Bullet journals have gained major popularity in recent years, replacing the classic journal, notebook and diary, combining them into one. Thanks to social media, more people than ever are using bullet journals to express their creativity, meticulously plan the day, week and month ahead, as well on reflect on them.
You may see a bullet journal for the first time and become overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by the intense patterns, colours and artworks which grace the pages. Many bullet journal creators may opt for a particular theme every month. You may add in pages specific to you which help you keep on track.
For example, if you are starting a new hobby or skill, such as running, going to the gym, reading or learning a new language, you may add in a page where you can tick off the days you have developed your skill.
Whatever you choose to put in your journal, they can help you become more organised, productive and bring meaning to your goals. Bullet journals (nicknamed BuJo’s by the ever-growing community of creators) take the chaos of life and put it into one streamlined and organised book.
But how can you make money from these handy and popular organisation tools? Read on to find out more.
Create bullet journals for others
If you have a flare for art and enjoy doodling, drawing and creating beautiful designs, why not try your hand at creating bullet journals for others to buy? Although bullet journals are more about functionality than form, most of us would love something that looks beautiful throughout.
This is where people like Demi come in. Demi is a young woman from Essex who recently started a small business creating bullet journals for others. Her artistic talents allow her to create beautiful designs which sweep the pages, with bright colours turning the dull pages of a notebook into works of art.
She previously spent a lot of time on her own bullet journals, spending years designing and creating her very own books containing her goals, plans and to-do lists, keeping her on track with hobbies such as exercising, reading and more. She perfected her skills, working away until she decided to start doing it for other people.
Thus, Demi began her side hustle to make some extra money, naming her business xdemidesigns. She currently works full time as a data and systems operator for a well-known charity, and bullet journaling was a brilliant way to unwind after a long day. They say having a job you love means you’ll never have to work a day in your life, so Demi went for it and began her side earner.
How did you start?
“I’ve been bullet journaling for myself since April of 2018, and admiring other people’s bullet journals for even longer,” Demi tells us. “Towards the end of 2021 I found a creator in the US that made custom bullet journals to order. I saw no reason that I couldn’t do the same thing but based in the UK!”
This is clearly something she is passionate about, and it is always great to see someone doing something they love. “I currently offer custom bullet journals and bullet journal adjacent products, such as stickers and planning pages.”
What do you need to start?
She shows us a sleep tracker page she created back in February 2022. It’s a neatly designed page with tones of pink and red in the title. She tells us she uses it to track her sleeping patterns, a page many insomniacs would be keen to use. She also shows us some of the equipment she uses to create such beautiful designs.
“All you really need for bullet journaling is a notebook and pen,” she tells us. “Obviously, I use a lot more equipment because my bullet journal designs are more elaborate, with doodles and different colours.” Demi suggests investing in high quality, slightly more expensive colouring pens was the best move for her, but she previously used less expensive Crayola pens. “They work just as well!” She adds.
From her Instagram xdemidesigns, you can see she also uses watercolour paints, pens of different sizes, stickers and washi tape. Washi tape, originally from Japan, is a decorative, low tack masking tape, which adds beautiful designs and colour to blank pages.
What do you offer?
She goes on to tell us about the particular service she offers, but because she creates them from scratch, she allows the customer to make most of the decisions. “They are custom made, so clients can tell me exactly what they want, such as the notebook size they’d prefer or what they’d like on each page, so I can make them exactly how they want,” she explains. She also allows them to choose particular themes, colours and shapes they may want to include.
But this is no easy task. The meticulous designs Demi does, and the precision needed to create neat lines, pictures and tables means they take a lot of time to make. “If I worked on one continuously, I could probably get it done in two or three days,” she smiles, “But obviously, working a full-time job means they can take a little longer.”
Where do you sell your bullet journals?
“Right now, I sell on Etsy, but I’m always looking at other online retailers,” she says. “Etsy charge a small fee to post a listing, and also take a small percentage of each transaction.”Demi’s side hustle is still in its infancy, and she is yet to work out a set price for her bullet journals. She currently charges the client for the notebook they pick and any postage costs but is still trying to decide what to charge for her time. ”Most of my orders so far have been for friends and family, so I am still considering the overall costs.” She informs us.
“At the moment, I use Instagram and Facebook to gain exposure too,” she grins. “I’d love to set up a blog or website too at some point, but I’m not quite there yet!”
When asked how she advertises her side hustle, she responds: “I use word of mouth and friends and family members to advertise my designs. My Instagram has grown fairly quickly over the last few months, which I am super excited about.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
“I am active on Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and other people’s bullet-journaling blogs,” she tells us. She is a breath of fresh air – it is truly refreshing to see someone so excited about their hobby. “If the client has their own ideas and themes then I’ll use them. But I love looking online for new ideas!”
You can find Demi on Instagram and Facebook under the name ‘xdemidesigns’.
Perhaps you aren’t the most artistic person out there but see this as a good opportunity to make some extra cash. In order to create a bullet journal, people need – well, journals.
Many online wholesalers specialise in stationary, bulk selling plain notebooks and pads for as little as 30 pence per book. These may be slightly more the higher quality you desire, however.
So why not put your entrepreneurial hat on and start selling wholesale items for a little profit? Big Bear Promosell 2,500 notebooks for £780. That is 31 pence per notebook. If you sold each notebook for, say, £6, you would make a tidy profit of £14,220, if you charged a postage fee.
Now, we don’t all have £780 lying around, we get that. It is probably easier and more sensible to start small. Retailers such as Choice Wholesale and Wholesale Stationers offer wholesale stationary in smaller quantities.
Similarly, you could sell bullet journal accessories, such as stickers, stencils and washi tape. Sellers such as Bead Park sell packs of stencils, with a 20 pack costing 28 pence per stencil, which is £5.60. Even if you sold each stencil for £1, you would make £20 overall – a profit of £14.40.
For stickers, huge wholesalers such as Alibaba sell big packs of hundreds of stickers for very low costs. Some come in sheets and some are individual large ones. You could sell both sticker sheets and individual stickers for a low amount and still make profit.
The possibilities are endless. Marketing your notebooks as bullet journals and accessories as bullet journal accessories will bring in a whole new audience, hungry to begin their own bullet journal journey.
Track your finances
Although this won’t make you money as such, it’ll certainly help you to save and manage your money well. If you want to do your own bullet journal, why not use it to track your finances? Setting up financial goals, budgets and more within a bullet journal could help you stay on track with your spending and save you money.
Magpie Izzy received a personalised bullet journal from xdemidesigns, and she uses it to track her spending and reach her financial goals:
“I love my bullet journal as a way of tracking my spending, as it is all in one place. I’m very much someone who needs to write things down and have everything in front of me so I can see it clearly. I have a whole page dedicated to my savings goals, and I tick off boxes when I have reached a certain amount. It almost becomes a challenge, as when it is written on paper, I feel like it is set in stone! I also use it to track my outgoings which is really helpful.”
We have loads of useful articles about budgeting and saving money, such as a budgeting checklist, the 50 envelope savings challenge and ways to boost your savings.
Create a social media account
Perhaps you create bullet journals already, or are tempted to start. Why not follow in Demi’s footsteps and creat a social media account such as Instagram, Facebook or Youtube? Even TikTok is a great way to promote your designs and what you want to do.
You may just want to show your designs and gain a following of like-minded people. Many social media accounts focussed on bullet journals have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers, with the account owners making extra income from sponsorships and collaborations with brands who specialist in items such as stationery.
Here are some of the top bullet journal Instagram accounts to inspire you: