Hi Friends! How are you holding up?! We’re still in quarantine here in my country. If you’re looking for new hobby to keep your sanity in bay. I totally recommend journaling. And with that I present to you a guide on how to get started in “bullet journaling”. It’s a journaling method which is a productivity tool as well. This guide is base on the key points in the book “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll. I did this guide as step-by-step as possible.
Here’s the outline of my guide. Feel free to jump to each topic by clicking the link below.
VI. Additional Tips
I. What is Bullet Journaling and It’s History?
Bullet Journal is tracker, planner and journal in one notebook. It is an analog productivity tool to keep track of your goals and priorities. The term and it’s method is invented by a digital product designer named Ryder Carroll. As a child, he was diagnosed with ADHD (“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ”). It’s a mental disorder and also considered a learning disability. Through the years, he developed the system that helped him outgrew the challenges of having ADHD . Encouraged by a friend who found the same system useful in his own life, he shared his method online and soon garnered attention in social media. Bullet journaling or bujo eventually became a global productivity tool sensation as it helps others achieve their own goals.
Here’s a 10-minute interview of him talking about his book. For more info, you may visit the official website of bulletjournaling here.
II. Materials You Need
Let’s start simple. This is really all you need.
III. Cover Page: To Set The Mood
Reserve the very first page for your cover page. You can write a quote or your ultimate goal.
Or you can leave it blank. It’s up to you.
IV.Basic Components of Bullet Journal
A. Index page
STEP 1:Allot four pages for index. Just write “Index” on top. Index will be our table of contents. But we’ll get back to it later.
STEP 2: Put a page number on each page after the 4 index pages. As a start, you can number up to 50 pages. Put in it a consistent place.
Future log is the part wherein we write expected events and deadlines for the whole year. More will be written as time goes by. For now, here’s a basic future log set-up.
STEP 1: Put the “Future Log” on top of the page.
STEP 2: Divide the page into three then in each partition corresponds to a month of the year.
STEP 4: Continue the same steps to the next 3 pages.
STEP 5:Write expected events or deadlines that falls in a certain month if you have it.
C. Monthly Log
Monthly Log is the part where we list the goals and tasks to accomplish for the current month and then assign deadline for each tasks.
STEP 1: Put a header <Current Month> Monthly Log.
STEP 2: Write the date number then the day-of-the-week abbreviation. Example, 1-W on which W stands for Wednesday.
STEP 3: On the right side, make a list of task and goals you have for this month. You may put a check box before each task.
SAMPLE FINISHED FUTURE LOG
D. DAILY LOG
Daily Log is the part where you list the tasks before the day starts and evaluate those tasks at the end of the day.
STEP 1: At the left page, write “Keys” on top.
STEP 2: Then below it, copy the following symbols shown in the photo below. These are the symbols you will use before the day starts; • period for tasks, small circle for Events , dash for notes and star for priority.
STEP 3: On the same page, just skip one line space and copy the following symbols. These are the symbols you will use at the end of the day; an ex for “Done” , forward sign for “Migrate tomorrow” , backward sign for “Migrate to future log” and strikethrough for “Cancel”.
STEP 4: At the right page, put the Daily Log on top.
STEP 5: Below enter the date on when you would like to start using bujo for your tasks.
STEP 6: Daily Logs will be the list of task you have to do every day. Normally a single page can accommodate three days worth of daily tasks. So you can do it like this
Your Daily Log now may look like this. It’s not yet finished though as you will continue to work on your daily logs as the days go by until the end of the month.
The Basic Bujo Page set-up has been finished. It’s now time to use it using the bullet journal method.
V.Bullet Journal Method
A. Rapid LOGGING
-Listing tasks, thoughts and feelings in short form notation. This is what you will do everyday in Daily Logs.
STEP 1: Before the day begins, open your daily log page and jot down the tasks, thoughts, feelings, marking each entry with symbols found in keys. Make the entries as short as possible.
STEP 2: At the end of the day, review the tasks and mark them according to the keys encapsulated below.
