Before I answer that question, I should answer another one:
What IS Bullet Journal?
Simply put, it’s a process for getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper through a system called rapid logging. It was developed by Ryder Carroll back in 2013, has been the subject of 900,000+ Instagram tags and 680,000+ YouTube videos, and has a following of over 92,000 on Facebook.
And if that wasn’t enough:
- the Quick Guide for this system has been translated into 25 languages
- There is a dedicated app to help Bullet Journal users
- and a journal format specifically designed for this system.
Oh, and the Bullet Journal website (www.bulletjournal.com) just turned four years old.
Rapid logging consists of four elements
- Page numbers
- Short sentences
- Bullets & Signifiers
Topics allow you to utilize individual pages for particular uses. In my case, that’s my:
- yearly/monthly/weekly planners
- my daily to-do/notes lists
- lists of websites I need to keep handy
- event planning
- reading lists
- notes on things I’ve read/watched that I need to reference from time-to-time
- blog/website planning
- story writing/editing/promotion plans
Page numbers are used to index all of those topics, so you can find them easily.
Short sentences make it quicker and easier to get your thoughts on paper, and prevent the entire process from becoming a chore. They’re intended to act as a quick reminder, more than a detailed description. But if you need to provide more details, just start a new page, give it a topic header, and put a reference to that page alongside the short sentence, and your index.
Bullets encourage you to keep sentences short, since that’s exactly what bullets are intended for, and it’s pretty instinctive to use. Different bullets represent tasks, events, appointments, and notes. Add a signifier alongside that bullet and you can mark it as urgent, a deadline, something you want to investigate more later, and so on…
Bullet Journal 101
Go check out the other resources out there, but if you’re easily distracted don’t spend too long looking. There is a vast number of Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, blog entries, and more waiting for the unwary.
I’ve been using this system since January, and my personal advice, is to stick to the basics while you learn the system. Then start customizing your bullet journals to fit your needs, as you discover them. I’ve developed a customer weekly layout that tracks my work hours, my household chores, writing/editing, blogging and book promotion tasks, which I’ve included in the pictures below.
Here’s how my Bullet Journal looks:
- Markings® by C.R. Gibson – Jumbo Black Leatherette Journal – Ruled, 7″ x 9″
- Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink Pens 0.7mm ball (green, blue, red & black
- I have a preference for the 0.5mm ball, but this (sadly) has been discontinued
- 12 inch Ruler (inch & centimeter markings)
- Post-it® Tabs, 1 inch Lined, Green, Blue, Red, 12/Color, 36 Tabs/Dispenser