What is a Bullet Journal and how do I get started?
That is one of the most common questions I receive from Instagram and YouTube. The Bullet Journal (or BuJo as it’s known in the planner world) is the best system for organization and productivity because it allows for a lot of customization! I truly believe there is a power in putting pen to paper. Of course it’s important to write out your goals, hopes and dreams — it gives them even more potency — but, I love the bullet journal because it’s a system to also just write out your daily to-dos and the mundane things in your head. Being organized is good for our mental health! So get all that stuff out of your head and onto paper! Then use the bullet journal system to get it all in order.
Bullet journal was created by Ryder Carroll. In his words, bullet journaling is meant “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” It really is an amazing system that helps you keep track of everything! I have created tons of videos about Bullet Journals on YouTube so be sure to check out my playlist for lots of tips, resources and how-to information.
The video below is a great place to start for all the basics; plus, you’ll get a look at how I setup my BuJo. And for the beginners, here are a few more tips:
Be Realistic – Just know that it may take some time to get into a rhythm with a bullet journal. If you’re totally new to organization then start slowly and with grace.
Start Simple – Don’t get overwhelmed with all the pretty layouts you see on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s the cherry on top, but that is NOT what bullet journaling is all about. Get in the groove of writing things down in your notebook, especially if you’re a beginner, and then move on to adding artistic details.
Proper Supplies – I love the Moleskin and Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks — they are $20 a pop, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Walmart also has some great dupes! I love notebooks with a hardcover and a band that keeps them closed. Also, check out different types of paper — there are lines, squares and dots. My personal favorite is dots because I have room to play around but can also write in a straight line. It’s not super important if you’re just writing things out but it will come in handy as you draw graphs and add more art.
Create an Index – The index page is the backbone of the bullet journal system. It’s almost exactly like a table of contents in a book. This is vital to find the information in your BuJo. Some notebook brands have index pages already included in the beginning and the pages are numbered for you already too!
Create Logs – Another key aspect of the bullet journal system is logs. Basically, these are the pages where you write out all of your tasks and projects that you’re working on. You can also write your future goals as well. There are generally three types of logs: a future log (things that don’t require your immediate attention), monthly logs (calendars and categorized goals lists for the next 30 days) and daily logs (to-dos, appointments, and reminders)
Create a Key – For me, this is one of the most fun parts of setting up a BuJo. You can use any symbols you want! If you’re totally stuck then start with the basics: bullets for tasks, circles for events, dashes for notes, starts for high-priority. This is one of the most customizable parts of the BuJo so go crazy! You’ll see the symbols that I picked in the video below. You can also get lots of ideas on Instagram! Keep track of your key on a reference page or get creative with an index card and some washi tape.
Use Collections to Document – You create collections as a running list of things you want keep track of. These lists most likely won’t change daily and they are more reference-type info than action-oriented. Some examples include: books you want to read, movies you want to watch, your gratitude list, YouTube video topics, self-care ideas, places you want to travel to.
Have you created a bullet journal? Are you just getting started? Any tips to share?
Let me know below!