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Make a Tiny Bullet Journal – DIY Traveler’s Notebook Passport Refill | @laurenfairwx

Hi! Lauren here, back with another video
about paper journals and planners because I’ve been completely obsessing
over them for the last few months. Ever since the bullet journal craze started,
I’ve been desperate to figure out a way to adapt it for my weird work situation.
I’d moved around and worked in different rooms of my house at all random hours
because I’d just had a baby and I take whatever time I could get and I started
in a regular like, normal-sized notebook but I felt like I never had it with me
when I needed it. And that’s one downside of otherwise lovely paper notebooks.
Digital planning on your phone is nice because it’s always with you and you
always have it when you need it. So recently, I got the idea to just shrink
it down and make a tiny bullet journal that would be a lot easier to carry
around. I was also partly inspired by my
obsession with Traveler’s Notebooks and I knew that they come in a passport size
which is much smaller than the one that I’ve been working in. So I thought if I
made a tiny dot grid bullet journal insert for a passport sized traveler’s
notebook, that I could see if I like the size before I invest in, like, a cover and
more refills at that size that would be a little easier to take around with me.
So I did it and I love it and I wanted to show you how I made this little
bullet journal with dot grid pages. And after the tutorial, I’ll also do a little bit
of a flip through and show you the page setup that’s been working for me. I
downloaded these dot grid pages from a really great blog that posted them
online for free, so I’ll put a link to their post in the video description
below along with a list of materials you’ll need to make one. Here’s how to
make your own passport sized bullet journal that will fit into a traveler’s
notebook! I started by printing dot grids on both sides of a bunch of pieces of
paper. Your book will end up being four times as thick as this stack, if that
helps you decide how much to use. My printer doesn’t print double-sided so I
just printed one side then flipped the pile over and printed again on the other side!
Then, I used a ruler and a utility knife to cut the paper into two stacks of 5 by 8.5 inch pages. For this part, use a bunch of light, steady strokes.
It’ll cut through a few pieces at a time and eventually get through the whole
stack if you’re patient. The goal is for the edge to be as smooth and straight as
possible. The part we cut down to five inches will be the height of the book
and I recommend waiting until later to trim the width down to
7 inches or three and a half inches when it’s folded, because that part won’t
have a straight edge anymore once we fold the book in half. When that step is
done, you can group the two stacks together. Cut a cover the same dimensions
out of card stock or scrapbook paper, then add that to the top of the pile.
Straighten it out, making sure that the top and bottom edges are totally lined
up since we won’t be trimming those later, then use some binder clips to hold
it in place. Find and lightly mark the exact center
along the longer edges. Then, stitch along that center line to bind the book
together. I’m using my backup sewing machine because I don’t really know how
this kind of project would affect the machine and I’m turning the machine by
hand slowly instead of powering it electronically to minimize the wear and
tear. You could also stitch this part by hand! I’ll link to a channel called
SeaLemonDIY in the video description below. She makes really wonderful book
binding tutorials! So that’s what mine looks like now. I really like the way the
machine stitches turned out. Now fold it along the spine like a book with the
cover on the outside. Bring the ruler back out and trim the
width of the folded book to three and a half inches along the open edge. And that
is basically it! Stack some heavy books on top of it to flatten the book and
leave it like that for a while and then you’ll have your own tiny dot grid
traveler’s notebook refill to bullet journal in! What I really love about the
bullet journal system is it’s a blank canvas and it’s so customizable for
whatever works for you. This tutorial works the same way! Feel
free to vary the kinds of pages if you don’t like the dot grid or want to use a
different kind of paper and you can also adjust the size of the notebook if this
small size doesn’t work for you. At the very least, this is a pretty
non-committal way to test out a system that was originally designed to be
inexpensive. But of course now that it’s getting more popular, there are so many
options for notebooks and supplies that you can buy for them and it can be a
little bit overwhelming and expensive. Eventually, if I find that this continues
to work for me and I fill the whole thing up and I want to make another one,
I can invest more in it like getting a passport traveler’s notebook cover for
it or maybe buying some nicer paper for my printer. I just used the most basic
kind for this first one because that’s what I had around. I’ve been using this
for a couple months now and honestly just the basic weekly
layout that I’ve been doing has been my jam. I start each month with a little
title page, at the top I put a growth tracker for some of my social media, I’ve
been adding little habit trackers on to the title pages but I don’t really keep
up with them very much, I don’t know if I’ll stick with that. So each week I
start a new spread by just adding Monday’s tasks and that’s it and even if
it’s stuff that I may not get to for a day or two, I keep it on Monday, that way
I don’t have to decide ahead of time how much space each day is going to get and
then when Tuesday comes along, I just add my Tuesday heading and I continue to
work on the stuff I didn’t get to on Monday. I don’t actually end up
transferring any of the unfinished tasks until I have to turn the page because
then I can’t see them anymore and then I’ll transfer over stuff from the previous
week. Because I tend to put most of my specific plans and appointments in my
phone calendar, I do a tiny little box for my schedule at the bottom of the
page. I don’t tend to make a ton of plans or appointments, I’m mostly am at home
working and taking care of my kid so I don’t need more than this for space. I
have been putting a little section in the bottom corner where I can just do my
big weekly goals and then I just like write one or two things I really want to
focus on right there. And then at the end of each month, I do a little month in
review where I list the videos that I posted that month and I also just put a
list of things that we did that month that I want to remember! I like the idea
that a bullet journal can be a planner and a way to document your life, but I
don’t really want to clutter up the pages with memories and things like that
just cause it’s so small and there’s not a lot of space for more than just my tasks.
I’ve only really been writing in this with two different pens. I have a really
tiny 0.38 pilot g2 black gel pen that’s actually how I manage to write
so tiny on these pages – it’s a very fine tip so it’s pretty good for getting a
lot of tasks written on a very small page and then I add little pops of color
and fill in my check boxes with this zebra mild liner which I really like.
These came highly recommended so I got a pack of them and I’ve been enjoying it! I
add little details and it adds a little bit of color but not too much. If you
plan on paper as well, I’d love to hear what works best for you! Do you prefer
something more portable like this or do you need lots of space to write? If you
have any life changing planner tips or hacks, I’d love to hear them in the
comments below. The last time I made a video about traveler’s notebooks, I was
just overwhelmed by the response. I loved hearing about how much you just love
planners and it made me super happy. Because of that, I would love to keep
making videos like this so be sure to subscribe to my channel if you’re new
here and if this is the sort of thing you’d like to see more of! I hope you’re
all having a lovely day, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you soon! And now I
can mark off filming that video!

