What Is A Habit Tracker? 20+ Bullet Journal Habit Tracker Ideas And How To Use Them
Hi there, it's Vero from @verobujo, and I'm one of the Archer&Olive ambassadors! Today we're talking about all things habits!
We are all creatures of habit. But the habits we form aren’t always positive ones. In this blog post, I will be talking you through the importance of habits, how to create new good habits, how to slowly faze out old bad habits, and how to stay on top of your habits. Spring is also typically the time of the year when we’ve gotten past the excitement of the “new”, this is when a lot of people might become lax with their new habits. So let’s dive in.
Why habits are important
According to James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, habits make up about 40% of our daily life experiences. So building new ones are essential for improving health, happiness, and overall life. While many people believe that a strong routine cancels out our ability to experience life and be spontaneous. I would argue the contrary.
Having a strong financial routine can allow us to save up for a trip we want to go on.
Having a healthy exercise routine can help us improve our overall health.
How to stay on top of your habits
Being able to stay on top of your habits circles back around to how you set them up in the first place. Taking on big habits can be easy at the beginning, but become unsustainable long term because they change your existing habits too rapidly.
If you are struggling to keep up with new habits then a good way to approach them is to break them down. A great example I have for this one is yoga. I used to be a big yogi, doing one hour a day of yoga. These days I really want to get back to doing that much yoga, but I struggle to find the time.
The way I see it is that I need to break it down. Starting with 5 minutes of yoga a day is far less daunting than 1 hour. By building up the habit of 5 minutes of yoga a day, I can slowly build the habit up. Adding a couple of minutes extra as soon as I feel that I’ve got 5 minutes on lock.
Another great tip I got from Atomic Habits by James Clear is “habit stacking”. The idea is that if you wish to create a new positive habit, the easiest way to make sure you do it is to stack it onto a habit you already do without fail.
A good example I like to give is of flossing your teeth. I used to be terrible at flossing my teeth, but I started habit stacking it, and now it’s become part of my daily routine. Can you guess what habit I stacked it on?
You probably guessed it, but I stacked it on top of brushing my teeth. We all brush our teeth twice a day, it’s not something we usually forget to do, so by adding the habit of flossing my teeth straight before or straight after, it has become ingrained in my routine.
Another tip that James Clear talks about, is about tracking your habits in a journal. Now, this tip has been a part of the bullet journalling community for years already. In fact, it was Ryder Caroll who introduced the idea in his book The Bullet Journal Method.
The idea is to create a visual tracker, where you can tick off the habit you’re trying to incorporate into your routine.
There’s something very satisfying about crossing off, colouring in, or ticking off a small box in a journal!
So with that being said, it’s time to have a look at some fun habit trackers that you could incorporate into your journal.
Create a habit tracker in your bullet journal
I’ll be detailing some fun habit trackers here, but I’ll also be doing a video on creating a very simple habit tracker for those of us who sometimes just don’t have the time!
Supplies For Habit Trackers
Any size journal - Archer & Olive have a great selection of different styles that could appeal to your needs:
- B6 journals typically have 32 rows so just enough for vertical habit trackers on a single page, they have 22 columns on a single page, so you’d need an open spread for a horizontal tracker
- A5 journals typically have 38 rows, enough for a vertical habit tracker and a header on a single page, they have 26 columns, so you’d also need an open spread for a horizontal tracker.
- Letter-sized journals (I call them A4 journals) typically have 52 rows and 40 columns!
- You can find other size details in this blog post by Masha Plans: Bullet Journal Grid Spacing Guides For All Notebook Sizes
- Gel pens - Archer & Olive gel pens are honestly the best and come in a variety of colours!
- Acrylograph pens - these paint pens from A&O could also be a great pen for habit trackers, typically I use them on blackout journals!
Calliograph pens - I use the fine tip on these ones to get a fine-liner pen look!
The Classic Horizontal/Vertical Habit tracker
This is one of the easiest trackers to set up because you’ll only need to know how many days are in the month and leave that many rows to tick off your habits. Additionally, figure out how many habits you want to track so that you can draw out the right number of columns or rows.
A small addition to this layout that I like to add is a lighter-coloured line after every Sunday. This is because I sometimes find it difficult to stay on top of this tracker if I don’t use it every day and am playing catch-up with my habit trackers. (This’ll happen, trust me)
The Graph Tracker
Similar to the vertical/horizontal tracker, this one takes into account the days of the month, but you’ll typically only want to track up to maybe 3 habits on a graph, otherwise, it starts to get a bit confusing.
I like this tracker for hours I spend on my phone for example, or the number of steps I take in a day.
The beauty of it is that you can put quite literally anything on the Y-axis.
Another example, with the tracker beginning to fill up.
The Circular Tracker
This one is probably the hardest one to do. There may be easier ways, but I have not figured them out. The circular tracker is so aesthetic to look at, it’s fun and stands out. I start off by using a compass and tracing out however many rings I need based on how many habits I want to track. Then I use a protractor to divide the circle. I start by dividing it into four, then 16, and then 32.
The Mini Calendar Tracker
The mini Calendar tracker is likely one of the easier ones to create, you create a calendar where each day of the month takes up one small box of the page. There are then several possibilities, either you outline a box for each individual habit, you can write out numbers, or trace out all of the boxes in the mini calendar.
