Bullet Journaling has been on the journaling scene for a few years now, I know. But when I first heard about the craze I thought it sounded too overwhelming. I figured I already had a bunch of different planners, planning apps, calendars, and journals to content with – I certainly didn’t need yet another journal.
But this year, as I searched for the best method for planning my year and researched the concept of a bullet journal a bit more, I became more and more intrigued. What had been overwhelming now seemed possibly perfect for my needs.
I guess the confusing thing about the Bullet Journal is that it does require a bit of information to get started. It’s a system in which you have to learn the code and method before diving in and just journaling. But by the same token, it’s also incredibly freeform and can be adjusted and arranged however best fits your needs and your lifestyle. Because essentially, this is just a method for filling a completely plain notebook with plans, ideas, and checklists.
I gave it a shot and have been bullet-journaling for a week now. I have to say that I absolutely LOVE it! In fact, I actually wish I had tried it sooner. Once I had decided which elements I wanted in my book, and how to best structure everything, I was using my bullet journal throughout the day, pleasantly keeping track of my tasks, ideas, and thoughts.
In my view, the bullet journal allows you to combine several elements into one place, simplifying your organization, and simultaneously creating a log of your life. Whether you’re jotting down a task, an event, inspiration or a random thought, it all goes into the Daily Log of the bullet journal without one thing taking precedence over the other. Everything is delineated by a simple mark outlined in the key…
While there are numerous ways in which to structure one’s Bullet Journal, I opted to include the following in mine…
Index: Set up at the beginning of the notebook, the index is precisely that, a listing of page numbers for each section of the journal. Since it’s difficult to predict how many pages each section will take up, this has to be filled in as you go.
Future Log: A quick overview of events and bigger tasks to keep track of for the year, written out month by month. This is meant as a way to look at your monthly priorities at a glance.
Daily Log: The day to day lists. Using the key, I fill in each day with whatever tasks, events, and thoughts I want.
Finally, I decided to add another element that’s not traditionally in a Bullet Journal but is another type of journaling that I wanted to try out this year. In the spirit of keeping things all in one place, I added in the “Sentence-a-Day Log,” to my Bullet Journal in which I list out all the days of the current month and fill in each with a one-sentence description of how the day went. It’s the ultimate short-form version of documenting my days. I’ll admit I’ve been having trouble always sticking to one sentence, so I’ve allowed myself to include up to three, but the concept remains to keep these entries short and sweet – just a snapshot by which to capture the day.
While I know some people create gorgeous illustrations and embellishments to their journals, I’ve been keeping mine pretty simple. To get going on your own you really only need a blank journal and a good pen. But I recommend trying out a notebook with dotted paper, rather than lined. And in terms of pens, I personally love using my ek tools journaling pens in a .45mm size.
There is an actual website and app that is the official Bullet Journal site, with more information and materials if you are interested in learning more! Either way, I’ll be checking back in later this year to share how I’m keeping up with my journal, so stay tuned!