63 thoughts on “Make a Tiny Bullet Journal – DIY Traveler’s Notebook Passport Refill | @laurenfairwx

  1. Any fellow bullet journaling planners out there? Turns out, making it tiny was exactly what I needed to make the bullet journal system work for me. And it overlaps perfectly with my love for Traveler's Notebooks!

  2. I am going to have to try working with a smaller notebook for daily task, but I think I will use it as a companion to my larger bullet journal.

  3. I'm actually using the Leuchtturm 1917 (I think is the "original" Bullet Journal? Not quite sure though) but I started my planner with one of your tutorial 😀 this is also very cute.

  4. The passport notebook looks really neat!
    I'm using a a5 papersize for mine, as I tend to go a bit overboard with documenting things and gluing in memories. -though also I keep forgetting to actually add bullet points, so it's probably not really a bullet journal anymore at this point, but hey, it works 😄

  5. I Love planner tutorials!!! So Cute!!! I guess I can use it in my passaport size Travel notebook. I really Love it!!! Bring us some more ideas. Luv your tutorials. xoxo.

  6. This seems like such a nifty idea even just to get started bullet journaling! I think it could be the way I finally get going with it… Oh and I love your week and month layouts.

  7. I tried using a small A6 notebook but my monstrous handwriting made it really non-functional. I'm thinking about trying it again because I really wanted to try making a very thin A6 saddle notebook for a single month. I didn't even think about using the sewing machine to help me punch the holes, what a damn brilliant idea! I'll definitely try it, but one or two pages at a time, 'cause I'm afraid to ruin my sewing machine 😂

  8. The 0.38 G2 is my favorite pen EVER! I also tried out a new size of Traveler's Notebook by using a cheap plastic placemat cut to size from Wal-Mart. I used ideas from this video to make it: This way I could try it with a cover (to protect it in my purse) without spending the money on a nicer cover.

  9. This is so tiny so cute and way more practical than a bigger sized notebook!! I'm definitely gonna try this! ❤️

  10. Hey Lauren!

    I love the tiny DIY version of the BuJo! I love my BuJo and I've recently started a new one for my teaching (not going so well, but it's all an adventure). I liked how you only started with 1 day for the week, that tends to be what I do. While I like having a weekly spread, mine is usually just one page in my normal sized BuJo. This is because I'm not really doing much at the moment. I really like using the Stabilo pens or the Staedtler pens in their Fineliners, it helps me write small. What I'm tending to like more right now is my Grid-lined paper rather than the dot-grid.

