Bullet journal on the iPad with GoodNotes [Tech]


New 2020 digital calendar with hyperlinks out now! Click here to get to the new article with the download links!


Hello my friend! :)

Do you want the new, better version of my bullet journal for 2018? Please click on this link to get to my new article: Bullet journal 2018.

Today’s article is about my bullet journal on my tablet! I also got some free templates (good notes and pdf files, so you can use it on every device and in every app) for you, as an early chrismas present. :)

What’s a bullet journal and what is the difference to a normal calendar?

Normally you only need two things to create a bullet journal: A notebook and a pencil! You start with some pages for an index and begin to write. Different tasks get different symbols and get checked off or filled. It is a mix between a diary, a to-do list, a calendar and collections, like favorite films, books or places you want to visit.

The difference to a normal calendar is having collections and that there are no boxes for every day, so each day gets as much space as it needs.

To see how it works in detail, just look google it or visit these sites:



Basically you could think that such a digital template is not that great. The idea of a bullet journal is to get away from all the typed to-do lists on your device and to get back to the roots with a good old notebook and pen. But for me this solution is just perfect. I can search for anything in my calendar, copy text, switch pages, insert new pages in the middle and I have my digital notebook with me all the time, because it syncs with my mobile phone. I also did a template for the next year because I don’t like doing these monthly overviews over the year because often I have no time to create them when I need them. :)

What is the structure of my bullet journal?

My personal bullet journal starts with my collections, then there are my half year overviews, my monthly overview and then my daily log and my food log. Normally I put the daily logs in the end, so I can find them very fast, but in the templates I put them behind every month to make it more clear. This is the way I used it last year and it worked great. :)

Which app do I use for my digital notebook / calendar?

I use GoodNotes for some years now, for my private and lecture notes. As my course is mainly control engineering, the biggest part of my university notes are formulas and taking handwritten notes is essential if you don’t want to use latex. GoodNotes has a great handwriting recognition, so it automatically converts your text but still shows your handwriting, making it searchable.

I prefer a handwritten calendar because it gives me the feeling of an analog notebook.

Overall I love GoodNotes and it is the best notebook-app, even though there could be some improvements, like clickable links. It has a desktop app for MacOs, too, that helps you edit your documents even faster. Unfortunately it doesn’t always sync properly and fasst. I also used NotesPlus for some time and liked it, free alternatives are One Note or Nebo. To see the following slideshow, with some features of GoodNotes and some pages of the bullet journal template, please visit the german version of this article (delete the /en part of the website-link or click on the flag symbol in the left upper corner) .

  • One of the title graphics of the bullet journals.
  • Durch Lesezeichen kann man sich das Inhaltsverzeichnis sparen. :)
  • Instead of bookmarks, can also thumbnails of each page be displayed. (Hier Version 1 der Vorlage)
  • Mit einer Bewegung lässt sich Text markieren...
  • ...und zu digitalem Text umwandeln.
  • Zudem ist die komplette Handschrift durchsuchbar. (Hier Version 2 der Vorlage)
  • GoodNotes bietet die Möglichkeit eigene Vorlagen als Hintergründe zu speichern. (Auch diese Vorlagen gibt es unten zum Download)

Which tablet do you use?

I started years ago with the first iPad Mini and did my transcripts for university with it. I used the zoom-function of Goodnotes with my adonit jot pro and sometimes with a bamboo stylus.

Mein altes iPad mini mit GoodNotes und der Zoom-Funktion.

Nevertheless I used a pen and paper to learn and to solve calculuses because I memorize a lot while writing and often lost the overview over the whole page because of the small display and the big zoom-window. After four years my iPad got slower and slower and I decided to buy a new one, the iPad pro 9.7’’. The apple pencil is incredibly accurate and has no noticeable latency and with the bigger screen it is easy to write on A5 without any zoom. This raised my work to the next level! The apple pencil is also pressure-sensitive and is also great for doing hand lettering on procreate (I made the headers in this app with the brushes “paper” and “charcoal” from halfapx.com) or pixelmator.

