections Bullet Journal
The only real problem with collections is that when you come to the end of your journal for the year and have to move to a new one, the collections will need to be moved as well. Which, depending on how many collections you have and how much time you’ve invested into decorating your pages, can be daunting.
That’s where the collections bullet journal can come in and save you. I’m not sure who came up with this idea originally, but it’s genius. Basically, you create a separate collections bullet journal that holds only your collections spreads. It removes the need to migrate your collections and gives you one place dedicated to keeping all of that information.
Of course, the downside is you have to keep a secondary journal. But your collections journal is typically the type of information you need on a reference basis and not every single day, which means for some it might be a great solution!
Bullet Journal Collections Ideas
All right. Now you probably just need some inspiration to get you started – if you haven’t already thought of a dozen different ways collections spreads could be useful to you. Don’t worry I’ve got a post with 33 Bullet Journal Collections Ideas to get you started, and I’ll be sharing more ideas soon!