Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
How To

Check Out These Bullet Journal Setup Ideas for Readers

Vernieda Vergara

Staff Writer

Vernieda Vergara is a freelance writer who loves anime, manga, and all things creepy. Her work has appeared on Den of Geek, Women Write About Comics, The Comics MNT, and other venues scattered across the internet. She lives in the Washington DC suburbs where she takes care of far too many plants and drinks even more tea. Twitter: incitata

Do you feel that chill in the air? That’s right, autumn’s here! Time for cozy sweaters, boots, and pumpkin spice lattes. For planner-obsessed folks like me, however, it’s a chance to reevaluate our organizational methods. (Must be all those shiny new planners and calendars hitting store shelves.) My current planner is a bullet journal. Sounds simple, but I’ll be honest. This analog system works well for me now, but I remember how overwhelmed I was when I first started out. If you’re brand new to bullet journaling, I recommend going to the original website and reading more about it there. Always begin with the basics—especially when it comes to bullet journaling. Because the system is highly customizable and can be adapted to suit any and all of your organizational needs, there are a million ways to approach your bullet journal setup.

Because a bullet journal is a catch-all system, you can use one to organize all aspects of your life. Your daily to-do lists, your monthly event calendars, your habit trackers—anything and everything can go into your bullet journal. Avid readers, for example, can use one to track their various reading habits. Want to see how? Check out how one Rioter has used them to suit her reading needs.

But maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you want to see more bullet journal setup ideas. I understand. I get bored of doing the same spread over and over again, so I always have to switch things up. So to get a taste of the many ways you can use one to track your reading habits, here are some more bullet journal examples.

Simple Reading Bullet Journal Trackers

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple running list of books! Despite what Pinterest and Instagram may tell you, a bullet journal setup doesn’t have to be complicated and fancy. I come from the school of thought that believes in keeping things to simple and uncomplicated because it means you’re more likely to keep doing it.

This format is also versatile. It can easily be adapted to tracking the books in your TBR pile. The only change I’d make is that instead of including a starred rating, I’d draw checkbox that I’d mark off when I read the book.

If you love reading challenges—like the Read Harder Challenge, for example—you can make a checklist of challenge items and simply mark them off as you complete them. This variation uses post-it notes to specify the titles that fulfill the challenges. I like the flexibility this brings because it lets you move titles around if you realize one selection fits a category better than another.

As someone who adores habit trackers, I love the idea of using one to track my reading progress through a book. This example tracks chapters read, and I can see the format being really useful for anthologies or short story collections where you’re not necessarily reading in order.

The Visual Bullet Journal Setup

For the artistically inclined, this spread uses an illustrated bookshelf to track the books you read. It’s a fairly popular theme and a quick Pinterest search will yield many variations. In this one, you’d simply draw the books and then write in the titles as you complete them. I can easily see this adapted for other reading goals: 10 books in a month, 30 books during the summer, etc.

View this post on Instagram

Making good progress on my 2018 reading goal, and I'm having fun with the tracker! I enjoy trying to recreate each book cover as I finish reading. The pencil sketch is an in progress book, and I've decided not to count textbooks. #readingtracker #booktracker #readingchallenge #bulletjournal #bujo #bulletjournallove #bujoinspiration #planning #bulletjournalcommunity #bujocommunity #handdrawn #penandpaper #bujojunkie #bujonewbie #theartofbujo

A post shared by alli labaali's bujo ( on

If you’d like something a little different, I think this spread is a fun way for people to flex their drawing skills. And if you look closely, in-progress books are noted by penciled illustrations. You ink and color the illustration when you’re done. Clever!

If you want to use this spread but don’t want to draw the cover images yourself, you can always print out mini versions and glue them in.

Combination Reading Tracker Spreads

The beauty of the bullet journal is that it allows you to combine multiple trackers into one spread. It can be nice to see it all in one spread.

This spread combines the running list, the illustrated bookshelf, and the goal tracker. As you can see, it utilizes spreads we’ve seen before and makes tweaks to them. The running list includes a date read, and the illustrated bookshelf functions as a TBR tracker with the titles already being written in and the books being colored in when the selection is completed.

This spread combines simple TBR and books read lists with a page tracker. Tracking how many pages you read in a day during a given month can be useful if you’re trying to build a reading habit or the number of pages is a way to mark your moods and time management.

So what do you think about these bullet journal reading spreads? Did you find some inspiration for new bullet journal setup ideas? I know I did. I’m a couple months away from migrating over to a new bullet journal myself, so looking at these various trackers gave me a lot of food for thought. If there’s a reading habit you’d like to keep track of in your bullet journal but you don’t know how, let us know in the comments. Maybe we can offer some suggestions!