There are numerous ways to make your
life easier. One important way is planning. Many ways through which you can
plan your day, week or even month are available for you to choose from. But, if
there is something that has been trending lately, it is the bullet journal.
This is something that is relatively
new to a lot of people although it has been around for quite some time now. For
people who want to start planning and managing their time better, a bullet
journal can do the trick. But, before you can start using a bullet journal you
will need to know what it is first.
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is an organization
system which is very easy to customize. There is no limitation to what you can
include in your bullet journal. Also, you can make your bullet journal anything
that you want. This makes it very flexible. You can choose to make it any one
of the following:
To do List – This
a list of the tasks you wish to do on a particular day. These tasks are
usually organized in the order of their priority. This means that the most
important task comes first.
Sketchbook – This
is something that you can use to exercise your creativity. You can use
your bullet journal to sketch and draw anything that you want.
Notebook – Maybe
you have some very important notes that you would like to write down for
future reference. A bullet journal can come in handy on this one too.
Diary – This
is what the majority of people know as a chronicle or a memoir. This is a
book which you will use to keep your daily record of experiences and
It is obvious that there is a number
of ways through which you can use a bullet journal to plan your day or even
keep a record of your daily events. But, why should you choose a bullet journal
over all the other available methods? To answer this question, you need to
learn about the benefits of a bullet journal.
Benefits of a Bullet Journal
A Bullet Journal Doesn’t have any boundaries
While other planners will force you
to stick with a specific layout or procedure for you to fill out your daily
events or plans, a bullet journal lets you do it the way you want. This gives
A bullet journal is not structured.
In most cases, a typical bullet journal will only be formatted with bullet
points. Writing prompts and calendar spreads are non-existent. This allows you
to format your plans the way you want. You can play with your text sizes,
writing styles and everything.
A bullet Journal can help in relieving stress
A bullet journal is very versatile.
What this means is that you can use it for anything that you wish to do. One
way that your bullet journal will help you in relieving stress is by offering
you a place to sketch. In the majority of the cases, you will be stressed
because you are thinking too much.
When you use your journal to sketch
or draw something, you stop the cycle of thoughts which are causing the stress.
You don’t need to be a talented artist in order to use art as a therapy.
You Can Create an Index on Your Bullet Journal
Everyone forgets. Especially when a lot
of time has passed. When you start writing your journal at the beginning of a
new year, you will probably have 365 pages worth of diaries when the year ends.
Sometimes, you will need to read a specific thought that you had recorded on a
Chances are that you will have
forgotten the particular page on which you recorded that thought. Skimming
through all the 365 pages can be time-consuming. This is where a bullet journal
comes in handy. With a bullet journal, you have the ability to create an index
at the beginning.
Creating this index is easy. You
only need to create a key that explains all the symbols that you use in your
bullet journal. You can then use this page to record the pages in which you
write down specific thoughts. When you want to refer to any thought later, the
only thing that you need to do is check the page number for the specific topic
on your index.
A Bullet Journal Allows You to be Creative
Other journals usually offer
restrictions in terms of how you can use them. With a bullet journal, this is
not the case. A bullet journal offers you a chance to make every page 100 %
yours. This means you have the ability to put your creative hat on.
If you feel like drawing is your
thing on a particular day, then, you are free to do so. If you feel like
arranging some picture snapshots on a particular page, a bullet journal allows
you to do this. The major reason as to why bullet journals exist is so that they
can allow you to do a lot more with less.
Bullet Journals allows you minimalism
Other planners available in the
market will often bother you with a lot of things that you have to fill out on
a particular page. This can be particularly frustrating. You may find that you
don’t have any interest in filling out all these details or you may find them
being totally irrelevant.
A bullet journal, on the other hand,
presents you with a blank page. You are the one to choose what you would like
to put on that page. This means that you have the ability to write as much as
you like or as little as you would like.
If you don’t like creating graphics
or you just don’t have the time to, a bullet journal will allow you to log your
thoughts or write your notes without pressing you for too many details.
