There are are some tips and tricks for bullet journaling I want to share with you, because bullet journaling is completely customizable and you can create it exactly how YOU want it.
The bullet journal uses three primary bullet types that denote events, notes, and tasks, however there might be a bit of confusing with how this works as you are setting up the bullet journal. The Rapid Logging framework allows you to capture all your ideas quickly using four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences and bullets.
Here is a rundown of the notations:
- Topics – Choose a page and write a short, descriptive title on the top left-hand corner.
- Page Numbers – Number the page
- Bullets/Short Sentences – Use short phrases or sentences along with bullet notations to help organize your content into three categories: Tasks, Events and Notes.
Then there are signifiers for your notations, like:
- Tasks – Use a dot to represent actionable items, like taking your child to the dentist.
- Events – Use an open circle to represent events, like “moving day”
- Notes – Use a dash to represent notes, which can include observations, thoughts, facts and ideas.
You can go a lot deeper with various types of bullet notations, called signifiers, but the above will get you started.
Tips and Tricks for Bullet Journaling to getting started and keeping it going
Keeping It Simple
If you are new to bullet journaling you might find creating nice fonts and complex designs overwhelming. Keep it simple at first and just focus on the basics. Once you get the hang of it, you can experiment with different designs. When starting the key is functionality and the artistic visual can come later.
Ideas to Get Started
The best place to start is at the beginning of the book, which will include standard pages like the index, a calendar and the future log so you can find them easily. Start by labeling the pages even if they remain blank for a bit.
The great thing about the bullet journal is that you can start wherever you are, with whatever you want. When your initial pages are set up, there’s no rule for what goes on the next page. You might want to start with a daily page to plan out your day, a page of collections of books you want to read or a monthly page to plan out your month. And as you fill up and number your pages, you will return to the index to fill in the page number and activity.
One of the most helpful things about the Bullet Journal is that you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year. If it’s June when you begin, you would simply start your Bullet Journal with June. Maybe you’re even starting in the middle of June, and that’s ok too. I’m a big fan of giving yourself permission to start where you are no matter what time of year it is.
You can find inspiration on the interwebs but know that you don’t have to include every single design you come across. What will work for others may not work for you!
However, it’s probably not much fun if you are not at least a little creative. Go ahead and purchase some colored markers or crayons, even gel pens can be fun. If you can’t draw or your handwriting is poor, use stencils to enhance your design skills. Purchasing fun supplies can help motivate you to use the journal on a regular basis.
If you are using signifiers, don’t get sidetracked with 100 different designs and ideas. Use simple ones like hearts, stars, boxes, etc. or use a symbol that has special meaning for special projects and memories.
Collections can be lots of fun but can get out of hand quickly. Just think of all the things you can categorize! On second thought, don’t! Initially, brainstorm just a few things you’d like to keep track of and stick with those.
Need some ideas for what to include in your Bullet Journal? Try these ideas:
- Habit Tracker – Monitor your daily habits, such as how often you exercise, whether you are getting enough sleep, etc.
- Time Tracker – Track your time in one or many areas to determine how much time you spend on a particular activity.
- Task Lists – Make lists of the steps you need to accomplish them the various tasks and projects you’ve got going on.
- Goals Overview – This is where you have a list of all your goals, so you can see them in one place.
- Brain Dump – In this space, write whatever comes to mind on any subject.
- Gratitude Section – Here you can take time on a daily or weekly basis to recall the things you are thankful for.
- Journal Entries – Use this space like a diary to write your thoughts about what took place throughout the day.
Schedule Time to Use the Journal
Setting up a bullet journal can be as time-consuming as you allow it. If you are just trying to use it in its basic form you’ll spend less time on creating your pages. However, if you plan on going all out, it will eat up your time so allow space for it in your schedule! A good habit to get you in the groove is to spend time with your bullet journal each night. Thirty minutes to an hour should be enough time.
- Review Your Day – Evaluate your day, mark tasks completed or move them to the next day, make notes about whether you completed goals, write a diary entry, etc.
- Prepare for the Next Day – Brainstorm how you want the next day to look. What do you want to accomplish?
- Set up the day‘s daily page in whatever format you choose.
- Refer to your main calendar to see whether you have any appointments scheduled to record for that day.
- Any unfinished tasks write them down as new tasks for the next day, and add any new tasks.
- Refer to Your Journal in the Morning – This will refresh your memory on what you must do that day.
The best thing about the bullet journal is its flexibility and the freedom it allows. Every page doesn’t have to look the same. You don’t have to organize any of your content. One page can be a list of tasks for the day and the next page might be a list of movies you just thought of that you’d like to watch. There’s no right or wrong way to use your bullet journal. It belongs to you, and you are free to fill it however you wish.
One of my last Tips and Tricks for Bullet Journaling is to have fun with it. The more fun you have in the process, the easier its use and you may find yourself more organized and productive.