The Ultimate Guide To Habit Trackers in your Bullet Journal

The Ultimate Guide To Habit Trackers in your Bullet Journal

Why I love Habit Trackers

Do you remember buying a new notebook for every area of your life you wanted to improve? You’d have a health journal, a chore list, a work diary…

Then Bullet Journalling and Omni Journalling came along and gave you permission to put your whole life into one book. No longer was your work and home life kept seperate. A big day at the office means a shorter workout at the gym… everything is interconnected.

Enter, the Habit Tracker.

Whether you’re building a new morning routine or simply want a pretty spread to look at, trackers have become a staple in well-used Bullet Journals and are a fantastic way to see your progress over time.

Why is that important?

Because small steps are the best way to make long term changes, and those incremental benefits all add up. But, it can be hard to remember that day-to-day. A tracker helps you see the bigger picture.

I saw this myself when I quit smoking, started running and watching what I eat (not all at the same time). Each individual day was hard, but when I took a wider view and saw progress happening overall, that kept me going!

Not convinced? Read James Clear’s blogs on the 1% rule  and continuous improvement.

The simple act of filling in a tracker can be that extra slice of motivation you need to complete the task.

Bullet Journal Wellness Tracker Spread

How To Make A Habit Tracker

There are a few different styles of habit tracker (I go through them all, below) but making them can be a challenge.

For the simple ones, a ruler and a pen is enough to create the grid or graph in your bullet journal. If you’re artsy, you might be able to create gorgeous habit trackers free hand!

For most of us who don’t have Instagrammable spreads in our bullet journals, there are a few tricks we can use to recreate the spreads we aspire to.

Firstly, you can simply print one out and stick it in. Download our Circular Habit Tracker 4-Pack  (Usually $4.95, but free with the code “Imatracker”, just for Journal Junkies readers!)

If you’d rather trace it, I have some downloadable tracing ones coming soon!

The key thing is to figure out what kind of trackers you want and need, first. How many habits do you want to track? Is it for a whole month, or only a week? What do you want it to look like at the end?

Figuring these things out before hand will help you pick the best habit trackers for your goals!

Check out our Monthly Health Tracker bundle!

track your goals, habits, health and happiness in your bullet journal

How To Use A Habit Tracker

Ironically, you need to make filling out your habit tracker a habit in itself!

The biggest struggle people experience with habit trackers is not filling them out. They spend ages making these gorgeous spreads that never get used!

But if you habit stack “filling bullet journal trackers” into your day somewhere, such as over your morning coffee or just as you get into bed, it’ll be easier to be consistent. So decide when you’re going to fill it out, and just do it at the same time, or event, every day!

Think about what patterns and trends you want to notice and plan your trackers accordingly. Will you use dots to mark something as complete? Or colour in boxes? Will every habit or day of the week have a different colour?

I also pair up my Bullet Journal trackers with apps on my phone – especially for health. I use a step counter (currently a Fitbit Alta HR) to track my steps, and a different app to track my food. I then log the daily totals in my journal and get a great overall picture of how I’m doing!

grid habit tracker example in your bullet journal

Different Bullet Journal Tracker Ideas, Layouts and Spreads

Standard Grid Trackers & Year In Pixels

The grids are the most common habit trackers, thanks to their simplicity. All you need is a ruler and a pen!

They’re great if you’re wanting to build morning or evening routines, as you can work down the list, one habit after the other. Fill in the boxes however you like, matching with your theme, and you’ll still achieve the same results.

Make your tracker spread span a week, months and even a whole year! A Year in Pixels is a year’s worth of grid tracker, mostly used for moods or pain.

They’re ideal for simple habits with yes or no options – such as taking vitamins or doing the washing up.

Download our circular habit tracker templates for 7, 28, 30 and 31 days. Usually $4.95, but free with the code “Imatracker”, just for Journal Junkies readers!

 

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Bullet Journal Graphs

If you’re tracking a variable that slides up and down a scale, you might want to go for a graph.

Bar or line graphs can have as big or small a scale as you want (although 5 options is recommended for an accurate scale).

Perfect for measuring pain, mood or anxiety levels, the graphs are often lined up with a grid tracker, to see how habits effect these factors over time.

Pair up a bar graph with a line graph to measure 2 different variables on the same tracker!

Check out our Monthly Health Tracker bundle!