Creating a to-do list is so much easier
A bullet journal allows you to use
bullet points to create the list of items that you would like to do. Every time
you complete a task, you can use another symbol to mark this task as done.
For example, you can use an “X” to
mark the tasks that you have already completed. You can use a less than symbol
to indicate that you are already working on that particular task. When you
didn’t have time to do a particular task, you can easily use a greater than
symbol to remind you of it.
A bullet Journal will inspire you to be productive
It is easy to skip through tasks
that you have to do just because you don’t feel like doing them. This is
something that lowers your productivity. With a bullet journal, you will have
to mark every completed task in a different way once it is done.
One thing which makes people skip
doing something is because they don’t have something to remind them of these
things. Your bullet journal will always remind you of the tasks that you have
not yet done and hence forcing you to do these tasks.
You have the ability to track your long-term goals
Tracking your goals is a major step
towards achieving them. When you don’t track these goals you will tend to lose
focus and forget about them.
With a bullet journal, you can
create a section where you will be recording the progress that you are having
with the goals that you have set for yourself.
How to get started with bullet
Getting started with your bullet
journal is not as complicated as you think. In fact, it is much easier than all
the other planners that you may have used before. You may have already seen
various pictures on social media showing some very complicated-looking bullet
journals. This should not be a cause for worry though. Your bullet journal will
look the way you want it to look like. You may choose to make it as complicated
as you want or you may choose to keep it as simple as you want.
Usually, when you are considering
diving into a new activity that you have never done before, knowing what to
expect and the steps that you may need to follow always proves to be helpful.
So, what are the steps that you need to follow in order to start bullet
Step #1: Pre-Planning
It is true that it can prove a lot
easier to go to social media websites where the majority of bullet journaling
experts post their bullet journal pictures and just copy what they are doing.
However, you might find this working against you. It is okay to go to these social
media websites to gain inspiration, but, on the other hand, it is not okay to
copy them because people are different. What you saw working for someone else
on social media might prove frustrating for you.
A bullet journal is supposed to be
flexible. This means that you have the ability to make it fit your life. So,
why would you want to borrow what has fitted into someone’s life while you can
easily tailor your bullet journal to fit yours?
Why is pre-planning important?
When you preplan your bullet
journal, it will help you with 3 things. These include:
You will have the ability to gain clarity.
You will get to answer the question about why you want
to do bullet journaling.
When you preplan anything, you get a chance to start
off on the right foot.
So what does pre-planning really
Brainstorming will allow you to know
why you really need to start bullet journaling. The process of brainstorming
involves you putting down all the ideas that you have about how you will use
your bullet journal on a piece of paper.
While you write down these ideas,
don’t try to organize them. Just write everything that comes to your mind. To
do this successfully, you will need to ask yourself some specific questions. To
give you some ideas, you can consider starting with the following questions:
What do you need to plan for or what do you need to
The answer that you provide to this
question will give you a clear picture as to why you want to start bullet
journaling. Some of the answers which you might provide for this question
include work projects, your habits, and if you are a student, you might
consider including school assignments as a possible answer.
Which kind of notebook will suit your needs?
There are different types of
notebooks available in the market that you can use for your bullet journaling
purposes. Not all of these will fit your needs though. Before you head out to
the market and acquire one, you need to know that for sure it will have the
ability to solve your problems.
Which areas of your life need the goal setting?
A bullet journal can be used to
track big goals that you set in your life. This question lets you have a clear
picture of the big goals that you will be tracking in your journal. Examples of
the answers that you might provide to this question include career goals,
health goals, and finances.
Will you include recurring events in your bullet
Some of the activities you do on
different days are similar. For example, your work schedule will most likely be
the same throughout the week. The same thing happens to your class schedule in
case you are a student. Noting these activities will allow you to know how to
plan your bullet journal in a more efficient way.
Step #2: Getting the supplies
In this step, you don’t have to
stress about the supplies. This is to tell you that you don’t have to break
your bank account acquiring what you need in order to get started. A simple
notebook and a pen will do the trick. You need to watch out for the quality.
Getting high-quality supplies will ensure that you don’t go to the market every
now and then to replace a faulty supply.
