Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Bullet Journal
Now that you know at least 13 Reasons You Should Start a Bullet Journal Today and you’ve read The 4 Main Styles Of Bullet Journaling Explained, let’s look at the anatomy of the bullet journal. Although bullet journals are completely customizable, you’re probably going to want to include certain elements in order to help you navigate your bullet journal, keep it organized, and make it work for you.
Bullet Journal Indexes
The first thing you need to do after buying a journal is to number each of your pages. Once that’s done, you need to set up your index pages beginning on either the first or second blank page. I personally prefer to list each page on a separate line in my index. Others may prefer to do a page range when appropriate. Below, you will find examples of both. I go ahead and list each page number in my index and fill them in with either the page titles or descriptions as I go along. Make sure you maintain your index! You can end up with a lot of information in your journal if you start filling it with lists, collections, notes, brain dumps, etc. Keeping your index up to date will help you quickly find the name of that restaurant your BFF recommended four months ago, or that homemade diaper ointment recipe someone gave you, instead of having to flip through and peruse each page to find it, feeling like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. So frustrating! Trust me.
Bullet Journal Keys, Legends, and Signifiers
One of the ways to keep your bullet journal organized is by using keys or legends (same thing) and signifiers.
Ryder Carroll, the man who created the whole bullet journal concept, came up with a system of categorizing all of your bullets into three different categories: tasks, events, and notes. Each of these categories is represented by one or more symbols. As you can see in the examples shown in the 3×3 grid below, people have taken those three main categories and expounded on them, personalizing each category with their own symbols and color coding, and also creating more categories to fit their lifestyles.
In my effort to keep things simple, I adopted the following key for my own use, with one change. For a canceled task, I prefer to put an “X” in the box. The person who created this key labeled the migrated task as “Delayed”:
Speaking of migrated tasks… When you don’t complete a task on the day it was scheduled for, or written down on, you will need to move (migrate) that task to another day, rewriting it on a different page. Going back to the original page the task was scheduled on, you can use a symbol to show that the task was migrated instead of completed for that day.
Signifiers are symbols that give your Bullets additional context. In the example below, Ryder Carroll uses the ” * ” to represent priority, the ” ! ” to represent inspiration, and an eye symbol to represent the need to explore/look up something, in this case, whether the gym is closed Saturday or not.
Must-Have Calendars for Your Bullet Journal
Calendars are a must-have for every bullet journal. You can use a monthly calendar to see your monthly schedules, appointments, and events summarized. Your main calendar will be your weekly calendar, which will be where you keep track of your schedules, appointments, tasks, and events in more detail. You should also include a year-at-a-glance calendar as a quick reference for the months that are not included in, your current bullet journal.
Your Bullet Journal’s Future Log
Your bullet journal isn’t really meant to house all twelve months of the year. After a couple of months, it generally tends to fill up with all of the other stuff you end up recording in it. So, what happens when you need to record an appointment, task, or event for a future date not included in your current bullet journal? The most organized way to handle this is to record it in your future log. A future log is a one or two-page spread where you record all upcoming appointments, tasks, and events for the next six to twelve months. After you have filled your current bullet journal and start creating your new journal, you can migrate all of the recorded entries in your future log onto their respective monthly and weekly spreads in your new journal.
Collections, Life Goals, and Aspirations in Your Bullet Journal
Not everything in your journal has to be about your daily tasks and to-do lists. Collections and bucket lists are fun, achievable mini goals that you can keep track of in your bullet journal, adding to them as inspiration strikes, and marking off the items you have accomplished. You can also get more in-depth and really keep track of where you want to be in life. You can start a bucket list or have a 5-year or 10-year plan in certain sections of the bullet journal. It also allows you to see what your main life goals are, make a list of what you need to do in order to achieve them, and then work on those tasks one at a time until you reach your goal.
Healthy Lifestyle Sections and Habit Trackers for Your Bullet Journal
To take better care of yourself, make sure you include habit trackers and a health or lifestyle section. Create a habit tracker to build new healthy habits and get rid of the bad ones. The health and lifestyle section of your bullet journal is where you log your food, create meal plans, and make grocery lists. You can collect recipes and include them or make lists of areas where you want to improve your nutrition. This also works great if you want to log in your weight and measurements to track them or create a new fitness routine.
Track Business Growth in Your Bullet Jouranl
If you are trying to start a business, definitely include that in your bullet journal. Enter notes about the type of business, what you need in order to start, track your income and expenses, whether you will have employees, how to get the legal and tax information done, and what marketing methods you would like to use.
Now that you have a few ideas of what to include in your bullet journal you can get started creating and customizing the perfect bullet journal for your lifestyle!
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If you would like to learn more about bullet journaling, please check out my other posts:
13 Reasons You Should Start a Bullet Journal Today
The 4 Main Styles Of Bullet Journaling Explained
Boost Your Productivity With a Bullet Journal
Using a Bullet Journal for Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Using a Bullet Journal to Stay On Top of Finances
Schedule Your Time Efficiently With a Bullet Journal
Melissa (BUJO-Lovin) Shantel