Aside from specific formats of trackers, there are also specific types of trackers that exist for specific habits.
A period tracker - I like having a yearly overview of when I had my period, the way to do it is by writing out all the days of the year vertically, then assigning a colour code to when you get your period and circling the day on the tracker. Additionally (although I’ve never done it), you could pick a second colour for when you’re ovulating.
A reading log tracker - I found this idea on Pinterest ages ago, so, unfortunately, can’t remember who the original creator was but the idea is to have mini calendars on a single page (or two, because the journal I’m using is an A4 journal) and then circle the days in one colour when you’re reading a specific book, then on the side highlight a line and write the title of the book. The downfall of this tracker is that if you read two books in one day there’s not much space to reflect that in the tracker.
A finance tracker - If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you’ll know that finance trackers hold a very important place in my habit trackers. So if you want to read more about this one, head over to this blog post!
A mood tracker - Although I have yet to really analyse any benefits of using a mood tracker, I’ve been using mood pixels for a couple of years and it’s my favourite way to track my mood! It’s a small box you colour and it’s cool to see you’re overall mood after a whole year.
But you could also choose to do it as a monthly habit tracker in which case here’s one of mine from years ago!
An Instagram/YouTube follower tracker - I’ve always liked looking back at how many followers I gained over time, so if you’re thinking of using a tracker like this, include dates! It feels super rewarding to look at!
A cleaning tracker - I’m one of those people who enjoy cleaning non-ironically, and I love having a cleaning tracker, you can catch this setup in my blog post about spring cleaning
While fun-looking trackers can help make habit tracking easier, sometimes we just don’t have time for making things look pretty, so in my related video, I’ll be talking you through the easiest habit tracker to create in your bullet journal.
And if you’re also feeling like drawing it out by hand is taking too much energy, then you can also print out this cute freebie that I created. It’s mostly copied from worldofprintables.com, so I don’t take credit for the idea!
In this printable you can track up to 12 habits (listed A-L), you can write the month in which you’re tracking said habits, and you also have space to assign habits to each letter and pick a colour to fill in the tracker on the right. Finally, there’s a small section for notes if you need to write any down!
Habit tracker Ideas from the Bullet Journal Community
Wordle Tracker - If you've heard of Wordle, then this tracker might be for you! Brianna created a really unique spread that features her daily wordle's and scores!
[Wordle Tracker by Brianna]
Fabric Stash Tracker - I've never seen such a unique tracker before! Track all of your fabrics in one spot by using this idea by Joy Margot!
[Fabric Stash by @joy.margot]
Mini Calendars - Remember how I mentioned mini calendars earlier? Well this is another brilliant version of them, by sticking in some coloured paper you can also achieve this look by Joy Margot! If you're interested, take a look at Archer&Olive's colourful notepads!
[Habit Tracker by @joy.margot]
Unique Habit Trackers - Habit trackers don't always have to be in the form of tables or calendars! Some can be little doodles like Hannah's from @hannahsplannah
[Groovy habit tracker by @hannahsplannah]
On that same topic, Sofia from @ghostsbujo has created a Tetris style tracker for her steps and cycling! How brilliant!
[Tetris style tracker by @ghostsbujo]
Mental Health Tracker - Our mental health is so incredibly important, and Audrey from @covermehappy has made a beautiful spread where she tracks her general feelings, anxiety, and self-harm.
[Mental Health Tracker by @covermehappy]
Gratitude Log - This fun gratitude log by Emily takes the appearance of an advent calendar theme for Christmas!
[Gratitude log by Emily, from the Archer & Olive Community on Facebook]
Qur'an Tracker - This tracker was made by Tifa. She says "I made this to track my reading progress for the Qur’an. There are 114 chapters divided into 30 sections, and it is a goal for most Muslims to read the whole Holy Book at least once in their life. I paired it with a page of the chapters and verses of the final section that I hope to memorize in 2023." What a beautiful way to track her reading!
[Qur'an Tracker by Tifa, from the Archer & Olive Community on Facebook]
Poop Log - Going to the toilet is a very important task, and tracking how often you go can give you an insight into what nutrients your body is missing! This log was made by Aleeza! Also can we talk about the quote associated with the tracker :P
[Poop log by Aleeza, @cloudyrainbowco]
Cosplay Tracker - If you're into cosplay, then Bee's tracker is for you! She keeps track of everything she needs for each costume!
[Cosplay tracker by Bee, @borgain]
E-Learning Tracker - This tracker by Lora is for all of us that buy countless online courses and need to find the time to go through them! I love that it takes the form of a bookmark so you can stick it in your bullet journal and hopefully not forget about them!
[E-Learning Tracker by Lora, from the Archer & Olive Community on Facebook]
Dating Tracker - If you're looking to go on more dates in 2023, then Mika's tracker is for you! With goals on number of swipes, number of dates, this tracker is a very fun way to make sure you're going out!
[Dating Tracker by Mika, @coffeenchaos1]
Thank you to all of the lovely people who submitted photos for this blog post, if you would like to have one of your photos featured, be sure to join Archer and Olive's Community on Facebook here, and watch out for my posts!