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 Bullet Journal Basics

Bullet journals have become very popular and countless numbers of people have been using them to keep their lives organized. Some use a premade planner which is a form of a bullet journal. Others prefer to be more creative and use a journal to create their own pages and spreads. 

Whichever way you chose, consider a bullet journal as your organization system, that helps you to be more mindful and productive.

Your journal is your own tool created just for your use. It can be as neat or as messy as you would like; There are no rules for creating your journal. There are some guides for using your journal, but the pages and layouts that you create, you customize for your use,.

It is a living notebook that grows and changes with you.

While it might seem complex in the beginning as you start using it on a regular basis it becomes an easy habit.

Why Should You Bullet Journal?

  1. Using paper and pen will help you remember things better.
  2. You will find your focus easier
  3. You will develop a new level of creativity
  4. When you spend time with your bullet journal. you will create time to reflect and learn more about your dreams and goals.
  5. You will achieve more and move faster towards your dreams and goals. You achieve more and move to your goals, You will figure out your priorities
  6. Your bullet journal is the storage for all your data so you can complete tasks. There is less stress on your brain.
  7. Keeping a list of projects running through your mind can be stressful, but listing it all out on paper can give you a step-by-step process that immediately seems much easier to tackle.
  8. Keeping track of your progress and achievements can provide a sense of accomplishment

A Few Bullet Journal Terms

  • Bojo-a short term for bullet journal
  • Spread./layout-a page that you create for your journal
  • A log is another term for the spread
  • Collections are pages in a journal that are about related topics
  • Migrate is when you transfer information between spreads, pages or journals
  • Rapid Logging is a way to add information to your journal with symbols and short entries.
  • Trackers are a chart, drawing or table used to keep track of anything
  • Themes are design elements that unify your journal
  • Bleeding is where inks show through the page and is seen on the next page


To get started all you really need to get started with bullet journaling is a notebook/journal and a pen. If you are a beginner, start small and s simple. Once you have used just a few pages, build on that.

  • Dot Grid Paper makes it easier to do your spread
  • Stencils-You can get stencils that are specific to making bullet journals
  • Journals-Get the best paper that you can afford
  • Pens-You can use fine liners, ballpoint pens, colored pens 
  • Rulers-help you create lines and boxes
  • Washi tape- gives color and design to your pages

Types Of Bullet Journals

Bullet journals are all about expressing yourself and keeping organized, There are different ways to do that,
  1. Minimal. A lot of white space, gorgeous handwriting, with the occasional pop of color
  2. Artistic. Breathtaking artwork and sketches that look like they were manufactured
  3. Quirky. Cheery doodles, cute fonts, vibrant colors, and personality for days
  4. Crafty. Washi tape, stickers, stamps, snapshots — like a bullet journal and scrapbook all in one
You get to decide which type reflects your personality.

Bullet Journal Key

Your bullet journal key is the symbols you chose to use in your bullet journal. You can use any symbols that make sense to you or a set of symbols that have been created. These are called signifiers.

Here is one sample of a common set of symbols that are on the keyboard of your computer:

>,,,,,,,,,,,, migrated 
<............scheduled with a date


This page acts as a table of contents and should include a listing of page titles with associated page numbers for any specific page you might want to find later.

Your index is the page that lists your pages and where they are located. There are a few different ways to create your index page:

  • Fill out numerically-As you go, you fill in each page of your journal
  • Fill out by content-You combine pages by content (what the page is about
example: Habit Tracker .....14. 28, 43

Future Log

Your future log is where you plan your future and organize your year, There are a few different ways to create your future page. Think of your future log as the list of things happening ahead of the month you are in.

 Divide these pages into thirds, and you’ve got six blocks to represent the next six months. You can map out your future log as far in advance as you’d like. Once you’re done, number these pages and add them to your index.

Your future page can include the following:
  1. Annual bills and taxes
  2. Appointments
  3. Birthdays
  4. Vacations
  5. Holidays
  6. Deadlines

Monthly Log

Start With A Monthly Cover Page

The cover page for the monthly tracker is the starting point of the new month. It can be as simple or as artistic as you want it to be, It divides your monthly layout. You could even add tabs on these pages so you can quickly find what you need,

Your Monthly Log

A monthly calendar where you can list important deadlines, events, and other reminders.

