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BULLET JOURNAL 101| A Special Guide on Bullet Journaling

Early 2015 I discovered an analog system that revolutionized how I plan and manage my life. I've a big fan of using notebooks, of writing my to-do's, of making lists and of the whole process of organizing my day and this certain system just incorporates everything. You may have heard about the Bullet Journal through other blogs or perhaps have seen it on Pinterest and YouTube. I am talking about... 

The Bullet Journal.

What is a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal is an analog system created by Ryder. It turns any notebook into a powerful productivity tool. Its a central place where you can log your notes, events, tasks and other important matters in an organized system. 

How the Bullet Journal Works?

The Bullet Journal is meant for rapid logging. It is supposed to be used for constant idea dump. If you are a person who has a lot of thoughts and lists in mind having a bullet journal will surely help you be on track of everything. It makes use of page numbers, keys/bullets and short sentences to make sure that everything is logged. 

Materials You Need to set up a Bullet Journal

  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Colored pens for color-coding
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Book mark (optional)

The truth is even if a simple notebook and pen will actually make a good Bullet Journal. You don't need a lot of fancy art materials or and others for it to function.

Elements of a Successful Bullet Journal

The Notebook

The Bullet Journal is a system you can adapt to any notebook. Whether you are using a simple grid notebook or invested in a Moleskine notebook, the bullet journal will work for you. 

Even if you use a  planner notebook already that has all the designs and division set up, you can still use the technique of the Bullet Journal. Others choose dotted journal or graph notebooks too.

The best tip is to make sure that you pick a notebook that inspires you. It should be something that you will actually use. Go for a color that you really like, the design that you want and more importantly make that notebook a reflection of you. 

The Index Page 

The Bullet Journal starts with the Index Page. This functions just like a Table of Contents. You write the topic written on the left and its corresponding page number on the right. 

This also means that you are tasked to put page numbers in the corner of your notebook. The page numbers help in easy navigation of the journal. You go to the Index Page and find what page you are looking for. 

The Keys

Keys are what makes the Bullet Journal work like a system. Keys are also known as signifier. There are a lot of signifiers available for you to use but the most commonly used and introduced by Ryder Carrol are the following:

  1. An open square that indicates an OPEN TASK
  2. A closed square that indicates TASK DONE
  3. An open circle that indicates an Event/Appointment
  4. A closed circle that indicates a finished Event/Appointment
  5. A dot that indicates notes
  6. An arrow for tasks or appointments moved
  7. An "X" for tasks or appointments canceled

Honestly, there are way more keys/signifier available today. You can number your tasks to signify importance. You can also use a highlighter for your most important to do items. As long as your keys/signifiers work in favor of your accomplishment then that's it.

The Content

Now a Bullet Journal can be personalized. It adopts exactly on how you want it to be. There contents of a Bullet Journal depends per person. It depends on what you want to include, how you want the posts to show and how rapid you will be writing in it.

There are many things you can do with your Bullet Journal. It could be your pllaner, your diary, your devotional notebook and your editorial calendar in one. Below are the common stuff you can include in your BuJu.

  1. Yearly Calendar

You can create your own calendar or print one in your computer. You can use this yearly calendar to record you future plans or future appointments as well as special occasions coming. 

  1. Monthly Calendar

Then you'll have your monthly calendar. You can use the same idea proposed by Ryder Carrolin the original Bullet Journal or try your own monthly calendar. I, for example, love the boxed  calendar because I can add notes and stickers so I stick with the said set up for my Bullet Journal.

  1. Monthly Goals and To Dos 

On the other side of your journal you can  write your must-do's of the month. This is a master list of bigger projects you want to accomplish on a specific month. You also ought to add your goals and priorities

  1. Daily Planning

Once you have your month set up you can now do your daily planning. This will serve as your to do list of the day. There are a lot of ways you can set up your day from logging the time you wake up, adding the weather of the day or designing the side with washi. Make sure to write down your appointments as well as your tasks with its proper signifier.

  1. Lists/Collections

You can turn to a new blank page and create your first list. These are items under one topic that you want to track down maybe. You can create a Books to Read, Makeup to Buy, Places to Visit or Blog Post Ideas. There's no limit on what you can record with your Bullet Journal Notebook.

Now What?

I am excited on how your Bullet Journal journey will be. It will surely change how you process stuff and get things done. Starting a Bullet Journal should never be a daunting task. It is actually easier that it seems. 

Watch the video below for the quick explanation on how the bullet journal works as explained by Ryder Carrol himself.

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