Step #3: Overcoming the fear of
For anyone who is starting out on
bullet journaling, it can be quite a scary experience. Heading out to social
media sites such as Instagram or Pinterest and observing all the bullet journal
pictures posted there can be quite intimidating too. These bullet journals
usually consist of very creative layouts and high-quality sketches which can
make you doubt whether you have the ability to even create a simple bullet
During the preplanning step,
you brainstormed and decided on the reasons as to why you want to start
bullet journaling. This should be your starting point. As long as you know why
you are doing something, your fear should disappear.
The second thing that you should
avoid is comparing your skills with those that you find anywhere else. What you
need to do is to relax because your bullet journal doesn’t need to measure up
to any of those you see on social media.
Practicing can also allow you to
improve your skills before you start using your new bullet journal. One big
concern that the majority of people who are starting out on bullet journaling
have is that they will end up messing their new journal. When you do some rough
work and practice elsewhere, you will gain some of the experience that you need
in order for you to get started.
Step #4: Start bullet Journaling
As you would expect, this is the
final step. But, you can’t just pick your new notebook and start writing on it
without a specific organization. So, how do you organize your bullet journal?
The index page
This is your starting point. The
index page helps you in organizing all your collections and entries in such a
way that it is easy for you to locate them in the future. You need to index
everything that is important to you. Numbering your pages will come in handy
when you are indexing all the logs and events that you have put in your bullet
The future log
You will probably need to log
appointments and activities which will probably take place in the future.
Keeping a future log in the bullet journal will allow you to just add the
future activities to your bullet journal as they come up without too much of a
The monthly log
Everybody has monthly activities
that they need to keep track of. You can keep track of all these events and
activities in this monthly log section. Creating a monthly log is as easy as
writing all the dates and days of the week on the left-hand side of your bullet
journal and then filling your month’s activities as they come up.
The Daily Log
This is what most people prefer to
call the dailies. To keep these as interesting as possible, you will need to
use some specific formatting which allows you to differentiate between your
notes, events or appointments, and your tasks.
Bullets are usually used to
represent all the tasks that you need to accomplish in a certain day, circles
are used to represent events and appointments while you will use dashes for
If you have anything else that you
need to add to your bullet journal, it goes in the collections section.
Examples of things that you may include in your collections section include
your projects and lists.
Enhancing Your bullet journaling
Enhancing rapid logging
When it comes to enhancing your rate
of rapid logging, several rules have to be observed. These include:
Always use short sentences. Aim at keeping these
sentences straight to the point and concise.
Make sure that you always add page numbers. These will
come in handy during indexing.
Make use of bullet points to enhance the organization
in your entries.
Use descriptive titles but at the same time make them
Identifying your entries
A bullet journal is very flexible.
This means that you have the ability to use it to record different items. But,
how can you differentiate the different things you record? Use the following
Tasks – When
you are recording your tasks, always use bullet points. When you complete
a task, mark it with an “X” symbol. If you weren’t able to complete
a specific task and you decide to migrate it to another day, mark the task
using a greater than sign (>). For tasks that are already in
progress, mark them with a less than sign (<). Events – To mark events, make use of a circle (O). Events are usually identified as the date-specific items that you have in your bullet journal. Notes – When you record ideas that you would like to remember in the future, mark these using a dash (-). Categorizing your entries You will probably have items in your bullet journal which are more important than others. To tell ensure that you differentiate all these items, you can use the following methods: For important tasks denote these using an asterisk (*). If you have some items on your bullet journal that are supposed to act as inspiration, use an exclamation mark (!) for these items. If some of the items need you to conduct some research, an eye is the best signifier that you should use. Although bullet journaling might be new to you, getting started is very easy. The most important thing that can help you avoid the fear of starting is avoiding the comparison. You can look at what other people are doing, but, use this as inspiration to create a bullet journal that suits you. If you haven't been planning and you would like to start, bullet journaling is a perfect method which you can use. If you have been using other planners and you think it is time for a change, bullet journaling is the best choice since it will offer you a lot of flexibility as compared to all the other methods of planning available.