How to bullet journal
2018 has just begun, but, as always tasks, deadlines and challenges are right around the corner. Good planning is essential, here blogger Michelle shows you how!
Whether you’ve settled on a list of New Year's resolutions or just let the beginning of the New Year pass you by, a bit of organization goes a long way and is sure to make everything much easier. There are a number of different tools for planning and they vary a lot, but one thing’s for sure conventional calendars or even digital apps just don’t seem to cut it anymore.
That’s where the Bullet Journal comes in – multiple diaries, calendars, to-do lists and sticky notes all in one. With a bullet journal you can do it all: plan your daily activities, set tasks, review events and capture thoughts. The original concept for the Bullet Journal was designed by Ryder Carroll, an American product designer from New York, who spent a long time searching for a calendar that worked for him.
The special thing about a Bullet Journal is not just the variety of things you can do with it. The absolute highlight is that its design allows for real flexibility and creativity. Unlike traditional calendars that rigidly plan day in, day out, week by week, or month by month in frames that are often too small for the things you want to write in them, with a Bullet Journal there are no pre-made pages or sections. Every page is used as and when it's really needed.
This is what you need for your own Bullet Journal:
● a notepad or notebook
As you can see, you don’t need very much to start off with, but, of course, it depends on your own preferences and how much time you want to dedicate to your Bullet Journal. You can, of course, also use washi-tape, stamps or sticky notes in your Bullet Journal. But the most important thing is to take some time to plan the basic structure and this can be done relatively easily with just a notebook and pen. There are a few basic elements you need to master that will help you to structure and plan your journal as a whole.
Legend or Key
One vital element of a Bullet Journal is the legend or key, this helps you navigate around your Bullet Journal and keep your thoughts, notes and appointments separate. You can choose your own symbols for this and even design them according to your taste.
Another important thing is the table of contents where you can find all of your lists, collections and notes for each month, it is worthwhile to make a note of all of your pages at the beginning to create an overview.
Upcoming birthdays, holidays or important medical appointments - even the most beautiful Bullet Journal can’t help with these if you don’t plan them effectively.
The Future Log offers the chance to enter all upcoming appointments and special events for each individual month, which can be resumed at a later date in the monthly overview.
The monthly overview, is the centerpiece of the Bullet Journal. At the beginning of each month, an overview is created, which contains the days of the month, naturally, but also space for a short to-do list or notes.
Don’t forget your Future Log while creating the monthly overview, make sure to transfer all existing appointments from this into each respective monthly overview.
To-Do Lists & Notes
After the monthly overview we come to the daily to-do lists and notes. As a rule, you should be able to simply open the next page and start with the next day straight away. Simply write down the day of the week and the date, followed by your tasks and appointments, then as soon as a next day starts, the whole thing can be repeated, meaning that you can plan each day as and when it comes around.
Weekly & Dailiy Spreads
In the meantime, some users of the Bullet Journal system have done away with the "weekly spreads" and replaced them with "Dailies". This means that at the beginning of a week, the layout for the coming seven days is drawn out on a double page in a frame that is similar to a conventional calendar. The choice between "Dailies" and "Weekly Spreads" is completely up to you and can be changed at any time once you’ve started your Bullet Journal.
Lists & Collections
Alongside everyday planning, a Bullet Journal also offers space for numerous collections, lists and even a Habit Tracker. With a Habit Tracker you can get an overview of the things you do a lot and those that you don’t do enough. Important habits and to-dos can be tracked easily and repeated as often as you want. Other ideas for lists and collections in the Bullet Journal include:
● Countries you want to travel to
● Favourite slogans
● Workout plans
● Bucket list
● Wish lists.
The content of a bullet journal is as individual as its owner - the great thing about it is how easy it is to personalise. And this means that there are so many different types of Bullet Journals. Some like to keep it simple and minimalist, whilst others like to go crazy and decorate their pages with washi-tape and sticky notes. It’s up to you what you want your Bullet Journal to look like is up to you and you can even try out different styles on different pages.
Don’t like that style anymore, just turn over to the next page and change it up. You can also find plenty of inspiration for your Bullet Journal on Instagram or Pinterest. Here, many people share their designs which can serve as inspiration and help you with your own Bullet Journal. Do you feel inspired and ready to start your own Bullet Journal? What are you waiting for, get your pens out and get going!
Michelle has been blogging on her site michilicious.com since the summer of 2014. Her blog started out as a colourful mix of articles about her hobbies and all of her favourite things. In 2016 she started practicing calligraphy and ever since then, she has been wowing her readers with tips and tricks on the art of drawing letters. The Bullet Journal has been her constant companion since 2014.