Where is bullet journaling the most popular?


I’ve got the answer for you.

Over 29 months, I’ve crunched the numbers on 14,800 spread downloads from my VIP Vault.

And I discovered the hottest journaling destinations around the world, in a first-ever bullet journal case study.

Then I took that data and created 6 sweet maps.

So grab your passport.

We’re going on a trip around the world… ✈️🌎

Too Busy to Read?

Download the Atlas and get all 6 maps.

(it’s a free direct download)

The Backstory

For me, it all started in 2016.

I posted my first weekly spread on Instagram and the rest is history.

Since then, I’ve given away over 21,000 of these PDF spreads to inspire others.

But I was curious:

Where were these journalers coming from?

Where is bullet journaling the most popular?

And…

What parts of the globe have the highest download rate?

So I set out to find some answers. 🤔💼

The Answer Is in the Numbers

It turns out, I had all the data at my fingertips.

I crunched the numbers on 14,800 downloads over 29 months and made 6 unique maps.

And the results were pretty awesome.

Q. Where does the data come from?

All the data is based on 14,800 free spread downloads from my VIP Vault from August 15th, 2016 to January 15th, 2019 (29 months).

Absolutely no personal data or addresses were used in this study. Learn more about privacy.

Since January 2019, joining the VIP Vault is now even easier — you no longer need to complete the free checkout process (and enter your city & country) to become a VIP member.

Key Discoveries Up Front

  1. The North American continent is home to the most active bullet journalers on the planet. They account for 80% of all global downloads.
  2. The United States dominates the North American market. In fact, they account for 92% of all North American downloads. 
  3. The U.S. states with the most downloads also tend to be the largest in size. California has 11% of all downloads, followed by Texas (10%), Florida (5.1%), and New York (5%)
  4.  There is little correlation between a state’s region and the popularity of bullet journaling. In fact, Utah has the highest per capita download rate at 8.8 per 100,000 people, followed by Alaska (7.5) and Alabama (5.7)
  5. Europe is the second most popular continent with 12% of all downloads and 45.8% of all international downloads. Specifically, the United Kingdom has over 2x the download volume (13% of international) of France and Germany. 
  6. Countries outside the U.S. that are native English-speakers account for 3 out of the top 6 by download volume. This may indicate language may be a major factor in bullet journaling activity. 

Get more details and my analysis of each of these discoveries below.

Discovery #1: North America Rules

Let’s start with the big picture.

We now know the hashtag #bulletjournal has reached 4.3 million posts on Instagram.

We’ve also heard bullet journaling is gaining traction in Africa.

But what about the rest of the world?

We found that the North American continent made 11,842 downloads over the last 3 years — that’s 80% of all global downloads.

Here’s a breakdown of global downloads — 14,800 in total — by continent:

*Global downloads by continent

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Here’s what the map tells us:

  • North America is the easy winner: it accounts for ~80% of all global downloads.
  • Second place is Europe, coming in at around 12%.
  • Then comes South America (~3.1%) and Oceania (~2.9%).
  • Africa and Asia register under 2%.

What does all this mean?

It’s hard to tell at this point, just looking at the data from a continent level.

But it DOES make sense we see most bullet journaling activity in North America since it’s where Ryder Carrol invented it.

Is it because of its proximity to the birthplace of the bujo?

That’s my guess.

But we can’t ignore the low level of activity in Asia.

Why is that?

We all know some Asian countries (like China) restrict access to the internet, so I bet the low Asian volume is due to exposure and possibly a language barrier.

Ok. So we now know most bullet journalers reside in North America.

But what countries do they live in?

Pack your bags. We’re heading west.

TAKEAWAY: North American countries account for 80% of all downloads. But If you’re looking for journalers elsewhere, go to Europe — you’re 1.5 times more likely to find them there than anywhere else on the planet combined.

Q. Is Oceania really a continent?

I consider it as one. Apparently, there is a debate for and against that opinion.

Q. How many countries are in North America?

23 countries and 9 dependent territories. Here’s a list.

Discovery #2: Americans Love to Journal

We all know how popular bullet journaling is in the United States.

But just how popular?

Of the 11,842 North American downloads, 92.2% of those came from the good ole’ United States.

That’s a lot.

Americans made 10,924 downloads in my study.

That’s 73.8% of the entire globe.

But Canada also made a splash.

Canadians made 773 downloads — the highest of any foreign country — and 52% more than the next foreign country (United Kingdom).

Here’s how North America shakes out:

*Top North American countries

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The map tells us this:

  • The United States accounts for ~92% of all North American downloads. 
  • Second place is Canada, coming in at around 6.5%.
  • Mexico rounds out the top 3 at 0.5%.
  • Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and minor outlying islands make up the remaining ~1%.

No real big surprises here.

After all, the United States is massive with over ~329 million people.