Your Monthly log organizes your month. It gives you an overall view of the entire month. You should start your monthly spread at the end of the month before or at the beginning of the new month.

In its most simple form it is a two-page spread, On one side is a list of all the days of that month. On the other side is a list of things you want to accomplish for that month.

This usually allows you to see the entire month in one glance. It has a calendar-style block for daily appointments, plus boxes for goals and priorities to really get to the heart of what needs to get done.

On the left page, write the month at the top and list the number of days in that month down the side. Next to the dates, write the first letter of the day that each falls on. Label the right page “Task List,” and use this page to map out a general overview of what you’d like to accomplish that month. Next, number these pages and add them to your index.

You can set up divider pages for each month if you would like to. That is up to you.

Things to include on your monthly spread:
  • Your appointments
  • Social plans
  • A list of things to do that month
  • Any birthdays or anniversaries

Weekly Spread

Here you can plan what needs to be done each week, and on which day. And be totally creative about your layout, play with your bullet journal grid spacing to find the best weekly layout for you.

Your weekly spread organizes and plans your week. It can include the following ideas:

  • Water tracker
  • Habit tracker
  • Notes
  • Menu plan
  • Weekly review
  • To-do lists
  • House chores
  • Plans for the week 

Daily Log

Your daily log is your everyday to-do list. You create the list of things to get done the night before for the next day. It is a day-to-day list of to-dos and reminders.

Your Daily Log is your real to do list. It can include just about anything that you need to get done including:
  • Notes
  • Plans for the next day
  • Daily menu
  • Grocery list
  • Journaling
  • Daily chores
  • Weather
  • Daily review
  • Health goals
  • Challenges

Lists And Collections

Collections and lists are individual pages devoted to lists of things that are important to you. For example, you might want to track items that you are collecting, bills that you owe, gifts you need to purchase for holidays, books that you want to read, or any other type of list that you might want to create.

Collections can include things like:
  1. Habit Trackers-keeps track of new habits that you are trying to gain
  2. Sleep Tracker-helps to understand what is affecting your sleep and how much sleep you got
  3. Memory Log-lets you write down specific memories to reflect on later.
  4. Traveling  Bucket List-Keeps track of all the places you would like to visit
  5. Gratitude Log-Write down 5 things you are grateful for. This list will give your life a new direction.
  6. Weight Loss Tracker-helps you attain your weight loss goals
  7. Birthday Tracker-If you're the kind of person who always swings by the drugstore to buy a gift on the way to the party, you need this adorable birthday tracker idea
  8. Menu Planner-map out each day's menu, then stick Post-It notes with your shopping list to the page. When you head to the store
  9. Stay Hydrated-track your daily water consumption
  10. Keep Track of your workouts
  11. Password List
  12. Keep Track of your credit cards
  13. Food Diary keeps track of your daily food intake.
  14. Medications can tack what you take and when you take them
  15. Savings Goals
  16. Budget Spreads
  17. Daily personal expenses
  18. Debt tracker
  19. Bill payment tracker

Favorite Lists

These are journaled lists of your personal favorites
  • Favorite movies
  • Favorite TV shoes
  • Favorite books
  • Favorite music and artists
  • Favorite food and restaurants

Premade Bullet Journals

These types of bullet journals are a combination of planners and bullet journals premade for you. It essentially has all the sections that you need set up in advance. It is for people who may like the idea of bullet journals but may not want to do all the setup.

When you are looking at a premade bullet journal, there are a few things to consider

  • Sections and layout-Make sure it has all the sections that you need for your life
  • Paper quality-Make sure that it is at least 100 gsm
  • Bullet journals are made for 3, 6, and 12 months. Know the number of months and how long your journal will last.
  • Is it an updated journal? If you miss a day or even months. you can resume where you finished without wasting pages
  • Make sure that the journal has spaces where you can write notes

Bullet Journal Printables

On-Line Bullet Journal

Monthly Bullet Journal Themes