Bullet Journaling has developed something of cult following on Instagram and Pinterest in recent months. Have you ever heard of it? If you’re a stationary junkie, planner enthusiast or are just trying to get your life more organized, you’ll want to take a good look at bullet journaling.
Many people have too many things to remember and track on a daily basis. It can be pretty overwhelming. Bullet journaling is a simple system that can help you to bring some sanity to your life. For most people, a typical day might consist of activities like meal planning, errands, appointments and dozens of little things that we have to remember. Trying to keep track of it all in your head is exhausting.
If you have a busy family or manage a team at work, it’s even harder to keep track of it all. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive and less stressed you’ll feel if you get all the noise out of your head and into a bullet journal where you can easily access the information that you need.
A bullet journal is a simple, analog way of organizing and keeping track of everything you have to do in one physical notebook. The traditional layout consists of three different sections:
The first section includes the index and key. They will occupy the first few pages of your journal and help you to keep track of your journal entries. The index is the numbered list of your journal entries.
The key shows the ongoing progress of your tasks. Here’s a sample key idea to use, but feel free to adapt to your own needs. It can be as simple or complex as you like.
■ Completed Task
⍈ Migrated Task
⬤ Completed Appointment
⟴ Migrated Appointment
ᐧ (Dot) Task
X Completed Task
> Migrated Task
The second section consists of a monthly log or calendar, and then ongoing daily entries. The setup of this section varies considerably according to the user’s needs. Some people like to set up a future journal at the beginning of their book so they can see the important dates six to twelve months ahead of time.
At the beginning of a new month, you set up a monthly page. This is your space to record appointments, anniversaries and holidays. Some bullet journalers will simply make a list of 1-30 (or 31) and then leave space to note appointments as they come up. Others prefer to draw a more traditional monthly calendar grid over one or two pages. Try them both and see what works better for you. Every time you create a new monthly grid or list at the beginning of the month, make a note of what page it is on your index page.
Next, if want to plan your week in advance, set up a weekly spread and record your to-dos, appointments, meals and health habits that you want to track.
For some people, creating monthly and weekly spreads will meet their needs. Others might still want to work with daily pages. On a daily page, simply start recording the tasks you want to get done such as chores, errands and quick notes and ideas. This is where you’ll want to take note of your key so that you can keep track of tasks that you weren’t able to get to.
At the end of each day, go over your list. Tasks that have not been completed should be be crossed out because they are no longer needed, otherwise they should be moved to the next day. If you can’t tackle an item or two the next day, leave it open and make sure you review and work it in at a later date.
Finally, the last section of a bullet journal is dedicated to collections or groups of lists. They are simply lists of related things you want to keep track of. Ideas for collections can be endless. You can track books you want to read, passwords, gratitude lists, Christmas ideas, anything goes.
Pick the system that’s most intuitive for you and just get started tracking your tasks.
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Here is a list of journal supplies from Amazon (affiliate links) to get you started.