If you’d said the words “Bullet Journal” to me this time last year I’d have not had a clue what you were talking about! It’s only since I have been watching more You Tube videos that I picked up on the concept and decided to start a Bullet Journal (or BuJo for short) myself. I’ve had a few people ask me how I’m getting on with it and so I thought I’d do a little on going series throughout the year as I progress with my Bullet Journal; how I set it up, what journal I use, what supplies I use and what does and doesn’t work for me.
It’s so much more than just writing in a notepad or making a list – how many times have you bought a fancy new note pad and told yourself you’re going to get organised only to find your notepad languishing at the bottom of a drawer in a months time? Too many times to count I bet. A Bullet Journal has relevance and it’s flexible. You can make this blank notepad what you like following some basic, core foundations.
So what is a Bullet Journal?
The bullet journalling system was devised by a chap called Ryder Carroll. The idea behind the Bullet Journal is that we spend less time making traditional notes or journalling and become more productive as a result. How is this possible? Ryder uses a form of note making he refers to as ‘Rapid Logging’. You can read more about Rapid Logging on the Bullet Journal website; there are four components and each is explained thoroughly.
Essentially your BuJo will be made up of topics, bullets (these can take different states), page numbers and short sentences. It’s crucial you give each page a topic and number the pages as you go. The pages and their contents are listed in the index at the start of the journal – this will be key to keeping your BuJo organised.
There are four core modules that every good BuJo should consist of; an index, a Future Log, a Monthly Log and a Daily Log. Again, further explanations of these are found on the website but their essentially where we rapid log tasks for the future, month or day and give them a signifier such as ‘O’ for an event or ‘-‘ for a note.
‘Migration’ of tasks is one of the cornerstones of Bullet Journalling. It’s basically taking any unresolved tasks from the previous month and either migrating them to another month or striking them through if they are now irrelevant. It can be difficult to get your head around all these terms to begin with so don’t worry if you’re a little confused.
What supplies will I need to start my BuJo?
Essentially all you need is a notepad and pen but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to give yourself the best chance of making it work and do a bit of research into what other people are using and what they find works for them.
Most importantly you will need something small enough to carry around if required and something of decent quality as it should last for months to come. I opted for theLEUCHTTURM1917 346703 Bullet Edition Journal Notebook Medium A5 240 Pages dotted Lines, Colour: Black.Leuchtturm are well known among the Bullet Journal community and dots are the way forward instead of your usual lines. It allows for much more flexibility on each page; they can help give your logs structure yet from a distance they disappear. I find the paper is just thick enough to stop any bleed through but you will need to be careful about what pens you use.
I invested a small amount into a pack ofStaedtler 334 Triplus Fineliner Superfine Point Pens, 0.3 mm – Assorted Colours, Pack of 20 (you can see an example of these in this posts featured image) which I find ideal for the job. I rarely use the coloured pens at the moment as I am still trying to find what I do and don’t like in my journal. I’m quite a fan of simple, monochrome designs at the moment. If you’re an arty kind of person though head over to Pinterest as there are some amazing designs using brush pens which could make even the least creative person feel like picking up a pen.
I’ve recently bought a few cheap rolls of Washi tape from our local Tiger store too. I find it handy for creating divides between information or just for jazzing up the page edge. It’s a good way to add colour if you’re not feeling artistic!
My Bullet Journal Set-up
As I mentioned earlier, I’m still trying to find my feet with my Bullet Journal. I have all the key elements which should be there but I feel like I’m yet to find my signature style.
The great thing about the journal I referred to above is that it is specially designed for bullet journalling and so the index is already for you to complete and the pages are pre-numbered. A real time saver! The first entry into my Bullet Journal is the Future Log. It highlights major events throughout the year. I spread mine over two pages with six months on each spread.
Following this I added a few ‘collections’ which are relevant to the whole year such as ‘2017 Goals’ and my blog and You Tube channel stats tracker. I also have pages dedicated to keeping track of the brands I’ve worked with and a to do list for my blog. This is what I love about Bullet Journalling. If I suddenly decide I want to keep track of how many times I post on social media I can just add a page in, link it back to the index and then continue with my daily logs etc. It’s all there, easy to find and accessible.
Then I delve into March. I drew out my Monthly Log which is just a one page list of dates for the month with any pertinent events or deadlines for that month. It’s high level and shouldn’t be too in-depth. The page opposite is for ‘Tasks’ where I list all the things that need to be done in that month. For example, this month I needed to pay a speeding ticket (naughty girl) and also some blog admin I had been putting off.
Following the overview of March I then head into the weekly spreads where I log daily to-do’s, events and I’ve also started keeping our meal plan in here too as well as a page dedicated to meal inspiration and ideas. This is really where I am still trying to find what works for me.
I like to start the day by writing all the things I need or would like to achieve that day. I find this focuses my mind and as soon as Elsie goes down for her nap I get cracking. I keep track of appointments on my daily logs as well as any deadlines for blog work that I have that week.
Starting simply is the best idea. You can then add or takeaway from it as you decide what is and isn’t useful to you. I’m already hating this weeks layout and wishing the week away so we can start afresh with a new design next week!
I do hope you found this post interesting or useful – I’d love to hear if you keep a Bullet Journal or are thinking of starting. I’ve really only just covered the tip of it; there’s whole world of journalling to explore!