So it makes sense the download volume would be proportionately large.

But can we expect the same level of journaling love from each state?

Let’s take a road trip to find out.

TAKEAWAY: North America is the most active bullet journaling community in the world. So if you’re looking for inspiration, seek out journalers in the United States or Canada.

Discovery #3: Larger States = More Downloads

States with larger populations have the highest download volumes in the United States.

In fact, out of the top-10 most populated states, 9 of them had the most transactions:

Top-10 by Population:
California
Texas
Florida
New York
Pennsylvania
Illinois
Ohio
Georgia
North Carolina
Michigan

Top-10 by Downloads:
California
Texas
Florida
New York
Georgia
North Carolina
Illinois
Pennsylvania
Michigan
Washington

*The only states swapped above are Ohio and Washington.

There were 10,924 downloads made by U.S. state residents.

Here’s how they break down by state:

*U.S. states with the most downloads

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What this map says:

  • California wins the download race at 11%.
  • Texas is next at 10%.
  • Followed by Florida and New York at ~5%.
  • The bottom 40 states each have less than <3%.

Want to know the crazy part?

The correlation coefficient between state populations and downloads is 0.97 — that’s a VERY strong relationship.

So what does the correlation tell us?

That we should definitely continue to see increases in downloads as U.S. state populations increase.

But like before with our North American map, it’s really no big surprise to see larger population areas with proportionately large pieces of the pie.

So that leads us to one BIG question:

Is download volume alone really the most accurate measure of bullet journaling popularity?

It’s not.

While volume data definitely helps us see the big picture, it’s only part of the story.

To really put things in perspective, we need to look at the download rate per person.

That’s where per capita joins the party — a statistic that lets us accurately compare values between groups of different sizes.

So put on your statistics hat and see if your home state makes the grade next…

TAKEAWAY: A state’s population count is highly correlated with download volume of bullet journaling spreads, as California, Texas, and Florida are the top-3 states for downloads.

Q. What cities have the most downloads?

Here are the top-20 cities:
Houston, TX
North Fort Myers, FL
Webster, NY
Parkersburg, WV
San Antonio, TX
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Reseda, CA
San Diego, CA
La Vernia, TX
Bonham, TX
Albert Lea, TX
Charlotte, NC
Austin, TX
Philadelphia, PA
Brooklyn, NY
Detroit, MI
Mobile, AL
Lakeway, TX
Irvine, CA

A couple fun facts about this list:

~ Texas is home to 7 out of the 20 top cities.

~ These 20 cities account for ~7% of all U.S. state downloads.

Q. What is the biggest U.S. state by area?

Alaska with 663k square miles.

Here’s a list of the top-10 states.

Discovery #4: Measuring U.S. Popularity

America is a productive place, full of productive people — we account for 73% of all transactions. 🙌

But let’s see how serious each state really is when it comes to journaling:

We crunched the numbers on all U.S. downloads to come up with the per capita download rate of each state.

The per capita download rate is a measure of downloads for each person in a state.

(It is a much more accurate metric in our quest to find the most popular journaling state.)

This map shows how the top states rank by download rate:

*Per capita download rate per 100,000 people

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This map tells us:

  • Utah is #1 with 8.8 downloads per 100,000 people.
  • Alaska is second with a value of 7.5.
  • Alabama rounds out the top-3 with a value of 5.7.

But what does this data really mean?

It looks like these states show the most activity, which are completely different states from our earlier U.S. map based on download volume.

But more importantly…

They are all spread out in different regions of our country.

And with that, we can draw one VERY important conclusion about bullet journaling:

The appeal is universal.

There is no one region of concentration.

No one region that can really claim to be the biggest fan of planning and organization.

So my final thought is this:

We see such diversity by state because bullet journaling is all about becoming productive and living a more efficient & happier life.

And that is a universal human desire. That’s why we see it across the most popular country.

TAKEAWAY: There is little correlation between a state’s region and the popularity of bullet journaling. In fact, Utah has the highest per capita download rate at 8.8 per 100,000 people, followed by Alaska (7.5) and Alabama (5.7).

FOCUS: Per capita is a super-important metric when it comes to comparing groups of different sizes… like population counts. You can learn more about it here.

Q. What are the different regions of the U.S.?

Most refer to five major regions when dividing up the states:

  • Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Midwest
  • Southwest
  • West

Learn all about them here.

Discovery #5: We Find Love in Europe

There were 3,876 international downloads in our study.

Europe had 45.8% of them.

If you think about, that’s half the rest of the globe.

Furthermore, Europe is the second most popular continent, behind North America, with 12% of all downloads.

