Dot Grid Journaling & The 5 Best Ways to Use Dotted Paper

If you have been in the planning community for a long time the term dot grid journaling is not new to you. However, if you are a newbie and want to learn more, you have definitely come to the right place.

Because we love everything about planning and productivity, here is everything you want to know about dot grid journaling and the best ways to use dotted paper.

Dot Grid Journaling 101

What is dot grid journaling?

Dot grid journaling is simply a method of using a journal that has dot grid pages vs. regular lined paper or blank paper without lines. Before this type of paper emerged on the market, journals typically came with regular ruled school paper or harsh grid lines or grid pages that connected forming small boxes.

Neither option truly allowed you the freedom to create your own aesthetic inside the journal. As a result, enter dot grid pages for the perfect compromise.

The dot grid paper has small, fainted dots which allow the user to follow along the sifter grid lines without it taking over. This allows the user to journal in a more even, straight line similar to a lined notebook.  

saddle stitch notebooks with dotted paper lined paper and grid lines

   Goldmine and Coco Saddle Stitch Notebooks.  Each notebook is unique in appearance and utility. Choose between dot grid, square grid, and lined. 

How do you write a dot grid journal or dot notebook?

You don’t need to do anything special to write inside a dot-grid journal. Simply use the dotted lines to help you write in a more straight line without your words going all over the place. No one wants a messy journal right?

If you are the type of person who loves sharing photos of their journaling or to-do lists with others, dot grid paper will be perfect for you! 

Dot Grid Journal vs. Bullet Journal

If you’ve made it this far you’re probably wondering what is the difference between a dot-grid journal and a bullet journal? Bullet journaling is a system of journaling ideas that uses bullet points. (pretty self-explanatory). However, it is a little more detailed than what meets the definition.

Bullet Journal

The system of bullet journaling also includes creating index pages, modules, a daily log, a monthly log, a logging system with symbols, and a future log. Yes, bullet journaling is its own world and can get really complicated if you allow. If you want to know more, Buzzfeed has a very detailed article breaking everything down.

Overall, it is a todo list and dairy and a planner all in one some will argue. If that is too complicated for you then regular dot grid journaling might be your thing instead.

Dot Grid Journal & Journaling

A dot grid journal can serve any function you choose and is typically not considered the same as the robust system of bullet journals. With a regular dot grid journal, there is no set indexes or tracking of tasks completed vs. not completed as with bullet journaling. Think of dot grid journals as the more free form journal for tasks, ideas, creativity, etc.

However, within the daily logs of bullet journaling dot grid journaling can come into play to jot down daily notes and to-do lists. Overall, the goal with a dotted bullet journal is to create short, quick notes which is easy to do using dotted pages.

Also check out the great article on 8 Ways to Bullet Journal with the Erin Condren dot grid journal for more planning tips. 

What do you do with a dotted journal?

When you purchase your first dot grid journal and open the blank pages I’m sure one of two things will happen:

1. You will have an ever-flowing list of ideas to maximize your productivity.
2. Or, you will be completely lost on how to fill up the journal and what you should do next.

To help give you a little boost, here some dot grid journal ideas to help spark your creativity.

5 dot grid notebook & journal inspiration ideas

1. Create To-do lists

There is no greater joy than creating a to-do list and then receiving the satisfaction and scratching a big line through what’s been accomplished. Using dotted paper is the perfect way to quickly number items on your list while making it look gorgeous while doing so.

Use our Sticky Notes and Notepads to help you stay on task and bring creativity to your journal.

Even better, you can draw your own checkboxes by connecting the dots on the paper. 

2. Practice calligraphy

Hand lettering is a beautiful art that requires a lot of patience and focus. Dot grid notebooks and dotted paper are the perfect way to practice calligraphy and ensure a straight drawn font every time.

3. Drawing and doodling

In addition to calligraphy, the dotted paper is perfect for drawing other things as well as doodling. The typical wide-ruled notebook paper and graph paper does little to bring out true artwork. No one wants heavy blue lines in the middle of their drawing. Use dotted notebooks instead.

4. Creating a custom planner

One of the most popular ways to use a dot-grid journal is to create your own custom planner. With the freedom to creatively design how you want, the dotted pages are perfect for drawing your own custom calendars. 

You can decide if you want to plan by month, by week, or day. With a dot-grid journal, you choose and aren’t bound to pre-lined journals that don’t work for your everyday needs. 

With dot grid planning, take it a step further and add colorful planner stickers to bring your custom planner to life or create your own planner stickers at home.

5. Brainstorming ideas 

Dot grid journaling is also perfect for simply brainstorming ideas. Use our dotted stickers to help denote which ideas you want to act upon and which need more time.

Where to purchase dot grid journals and bullet journal notebooks?

Dot journals are pretty much everywhere with tons of color options. Below are a few common places to purchase. 


Paper Source




Overall Takeaways

The best part of dot grid journaling is the flexibility to make it into whatever your heart desires while making it easy for you to write and draw things beautifully. If you are looking for a journal that will give you a little more guidance than writing on a blank sheet of paper, we highly suggest giving these journals a try.

Try our Goals Journal with dotted paper if you want to start your journey with dot grid journaling. 

dot grid journaling and how to use dotted paper

1 comment

  • Brenda Staton

    I really appreciate the explanation of how to use the various ways of using different journaling techniques and how to use the notebooks.

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