If you consider to turn your analog notes into digital ones I would recommend you to try it with a cheap stylus for some euro at first, just to make sure, that you like taking digital notes.

Which templates can I download?

I made two different notebook templates in two styles. One minimalistic version with bold letters and one hand lettered headings. Both versions are available for mobile usage and for iPad (in GoodNotes, with some opened Tabs). 

Just click on the preview to download it as a GoodNote or PDF file (also for other devices and apps). 





You can find the new, improved bullet journal template for 2018 here:

Bullet journal 2018

Blank / Blank: Tablet, Mobile

Lined / Lined : Tablet, Mobile

Half lined/ Halb Liniert: Tablet, Mobile

Two Column Lined / Two columns lined: Tablet


I hope you enjoy the templates, just get creative! For inspiration, just google „bullet journal“ or search for it on pinterest, there are so many great ideas and layouts out there for it!

If you use your calendar it would be great to see your screenshots on #tiobulletjournal!

All templates are free to download but if you like my work, I would be happy about a small donation. Buy me a coffee via PayPal:

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Lot's of love,


16 thoughts on “Bullet journal on the iPad with GoodNotes [Tech]”

  • Hi Julia, It was interesting to read and brings some new idea. Thank you also for de Nice templates! I however don't quite understand, why I me all categories (Collections such as recipes, Travel etc., Shopping list, etc.) Pack in a notebook to and then insert new pages or through the index needs to access. The advantage of GoodNotes ggü. is it just a paper notebook, that I me z.B. a category “Collections” set up in Goodnotes, where I then ever a notebook for “Purchases”, “Travel”, “Movie” etc.. can create. This is much much clearer, v.a. If I am planning many trips or document etc. Then I need only a separate notebook for the appointment / todo planning. I feel so, here an attempt, to transform an analog concept in the digital world, without considering the advantages of digital extensively with or. to take advantage of. I will certainly use the structures of Goodnotes, easier to organize me instead of journaling to pack everything in a bullet. It actually only makes sense, If you do not 5 Notebooks want to put into the handbag…

    • Hi Arne,
      Thank you very much for your interesting comment! I can absolutely understand you, You can create better individual notebooks. I had also begun, for me it turns out unfortunately as less useful in the past. This is one reason, that you can search in the current version of GoodNotes still not notebook across and I wanted to check for example, how I found the movie (in the movie list) but also, When I want to see him, When I was in the cinema or who has recommended him to me when. Ready, could I put this in a notebook always individually, However the constant changing of the notebooks has bothered doing very me and it was for me to more efficiently sort it by bookmarks and then use the search function.
      Another great reason for my solution is, that these collections for me are usually only one or two pages and not many different notebooks need, but everything can centrally manage. I column often the bullet journal in two halves of the year on, so it is not so great. For recipes and travel you can outsource the collection of course, If there are too many. The documentation of travel, Blog organization, I manage in individual notebooks uni or more detailed notes or ideas collections, only the direct, short and not very extensive idea, Film- or I manage journaling book collection more or less in the bullet.
      You're right of course still absolutely, If a collection is too large, should you to utilize the possibility to outsource it and to manage!
      Liebe Grüße,
      Julia :)

  • Love Julia,
    I am quite fresh with the paperless office and Christmas present to an iPad get. Then I came across your article and find it very exciting. I totally look forward to more articles on technology :) Thank you very much and greetings, Jenny

  • Thanks for sharing this and your templates. May I ask what brand the case is in the first picture and where I could buy one? It looks like what I am looking for!

  • Thanks for quick reply – actually I was asking about the case your earbuds and pen/stylus are in :)

    • Hi Rainer,
      I have answered's comment above, the headings can unfortunately not edit with the eraser, because they were created by procreate and only the image file there was inserted.
      Many greetings.

  • Dear julia, Thank you for the great article. My question is, how I own templates can shape and if so can I this download in the app or. Have a nice day. Greetings dear vanessa

    • Dear Vanessa,
      I've created the templates in Goodnotes and then exported using the export function, You can however just as well to create a PDF and import them into Goodnotes. Have I can answer your question? Liebe Grüße!

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