Do you use a bullet journal key?. They can be great for people who keep track of numerous things and for those who are new to bullet journaling.


The most important thing about creating a bullet journal is making it useful for YOU. This includes the key.


Remember, you don’t even have to use a key if you don’t want to. I did in the beginning (and I still do from time to time). However, once you get used to the key you can still use those icons without making an actual “key” page. Over time you don’t even need to refer back to your key page because you remember it.



Key ideas for your bullet journal



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Bullet Journal Key with Icons

Traditional Key

This first key is probably the most traditional key you’ll find. It covers a wide array of topics, and it’s easy to keep track of. If you’re one of those people who have to keep up with work, appointments, kids, school, and more this is probably the key for you. You can change the icons to anything you’d like, you don’t even have to use every item listed on this key and you can also add more.

For this key, I used a regular black marker (Crayola Supertips) and Uni-Ball UM153 Signo Broad Point Gel Pen in White.





Here’s another traditional style key I created for my Minimalistic Bullet Journal Spread.

Pros: It’s great for those who have a lot of different things to keep up with. The key icons are interchangeable to fit your style and needs.

Cons: While it’s great for tracking multiple things it’s not so great for those who don’t want to track tons of different things. You can still use this key for minimal tracking but I find it to be a little more time-consuming.  




Color Key for your bullet journal.


Color-Coded Key

If you’re looking for a more simplistic key I recommend using a color-coded key. You can organize by color and give your bullet journal some pizzaz at the same time. I like to organize work, school, personal, and MORE by color so I can easily find what I’m looking for on a monthly calendar at a quick glance.

For this key, I used the Tombow Dual Brush Pens


Pros: It’s simple to use and you can assign colors to different categories or a different member of your family.

Cons: If you have numerous people or categories to keep up with it will become one big colorful mess. I recommend using the traditional key if you have multiple things to keep up with.    











Small Flap Key

If you’re keeping your bullet journal pretty minimalistic this is the way to go. You can add this to any page in your bullet journal and keep it simple. I used washi tape to attach it, this is a great way to move it later on without tearing your pages. 


Key for your bullet journal


Here’s the small flap key closed. I like that I can hide it away or move it to another page.

Pros: It’s simple to use and you can put it on any page you like, make it whatever size you like, or even decorate it.

Cons: You can’t fit too much on this one, and you have to cut a sheet out of your bullet journal (some people don’t like this). Of course, you can use another type of paper if you would like. 




Washi Tape Key

With the washi tape key, you can use different colors, styles, and patterns to create your custom key. With so many washi tape options out there the possibilities are endless. 

To get started with this one select a different washi tape for each category you’d like to keep track of. You can cut pieces into strips, use a hole punch, or any other shape you prefer. I would recommend prepping a lot of the strips or shapes for your upcoming events and sticking them to the back (inside) of your bullet journal. This way you have them ready to go when you’re filling out your key.  


Pros: It looks nice and customized throughout the key and the bullet journal itself.

Cons: You’ll have to bullet punch or cut out each individual piece for not only your key but also for your calendars and tasks. This can become time-consuming.    



Looking for more on creating a bullet journal? Check out Bullet Journal 101- How to Get Started



When making your key you can make it exactly like the ones above, or put your own spin on it! I would love to see what you create. Be sure to post it on Instagram with #gottadot for a chance to be featured on our Instagram. 


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Bullet Journal Key Ideas