I love, love, love my Bullet Journal.
As a lifelong paper/journal/calendar/planner addict, I couldn’t find the perfect organization system that met my needs.
Everything I had tried before was either too complicated to learn (GTD anyone?), hard to set up, expensive, time-consuming or so open-ended that there wasn’t enough structure. I have also tried a number of online/digital apps, but don’t prefer those either.
[Note: I recently wrote an update to this post because it was my one-year anniversary of bullet journaling! See Simple Bullet Journaling.]
When I first heard of the Bullet Journal, I thought, “What’s the big deal? A notebook full of bulleted lists?”
But the Bullet Journal is so much more than that! I won’t attempt to describe all that a Bullet Journal can be, but if you’re interested, definitely watch THE video at the official Bullet Journal website.
NOTE: A Bullet Journal can bring out the perfectionist in you if you’re not careful. I have plunged right in and don’t worry about whether I’m doing it “right”. My handwriting isn’t perfect, I don’t use signifiers and other “official” BuJo doodads, and that’s ok. It’s a system that’s supposed to make your life better, not shackle you or make you feel bad about your calligraphy skills.
Here is how I use my Bullet Journal.
I am definitely not an artist, I am inspired by beautiful BuJos I see online (and even have a Pinterest board for such), but I don’t let my lack of skill stop me. I simply use my neatest handwriting (cursive for headings, usually print for lists).
My BuJo is never very far away from me as I consult it multiple times a day. The four “core modules” of the Bullet Journal are: The Index, Future Log, Monthly Log, and the Daily Log. These are things most BuJo lovers use, and then they add those that are unique to them.
- Index – this is what sets the BuJo apart from a simple notebook. The index tells you at a glance where everything IS in your journal. Brilliant.
- Daily Log – where my day’s to-do list goes.
- Monthly Log- a simple numbered (for the number of days in the month) 1-31 list down the page where I note appointments and other things I need to remember that occur on a specific date. (Simply put, a monthly calendar.)
- Future Log – a simple year-at-a-glance calendar. It’s a graph I drew in which I list the main events of the months ahead.
And these are the modules that are unique to me.
- My Routines (daily, weekly) – a simple list to keep my good habits in place, I clean my house on a schedule so that’s written here, appointments that happen weekly (art classes and dance lessons, etc)
- Gratitude Journal – self-explanatory
- My Blogging Calendar – one blog I write has a weekly calendar of posts. This is where I keep that info so I can remember what I will be writing about next.
- Habits Tracker – a simple grid where I check off habits I’m working on (flossing, walking, etc)
- List of Writing Ideas – where I brainstorm blog posts and draft them on paper.
- Big List of To-Dos – these are the “Eventually” things that don’t have a specific deadline
- Wardrobe Needs – I’m terrible about buying for the next season. This list helps me remember not to get caught in winter without a coat, or summer without a swimsuit, etc.
- Films To See. I am terrible about forgetting movies I want to watch when I see previews or read about movies online, and when we’re in the mood to watch one, I can’t remember what to search for! No longer.
- Weight and Movement Tracker. Where I write down how I’m staying active each day and my current weight.
- Things I Want to Cook – ideas from Pinterest, cookbooks, etc.
- Current Scripture I’m Memorizing. One of my goals this year.
- Book Notes – quick points from books I read, to help me remember what I learned and so I can write my Quick List post each month.
- Caleb’s Grad Party – my oldest is graduating this year and we’re planning a shindig in May, so ideas and to-dos for that go here.
Since I’m a beginner Francophone, I write my BuJo en francais most of the time to get an extra bit of practice. As I said, highly customizable!
And it’s a work in progress. Anytime I need a new module, I add it (making sure I put it in the index first so I can find it later).
Pictured above is my Leuchtturm1917. For the first two months I used a cheap spiral-bound notebook I already had, but upgraded to the Leuchtturm as a gift to myself. It’s much higher quality (hardcover, my old BuJo was already falling apart from use) and has nifty features that other notebooks don’t, including built-in bookmarks, numbered pages and dotted grids.
I wish I had begun with it, instead of having to migrate everything from the old (seen above, on left) to the new. But ah well. I wanted to make sure that Bullet Journaling was a habit that would stick first.
I spend about 2 minutes in the morning creating my to-do list for the day, and I grab the journal whenever I need to remind myself of what’s going on that day/week/month, to write down appointments or to add to any of my lists. It isn’t complicated and is highly portable. And I am a paper person, bien sur.
Do you BuJo? What do you love about it?
A couple more great links/tutorials about Bullet Journaling:
Recommended Tools for Bullet Journaling:
Leuchtturm 1917 – the preferred notebook for bullet journaling.
Staedtler TriPlus Fineliner pens – ultra fine point, no bleeding through
Pentel arts Slicci 0.25 ultra fine point pens – also in my purse!
Simple Bullet Journaling (my one year anniversary of using my BuJo)
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