Is your desk covered in Post-It notes? Have your spent a ton of money on fancy planners or phone apps that promised to get you organized? Have any of these worked for you? If you are anything like me, the answer is no, and this is why you need to try Bullet Journaling.
Designer Ryder Carrol created the Bullet Journal, and it has become the organizational tool to which productivity geeks are flocking. Oh who am I kidding here, I think even us non-organizational types are flocking to learn more about this system. The system is entirely DIY, decisively “low-tech” and requires no batteries or Wi-Fi. In fact, all you need is a notebook of your choice and a pen or pencil. Pretty easy so far…
The Bullet Journal is incredibly easy to set up, and much of its magic revolves around it becoming the ubiquitous home for all your to-do lists, calendars, and journal notes. The system uses four modules which can be rearranged to meet your needs. These include an Index, a Monthly Log, a Daily Log, and a Future Log.
To create your Bullet Journal, you first number the pages of your notebook. Then, on the first pages, you create the Index. This is where you will later locate important notes, dates, and other entries by tracing them back to their original pages.
Second, you create the Monthly Log, which becomes a bird’s eye view of events scheduled throughout your month. Likewise, it will be useful in providing a snapshot of key events that occurred throughout the month.
Third, you create the Daily Log. This is where the real action happens, and where the Bullet Journal gets its name. Underneath each day’s date, you list each day’s activities, and before each entry, you write one of three symbols. Before tasks you use a bullet (•). For a scheduled event, or for a date you wish to remember, you use an open circle (O). Finally, if there is an important piece of information you employ a dash (—).
Additionally, when an item is complete, you mark it with an (X), and if it becomes irrelevant, you strike through it. Also, other ciphers can be inserted in the margin before the three primary symbols. These include an asterisk (*) to indicate an item of high priority, and an exclamation mark (!) to designate an important or inspirational idea.
Finally, if you find that you have repetitive tasks or a list that needs tracking, you can add a Collections module to track each of them.
At the end of each month, you create a new Monthly Log, and then “migrate” all incomplete tasks into it. This is crucial to ensure that you have not missed something important. When you find uncompleted items, you convert the (•) into a (>) to indicate that the entry migrated to the new month.
While using a pen and paper may seem like a step backward for some technology addicts, keeping a Bullet Journal is a simple and efficient system that will organize, simplify, and declutter your life. Start yours today and get control of your life.
Beyond the Basics – Get Creative
Now that you got the jist of BuJo (Bullet Journaling) it’s time to get creative and think about adding your own flair to it. You can use colored pens and create some cute doodle icons, stickers and stuff for inspiration. There is no end to what you can do with your new found love of BuJo. Here are some nifty links I found to help you get started with supplies and some ideas on how to take your bullet journal further than the basics.
- Essential Grid-Lined Notebook – These are currently under $11 which makes this a nice budget friendly choice.
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliners – This is a really good 10ct pen set to start off with. It is highly recommended by BuJo fans.
- Masking Sticker Set, 27 Sheets – These are cute stickers you can use in various ways in your BuJo.
BuJo Ideas are Endless:
- Bullet Journal for Weight Loss + Free Printable from Slap Dash Mom – I love how she shows readers that Bullet Journals can be used for anything! Be sure to check out her other BuJo links as well.
- How To Use a Bullet Journal from DIY Candy – This is a great little Bullet Journal 101 post and I think its really helpful for newbies.
- Homeschooling Bullet Journal from Little Blog in the Country – She shows how easy it is to adapt Bullet Journaling for homeschoolers.
- The Right Way to Bullet Journal from Boho Berry – I love this post because she tackles the growing divide on the right or wrong to bullet journal. Whatever works for you is the way to go. Love the various ideas in her video as well.
- Bullet Journal Hacks that Actually Work from Page Flutter – She has some nifty hacks for your bullet journal adventure.