Bullet Journaling 101: Your Guide to Organized Planning

What is a Bullet Journal?

The bullet journal, often abbreviated as Bujo, is a customizable planning system devised by Ryder Carroll. It integrates elements like the index, monthly, daily logs, collections, and future logs.

Bullet journaling combines the functionalities of a daily planner and a journal, boosting productivity and aiding in achieving goals.

It's customizable to include various aspects of your life, such as daily and monthly schedules, notes, and long-term goals.

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Components At A Glance

Term Description
Rapid Logging Quick recording of thoughts and observations in a bulleted list, introduced by Ryder Carroll.
Index & Migration The index lists page numbers for specific sections. Migration refers to transferring unfinished tasks to subsequent pages.
Spreads Consecutive pages in a bullet journal, often a pair of adjacent pages.
Trackers/Future Log A tracker monitors information over time. The future log is a blank calendar for noting future appointments or events.
Collections Pages dedicated to specific topics or themes, acting as a table of contents by listing page numbers and symbols.
Daily Logs Also known as "dailies," these record daily activities.
Weekly Logs Can refer to a weekly log or a weekly spread.
Month Logs Refer to a monthly spread or log.
Bullet Journal Inner Pages

How Many Pages Are Ideal for Bullet Journaling?

The ideal page count for bullet journals varies, often ranging from 124 to 249 pages, depending on the manufacturer.

For instance, The Official Bullet Journal, a product of collaboration between Leuchtturm and Ryder Carroll (the bullet journal's creator), consists of 185 pages.

However, there's no fixed page requirement for a bullet journal. You can choose any notebook that suits your needs. If you're a beginner, even a 60-page notebook can work.

The key is to find a notebook that satisfies your requirements. If you use around 20 pages monthly, consider a notebook with 185-250 pages for longevity.

How to Start a Bullet Journal?

Quality Notebook

1. Choose a Quality Notebook

Begin your bullet journaling in any notebook. Opt for a portable one, ideally with an elastic-bound. There's no need for pre-structured notebooks since you'll customize it.

Personalize your notebook with colors and patterns. Whether grid, dotted, or blank, any format works for bullet journaling.

2. Create an Index

Number each entry in your journal. The index, which should be the first two facing blank pages, helps you locate specific sections. Label the first two pages "Index" to start.

Tip: Use any pen or pencil and color, but darker colors and pens are often more visible.
Set Up Your Future Log

3. Set Up Your Future Log

Dedicate a new page in your notebook for future entries. A future log provides an overview of upcoming months, including activities, deadlines, and objectives.

You can plan for three to twelve months or even further. Divide your page into equal sections for each month you're planning. Write the upcoming months on the tabs and note any reminders or appointments.

The future log can track any important dates, like birthdays and anniversaries.

Tip: Use a ruler to draw three parallel lines across the pages, dividing the spread into thirds.

4. Add a Monthly Log

Start a new page for your monthly log. List every date of the month on the left page, adding the day of the week's initials to the number.

On the facing page, create a bulleted list of your monthly tasks and deadlines. For example, "Research free courses" and "Decorate the living room."
Update Your Index

5. Update Your Index

After completing your monthly log, add page numbers in the upper right. Return to your index and add the monthly log.

6. Optional: Add your Weekly Log

While not part of the original method, weekly logs can bridge the gap between monthly and daily plans. They can include your calendar, appointments, deadlines, and goals.

Experiment with different formats for your weekly log. However, this section is optional.

Additional Tips: Customizing Your Planner

Create Your Monthly Logs

1. Organize Your Monthly Logs

For efficient monthly tracking:
  • Group related objectives.
  • Categorize goals by month.
  • Maintain a structured list instead of a disorganized one.
  • Group your tasks by category, such as "Work Objectives," "Creative Objectives," and "Deadlines and Due Dates."
  • List the tasks under the appropriate headings. For example, you might put "Make a presentation for Business Review" under "Work Objectives."
Detail Your Daily Activities

2. Collections

Collections are dedicated pages for specific topics or goals like reading lists, bills, recipes, or savings targets. Update them as new ideas or tasks arise.

If you want to save up for something during the year, note it in your collections page's "Saving Targets" section. Refer to this area whenever you need a reminder of your saving goals.

3. Prioritize Your Daily Activities

In your daily log, capture significant tasks or events. Your bullet journal's purpose, whether tracking work achievements or personal milestones, will guide these entries.

4. Mark Completed Tasks

After completing a task, revisit your monthly log and strike it off. This method ensures you're updated on what's done and what's pending.

5. Transition Unfinished Tasks to the Next Month

Review your logs at month-end. Mark completed tasks and carry forward any unfinished ones to the next month's log. However, only carry forward relevant tasks to avoid clutter.

6. Keep Writing Brief and to the Point

For clarity and ease, ensure your entries are brief and direct.

7. Choose the Right Pens for Your BuJo

While many enthusiasts have preferred journaling pens, newcomers can start with any comfortable writing tool and explore from there.
Jerome Wu

Jerome Wu

About the Author

Jerome Wu, a renowned expert in the stationery field, crafts insightful content for Interwell Stationery. With over a decade of industry experience, Jerome brings a deep understanding of stationery trends and innovation.

Connect with Jerome for blog collaborations or inquiries at jerome@interwell.cn.

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