  11. My favorite thing to do in my planner is make my own stickers with my printer and sticker paper using pictures of my dog. Since she lives with my parents while I'm at university, it's a way for me to see her cute, silly face, decorate and feel motivated.

  12. So cute!! I love how you adapted to the smaller space as well! I don't think I could do my bullet journal in a such a small space but I do have my passport size travelers notebook + refills that I keep as a "brain dump" book! I'd love to see you do monthly plan with me videos in your bujo!

  13. Ive nwver been ablento keep a planer but i do have a travelers notebook i made a few years ago. I use it all the time. Recently i started making my own ju k journal inserts and its make me fall madly in love with journaling again.

    Ps you looked really beautiful in this video (you always do but extra extrea in this one) 🙂

  14. I love notebooks so much, and I have tried to make a bullet journal in the past, but I haven't found the perfect system for me yet. Right now, I have a very simple system that has been working for me for the past two weeks – but it hasn't been very long, so I can't say that it's the system I love yet. I normally like to work in notebooks that are larger than traveller's notebooks, but I do really like keeping a tiny notebook around for emergency situations.

  15. I love bullet journalling! It's totally saved me from hopping from different day planner systems the last few months – I feel like I've finally found what works for me. Thanks for uploading this – your little journal is so cute!

  16. One of the things I love about this project, is that I have a passport cover laying around that wasn't actually practical to use on my passport. I could re-purpose it to cover a journal this size!

  17. this is such a great idea! small things are just always so cute haha ^-^ I've just been carrying various colored sticky notes with me and then later on adding them to my larger bullet journal because I need color coded things, but I think I might try this travel size so I don't have to always use sticky notes! Maybe with pastel paper or something to keep it color coded between sections x)

  18. I have been looking for a good bullet journal idea that would work for me and I think this is perfect! I love these planner videos! I like the stitch videos, where you teach different stitches too. 😀

  19. I've always loved using planners, when I first got into bullet journaling, I used a small, but not that small, book. But then I saw all the cute stickers and how others did their journals and wanted to try it. Unfortunately, making a bujo bigger for me failed. I hardly wrote in it or planned in it. So I'm going to try making a smaller one again and figure out the designs that work for me. 🙂

  20. One thing I love about using a bullet journal is the day-to-day flexibility. If I use one layout or planning style for too long it stops working for me, and I love that I can just turn the page and try something new. Sometimes I'll use the same layout for weeks, other times it changes a few weeks in a row, sometimes I use no layout at all.

  21. I just keep a regular planner and I like adding planner stickers to it. I don't have pretty handwriting so I use the stickers to make my lists and goals pretty. I also use lots of different colored pens. I still use my phone planner for reminders and appointments though because I'm looking at it all the time.

  22. That's so cute! I actually use a slightly bigger than standard notebook, from Nuuna, because I like having lots of space to write all sorts of things. I sometimes have a lot of things to do… And it doesn't need to be super portable for me, I'm either at my desk or somewhere where I can bring a bag that it'll fit into.

    I think my biggest hack was realizing that it's OK to not be super fancy all the time, and to abandon certain pages or concepts if they don't work for you. Or pick them up again later. The best system is the one that works for you. That, and magnetic bookmarks for my current week, since the notebooks I use don't have string bookmarks.

  23. I have such a hard time choosing my journal size and I don't want to buy the cover just yet, I still haven't decided on a size! I should really try this out. I remember thinking the same thing when you tried out the traveler's notebook size. I really need to just do it. I got a planner online that is ok but I'm not sold on it. There's so much wasted space but at least I don't need to write out everything, but now I'm thinking I should try it even tho I hate my handwriting, it's so scratchy and inconsistent! bleh. Anyway, thanks for reminding me to try this out 🙂

  24. Hey Lauren! You mentioned working from home while taking care of your baby. How do you keep him occupied while you're working? I would love to see a video about this.

