What is a Bullet Journal? Learn + great ideas from Bullet Journal

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Estée Janssens

In the digital age, it can be very satisfying to write something. If you like jotting down words and doodles in a notebook, there is one type of journaling that is sure to appeal to you. Known as a Bullet Journal, it’s a flexible style of record keeping, goal setting, and to-do list creation that you can customize to your liking.

What is a Bullet Journal?

A Bullet Journal has so many possibilities that it can even seem overwhelming to begin with, let alone understand. Basically, it is an “adaptable practice meant to be self-organized”. Think of it like a journal or a diary; depending on how your life changes, the format can be changed depending on how you use it. Maybe you’re going on a trip overseas next month and want to make a packing list. You can implement it as part of your journal. Or, you want to improve yourself at meal planning, this is also something to jot down in your notebook.

A Bullet Journal can be divided into several sections.

Quick check-in: Rapid Logging is the foundation of Bullet Journal; it allows you to record things quickly which makes it easier to keep your journal. It has four elements: the subjects, Page numbers, short sentences, and bullets. Everything done through Rapid Logging should be brief and treated objectively – everything has equal weight in the eyes of the Bullet Journal.

When you start your Bullet Journal, the first thing to do is to assign topics and page numbers. A topic will go to the top outside corner of a page; it’s a short but descriptive title. Once you’ve done that, write a page number in the lower right corner.

Bullets help you differentiate between tasks and events. Tasks are represented by a period (•) and are action items, such as “Go to the gym”. To address a task, you use one of these three symbols: an X, which means task completed; a>, which is a migrated task who moved forward in time (like next month); and scheduled task it is backward.

Events are symbolized by an “O” bullet. Items that are events have a date that you can either schedule or save after they happen.

Remarks are represented by a hyphen “-“. These are things you want to remember (like the location of that new cafe in town), but they’re non-actionable (meaning you can’t schedule them). These notes must be quick; the goal is to keep them to one sentence or less.

As you become more familiar with Rapid Logging, you may be able to use other signifiers to give context to your entries. An asterisk

represents priority while an exclamation mark (!) indicates inspiration. Drawing an eye symbol indicates further exploration or research needed.

To familiarize yourself with these symbols (and any others you create), it is suggested that you keep a key on the front or back of your bullet journal.

Once you have completed the quick connect, you can move on to building your modules.Modules : This is where your Bullet Journal comes to life. Modules are the framework in which the whole system is built, and they are a way to organize your information so that it is easy to refer to, track, and plan. You can get really creative with Mods, but there are four main sections that are suggested: theIndex ,Diary of the future ,Monthly journal , andDaily newspaper

. The Index

includes the first few pages of your notebook. Here you will put Subjects (also called Collections) and Reference Numbers where you can find them. You will treat it as you would the beginning of a magazine or textbook. If there is a collection that spans from non-consecutive pages, you can also note it in your index. The Diary of the future

is basically a long term timeline for events in advance or long term goals. You can format the Future Log on a few pages or several pages; it all depends on the level of detail you want to achieve. Goals and events can also go here. Many people use it to view a year at a glance. The Monthly journal

helps you organize your month at a glance. The basic configuration is the name of the month at the top of the page and all the dates listed in the left margin following with the first letter of the corresponding day. Thursday the 7th, for example, would be 7T. The opposite page may list the tasks you want to accomplish this month or the items you migrated since last month. The Daily newspaper

is probably your most used module. Designed for you to use every day, it has a configuration similar to that of the monthly journal; it is recommended to start by writing the date at the top of the page and use Rapid Logging to record your daily tasks, events, notes, etc. Of course, you can change the format like so many creatives have done before.

After you have created the four basic modules, you can configure additional modules for whatever you want to follow. This is where you can really customize it to suit your passions. Some Bullet Journal Ideas

  • understand:
  • Fitness journal
  • The books you read
  • Meal planning
  • Mood tracking
  • Thank you list
  • Sleep log
  • Expense tracking
  • Home Project Wish List
  • Water tracker
  • List of ideas
  • Tasks to be accomplished
  • Places to travel
  • Birthday reminders

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