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9 Aesthetic Journal Ideas (For Creative Inspiration)

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Susan is a bullet journal enthusiast and loves writing about the best bullet journaling tips and inspiration!

In this guide, we're going to take a look at the best aesthetic journaling techniques!

In this guide, we're going to take a look at the best aesthetic journaling techniques!

Want a More Aesthetic Bullet Journal?

If you're hoping to create a more aesthetic bullet journal, then you've come to the right place! In this in-depth guide, I'm going to give you some creative inspiration, ideas, and themes for helping to create an aesthetic bullet journal.

Creating a visually aesthetic bullet journal doesn't have to be difficult, and once you know the main themes to aim for, then that'll help you on your journaling journey. Hopefully, you'll find some ideas or themes that resonate with you, and inspire you to try them out too!

Let's get started!

Try adding some pastel tones to your journal, such as with pastel highlighters or pens. Pastel sticky notes are also beautiful too!

Try adding some pastel tones to your journal, such as with pastel highlighters or pens. Pastel sticky notes are also beautiful too!

1. Make Use of Pastels

When working on your bullet journal, you could add pastel colors to your layouts, however only if you feel this would work in your journal. If you're not a fan of the pastel aesthetic, you can always go for brighter, more vibrant colors too that said!

I would suggest lemon yellows, sky blues, and gentle pinks, as these pastel hues would look lovely in any journal!

I've also added some pastel color inspiration in the image below, so you can get a feel for the types of pastel colors that work well together, or to take some inspiration for your own bullet journal too.

The pastel sticky notes would look great in any bullet journal!

The pastel sticky notes would look great in any bullet journal!

You could use pastel highlighters, add sticky notes, and other stickers in order to achieve this aesthetic. There are several options for you to choose from, so make sure to take a look at all of them! For example, you can search for the "pastel aesthetic" on shopping sites, and many kits will be returned containing pastel bullet journalling supplies. Or, if you want to make your own, simply try looking for pastel highlighters and pens in your local art supplies store. Adding pastel highlights is great for Spring and Summer bullet journal spreads, including April and May! Since cherry blossoms are in full bloom during May, pastel pink spreads would look lovely!

For even more pastel layouts, make sure to check out Pinterest boards and follow them for future inspiration too! One Pinterest board that I like is this one, which focuses on the most aesthetic layouts out there including pastel layouts. I think that subtle, pastel tones can really make a bullet journal layout look amazing!

I get a huge amount of inspiration from Pinterest, so it's always well worth checking out the various possibilities there. Some posts even have video tutorials within the pin too, which can be great if you're hoping to recreate various doodles and so forth.

Pastel sticky notes

Pastel sticky notes

Pastel Items You Could Add to Your Journal

No aesthetic journal is complete without including some pastel highlights, and there are a variety of ways you can do so.

For example, you could add some lovely brush lettering to the header of your journal, using a watercolor so that the header is in a subtle, pastel hue. Or, if time allows, you could also try dabbling watercolor painting such as in the example below which features a gorgeously painted flower!

Pastel sticky notes can also be added throughout your journal too. These are also exceptionally useful when you need to add indexes to pages, since you can easily keep track of where everything is also. I've provided an example of cute, pastel sticky notes and index tabs in the image above, for inspiration!

Some lovely gradient ideas for your next journaling session!

Some lovely gradient ideas for your next journaling session!

2. Make Use of Gradients

Gradients have also been very popular in the past year, with mesh gradients, and radial gradients being used by websites and social media influencers across the globe. Why not add some gradients to your site for a cool touch?

Try taking a look at some of the example gradients below. There are several gradient generators out there to help you create your own gradients too, you can then print these out and cut them into strips to add borders to your journal pages. Or you could cut them into squares, and create gradient collages also. You're only limited by your imagination!

Pretty, pastel photos can also work wonders in any journal too.

Pretty, pastel photos can also work wonders in any journal too.

3. Try Adding Some Pastel Photos

Pastel photos are fantastic for creating aesthetic journals, as they can evoke beautiful feelings of calmness and serenity. Take a look at the images below, and you'll see what I mean! With subtle, gentle hues and tones, pastel photos really add a beautiful touch to any journal.

You can find free photos to use and print out on Unsplash, for example, as these photos are free for everyone to use. However, if you look for photos on other sites, make sure that you have permission to use the photo first, as some photographers may not want their work to be printed out unless it's purchased. So that's why I'd recommend free photo sites such as Unsplash and Pixabay.

You could include photos of a variety of aesthetic and pastel subjects, from serene clouds to delicious macarons. Sunsets, gradient-inspired images, and gentle beaches can also look great too.

Where to Find Aesthetic, Pastel Photos

If you don't want to print photos out, many stationery shops on sites such as Etsy actually sell affordable "journalling packs" including lovely photos you can add to your journal. I've always been a fan of these packs, as I could just start using them immediately.

However, by printing your own, you also get full creative freedom too, but it can be quite useful to know what options you can consider when needing to source these images!

Cute stickers also look fantastic too!

Cute stickers also look fantastic too!

4. Add Cute Stickers

Cute and creative stickers will always look amazing, no matter where you place them! However these days you aren't just limited to regular stickers, there are all sorts of themed stickers available from vintage stickers to aesthetic planets and everything-in-between. You can find these stickers in art supplies stores, as well as online Etsy shops too. Several Instagram accounts and blogs also host stationery giveaways, which provide everyone with a chance to get some free sticker sets or supplies. One account that does this is Stationery Weekly, but there are plenty of them out there. I thought I'd mention this since it can be a fantastic way to get some stationery or stickers for your bullet journaling.

