How to Set Up a Bullet Journal Book Tracker (+ 18 Ideas)
What if your bullet journal could be your own personal library? Creating an instant window into everything you’ve read... Tracking the books you’ve loved, when you read them and what stood out to you. So the next time someone asks you “read anything good lately?”, you’ve got something beautiful to show them.
That’s what a bullet journal book tracker does.
What is a bullet journal book tracker?
A book tracker is a simple tool used to log the books you’ve read. But when it’s kept inside your bullet journal, you open up a world of possibility. Bullet journals are known for their flexibility and adaptability, so that flows through into your book tracker too.
You could keep a separate bullet journal just for your book tracker, or bring it into your day-to-day journal so that it’s always on hand.
Whatever route you choose to go down, there are three main ways to track your books:
- Track what you’ve read, such as filling up a virtual library with all the book titles on one page
- Track how many books you’ve read, like 11 non-fiction books and 23 fiction books this year
- Track your thoughts and feelings on each book you’ve read, for example, extracting quotes and highlights from each of your favourite reads
Why keep a bullet journal book tracker?
We all know that words have power. So it’s only natural that the words you consume have an impact too.
Reading has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health. A 2009 study showed that 30-minutes of daily reading was able to reduce stress in just the same way as yoga or humour. So if yoga’s not your thing? Pick up a book instead!
But it’s not just the mental health benefits that have us adding another book onto our to be read pile.
Reading creates an insight into another world that’s hard to replicate. It can transport you to places far away (and even ones that don’t yet exist). It can spark new creative ideas, teach valuable lessons and share life experiences that might otherwise be hard to relate to.
A word of warning, however. Don’t be too ambitious. Or rather, don’t be too hard on yourself. As with any quantifiable goal, try not to set one that’s impossible to achieve. It’s not worth berating yourself for. Remember, reading is a thing of joy. Not stress.
What you need to start a bullet journal book tracker
You don’t need much to create a book tracker inside your bullet journal. All you’ll need is your bullet journal (of course!), your favourite pens (colours are your friends here) and a stack of books waiting to be read. That’s it.
Here’s how to get started:
- Get set up in the comfiest and cosiest corner of your house. We love an extra squishy armchair for this!
- Decide how you’re going to track your books - rating, logging quotes, counting your read pile, illustrating the scenes - whatever you choose to do, do it in your own unique way
- Create your book tracker system.This could be scoring your books out of 10, giving them a star rating or even sketching a template for all your quotes. Then, add it to your bullet journal key
- Start tracking your books! Pick up your first book and start tracking your thoughts as you go
- Get inspired by the bullet journal book tracker ideas below. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite ideas from around the web to give you the inspiration to get started
Bullet journal book tracker ideas
1. Create a virtual library
If you’re a book lover, you’re probably hankering after a beautiful home library where all your books can be perfectly arranged on the shelves. But for most of us, that isn’t a reality right now (especially if digital books are your go-to). So this one’s for you. Create a mini library inside your bullet journal instead!
2. Plan your reads, month by month
Ever noticed how your body craves cosy foods in winter and cooler ones in summer? It’s the same with books. When those summer holidays roll around, most of us want some lighter reading for a bit of relaxation in the sun. Whilst in winter, we often crave seasonal reads that get us ready for the festive season.
Try planning your books month by month, so you can make the most of every season.
3. Work your way through a series
We love this minimalist take on a series book tracker. Simply colour in each square to mark your progress through the series. Then reflect on your favourite reads at the end of the year! It’s also a great way to keep track of where you are, especially if you’re dipping in and out of different series.
4. Rate your year (at a glance)
This is a great bullet journal book tracker if you like to review your books once you’ve finished them.
By following a simple star rating system, you can start to spot themes throughout your year. Perhaps you always give a certain author five stars, or you hated all the books you read in September! Either way, it’s a handy way to reflect on your year. With just one glance.
5. Highlight your top reads each month
You probably know that we’re big fans of breaking your goals down into small achievable milestones. So what better way to make your yearly reading goal more achievable than checking in with it month by month?
We love that this monthly review gives you the chance to highlight your top reads each month, whilst merging all our favourite bullet journal book tracker ideas together into one single spread!
6. Create an immersive world inside your bullet journal
When your dream reading nook doesn’t exist, get creative and draw it inside your bullet journal instead.
Then, get to work on filling those shelves with all your favourite reads.
7. Get granular and track your books inside a book
What if you could make a book, to track your books, inside another book? Okay we got a bit confused then too! But how cool is this book tracker? Add a page for every book you want to read this season, and then get tracking.
8. Theme your bullet journal bookshelf around each season
We can’t help but notice how beautifully autumnal this book tracker is. So what if you created a different bookshelf for each season? Choose lighter colours for spring, summer holiday decorations for summer and festive items for winter.
Then, add your seasonal books and away you go!
9. Choose a more minimal style
It’s important to choose a book tracker style that you will actually use. That’s why we’re big fans of a more minimal approach. It’s easier to stick to and even easier to understand.
How about trying a simple list approach? Then, tally up your total reads at the end of the year.
10. Track your progress through each book
Unpopular opinion: life’s too short to finish books you don’t enjoy. So try this approach, and track your progress through each book you’re reading. That way, if you don’t finish, you can still see how many books you’ve picked up this year.
11. Turn each book into a spread
If you like to take a deeper dive into your thoughts about each book, then this bullet journal book tracker is the one for you.
Once you’ve finished your latest read, set aside some time to turn it into a moodboard. Extract your favourite quotes, journal your thoughts and create a whole aesthetic around it.
12. Turn your entire bullet journal into a book tracker
If you’re turning your entire bullet journal into a book tracker then a contents page is a smart way to easily find what you’re looking for.
We love the inclusion of the star rating system here too, making it easier to see what you enjoyed before flicking through to find more details about each book.
13. Use your book tracker to remember recommendations
How many times has a friend told you about a great book, only for you to totally forget what it was by the time you’re ready to start reading?
If we’re honest, that’s happened more times than we have fingers to count. So setting aside a space in your bullet journal to track your book recommendations is a great way to combat that.
14. Combine your book tracker with your weekly spread
Give yourself an easy system to follow by combining your book tracker with your weekly spread.
That way, you can follow your usual bullet journaling routine whilst still checking in with your reading progress. How easy is that!
15. Track the time you’ve spent reading
Sometimes, a single book takes up an entire month’s reading time. When that happens, it can be a nice reminder to track the time you’re spending reading, rather than just the books you’ve checked off your list.
16. Bring it all together into a detailed monthly review
If details are your thing, this is for you. Look at all those stats! You’ve got paperbacks vs hardbacks, genres, star ratings, and so much more.
17. Create mini books inside your bullet journal
This is a super creative way to track your reading, by creating mini books inside your bullet journal.
We love the idea of adding your favourite quotes inside the flap of each book cover, so you can rediscover your favourite moments months after you’ve finished reading.
18. Track what you loved (but also what you didn’t)
It’s easy to just want to remember the books we loved to read, but tracking the books you didn’t enjoy can be just as helpful.
So make sure they have a place inside your book tracker too. That way, you can start to notice themes that’ll help you steer clear of them in the future.