 

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Streak Habit Trackers

If you’re trying to build a new daily habit, a streak tracker can be the perfect thing.

The comedian Jerry Seinfeld loves streaks – he has a big calendar on his wall that shows him a whole year. For each day that he writes, he marks that day with a big red X.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

Streak trackers capitalise on this chain, focusing a single habit on a single grid.

These work best over a month or more, and you can make the grid any shape you like, although most people like to use that month’s calendar.

Perfect for abstaining from something (X days alcohol free, for example), or a big new habit, such as walking everyday.

You could even devote a whole page to a streak tracker!

Check out our Monthly Health Tracker bundle!

 

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“When Did You Last” Layouts

Do you remember the last time you went to the dentist? Or changed your pillows?

Unfortunately, even if you do, you can’t trust your brain on this one.

Luckily, there’s an app spread for that!

“When did you last” layouts could simply be a list of things you want to remember. Or, if it’s a common occurrence such as washing your hair or calling your mum, you could incorporate it into a grid tracker!

This is commonly thought of as one of the most useful Bullet Journal spreads.

Goal Graphs for Steps and Calories

If there’s one thing that helped me get better at sticking to my calorie goals over time, it was the goal graph.

Similar to the graphs above, the variable is an amount – so steps or calories, for example.

The difference is the x-axis -the horizontal one- is in the middle of the graph at your goal number, not at the bottom.

This allows you to have a “good” and “bad” side. (I put those in quotation marks because I don’t like to think of going over my calorie goal as being a negative thing necessarily, I just didn’t know what else to call it.) Overall, it allows you to see how far away from your goals you are, and how much better you’re getting over time.

Start by trying to minimise your “red” days, then aim for more green days than red ones… It really helps cultivate a healthy mindset!

Check out our Monthly Health Tracker bundle!

 

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Decorative Mood Trackers – Paint by moods!

These are almost always the most popular spreads on  Instagram . They start with a beautiful, outlined picture that ends up being full of colour by the end of the month!

While the most common is a simple circle, people have gotten so creative with these that I’m always finding more amazing ones to try and recreate.

As well as being pretty, if you use it for a mood tracker you can certainly get a nice snapshot of how you felt over the month. Each mood is colour-coded (green for good, red for bad, for example) and quite a few have used a colour gradient to match their theme.

 

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Monthly Chore Tracker

Monthly Habit & Chore Matrix Tracker | PDF Download & Printable

Sometimes, we’re not looking to create a daily habit, but just want to remember to clean the kitchen sink this week.

This is where the chore trackers come in.

While this round one looks complicated, it makes total sense once you’ve had a closer nosey.

With different sections for daily, bi-weekly, weekly and monthly tasks, you’ll never forget to water the plants again!

Download our Monthly Habit Matrix Template for $4.95 NZD.

Build Up To Something Tracker

Whether you’re saving for your next holiday or trying to walk to mordor, a tracker that shows you building up to something can be a great motivator to keep going!

Think about spreads which take you from start to finish (like along a path) or focus on filling up something (like a jar).

The key to these is they need to have a visual representation of your end goal, and a journey of mini goals in between!

 

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Expense Tracker

If you’re no good at budgeting, it’s probably because you forget about the little purchases you keep making here and there (don’t worry – it happens to all of us).

Unfortunately, all those espresso coffees can really add up – once you force yourself to note down how much you’re spending on what, and take an honest look at your finances, you start to notice little changes you can make to save yourself some money.

This is where an expense tracker comes in.

Spend a month just noting down your spending habits – don’t worry about cutting back at first – and then total up your weeks. Collect all your receipts and go through once a day if that’s easier. How much did you spend on takeout, groceries, petrol etc.? Make sure you note the date and the time and consider colour-coding the different categories.

Then, start making small changes which will all add up to big savings in the long run!

 

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Water & Coffee Tracker

If you’re looking to increase your water intake, or decrease your coffee consumption, I’ve found focusing on it throughout the day to be the best way to track it.

This means the trackers should be part of your daily or weekly spreads, within the days. Get in the habit of filling them out every time you get up to grab another drink.

If you’re struggling to increase how much water you drink daily, force yourself to down a small glass every time you get up to make a coffee or tea. That way, you should have around 200-250mls of water for every other kind of beverage! (It works well, trust me.)

 

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