Let’s take a closer look on the task review done in our sample.
Migration is the process of moving tasks to the next day (Daily Log), later of the current month (Monthly Log), to next month/s (Future Log) or to the trash.
STEP 1: Go back on your Daily Log and take note of the tasks marked as > . This means you want to do them tomorrow or later day within the month. Put tomorrow’s tasks on the next day’s Daily Log . If it’s not tomorrow but next week or later, put them in Monthly Log. Let’s take a look at the samples below.
STEP 2: Check the tasks with < sign. It means you want to do this task on later months. Go to your future log and write the task on the month you want to resume this task. Look at our sample below.
STEP 3: As you can see, we did not pay attention to the task with strikethrough because it means we don’t want to pursue this anymore. This task is now in trash can.
THERE’S A LOT OF REWRITE HERE,DON’T YOU THINK?
Oh yes. It could be bothersome but this method has its purpose. It forces you to ask yourself, is this worth re-writing for? Is it really important?
As Ryder Carrol said in his book,
“During Migration, we transfer content from one place in our Bullet Journal to another by rewriting it. This may seem like a lot of effort, but it serves a critical purpose: It weeds out distractions… It helps you identify and focus on what is meaningful by stripping away what is meaningless.” ‐ Ryder Carroll
Collection is the component in Bullet Journal where you can take notes or track things that matters to you. It could be in a form of a list, tracker or drawing. Anything!
For example, it could be page for the list of books you want to read, list of blog ideas, bucket list, your meal plan, habit tracker, mood tracker or a doodle page. It’s up to you!
For example, at the middle of the day, you decided to write a list of books, movies or series to watch and as well as healthy meal ideas. So you write them at the next blank pages.
Indexing is just dynamically writing your table of contents.
STEP 1: Let’s look back on the basic bujo pages that we have set-up so far.
STEP 2: We can now update our Index. We use (-) to signify if a certain category is spanning consecutive pages.
STEP 3: In our example, since p9-10 was reserved for collection, we resumed the daily logs on page 11. So in the “January Daily Log” row, just put a comma (,) and write the next page where you resume that component..
STEP 4: Your index gets updated as you continually use your bullet journal. This is just a sample Index. This time, it would be totally depend on your how to spend the pages of your bullet journal.
Some bullet journalist would prefer to allot pages for daily logs in advance. Some would put the collections after monthly logs. It’s up to you. Just update the index for your later reference.
YOU ARE NOW FINISHED LEARNING THE BULLET JOURNALING METHOD!
But before you dive, here are some additional tips.
VI. Additional Tips
- Number your pages beforehand.
- When writing task for the day, review your Monthly log to make sure you are including the task you put in a specific day as a result of migration.
- When it’s time to move on to another month, review your Future Log first to make sure you are including the tasks you put for that month as a result of migration.
- Feel free to create your own keys or symbols. Feel free to add if you need it
- Start simple.The internet is full of bullet journal inspirations that you may eventually feel pressured to make beautiful spreads. Remember, bullet journal is a productivity tool more than a creative outlet. It’s okay if you don’t have time to decorate.
- Make it a habit. A 5-10 minutes journaling time is already good enough!
- If you want to get creative with the formatting of the pages, then feel free to do so! If you want write by paragraph for your daily logs, then do it! This guide is just to provide the core concepts of bullet journaling. Formatting is up to you. Do what works for you.
To give you an idea on how you can modify the formatting, sharing with you a sample of my latest bujo set-up which is for June 2020 as of this writing.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE NOW READY TO BE A BULLET JOURNALIST!!!
Now that you know the skeletons of a bullet journal it’s now up to you to modify it to fit your style and need.
Welcome to the world of bujo!
I hope this guide would help you kick start this new wonderful hobby and habit. Feel free to ask questions or give feedback!
Before I end this blog, I would also like to invite you to be one of my International Blogger Friends . The basic idea is to have at least one blogger friend in each country. For more details, just go to this link. I hope you accept my invitation!
Remember, you can write your destiny and it’s not too late for everything,
For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!