bullet journal reporter style

A little over a month ago, I decided to run another bullet journal to parallel the one I was already using. I used a large reporter style Moleskine grid notebook for this parallel bullet journal. I was growing frustrated with the inflexibility of the Piccadilly notebook that I was using, and I found that I was gluing in pages which consequently added more weight to the notebook – a big con for me since I have neck and back problems, so try to keep my everyday carrybag weight to a minimum. Now, Moleskine notebooks can cost an arm and a leg here in Australia. The current reporter style notebook set me back AUD$33 and I haven’t found anywhere that sells these notebooks for any less within Australia. So, I was determined to make this reporter style notebook work, come hell or high water!

If you’re not familiar with the Moleskine reporter style notebooks, the only difference between these and the traditional notebooks, is that the spine is on the shorter edge of the paper and flips like a notepad. Oh and the elastic is on the opposite short edge.


When I purchased it, a rush of layout possibilities came into mind. I toggled between two – horizontal and vertical. Below is the horizontal layout I used.


I divided each page into two columns and then wrote my tasks, notes, etc. from the left most column on the left side of the spread all the way to the right. I thought about using three or even four columns for daily tasks, but it would mean too much setting up, and I like keeping things simple.

Below is the vertical layout I used for my monthly tasks


Setting up my monthly tasks like this just made sense, you know? I inevitably decided to set up my daily tasks like this as well (see below).


So what have I learned about this little exercise (besides spending too much time transcribing tasks from one bullet journal to another)? To be honest, I found the essentially longer length of the page a bit cumbersome, especially when you had to start from the top of a new page. This was a soft cover notebook, so it was easy enough to flip the pages over onto itself. In saying that though, I really started to enjoy planning on grid paper again. I’ve missed the flexibility of it when I feel like I need a bit of a change. Plus, I found myself sketching more in this notebook and using mind maps to brainstorm product and blog ideas. Will I continue to use the reporter style?

Probably not. I love the flexibility of the grid paper, but the notebook itself just didn’t suit me for ease of planning. I don’t like wasting paper, so writing on one side of the page just wouldn’t sit well with me. The longer pages, also not for me. I’ve retired this notebook and am currently using it for handlettering practice. I was gifted some Moleskine cahiers a couple of years ago and decided to dig these up from the trenches, so this is now my current bullet journal system. Life has currently become very busy as well, so I treated myself to an A5 leather compendium using my Etsy profits, to house my bullet journal cahier and all the different documents and papers that I need to carry around with me.

So what planning hacks have your tried lately? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?


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8 thoughts on “bullet journal reporter style

  1. Hey Dee,

    I am experimenting with moving some of my projects over to Trello. I’ve been struggling to manage them in the Bujo and needed something a wee bit more flexible in terms with what I wanted to do with it. It’s been going pretty well.

    The end of September is nearing, yet I still have about 100 pages left in my Leuchtturm1917 so I’ve been tinkering with the idea of only using the month tasks list to work from and forgo daily pages. Gasp, but I think it’ll save some room and I’ll be possibly a bit more focused by seeing the monthly tasks at all times and not have to migrate as often. It’s an experiment I’ve been wanting to do for a few months now and I think this is the perfect opportunity. I generally use about 150+ pages per month so I’m wondering how many I’ll use in a month only setting. Maybe I’ll add a dot in the square of only ONE task per day so that no matter what, that one has to be knocked, and each day I’ll do that. We’ll see how it goes :)

    I’m stoked I made an appearance in your Bujo! So flattered to be mentioned with your lovely handwriting that causes angels to drool, thank you! And I’m excited :D


    1. I’m seriously amazed at how many pages you get through in a month, Kim! My personal bullet journal doesn’t take up too much notebook real estate, but I go through notebooks pretty quickly for work. I guess I should be thankful that I’m not too busy with all aspects of my life just yet haha

      You may have been mentioned in a few other posts I’ve got lined up in the future :)

      You’ll have to let me know how you go with the Trello relocation. Are you going to be sharing your journey on your blog at all? That might be nice to see how you incorporate digital and analogue. I have a post lined up for this in a month’s time. I’m just trying to get my head around the whole upholding privacy on some of the pages/pics I have because I’m using my work example. Good luck with it though – I hope it works a treat!

  2. You could use the convenient side of the notebook for your bullet journal then use the less convenient side for notes, research, ideas, collections.
    Or you could use the convenient side all the way through then flip the notebook over and work back.the other way like secretaries do.

    1. Thanks, Elena :) I liked the horizontal layout too, and am playing around with it in a standard grid notebook at he moment. I just couldn’t help myself!

  3. Hi!

    Can you please tell me what pen you used on the pictures in this post? It looks like you can write pretty small but also very clear with this pen. I would like to know which pen this is. :)

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