Bullet Journaling is a way of creating your own journal/agenda/planner that caters to exactly what you need. Anything can be in there, from a shopping list to a pen swatch page. This type of journaling is all about you and what you need. It also can look like whatever you want.
I’m linking a few tumblr pages, youtube videos, and websites that have awesome pictures of bullet journals, see those links at the bottom of this post.
The most basic step of creating your bullet journal is the notebook. I wanted a dotted one but couldn’t find one that I liked so I just have a blank one (which makes it tricky to do anything without a ruler). I’d say it’s up to you but dotted seems easiest. Moleskine and other well-known brands have different sizes but ones that aren’t as well-known are much less expensive if you’d rather spend your cash on pens. For size, go with something that fits in your bag, in your hand, and on your desk well. Mine is about 5.75 x 8.5 in and I really enjoy the size. Also think about paper thickness, the thicker the better.
For writing utensils, pick something that goes well with your notebook. If you have thick paper I love Sharpie pens because they are very consistent. You can also use pencils if you mess up a lot like me. I usually write things with pencil then go over them with Sharpie pens. I also use a ton of highlighters.
Once you have your journal pick a key, I like dashes because they are easy to make into arrows. Choose symbols for task, working on it (if you want), done, migrated, and canceled. Tasks are things you need to do, migrated means you moved it to tomorrow, next week, or next month, and canceled means that it’s no longer relevant. Also pick signifiers for your notes, and symbols for next to tasks and notes like deadline, urgent, important, etc. these help you see what you need to do now, and what is just a reminder.
Make an index, I have so much trouble with this because I always screw it up. The first rule of this is to number pages as you go so if you screw up on a page and end up tearing it out it’s okay. Add pages as you make them to the index, it’s okay if collections are in the middle of months but I like having most of mine at the beginning.
This is July’s monthly spread and habit tracker. I was going to fill in the rest of the habit tracker page but by the time I got ideas, it was too late to start. I also realized that I never use the monthly calendar.
This is August’s monthly spread, just a habit tracker. This keeps me most focused on the things I need to do each day. Almost everything got at least slightly more consistent by the end of the month.
Here is September’s habit tracker. On August’s I knew it needed something but I wasn’t sure what, a motivational quote is what. “Hustle, girl” is the perfect thing to get me going no matter what time it is or what I have to do. I also am happy about the way my handwriting turned out for that (thank you tumblr tutorials!).
Once you’ve picked a few collections (passwords, spending habits, pen test page, etc.) then begin with your future log. This is basically a year view so you can see what day your birthday is on or if that wedding is on a Friday or a Saturday (highlight important dates with different highlighters, add them to your key.) I don’t have a future log, although I’m not sure why. Next is your first monthly spread. This can include a regular calendar or something that is vertical with an event written next to it. After monthly spreads I love habit trackers. This motivates me to get each thing done each day. Whether it’s drinking water, getting enough sleep, getting your work done, or simply making your bed, you can put anything and everything on here. I have tested out different ways to make my habit trackers, I like the calendar type view but I think the horizontal is more practical. To fill in the boxes you can do patterns or fill them in with colors, it’s up to you. Also on the bottom of this page or your calendar you can have a motivational saying or a list of goals for the month.
Weekly spreads are a more detailed view of your week, this can be in a grid style, more vertical, or just “this week’s tasks” and “next week’s tasks” along with a weekly habit tracker. I like the “this week’s tasks” style because I end up migrating everything if I try to plan it out too much. Mine got more and more simple as time went on.
After weekly spreads are daily spreads. I usually keep mine to about a third of the page. You can include daily tasks, notes, and your to-do list here (use that key you made earlier)!
Now, you can go ahead and change each daily spread, weekly spread, and monthly spread to fit your needs as you figure out what you like and dislike!
Collections are a huge part of this. Some of my personal favorites are “coding progress” which lets me know how I’m doing with all the languages I want to learn (update: I’m trying my best). I also love the “Blog Designs I Like/ Developers I Like” page. You can also add wishlists, packing lists, quotes you like, words that get you motivated, things people said to you once that instantly lift your mood, etc.
The last thing I want to show you is this envelope where I wrote down things I want to remember to make goals for 2017. It’s things I want to do, not do, remember, forget, etc. I have it in the front cover of my BuJo so I can pull it out and add to it any time.
Here are some links that I have found that I love for inspiration, how-to’s, and motivation.
I hope you enjoy this post and start a bullet journal! When I don’t have it, I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s like I have no direction for the day without it anymore. It’s definitely a life-saver for me and a procrastination killer for sure!