What Is Bullet Journaling?
The beautiful thing about Bullet Journaling is that it can be whatever you need it to be, but at its core, it is designed to help you organize your life and increase productivity. It can be a diary, sketchbook, art portfolio, gratitude journal, as well as a daily planner. But as you dip your toe into the world of Bullet Journaling try not to overwhelm yourself with all that potential!
Where Do I Start?
The basics of bullet journaling are quite simple and straightforward. First you create a key. This key helps you label all the craziness that is your life. A good key includes a label for tasks, events, migrating tasks/events, notes, plus anything else you need to help you get your head on straight. This is how I would do it to start:
This personalized key that you create is one of the foundational blocks of bullet journaling.
The other foundational concepts include a future log (Also called “A Year at a Glance”), a monthly log, and a weekly/daily log. This setup is meant to have a “waterfall effect”. First you sketch out what you are sure is going to happen in the ensuing months. I place birthdays, big projects, special dates, holidays that I celebrate, etc. in my future log. The key here is to acknowledge and write down what will happen in the future without getting too caught up in the specifics (that’s for later).
Next is your monthly log. This is a more current page that helps you focus on the next 28-30 days. You create a calendar and write down all the events, deadlines, and goals that you have for that month. A friendly tip is to go back to your future log and double-check if you had anything scheduled ahead of time that needs to be transferred to your monthly log. The monthly log is especially helpful so you don’t forget anything important and have time to accomplish your tasks for that month.
To make it simple I use the same monthly layout outline every time it rolls around and only ever change it up when I feel like I need something else. My monthly layout consists of three main things along with the calendar: Goals, Events, and Expenses. I like to track these things to keep me focused, organized, and aware of my finances.
Finally, we move on to the weekly/daily logs. Here you will track your day-to-day tasks and events. This is when it’s helpful to focus on the specifics. What NEEDS to get done today, where is your focus gonna be? Every morning I sit down and quickly write down everything I know I need to do (using the symbols I created in my key).
If you flip through my journal you’ll notice I switch between three basic weekly layouts to help keep it simple. Usually I use the bare bones of the layouts and add fun embellishments using markers, paper, stickers, or washi tape to personalize it week by week and keep my creativity flowing. It never gets boring!
Maddie’s Bullet Journaling Journey
The structure that comes with these layouts is very helpful for keeping an eye on the future while not losing focus on the present. Personally, I have seen an increase in productivity when I can focus on accomplishing bite-sized daily tasks that help me accomplish monthly, or even yearly goals and projects. Over time it also creates a record of what you have done, places you have been, and goals you have accomplished, offering a fun map of the past.
For me, bullet journaling was a way for me to get my goals in order. It forced me to sit down and map out who I wanted to be in the long run without causing me to lose focus on the now. It also provided me with a creative outlet in which I have found joy and stress-relief for many years now. It has evolved as my needs have changed and honestly that’s why I love this system. I have added many different “collections” of BuJo layouts over the years as I’ve explored outside of the foundational yearly, monthly, and weekly layouts and have also recorded some of my favorite recipes, books, inspirational quotes, and my morning routine (or rather my *ideal* morning routine haha).
Using Designer Templates For Bullet Journaling
The Play-To-Create System is all about simplifying and visualizing when it comes to creativity, and this system can be applied to bullet journaling as well! Using Quirky Doodle Sheets and the Captions Accessory set Maddie was able to quickly design and execute this stunning and enthusiastic monthly log!