Bullet Journaling: Part 1

What is a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal or BuJo, is a system created by Ryder Carroll to break up larger daily tasks and notes into basic bullet points. This system was created to streamline tasks and events into a workflow of bitesized bullets to help himself focus on things he needed to accomplish in any given day.

Even if you did a quick google search, you would have perhaps been overwhelmed with the sheer amount of content – images, videos, texts, gifs even of the bullet journal or the bullet journal method. 

A screenshot of the first search results on Pinterest for ‘bullet journal’

There would have been a high chance you would have stumbled across some aesthetic colourful put together dated ‘weekly spread’ on someone’s extremely visually catching notebook as you see on @megansstudies feed

Or @dulcetbujo’s dazzling photos.

Is that the bullet journal?
Before you dive headfirst into the world of wonder, or may be you just became too afraid, take a little step back and let’s figure this out, slowly.

This post is an attempt to consolidate some of the common questions and thoughts on this topic and also of course, as someone who has gone through 3 years of bullet journaling, I will say that I may have some experience to share, good and bad.

The next question – Where do I start? A common question by new beginners, is “Is there a right way?”. – Ryder says in his book The Bullet Journal Method that you start by listing down in three columns the things you

  1. Are working on
  2. Should be working on
  3. Will want to work on
Spread done on a Leuchtturm1917 Dot Grid Journal

This acts as a mental space to dump all your thoughts out onto paper in front of you and visually looking at it helps you to have perspective and ask yourself whether it matters OR is vital such that you cannot live without it. After crossing out all the things that do not fit these two categories, the goals and responsibilities you are left with will fit into these pages of your notebook, to be repeated as you need to.

Setting Up your Bullet Journal

You can use any notebook you choose to start with, whether one from the store, a scrap notebook or a really fancy one. We recommend something simple, like the basic clean Leuchtturm1917 Plain Black Bullet Journal, no frills, just the dots and a fresh slate for you to begin. In this day and age where everything even notepads, are online, like Notes app or Evernote, a notebook can be a weird thing to introduce back to this generation. But the thing is that, a notebook (and the act of writing down something) helps you to go offline, no popups, flashes of colour, etc. In the moment that is just you and your notebook and pen, you are kind of compelled to meet with your thoughts which helps you to focus better.

You don’t need any other thing, just a pen, in any colour you wish, or the faithful plain black pen

  • Index and key – the Index system in the first few pages of the Bullet Journal is for you to make a personal table of contents.
Source: @whiskeymug
The Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal has specific pages for Indexing

  • Here you can decide how many pages you want to give to a certain log/type of spread, you can always add on if you miss out, just put a comma. Like e.g. (8, 10, 24…). Each page of your bullet journal has a number at the bottom, allowing you to flip to it easily and helps you to not get lost … in your thoughts, almost literally.

    Use highlighters to colour code the different things you note down – for example – one colour for personal stuff, then another for work, etc.
Future Planning

You always hear people talk about the term ‘future logs’, what are future logs and what do they do for you? Future logs, or as they are also known, ‘year-at-a-glance’ spreads are quick mini calendars, usually done over a two-four page spread that allow you to jot down the main events of the year. What happens if there is not enough space? If your year is going to be packed leave extra space by using one page for 3 months like @jumenjournals (see below). 

If you don’t like the idea of that and you just want to have the whole year in a page, then stack all 12 months in a page just like @journal.it does. 

While you wait for the next part, you might like to check out the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal IN NEW PINK!

It is the SPECIAL EDITION for Asia – the bullet journal manual is in Chinese, Korean and Japanese! It also comes in a new lovely pink shade. Grab yours now and then get prepared for our next part of this series!


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