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A Four-Step Intro to Bullet Journaling

Nov 01, 2020

Bullet journaling is a helpful method for organizing your thoughts, ideas, reminders, calendar, tasks, responsibilities, lists – and anything else you might write yourself a note about.  The concept was first introduced by digital designer, Ryder Carroll, in 2013, and is now changing lives around the world.  If you struggle with maintaining multiple blotters, sticky notes, journals, and planners, this one-notebook approach could be a game-changer.  Everything goes neatly into a single notebook, making it all much easier to keep track of.

“BuJo”, as it’s been dubbed for short, has been said to alleviate stress and anxiety and help with forgetfulness and disorganization.  Some have even referred it to as “mindfulness meets productivity”. We’ve put together four simple steps to help you get started on bullet journaling.

Step 1: Buy or Create a New BuJo Notebook

Since you’ll be using it multiple times a day, every day, you will need something sturdy that can withstand frequent use.  You’ll want one with a lot of pages at first.  As you continue bullet journaling, you’ll gain an idea of the number of pages that best suits your needs.  Keep in mind that you will be replacing your BuJo when it fills up.  Most people do this every four weeks, so try to find something relatively inexpensive.

Step 2: Organize your BuJo Notebook

Begin by numbering all of the pages in your journal.  On the first page, create a Table of Contents so that you can find your notes quicker and easier.  Organize this index by subject and give yourself several pages in between each one.  For example, pages two through nine could be for Workouts, where you document your gym time, activities completed, calories burned, and whatever else you like to record about your fitness routines.  You might reserve pages ten through twenty for To-Do Lists.  You can also add more to your index as you go along.

Step 3: Rapid Logging

The goal is to make multiple entries in your notebook per day, keeping them organized according to your index.  These might be to-do lists, documentation of activities, thoughts, ideas, or anything else you would like to put in it.  This method is called “rapid logging".  If you explore the online world of bullet journaling, you will discover a passionate community that even has its own language.  There are many tips available to streamline your logging techniques.

Step 4: Monthly Review

At the end of each month, review everything you entered in your notebook in the past four weeks.  You can check off things you have done or that are now irrelevant, and move anything meaningful, such as the stuff you still need to do or address, into the next month’s journal.  The online BuJo community has developed many symbols to help with the efficient organization of your monthly review.