See an example below of some lovely watercolor stickers of ice lollies. I think these would look amazing in a journal page dedicated to the summer months! The watercolor aspect adds a lovely, refreshing touch and overall, these stickers would add some great personality to any journal page.

5. Try Brush Lettering

Many bullet journallers across the globe have been adopting brush lettering as part of their journaling routine, and I'd wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try! While it can take a small amount of time to fully master the art of brush lettering, once you have it mastered (and it gets much easier once you've practiced a bit!), you'll be well on your way to adding lovely headers and artistic titles to your journal.

You could add brush lettering titles to your journal pages for example, and the lettering will really make your layout stand out!

The highlights here really make this pop!

The highlights here really make this pop!

6. Make Use of Highlighters

A dash of highlighting here and there can work wonders in your journal, you'll be surprised by how simple yet effective this trick is! Simply highlight some words in your journal using a pastel highlighter, preferably, and the layout will have some magic added to it as a result! Or you could write the title in highlighter too, as shown in the image below.

You can find pastel highlighters in stationery shops, as well as regular supermarkets these days too, since they are gaining popularity across the world! If you can't find them, then you can also try looking in online shops on Etsy or on Amazon too, they're widely available online so you're likely to find a shop that delivers to your country hopefully! If pastels aren't really up your alley, then you could try using regular markers instead; there are so many lettering designs possible, and I'm only skimming the surface of what's possible here!

7. Try Theming

Creating cohesive, thematic layouts is central to creating an aesthetic journal overall. While many pages don't have to have a central theme per se, it can still help to have a few pages here and there which embody a single theme. Plus, it's a whole lot of fun too, and isn't really constraining your creativity either, but it does help in making the visual aesthetic a whole lot more cohesive!

A theme can be as simple as working with geometric patterns on one page, and creating a summery, fruity vibe on the next page. It's all up to your imagination, of course! One of my favourite themes is creating the pastel aesthetic, as shown above!

Other themes can include:

  • Space, galaxies, constellations
  • Stripes, polka dots, and geometric patterns
  • Spring, floral patterns
  • Vintage travel

The list goes on! Remember, you're only limited by your imagination!

Try adding some washi tape to your journals for a creative touch.

Try adding some washi tape to your journals for a creative touch.

8. Add Washi Tape

Washi tape can be a fantastic addition to your bullet journal too. I like to add washi tape to the borders of my pages, in order to give them a touch of magic! Geometric polka dots and other geometric patterns often look great, but I'm also a huge fan of watercolor washi tapes too. Make use of whatever washi tape you have, and be as creative as you like with this! For examples of cute washi tapes you could make use of, I've found this great resource on aesthetic washi tapes which details some of the prettiest washi tapes out there. I also refer to it whenever I'm looking for new washi tapes to use.

There are several other creative ways to use washi tape too, and I've detailed some of the best ways in this article on washi tape ideas. It's such a versatile crafting material, and I'll always love using it in my bullet journals and planners for years to come!

You can try adding cute handwriting or calligraphy in styles like those above! They add for a lovely touch!

You can try adding cute handwriting or calligraphy in styles like those above! They add for a lovely touch!

9. Combine Highlighter and Cursive Writing

For some added inspiration, try out this cool combination which you can use for your journal headers and titles.

Simply add some cursive handwriting to your journal, preferably as a title such as the month or a category, and then highlight the word with a pastel highlighter. It's one of my favourite techniques, and it always looks great!

You can see an example below, with the months of the year and cute highlights added to them. These month titles would look amazing in any bullet journal, and I think that there's real potential in the style overall. You could try experimenting with various pastel colors, and make use of pastel highlighters to highlight over the text. Be wary of using gel pens however, as those can smudge, so try writing the title with a ballpoint instead. Or you could try using a brush pen too, and then painting over subtly with a watercolor too!

Best Ways to Create an Aesthetic Bullet Journal

Some of the best techniques to help you create an aesthetic bullet journal.


Make use of pastels

Pastels can evoke feelings of calmness and serenity, and they truly embody such a lovely aesthetic overall.

Try using washi tape for added effect.

Washi tape is a versatile crafting tape that never leaves any residue; try using it on the borders of your bullet journal pages, or as highlights to certain aspects of pages too.

Try adding photos or stickers.

Aesthetic photos and watercolor stickers also look amazing in bullet journals also, try photos with gentle, pastel tones or photos of the sea and ocean!

Recreate themes also, to maintain consistency overall.

Themes can help you recreate certain moods and atmospheres, or evoke fond memories, from vintage travel to space themes, there's sure to be a theme for you!

Hopefully You’ve Found Some Creative Ideas for Your Aesthetic Journaling!

Thanks so much for reading this article, I hope that you've found it useful for your journaling endeavours. Do you have any comments or suggestions? Make sure to let me know down in the comments section below, as I'd love to read them! Also, what is your favourite technique for creating aesthetic journals? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too, so do drop a comment down below to share your techniques with others. We're all here to learn and keep inspiring each other, after all!

I wish you all the best with your journaling, and would like to thank you again for reading!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Susan W