The words “bullet journal” are found when searching the internet quite a bit. Created by a New York product designer named Ryder Carrol. He launched bulletjournal.com in 2013 to share his view of the most effective system for personal management. Since then, the possibilities for bullet journal creation have been endless.
As someone who considers herself a productive journal creator yet, who has since escaped the propensity, I was relatively captivated. I started researching everything I could about the process. I started to feel myself get a bit overwhelmed. is it a diary, a to-do list or a planner? What the heck is a to-do list without the satisfaction of crossing out the finished items?
The more I searched, the more confused I became. Different colors, formats and themes. How was anyone ever going to get the hang of doing this each day? However, I am an obsessive planner. For instance, as I type this article for you to read, I have a handheld planner on my desk, a monthly planner on the wall to my left and a project planner behind me. I felt it was time I jumped on this bullet journal bandwagon, so the other day I bought a three subject notebook and sat down searching different bullet journal ideas. (Yes, I know that bullet journaling is normally seen being done on blank paper, but we’ll get to that in a moment.)
Wasn’t long before I was getting the hang of the process. Turns out it’s not so hard at all. It just sounds that way because the explanations can be confusing. A bullet journal is the way to go for you if:
You make to-do lists daily
You love writing out your chores
You are a fan of tracking your habits and setting goals
You like pretty paper, journals, making scrapbooks and fun pen colors
You love planners (like me)
You want to love planners or feel you need more organization
You keep a journal or diary but have issues sticking with the process
Or if you just want to try something new and adore art! The Fundamentals:
Learning the lingo.
Bullet Journal: A method of personal organization.
Index: List of the internals of the bullet journal that you should update throughout.
Monthly Log: Helps you organize — you guessed it — your month.
Future Log: planning a year-at-a-glance that puts your year into perspective.
Rapid Logging: Symbols that you choose to incorporate into your bullet journal that helps you get things finished
Daily Log: Everything the day holds and maybe even a small note about the day that made you happy.
2. The overall purpose of a bullet journal is to make quick notes on what it is you need to do rather than full in-depth sentences. Everything I have found calls this Rapid Logging (see above). It took me a while to get the understanding of this because I had not yet learned the lingo. I suppose when you think about it there is a connection. Rapid = fast. In the simplest of terms, you create small notes or even icons that help you keep track of everything.
3. You’re not required to use the blank white paper. Some use dotted sheets, lined paper, colored paper and even construction paper. The main thing you want to be sure of is the size. Make sure it’s small enough that you will not mind carrying it around where you’re going. As I said previously, I am currently using a standard three subject notebook for mine.
4. Symbols will be your best friend! Create a Icon Log somewhere in your bullet journal to make sure you keep track of them. This is one of my favorite parts of the process. Something about creating my own small symbols that mean only what I know they mean makes me feel powerful. Although, it’s unlikely someone will be digging through your bullet journal the same way your younger brother may have gone through your diary. Regardless, it’s still cool.
There are so many different aspects that can be added or removed to make your bullet journal specific to you and your style. Some would suggest giving you're a strict, laid out how to with each step specifically placed to where you robotically repeat the steps… Listen, you would end up hating bullet journaling if all you did was blindly copy someone else’s full journal to keep track of. If we were going to do that, wouldn’t we just buy one alright filled?
They’re available on Amazon and Esty. So, if you would rather not draw or create the journal yourself, you could go that route too. These are all about expression and organization on YOUR TERMS!
Grab that notebook and get it together! Happy planning.
🧡Shine Bright, Kayla
(Article Originally published on my Medium.com account April 2022)