Bullet journaling, created by a New York-based designer named Ryder Carroll, is a new
twist on journal writing. The intended goal was to plan future events, keep track of
things that happened in the past and organize things in the present.
This type of journal combines the best of planning, journal writing, creating to-do lists,
and tracking important events in your calendar. It’s a fully customizable type of planner
that provides benefits like:
-Giving you multiple views for your daily, weekly and monthly calendars
-Providing a quick and easy way to keep your life organized
-Allowing you plenty of space for to-do and tasks lists
-Simplifies your life for optimal success
-Gives you an overview of your priorities
-Makes it easy to customize it to fit your needs
The bullet journal is ideal not just for someone who loves using a planner, but also
someone who wants the benefits of a journal, but doesn’t enjoy writing. Everything is
done in a rapid logging method, reducing how much writing is actually done in the
You’ll learn what bullet journaling is, how to effectively use it, and learn how to
make the most out of the technique. Bullet journaling is a lifestyle change because it
changes your behavior about writing, organizing and priorities. But, you’ll find the changes
for the better are worth the effort.
Introduction to Bullet Journaling
You’re probably excited to get started with your bullet journal, but it helps to first
understand a little more about what it is, how it works, and how it can be useful for you.
The more information you have to start with, the better your bullet journal will be.
One thing to remember as you go through this guide is that the bullet journal is
customized for YOUR needs. Every decision you make it based on what will work best
for you. Get inspiration from others, and use printables of layouts that work for different
sections, but don’t feel pressured to make it look or feel just like someone else’s.
Let’s get started.
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is a calendar, planner, and journal all rolled into one. It becomes
whatever you make of it, allowing you to keep track of your past events, help you
organize the current events and activities, and to make plans for the future. It gives you
a number of ways to create your journal and offers an easy way to make all of your
ideas and plans work in harmony.
In upcoming blog posts, you’ll learn everything there is to know about a bullet journal,
why it’s beneficial, and how best to use it. As you’ll see, there’s a lot to learn about
bullet journals, from how they’re set up, to the types of collections and pages you want to
All you need to begin is a blank journal or notebook and a pen.
A Brief Introduction to the Main Aspects of a Bullet Journal
As you’ll soon see, a bullet journal has a lot to it, but every single page and
aspect is customizable for your needs. However, it does help to understand
the basics first so let’s review each feature.
Here are some of the main pages that will be included in the bullet journal:
The first page you will have in your bullet journal is the index. This works similar to an
index in a book you’re reading, providing a list of pages and sections in the bullet
journal, and letting you know what page number each section is located on. It works in
conjunction with your bullet journal sections, collections, and pages, making it easier to
locate something instantly.
The index is more efficient when it is located on the first two open pages in your bullet
journal, so it’s easy to find and has adequate space within your journal to keep track of
all pages and sections.
You will return to these two pages often, as you list the pages you create. More
importantly, you’ll use your Index in the future to easily find the page of any number of
journal entries that you need by adding the page numbers at the bottom of the page and
entering them into the Index.
The next part of the bullet journal is going to be your future log. The future log is a great
way to plan for the near and distant future. It’s meant to give you insight into the month
coming up, including events or birthdays, weekend plans, work or school tasks,
household errands, and everything else going on in your life.
To create this page, turn to the next two blank pages after the index, and write Future
Log at the top of each. Divide both pages into three even horizontal sections. Use these
as a six-month Future Log and enter the name of six consecutive months at the top of
each of the six divisions. Add the page numbers at the bottom of the page and enter
them into the Index.
The calendar spreads are a big part of the bullet journal, starting with the monthly
spread. There are many ways to customize the monthly spread, starting with a monthly
log. Many people choose to place this after the Future Log in the bullet journal. Take a
look at different templates to see how these spreads are set up.
Monthly Task List
For the monthly calendar spread, you can also have a task list, which may be on the
right side of the calendar spread, or on a completely separate page. On this page, write
a list of all the things you need to accomplish in this month. In front of each task, add a
task bullet or a simple dot. As with the other pages, when you have finished with these
two pages, add the page numbers at the bottom and log them into the Index.
Weekly Calendar Spread
Don’t forget about the weekly calendar spread! This is going to provide larger spaces for
you to write appointments, events, and tasks for each day of the week. It is great for
work, school, and personal commitments. Just like in a planner, the order usually goes
monthly calendar, weekly calendar, then daily calendar.
If you want even more space to write what you are doing each day of the month, include
a daily spread or daily log as well. Begin the next blank page by writing a date at the
top, then begin to write down all of the things you need to get done on that day.
Each one of these items will go into one of three groups: tasks, events and notes.
These groups will have their own unique bullet style. For example, Tasks will be
bulleted by a single dot; Events by an open circle and Notes with a dash. Obviously, you
are free to use any type of bullet that helps you keep your journal in order.
If a task is very important, you should add an asterisk next to the bullet to indicate that it
needs to be given special attention at some point in that day. These special bullets, like
the asterisk, are known as “signifiers,” as they add priority to the bullet.
If you have notes that you may need for a bigger project and other tasks related to it,
you can create a Collection on the next blank page. Collections are a good way to keep
certain pieces of information together, or on-going projects or class information. As
always, jot the page number at the bottom and Index your Collection.
How They All Work Together
As a new month is approaching, create the pages for the next monthly log just like
before, remembering to enter the new pages into the Index. Go through the ending
month’s daily log and review the tasks. If you haven’t done so already, cross out the
items that you’ve completed.
For those tasks that remain, decide if they still need to be done. If not, you can cross
through them. If they can be done in the upcoming month, turn the bullet into a Right-
Arrow, then copy the sentence into the new monthly log. If the task or project isn’t due
for several months, turn the bullet point into a Left-Arrow and log the information into the
month that the work should be done in the future log. This is called Migration.
That’s all you need to do to set up your Bullet Journal.
The bullet journal is there to help you plan and organize your life and activities. It will
keep the to-do list for next week or next month in the same location as your schedule for
tomorrow. All of your plans are located in one place, easy to find and use whenever you