Bottom line:

Europe gets after it. 🚀

Here’s a map of how the top European countries compete on the international level:

*Top European countries (% of international downloads)

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What we can learn from this map:

  • The United Kingdom comes in at #1 with 13% of international downloads.
  • Furthermore, the U.K. has over 2 times the amount of downloads than it’s nearest buddies France and Germany — 507 vs. 217 and 212 respectively. 
  • All significant download volumes are from western European countries (every eastern European country had less than 1%).
  • There is extensive geographical (and linguistic) diversity spanning from Finland in the north to Italy in the south.

Once again we see the highest download volumes among the most populated countries.

Germany, England, and France rule the day.

Top-10 by Population:
Germany
United Kingdom
France
Italy
Spain
Ukraine
Poland
Romania
Netherlands
Belgium

Top-10 by Downloads:
United Kingdom
France
Germany
Netherlands
Spain
Sweden
Italy
Finland
Hungary
Denmark

What’s interesting here is the difference in the correlation coefficient with European countries versus the correlation value we saw earlier with U.S. states.

The states had an almost perfect correlation of 0.97 between their populations and downloads.

When their populations went up, so did their download volume (almost to the exact magnitude).

But guess what happens when we analyze European countries’ populations and downloads?

Their correlation coefficient is a LOT less, coming in at a moderate 0.62.

Meaning, their downloads still went up as their populations went up, but not to the same degree as we see in America.

Hmmm… 🤔

TAKEAWAY: A European countries’ population is moderately correlated with spread downloads. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany are the top-3 countries.

FOCUS: In this study, international downloads are considered downloads from all countries and territories that are not a U.S. state.

Q. Where can I learn more about correlation and r²?

Here’s a great webpage.

Q. Does correlation imply causation?

No.

While correlation does not imply causation, we can still use it to see the strength of the relationship between our two variables: population and downloads.

European Hot Spots: Per Capita

Let’s get down to brass tacks, and deep dive once again into our favorite metric:

Per capita.

And this time with European countries.

This will help us truly gauge the popularity of bullet journaling in a given population, by telling us the download rate per person.

We now know that the highest populated countries — the United Kingdom, Germany, France — have the highest download counts on the continent.

But what countries have the highest per capita download rate?

Let’s find out.

Here are the top-10:

Top-10 Per Capita European Countries:
San Marino
Isle of Man
Finland
Netherlands
Sweden
United Kingdom
Denmark
Norway
Ireland
Hungary

Top-10 Per Capita Values:
2.953337271
2.364513383
1.193024926
1.087901888
0.8170277348
0.75077552
0.5890632439
0.5205566908
0.4915519627
0.3510699735

*Population data from Worldometers.info

It looks like some of the big European downloaders — like France, Spain, and Italy — dropped off this list.

And are replaced with the smaller countries of San Marino, Isle of Man, and Ireland.

Why?

Probably because of the low populations of these countries and the way per capita is calculated.

But it also shows us how popular bullet journaling is even in the smallest corners of the globe. 🌎

Now I think we deserve an international trip.

Discovery #6: Top-6 Travel Destinations

Want to know the hottest bullet journaling countries on the planet?

Check this out:

*Countries with the largest percentage (%) of international downloads (non-U.S. states) + most popular city in each country.

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What we can learn from this map:

  • Canada likes to bullet journal a LOT. Like, ⅕ of the international community.
  • The United Kingdom is #2 with ~13% of downloads. That’s a lot too.
  • Australia comes in at #3. Given that English-speaking countries normally dominate the data, that’s not too surprising.
  • Brazil makes somewhat of a surprise appearance being in the top 4 since English is not the official language.
  • Australia and Brazil both beat out large European countries like France and Germany. Most likely due to their population sizes.

My big takeaway?

Language plays a major factor in why these countries are so active, since predominantly English-speaking countries make up half of the top 6.

Even with comparatively small populations, I think that’s why both Canada (~37.6 m) and Australia (~24.6 m) make the top 6.

And I think population size (once again) explains why Brazil made the list, with a whopping ~209 million people (that’s 6th in the world).

But here’s the head-scratcher:

Given the planning nature of journaling, I would expect higher-educated countries to be more active.

So despite being VERY educated, countries such as Japan, Israel, and Korea are absent.

Why do you think that is? Is it a language barrier? Let me know in the comments👇.

TAKEAWAY: The English language and population size appear to be the two most important factors for bullet journaling activity.

Q. What are the most popular cities in each of the top-6 countries?

Here are the top cities by download count:

Canada = Calgary
United Kingdom = London
Australia = Glenroy
Brazil = Natal
France = Boissy-Saint-Léger
Germany = Geestland

(These cities are also featured in the map above.)

Share Your Thoughts

Did you enjoy your trip around the world?!

If you want a copy of all the maps, download the free Atlas.

Thanks for tagging along with me and I hope you learned something special from this bullet journal case study.

Now I want to hear from you:

What was the most surprising statistic you saw?

Was there anything I missed?

Let me know by leaving a comment below. 👇

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