Why should you start a bullet journal and how will this help you realize your dreams? A quick social media search on the revered productivity system will reveal pages upon pages of weekly, monthly and daily spreads, so-called logs, lovingly adorned pages and notes taken in bullet form. Boxes invite you to jot down your tasks, reflect on your water intake or workouts and remind you to take time for essential self-care. In this step by step process you will learn how to start your bullet journal and how it will help you achieve your goals.
The Bullet Journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” – Ryder Carroll, Inventor of the Bullet Journal method
In a nutshell, a bullet journal is a blank notebook, in which you plan out your year, months, weeks and days. It is a diary, to do list and calendar all-in-one. And so much more. It keeps track of every note that you would spread across numerous apps, all the while offering a creative outlet and relief from organizing your day or week ahead with pen and paper.
Here are a few ideas of typical bullet journal pages:
- Books to read or movies to watch
- Favorite quotes
- Weekly meal planner
- Savings tracker
- Expenses chart
- Workout Log
- Weight loss chart
- Habit Tracker
- Week at a glance
- Daily tasks
- Places to visit
The bullet journal does everything and more than a regular, pre-printed planner will ever be able to do for you. You can be as creative (or not) as you like. Simply sitting down at the end of the week and planning the next week ahead or doodling in your journal, is more relaxing than you can imagine. It serves as a brain dump and the manual task of writing things down provides a physical and mental relief.
What you will need
- An empty notebook.
- A pen.
My first expenses hit probably just under $10CAD. I use a ruled notebook that had been a gift, a sharpie fine point marker, raided my crafting supplies and my daughter’s markers to pretty things up. Now, I prefer the dot grid journal, but the other kinds will also work just as well.
Further along the way, you might find yourself on a first name basis with things like washi tape, your favourite ruler, brush pens and pre-printed paper. And more, with craft supplies, there is always more. 😉
So what exactly goes into the Bullet Journal?
According to its inventor, there are a few rules. If you love rules and guidance around the productivity method everyone seems to be talking about, watch the intro video or the short list below. If you DON’T want to follow any rules, jump right ahead by clicking here.
Index & Legend
The index and legend pages are the backbone of your bullet journal and set it apart from any other pre-printed planner out there. By filling the pages throughout the book, your index page grows more detailed and lets you find the pages you are looking for in no time.
What are Collections?
- Future log – a yearly or 6mths overview where you will write down events occurring in future months
- Monthly log – organize your month on two facing pages that will give you a snapshot of the month and most often reserves space for your tasks.
- Weekly and Daily logs – Plan out your week in advance and be amazed at the progress you will make on your tasks.
How to put the bullets into the bullet journal?
With Rapid logging. If you want to follow Ryder Carroll’s instruction to the T, use Rapid logging, the Bullet Journal’s own “language” to keep content concise and organized.
You can migrate unfinished tasks from daily or weekly logs to the next week or month. Revisit your list and cross out irrelevant tasks or schedule tasks and events you want to get to later on in the future log. Due to the migration technique, there will be never a lost thread or task.
It’s the difference between being busy and being productive. – Ryder Carroll
There seem to be a lot of rules, but there are really no rules. You can choose what you like of the system and what not. It might be worth giving it a try, but only if it feels right for you.
And what about the surprising benefits?
Bullet Journaling is about flexibility
It can be as simple or creative as you like. It is YOUR system! If it starts to feel like a chore, remember why you started and change your approach. Intersperse your logs with an inspirational quote, photos or cut-outs of magazines. Do whatever you feel like. Anything that inspires you can go into this system. Remember, the system is there for you, not the other way around.
Bullet Journaling is about reducing stress
The manual task of writing things down acts as a brain dump. When your mind is frantically trying to remember everything or stuck on one idea or task, the act of writing things down, quietens your mind, giving you the ability to let go, even if it is just a little bit.
Bullet Journaling is about self-motivation
Setting and reviewing your goals every day, week and month keeps you motivated to see them through. By tracking your achievements, you will become quickly aware of your progress which will fuel your motivation further.
And Bullet Journaling is about Better Health
Check out this awesome slideshow explaining even more benefits of bullet journaling by becomingwhoyouare.net
Last but not least, Bullet Journaling is great for achieving your goals
By being organized and tracking your progress, you will find yourself on the path to success when it comes to achieving your goals. Every Sunday, when you plan your week ahead, or whenever you want to do this, you organize your thoughts, make time for things that are important to you and this ultimately will make you create your reality.