I first heard about Bullet Journal several months ago in an online community where people discuss about where to find the best productive planners and calendars. There are tons of great designed journals in the market. Some journals have top 3 goals for day, week, month, and year. Some journals include to do list, gratitude journal, or diary area. Bullet Journal stands out for me because it is so simple, so flexible, with a smart system you can adapt easily.
What is Bullet Journal?
Bullet Journal is a system of using a plain journal. You do not need to buy the same journal from Bulletjournal.com, even though it would not hurt. Their blog has a lot of ideas and inspirations of how to use the bullet journal. There is a way to chart out your journal for busy moms, students, business people, and any lifestyle you can image. It does not rely on preset forms or format. The user creates the format that fits personal life. You are the one designing your own system.
Basically, you put a page number on each page, and create an index page in the beginning of the journal. So it is easy to find your entry and separate different topics. Depending on personal preference, you choose any size journal so it is small enough to carry and large enough for all the writings.
One thing makes bullet journal different is their labeling system. Symbols are used in front of each entry so it is easy to read and categorize. For example, a O (circle) means an event, a . (dot) means thoughts or simple ideas, and > sign means this entry is migrating to the future. X means this entry is done or completed. You can decide what symbol to use and what it means to you. Write down your symbol legends in the beginning of the journal for easy reference.
Calendar: monthly and weekly
Since there is no calendar printed, you decide which page to write down the monthly, weekly or yearly calendar. You also need to decide what format to write down. The simple one is to write the dates (1-31) per month, or Monday to Sunday per week. Usually each month or week takes 2 pages, including areas to write major goals, events, or plans.
Ideas and Inspirations
Here are some ideas of how to use a bullet journal. I like the ideas of using the journal for money tracking, meal planing, and wish list. Using Washi tapes and sticky notes are interesting ideas too.
My Bullet Journal
Most journals come in blank, lined, or dotted pages. I have a blank page version from Leuchtturm 1917, and it comes with a grid paper to place under the page for reference so you can write or draw neatly. It also has a pocket in the inside of back cover for a little storage. The index / table of content pages, and page numbers are pre-printed. There is also 2 ribbons for bookmarking, and an elastic band to close the book securely. It even has stickers so you can label each of your journal. It is made of good quality material but kind of on the expensive side. Next time I will just buy regular journal I like. I prefer larger size (maybe an A4) and more colorful cover design.
I love the concept of writing everything in one book. It is a calendar, planner, notebook, sketch book, diary, gratitude journal and to do list. You can write as much as you want, index it with page number, and still keep everything organized. It does take a little learning in the beginning, and setting up takes some thoughts. Once you get used to following your own system, life would be so much organized and simplified.