I have been seeing a lot of bloggers (and just random people) talk about something called a bullet journal. I am obsessed with all things journal related, so obviously this peaked my interest. There’s just something about being able to go back and read your most intimate thoughts and feelings from a point in your life that I think is incredibly special. I have a journal I started my freshman year of college, and (especially recently) I love going back and reading through my first battle with depression. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to get through it again.
Anyway, I’m getting off track….back to bullet journals.
Recently, I finally decided to jump in and try the whole bullet journal thing out. When I first started researching it, though, I almost gave up because there didn’t seem to be a clear description of what a bullet journal is supposed to be or how to set one up. Later, I found out that this was because bullet journals are largely what you make of them. They’re somewhere in between a journal and a planner. They’re a place where you can let your creativity run wild while also staying on top of your daily/monthly/yearly tasks. It’s something that you can spend lots of time on to make it just right, or it can be something you only take out a for a few minutes each day. Regardless, just from the little experience I’ve had with them, I think they are very useful and at least worth a try. In case you want to try it out, here’s the basics of how to set up your own bullet journal and some examples of how I did mine.
One of the unique things about this type of journal is that it starts off with an Index, which is basically just showing you what is on what page. Going off of that, you will also need to number each page that you use so you can add it to the Index.
Next, you need a Key. This doesn’t necessarily have to be right after the Index. It can be before it, after it, or even on the last page. Regardless, I think it’s important to have at least until you get comfortable using it. For the symbols, you can also change those up. I decided to use the ones used on the Bullet Journal website. The key is to use some type of symbol that you can build off of when it’s either completed, migrated, or scheduled. I’ve seen people use triangles and fill them in when the project is completed or draw lines in it when it’s scheduled. It’s just whatever works for you.
After that comes the Future Log. This is where you can get a glance at the entire year and generally what you have to do each month. To me, this would be a good place to put events like birthdays, holidays, and breaks so you can start planning for them ahead of time. You’re also supposed to put the dates before the event name so you can easily scan down and see about when each event is taking place during the month…..I kind of screwed that up lol. Using a pencil for the events is probably best for first timers like me. 🙂
Next comes an overview for each month and then the weekly planner for that month. I actually really like this about Bullet Journals. They start off with an overview of what you have to get done that year and then keep getting more and more specific. It’s almost like using a camera lens to zoom in and out on your life, big picture to small details. One thing I didn’t do to begin with but I’m going to do when I start planning out 2017 is make a section right after the future log where I list my goals for the year, then another section for monthly goals, and another for weekly ones.
So that’s the basics! Keep in mind that this is the bare basics to a bullet journal. There are so many other pages you can add to it. I’m going to add a mental health check in page, a Christmas gift planning page, one for books I want to read, and some others. Pinterest has some really great ideas if you’re interested. Also, going along with the journal aspect of it, if you have an event you want to write in depth about, you can just write it out like a journal entry right after the weekly planner pages. Like I said before, it’s all what you make of it.
*If you want more information about the basics, these sites really helped me out: