I remember the first time I was ever handed a planner: it was the first day of the 6th grade and my middle school provided everyone a brand new planner. All of a sudden, I became obsessed. I loved dotting down homework assignments for each class and felt the gratification after checking them off. It gave me a sense of accomplishment.
As I got older, I’ve amassed a handful of planners – all started with the best intentions but ultimately abandoned. They didn’t give me the same feelings as my beloved middle school planner did… there was always something missing.
A few months ago, I started seeing one of my favorite IG accounts @gofitjo start talking about the Bullet Journal. At first glance, it seemed overwhelming and nothing that I would have “time” for… but the more she talked about it, the more I got intrigued. One day, I clicked on #bulletjournal and slid down this rabbit hole of all things BUJO. I was mesmerized by the diversity of the journals; they ranged from simple and minimalist to borderline works of art. From that day on, I was baited and hooked.
What Is a Bullet Journal?
The Bullet Journal® (or BuJo® for short) was created by Ryder Carroll. This video gives an overview of what it’s about and how to begin your bullet journal… but watching it left me confused and overwhelmed. Future log? Collections? I was confused AF. But determined to learn, I watched a few videos on YouTube and stalked a
few lot of IG accounts adamant about learning the lingo.
Essentially, a bullet journal is a notebook that marries all of your calendar, journal, to-do list, and brainstorming needs into one single book. Its beauty lies in its dotted (in the case of my Leuchtturm1917) pages that you can customize based on your needs, with the ability to change it up whenever you see fit. Finally, you are not limited to pre-designed pages. The Bullet Journal allows you to be as simple or as creative as you wish.
Bullet journal: a method of journaling and note-taking that uses bullet points as the core structure
Index: basically the table of contents for your bullet journal
Daily Log: a page for your day’s tasks, observations and musings
Monthly Log: traditional monthly calendar and an overview of your monthly goals, tasks, events
Rapid Logging: symbols for certain tasks that makes dotting them down fasted
Future Log: year-at-a-glance calendar where you can put events, goals, and long-term shit you need to do
Why I Love My BUJO
The flexibility my bullet journal affords is by far my favorite feature. I start the day with a daily log where I am able to combine my to do list with a space to document my affirmations and gratitude. Later on in the day, I have the ability to do whatever I wish with the next page: brainstorm for a post, notes from a podcast, or meal plan for the week… the possibilities are endless.
I also love how my bullet journal has helped me make peace with silence. Before, I couldn’t even take a shower without background noise. But by incorporating bullet journaling into my morning routine, it’s become a form of meditation for me. In the quiet of dawn, I draw my lines, dot down my intentions, and doodle away all while focusing on my breathing. It’s also provided an outlet for some of my suppressed creativity; I love practicing the lost art of penmanship.
My Bullet Journal Setup
I’m currently using a Leuchtturm1917 . I picked up some pens from Joann’s and they seem to be doing the trick. There are currently 4 main components of my BUJO: Key, Index, Monthly Log, Daily Log, and Collections.
The key and the index are self explanatory so I won’t expand on that.
My monthly log gives me an overview of the month: appointments, content calendar, events, etc. On the next page, I set up a habit tracker for the month, listed goals, and general tasks I want to complete.
My set up for my daily log evolved a little bit these past couple of weeks as I was trying to get the hang of exactly what I needed. I settled on a space for tasks, daily affirmations, and gratitude.
One of my favorite pages has been my Books To Read spread. These pages are called Collections and it’s basically pages dedicated to one specific topic or common theme. I used to love reading but haven’t made time for it the past few years. But since I started my miracle morning routine, I’ve dedicated 20-30 minutes a day to reading. I am excited to start filling out titles of books I’ve read in this collection.
This is just the beginning of my Bullet Journal journey. I hope to update this in a few months to see what worked, what didn’t, and what I’d like to changed.
If this is something that interests you, I say don’t delay and just do it! Whether you keep it simple or go all out, I believe going a little analog in this digital world can all do us a little good.