If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, you’re missing out on a great innovation. It’s something which can make your life easier, and make organizing your daily schedule a joy rather than a nightmare. I got to know about it a couple of weeks back, and since then I can’t stop raving about it. And, also kicking myself for not knowing about it earlier. Was I living under a rock?
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is basically a single notebook which you can use for noting down all your tasks and scheduling them. It’s a planner, to-do list tracker, journal, habit tracker, birthday tracker all in one! If you’re currently struggling with multiple notebooks, this could be the answer to your problems. I love notebooks, I love to-do lists but I tend to struggle with multiple notebooks. I have one for daily tasks, one for groceries, one for finances and then I get confused trying to manage them all. I also have notes on my cell-phone and laptop. I still love writing everything down, but with the digital onslaught, I’m forced to make online notes. But, I never feel organized and things are all over the place.
What do you need to start one?
This is the best part, you just need a simple notebook (anything will do), and a pen to get started! Now, let me add something here. If you go online and check bullet journals out, you might get a little overwhelmed, because there is a ton of advice out there. Also, people have customized and beautified their bullet journals to such an extent that you might feel that you’ll never get time to do that.
The point is, you don’t need to! Yes, you can make your bullet journal as beautiful as you want it to be, and as complex as you want it to be, but at the end of the day, it’s a very simple concept and it’s your tracker. So, make it the way you want it to look! That said, you should definitely check out the web for some great inspirational ideas on bullet journals and Instagram for some great pictures to get inspired!
I used the notebook below, by the way.
What if it’s the middle of the year for me?
Doesn’t matter one bit. If you are in the middle of May, just start it from the middle of May. You’ll soon see how my pages look, as I started this month too.
How does a Bullet Journal solve the problem?
A bullet journal allows you to track everything via a simple index and numbered pages. So, essentially you number all the pages in your notebook and then you have an Index which allows you to track everything.
Overall Structure & Essential Parts: I’m going to present a very simple bullet journal structure so that you understand what it is, and then you can obviously get your creative juices flowing to make this as pretty as you want!
Index: This is the first page of your journal, where you note down all the major contents and number them so that they don’t get lost. You can create a Year at a Glance page if you want. It’s not mandatory, though!
Future Log: This is a high-level view of the major tasks you need to get accomplished every month. For me, I always tend to lose sight of what I need to get done each month, and I get swamped in the mini-details. This page is super helpful to maintain the overall monthly view. Remember to add this in the Index once done!
Monthly Calendar: Now, this is a page which tracks all the activities for any month. So, once you’re done with the Future Log, you can get into each month, week and finally the daily pages. Remember to keep this high-level as well, as you have the weekly, and daily pages for more details. This can be more of a milestones page.
Weekly Spread: This is a high-level view of the things you need to get accomplished each week. It allows you to plan your week in advance and see which tasks are coming up each day. It looks similar to the Future Log, just that it’s by days within a week.
Daily Tracker: Finally, we come to the daily view, where you can note down your appointments, activities, deliverables etc. and dedicate one page to each day. Now, interesting thing is that there’s a special key you can use to categorize your daily to-dos. For e.g. you can use a circle to denote appointments, a triangle to denote tasks, a square to denote things to buy etc. You can customize it however you want! And, once again read up to get inspiration.
Now, essentially the above parts are the only things needed to have a bullet journal up and running. But, the best part is you can add other things as well. You can have a groceries page, you can have a habit-tracker set up, you can have a gratitude page, birthday tracker and honestly just let your imagination run wild! You can add these pages in wherever you want, just remember to number them, and note them in your Index, so that you don’t lose them. You can put them in the middle, end wherever you want.
The point is you can have whatever you want wherever you want as long as you number it and index it – this is the glue keeping your journal together.
But, isn’t this time-consuming?
No, it’s as time-consuming as you make. It’ll take you just a couple of hours to create the Index, number your pages, make the future log and get started on a page. Obviously, you can add your other pages as you move ahead! There’s no need to get everything done on the first day. As you can see, mine is super-simplistic so far, and I’ve just created the skeleton! Expect to hear from me in a couple of weeks to see how this is going!
Why you should try it:
- If you’ve struggled with multiple planners, and nothing has worked for you, this might be something for you to customize and use as you like it.
- If you’re tired of offline and online notes.
- If you’re tired of multiple notebooks.
- If you love writing, and believe in notebooks in this digital age.
- If you want to be creative and feel inspired by stationery and journals.
- If you want everything in one place, and want to be able to use a book for your thoughts and to-dos.
- If you love trying new things!
These are some other links for inspiration:
And, remember your first bullet journal will be an experimentation too. You’ll learn over time what works for you and what doesn’t. But, I’m sure it’ll be a fun journey and it’s a truly unique way to get organized and get all your thoughts in one place. No more of multiple notes, and keeping everything in your head!
Expect to see some more pages from my journal once it’s completed a little more (maybe in a couple of weeks!) Follow me to make sure you don’t miss the bullet journal updates.