  25. Oh gosh! I haven't watched any of Lauren's videos since she posted the video for "It's Real for Us." Glad to be getting back into the loop. 🙂

  26. One tip for journalling that I find super helpful is keeping a mix of post it notes on the inside cover. They're super helpful for adding little pops of colour into a spread without going overboard and they help to separate things like goals lists or any notes you might want to add in. They can also be great to have on hand for everyday life in case you need to swap email/phone numbers 🙂

  27. I love paper! And journaling! Since I've started school again and have been riding my bike it's hard to fit my thick notebook in my backpack. I like your non-committal DIY approach to the traveler notebook! I would love to make my own inserts for each of my classes and life stuff too. I would love to watch more videos about this too. Especially about selecting/buying papers and materials like self healing (?) mats and blades.

  28. I bullet journal IN a traveler's notebook! I use one grid book for my daily tasks and monthly spreads (weeklies don't work for my schedule at all), and a second grid book for longer term lists so that I can keep them in the traveler's book when I fill my daily book. Longer term lists include books I've read, future projects, packages I'm expecting, medical/doctor's info for my daughter, info for my current pregnancy etc etc. Then I have a blank book I use for sketching and doodling at the back!

  29. New sub here. Love your video. I have been using a regular size TN but have been looking for something smaller. This size looks perfect. What size/type of  needle did you use in your machine to sew your book together? I love the look of that. tfs

  30. How did this project impact your sewing machine? I am thinking of doing something similar but don't want to ruin my very basic sewing machine. Thanks!

  31. I have an a7 bullet journal, can u make more of this tiny bullet journal videos, like spreads for this tiny space and all that stuff

  32. I use a standard student diary (I got mine from Daiso this year), but I usually add a little booklet (which i make myself) into the front of it so that I can add bullet journal collections, such as habit trackers, mood trackers, books to read, etc. I find this works really well for me

  33. This journal was awesome! I love the idea of stitching it together to bind it, this is the first time I have seen that technique. Great video! ❤

  34. Hello! Lauren, thank you! I watched your video, today, when i lost my beloved cat. So, watched videos about bullet journal, trying distract, and i found you! You have a warm and good energy, who put a smile in my face. Thanks! you are a positive and gentle person, and have my subscribe just for being you. ♥ Have a wonderful night!

  35. Just subscribed! I'd love to see more planner DIYs. I'm actually in a size crisis right now xD. I need the space to wright, plan and work in the planner, but the a5 is getting to heavy. I don't could use a size smaller than a6 🙁 I should try your method 😉

  36. I'm new to the bullet journal system.. I started in February and am still in an old lined journal. About to graduate, though, to a $5 dot grid from Michael's. I had been stuck in the trap of making a monthly theme, but I realized pretty quickly that sustaining the theme throughout the whole month was too much work. All I really wanted was the color to keep me happy and interested. So I set up my weekly spread in 5 minutes every Saturday and choose a color scheme to go with it.

  37. I just purchased my first TN (passport size) and plan on using it as a bullet journal. This was so very helpful! Thank you so much!

  38. this is brilliant!!! I WAS REALLY SAD by the fact that the bullet journal system wasn't working for me even after by customizing it to a crazy extent and trying ever tip online BUT the fact that tiny bujo are so small it forces me to use my bullet journal to organize and document my life instead of turning it into a sketchbook

  39. I'm so glad I found your channel. I bought a refillable, leather, travelers journal to support my language learning efforts – words / phrases to look, etc. Then I found out about bullet journals and all the stuff I could track for language learning. And just when I was convinced I would need to replace the traveler's journal for an A5 journal, I found your video. It's great! Thank you.

  40. This pocket sized journal is my new favorite one! I literally carry it everywhere in my back pocket, so it's always handy for a quick note. And though my cover is just made of card stock reinforced with washi and packing tape, it is holding up pretty well and staying flat and easy to use. I ADORE how simple it is to sew my own replacement refills, thanks to your tutorial!

  41. Lauren. Lauren. I am the MASTER of disorganization and I have never used dot paper in my life, and now I'm halfway through this tutorial?? How is this happening to me….I blame your videos in part….they always make me crafty in some way or another

  42. Have you ever made diy Traveler’s accessories? Like pockets or dashboards or bookmarks? That’d be really interesting to see some Harry Potter ones!

    Also I’ve rewatched your TN videos like six times

  43. Hi ! I just want to say you're like a little sunshine, your smile is adorable, you're so cute !
    Let's talk about the video. I love the passport size, and your notebook seems nice to use. I will keep your video to realise my futur insert.
    Thank you to illuminate my day !
    Lots of love from France ♥

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