writing on a notebook

A Beginner’s Guide to Bullet Journaling

When people think of a “bullet journal,” they might think of a simple day planner. It’s where they can keep track of their tasks and important events. It’s where they get to keep important notes such as contact information and receipts.

But, in reality, a bullet journal, or “BuJo” for short, is so much more than that. It’s a lifeline when you find yourself overwhelmed by your worries and responsibilities. It’s a way for you to organize your thoughts and tasks without you getting stir-crazy. In a way, it’s a way of life.

The BuJo Method was created by Ryder Carroll. He’s a digital product designer and art director based in Brooklyn, New York. He was inspired in 2007 by his friend, who’s working as a wedding planner. He found that the daunting task was getting the best of her. So he showed her how to organize her life better. And it could all be done with just a notebook.

Here’s how you can do the same thing.

Know the Basics of Bullet Journaling

A lot of people turn away from bullet journaling because of one thing. They are responsible for creating the format of their journal. But this is actually more of a double-edged sword. It’s also the reason why people love bullet journaling. To actually start formatting your journal, you should know first some of the basics.

First, there’s “rapid logging.” As Carroll described it, rapid logging is the language of the BuJo. Your notes should be short and direct. The next thing is the bullets. Your notes should be in bullet form. Both things ensure that your notes are easy to digest and won’t clutter the page.

Then, work on the “collections” of your journal. These are the index, future log, monthly log, and the daily log. The index is very straightforward. It bears the contents of your journal. So it’s easier for you to navigate through the pages. Then the future log is basically your year at a glance. It spreads out all of your major upcoming events in one section. Then, the last two are also very straightforward. Both monthly logs and daily logs are essential to any day planner. Being able to view your workload will help you balance everything out. So you’ll know if you can take up more work for extra income. You’ll also know when to choose pickup or delivery for your laundry, depending on your schedule.

Gather the Proper Materials

journal notebooks

The great thing about bullet journaling is that you can use any notebook. The size, thickness, paper quality, and style of the notebook depends on you. But to make things easier for you, there are a few basics that you can opt for. Choose a notebook with a dot grid pattern. Then, if you can, find a notebook that already has page numbers. A great example is the official Bullet Journal Notebook created in collaboration with Leuchtturm1917.

Your writing tools are also up to you, of course. You can use just one black pen throughout your journal to achieve a clean, minimalist look. But you can also use different colors and even calligraphy pens.

Make Bullet Journaling a Daily Routine

Another significant hurdle to bullet journaling is staying consistent. Yes, the goal of the BuJo Method is that it will help you get your life in order when you are busy and overwhelmed. But sometimes, people are too busy to set aside time for bullet journaling.

What you can do is incorporate bullet journaling into your daily routine. Make it as essential as, say, showering and brushing your teeth. It’s also your excuse to take a moment to yourself and reflect on your work and schedule. In a way, it’s a mindfulness practice that feels productive.

Be Patient with Yourself

Because bullet journaling requires a lot of designing and organizing from your end, you’re expected to go through a bit of a trial and error. Maybe you’ll find that the format of the daily log doesn’t work for you, and you need more space to list down all of your tasks. Perhaps the future log doesn’t feel useful to you. You can constantly add and remove aspects to your BuJo. This is why a correction tape would be your best friend.

The Bullet Journal Method is not for everybody. No one can deny that fact. Some people can go through the motions of their days without having to note everything down in a journal. But for some, it’s essential to their daily lives. It encourages them to feel productive and accomplished without feeling exhausted.

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