Bullet journaling is the new, trendy system for productivity. Here is a general introduction to bullet journaling. It is everything you need in one beautiful, convenient place that is authentically you!
What is a Bullet Journal?
Ryder Carrol invented the bullet journal in 2013. Ironically, a digital product designer created an analogue system to organize their life, but that is exactly what happened and the system has completely exploded!
Simply put, a bullet journal is a day planner, but it is really so much more. It is a to-do list, sketchbook, diary, notebook, and anything else you want to make it! It is the new magical system for productivity!
The easiest way to explain a bullet journal has already been done. So, check out these awesome resources:
Watch this video from Buzzfeed to get the idea!
Melody Wilding wrote a comprehensive 2-part series on the history and bullet journals for a beginner.
All you need to start is a notebook and a pen or pencil. You can make your journal as detailed and unique as you want or make it as simple and minimalist as you want.
The point is it’s yours – own it and make it authentically you!
TIP: I do strongly suggest starting with a dot layout journal. It provides a lot of flexibility for creativity and writing.
Bullet Journal Keys:
The original bullet journal system uses the following key:
I will admit, I do not use this key. I find it’s just not how I write. So, I use my own, and honestly, it sometimes changes from month to month depending on what’s happening in my life or because of trial and error.
I often use a square box (since I have a dot journal) for tasks. I will colour it in if I completed the task or leave it blank if I didn’t.
I will use a – for notes or thoughts.
I have used checkmarks and X’s.
Find what works for you – there are no rules!
What if I am not artistic or creative (and a little impatient)?
Totally fine! It’s yours. It doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t need all the special products. All you need is a notebook and pen and to make it usable for you.
There are a lot of page templates and ideas out there on the interwebs. Start with what you are capable of and then (only if you want) spend some time looking around. Maybe you will be inspired. And if not, who cares! It’s your bujo!
Is bullet journaling time-consuming?
Yes and no!
It’s yours, so you can take as much time or as little time as you want. I tend to spend a day or two creating my monthly pages because I love the artistic side. I find it relaxing and therapeutic. However, I have friends who bujo and they don’t spend any artistic time on theirs. They set up their pages and continue on.
The point is that it’s yours – make it authentically you! If you don’t like doodling or drawing then don’t. If you like things monochrome – use the same colours every month. If you just need a place for notes – just write!
It is not supposed to be something that is a daunting task. Bullet journaling should be enjoyable and meet your needs.
What if I can’t handle mistakes?
Truth – I put off starting a bullet journal for a whole year because this was a legitimate fear of mine. The interweb can be intimidating with all the beautiful, professional pages out there.
But don’t let that hold you back. Mistakes are a part of life. If it totally stresses you out, start with a pencil (I do this on some pages). Draw it out and then go over it in pen. If you make a mistake with a pen, can you turn it into something else? Use washi tape – the only reason I own some is to cover my mistakes. Use it to cover mistakes and make your pages look my fancy.
Mistakes are inevitable. After you make a few, you will realize it doesn’t matter. In fact, it makes your bujo more unique and enduring – it’s authentically you (flaws and all).
I only started bullet journaling this year (January 2018). I love my bullet journal! I have found it convenient, easy, therapeutic, and a wonderful, beautiful way to record my life.
Do you bujo?
~ Lacey ~