Go on a road trip with your best friends, attend a summer concert, climb a watchtower, and the list goes on. If you’re familiar with this stuff, it’s probably because you also have more or less the same dreams as mine to fulfill in your lifetime. For today’s article, you will learn how to use a bucket list layout for ticking off items in your compilation of “things to do before I die”.
In this article, you’ll find
- A free printable PDF download of a bucket list layout for your bullet journal
- Reasons why you should jot down your dreams and aspirations
- Instructions for how to create a bucket list layout in your journal
- Tips for variations that you can try to personalize your bujo spread
A few years ago, I watched a movie about a young woman with a terminal illness. She has a bucket list of things she hopes to experience and achieve in her lifetime. And although it didn’t end in a happily ever after, the main character inspired me to create a bucket list of my own. I’m halfway done through the list, and seeing it now, I know I should share with you how to start making one on your bullet journal.
What Is The Bucket List Layout?
A bucket list layout is a bullet journal spread that compiles all the activities, experiences, and achievements you wish to fulfill during your lifetime. In some way, it resembles goals and to-do lists, except that a bucket list would typically include even the most trivial things that for some people, could be a very fulfilling achievement or experience.
A bucket list also doesn’t have a specific deadline or timeframe, unlike goals and to-dos. It is meant to be treated as “things to do before you die”. Despite its connotation, a bucket list isn’t designed for those dealing with an imminent passing. Rather, it is meant to inspire you to keep dreaming and to live life to the fullest, one wish at a time.
How The Bucket List Tracks Your Experiences and Achievements
While not necessarily a tracker of sorts, the bucket list layout for your bullet journal can help remind you of your hopes and dreams. It can greatly impact your mindset about life because you have something to look forward to and hope for every day.
According to a psychologist named C.R. Synder, having goals (or in this regard, dreams) helps us thrive in hope because doing those things gives life a purpose 1. By articulating our desires through writing, we will be reminded of the things we haven’t explored or experienced yet that will likely increase our appreciation of life.
A bucket list layout also allows you to dream big—yes, even impossible dreams! What makes a bucket list different (and perhaps, cooler) from time-sensitive goals is its ability to bring out our innermost hopes that can sometimes border on unrealistic and impossibility. Who knows, you might actually fly to Paris and pose with the Eiffel tower as a backdrop.
There are no specific rules as to what kinds of experiences or activities you can add to your bucket list. But for starters, you can jot down your earnest wishes, those that motivate you to rise up from your bed, and which can be achieved even without a deadline.
Download This Free Printable Bucket List Layout
Although the bucket list is one of the easiest spreads to make from scratch, chances are you’re thinking about a great design that will complement your current journal aesthetics. Hence, this printable PDF of my bucket list layout takes the guesswork out of the process so all you have to do is jot down your dreams.
Download My Bucket List
How To Make A Bucket List Layout In Your Journal
How To Make A Bucket List Layout In Your Journal
Total time: 15 minutes
Draw the borders around the single-paged spread
Frame your bucket list with a thin, straight line. The border should not be more than half an inch. Use a pencil to draw the outline.
Add the title
Above the page, just outside the top border, add the title “Bucket List”. You can use fancy handwriting or take inspiration from my design in which the letters for “Bucket” are encircled.
Add decorative leaves in alternating sequence on both side borders. You may also add a floral design on the bottom border to give your bucket list layout a dainty look. Colorize the shapes to your liking.
Depending on your bujo aesthetics, you can add stickers, doodles, and other decorative items to match the rest of your journal pages.
Write the things you want to do
Jot down your dream activities and experiences that you wish to fulfill in your lifetime. Remember that there’s no right or wrong entry; all activities are valid and it’s only up to you to fulfill each. Then, add a square box the size of a bullet point before each item you’ve written.
Each time you’ve accomplished an item on your bucket list, simply tick off the corresponding box or cross out the whole sentence.
Variations For Bucket List Bullet Journal Layout
The bucket list layout I’m using is pretty straightforward with a bit of decorative style, although you can experiment with variations of this layout for a personalized touch. For instance, some journalers use an actual illustration of a large bucket where they write their dreams inside. It’s taking the message rather literally, but it definitely makes sense for visual recall.
Others also prefer to use separate bucket lists for each season of their lives. I’ve seen journal spreads dedicated to the summer bucket list and fall-winter bucket list, which have different border designs to match the seasons. A few journalers even use an annual bucket list, which makes it look more like a New Year’s Resolution but with a twist.
When The Bucket List Layout Might Be Most Helpful
The bucket list layout might be most helpful if you’re not really sure whether the thing on your mind that you want to achieve is a goal, a to-do, or a dream. As discussed earlier, a bucket list features a compilation of wishes and dreams that are not necessarily time-bound or routine activities.
When Should You NOT Use Bucket List Layout
You probably should not use a bucket list layout for writing down your goals with specific timeframes and realistic expectations. A bucket list is designed for you to thrive in hope, while a goal tracker allows you to stay focused on the end result.
Final Thoughts On Using Bucket List Layout in 2022
The bucket list layout is still a wonderful addition to your bullet journal in 2022, especially at a time when everyone seems to cling to hopes and dreams for the future. I hope that in this article, you have learned how to use the bucket list layout to track your dreams, as well as how to create variations according to your needs and the overall look of your bujo.
Image Description For Screen Readers
The image shows a journal notebook opened to the page entitled “Bucket List”.
The side borders have decorative leaves while the bottom border is made up of different flowers.
Inside the frame, the written items have small bullet-sized boxes.
The list reads as follows: “Treat self to something just for me”, “Do a random act of kindness to someone”, “Meditate on the beach”, “Make a lemonade”, “Build a sand castle”, “Collect sea shells in different colors”, “Play a beach volleyball game”, “Ride a banana boat”, “Ride a kayak”, “Watch the clouds float by”, “Watch the sunrise and sunset”, “Attend a summer concert”, “Have a picnic by the lake”, “Grill s’mores”, “Watch fireworks at the park”, “Attend a summer soiree”, “Have a relaxing afternoon on a pool float”, “Go on a road trip with my best friend”, “Visit a farm stand”, “Go to a night skywatching”, and “Read a book and drink coffee on a rainy day”.
- Feldman, D. 2019. The Three Conditions for Hope to Thrive