The Bullet Journal is one of the best organisational tools I’ve come across; so much so that I’ve been using it since Oct 2014 and still find it just as useful.
But what is it? Basically, it is a way to get organised in a notebook. It may be your calendar, your to-do list, your notetaker, your journal or a drawing place. It can be what you want and need it to be. Ryder Carroll created the system initially and the idea was for ‘rapid logging’ your ideas, your tasks, your activities of the day and anything else needed. Think of it as a bullet-pointed diary that you create in a notebook rather than having it pre-drawn up. The days go from one to the next – you don’t need a new page per day – and many (I don’t!) have an index in the front.
Why would I need it? Does a standard diary not seem to be working for you (even if it’s just that it doesn’t work for your tasks!)? Do you need some more organisation, but no diary you’ve found seems to “work” for you? Then keep on reading as this might hold some answers!
What do I need? There are a lot of things that some think you “need” (i.e. You’ll hear a lot about needing dot grid a5 notebook, or a Leuchtturm1917 diary (or for me personally, a Rhodia webnotebook by far!! 😉 – I DO find dot grid or graph book easier to use than a lined or blank however!)) but when it comes down to it, all you need is some kind of notebook and a pen. You don’t need washi tape (decorative paper tape) no matter how much some people think you do! But again, it has it’s uses!
At the end of this guide is a link to the official bullet journal page (Make sure to pop back here for the best hints and tips). This link a great place to look for more info and to get an overview of the system…but I am going to teach you MY way to set it up. After all, I’ve been using this for a couple of years successfully now!
You take notes in your daily diary in bullet point form. Quick rapid notes, not long and journal like! Check out my slideshow below with pictures of how I use it and the exact layout I use.
This link is how I set up a new diary. But in short, rather than combining my lists and daily dairy, I put the lists (aka “Collections”) at the back of the journal and daily diary at the front. The first few pages at the back are a master task list (3-4 for me). This is where all your tasks go that you aren’t doing on that day or close to now (i.e. I put things like “water blast house” or “pick up book from mums” on there). At the front, I start with the date, then have your bullet pointed daily list. My ‘key’ is generally a triangle for events, a square checkbox for tasks, a dot (not too small!) for notes and then any special ones you want (I have a ! or highlight for the things I need to notice, a heart for things I LOVED and a # for my daily weight). I then move things forward by doing an arrow in the checkbox and the date I moved it to if I’ve procrastinated too long…. again 😉
Here’s where I sway from the original system a reasonable amount! I don’t use it for events other than to note that I did it on that day (i.e. events that would go on a calendar, appointments etc). I use google calendar for those. I can find it there if I need to see it again, it reminds me on my phone and I always have my phone on me to schedule it. I also split a page into 6 (this is in the back, in my lists section) then label them as the next 6 months so I can note down tasks I need to do on those months like insurance, registrations or Christmas shopping. I also have a weekly planner I stick (with washi tape to remove easily – here’s the one I use) in the front. You can get the one I use here. You can really put anything you like in it. I have packing lists galore (off on holiday!) and even weight charts whilst I lose this extra weight from the kids!
And just to clarify, check out www.bulletjournal.com if you are wanting to see how things like the index, future log, and monthly log work.
The next step? Grab a notebook, a pen and have a go! If you don’t like it, that’s cool! If you find the system doesn’t quite work for you but it’s close, just alter it a bit. It’s so flexible which is the thing people seem to like the most about it! If you love it, use it. But whatever you do, in the trial period, make sure you write all the things you need to do down (including those things you were keeping in your head for safe keeping…. 😉 ) and embrace the Bullet Journal and it’s functionality! Amazing links below!
The Minimalist Bullet Journal Facebook Group (for talking about the system and its functionalality – not about the products you use with it! I’m one of the admins over here 🙂 )
Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook Group… a massive group with a lot more focus on products that are used with it.
Search Bullet Journal on facebook to see more groups, Pinterest or google images, google or anywhere else for more ideas!
(Disclaimer: Yup, I use affiliate links! I make all of nothing for the blog for the most part so when you click the sponsored links then buy, it helps me keep this love affair with blogging going! 🙂 )