Bullet journaling: The Basics
A bullet journal is split into modules, between a future log, a monthly log and a daily log with things to do. Tasks, events and notes all have slightly different icons next to them to highlight their differences.
A future log uses two horizontal lines to split a double page spread into six months, while monthly calendars take up one page with a simple list of the days of the month. These are called “spreads” and impressive spreads will get you social media acclaim (if that’s what you want).
Identify open (to-do) tasks with a dot next to them, events with an “o” or notes with a simple dash. Add a cross or put a line through tasks as you achieve them. This is called “rapid-logging”.
In bullet journaling tasks can migrate forward, from a daily planner to the next month (for when you haven’t achieved them), but they can also be logged far into the future on your annual calendar. As you carry tasks forward you can weed out the ones that are no longer worth your time.
Create an index, and keep track of what is on each page number of your notebook – these will act as a simple filing system so you don’t forget what’s in your notebook, and where it is.
You can collate your notes around a subject, say a packing list for a holiday or ideas for a conference, into a collection on a separate page and index that page in the front of your book.
This system can be adapted once you’re familiar with it to suit your lifestyle and tasks. You can use it to keep track of everything from the weekend shopping list to big life goals, and everything in between.
Think of it as an archive system, except instead of saving folders and files on your hard drive, you’re using your notebook as a simple analogue server.
To get started, all you need is a decent notebook and pen. The notebook should be one that is easy to carry around and won’t fall apart after a few weeks. Lined or plain, hardback or paperback – it depends on your preference. The whole point about bullet journaling is that anyone, on any budget, can get results from following it.