How to: Bullet Journal

Ever feel like you needed to get your life organized but you weren’t sure how? Maybe you’d invested in some calendars or planners over the years, but found none quite suited your needs? Wish you could design and maintain a notebook all your own? Then look no further than the Bullet Journal system. With origins credited to Ryder Carroll, this system has become quite the phenomenon among young and old alike. The Bullet Journal system knows no discrimination, as it can be as minimalist or creative as you want!

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The Basics:

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  • Rapid Logging
    • Topics
      • A short, descriptive title
    • Page Numbers
    • Short Sentences
    • Bullets
      • Tasks
        • Represented by a “•”
        • Include actionable items
        • Can be marked Complete, Migrated, or Scheduled
      • Events
        • Represented by an “O”
        • Data-related
        • Can be scheduled or logged
      • Notes
        • Facts
        • Ideas
        • Thoughts
        • Observations
    • Signifiers
      • Symbols which give context
      • Ex: Priority “*”
      • Ex: Inspiration “!”
  •  Modules
    • Index
      • This is why those numbered pages are important!
      • Ex:

    • Future Log
      • Used to store items that need to be scheduled in the future
      • Ex:

    • Monthly Log
    • Daily Log
  • Migration
    • Moving tasks from one month to another

Getting Creative: 

A bullet journal can be a to-do list, a planner, a diary, a sketchbook, a notebook, etc., but more importantly it can be all of the above. I have spreads for the movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read, places I’ve been, places I’d like to go, and so much more! I also love getting creative with doodles and monthly color schemes.

There are tons of Pinterest boards with bullet journal spreads and inspiration, bullet journal Instagrams, and there’s even a Facebook group called Bullet Journal Junkies (of which I am a member) where people can share their love for the system.


On a very personal note, I am most productive when I have a list of tasks. When left to myself, I tend toward procrastination and laziness. However, when presented a to-do list, I am highly motivated to check off every task (mainly for aesthetic purposes). My bullet journal, in this way, makes me a more productive person. Even if I’m just filling in a Habit Tracker, with tasks like “Feed Cats” or “Take Meds”, I am more motivated to do those things in a timely manner because I dislike looking at an empty box. It’s a more tangible way to fully appreciate what has been accomplished, even if these accomplishments appear small.

I also keep a Gratitude Log to remind me that every day has its own silver lining. While mine is confined to one page per month, these can be as short or long – and with as many details – as you’d like. Either way, it is immensely rewarding to reflect on each month’s positive moments.

I currently use this dotted Moleskine as my bullet journal. My biggest complaint is the “ghosting” in that I can see yesterday’s contents on today’s page. Otherwise, the paper is sturdy and thick, smooth to the touch, and works very well to suit my needs.


All in all, I’ve found bullet journaling to be a relaxing activity that has helped me through rainy and sunny days, alike. If you’ve got a BuJo Instagram or blog, feel free to leave your link in the comments!


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