Challenge

30-Day Challenge - Finding Your Journaling Style - Day 4

Keeping It Simple and Functional with a Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling has become all the rage over the past few years. You’ve probably heard about the concept by now, but it’s one that can definitely be a little confusing. This journal format is one that’s quite versatile and can be customized to meet almost any journaling purpose. That’s why I think it’s important to include an overview here in our challenge. Once you understand the basics, you may find this method to be a good fit for you. Take a look below to learn more about bullet journaling and how to get started.

What is a Bullet Journal?

What’s innovative about the bullet journal is that it’s not just a journal. It’s a mix of journal, planner, and organizer. Its main structure is formed around bullet points, hence the name. Not only is this a tool to help keep track of your appointments and to-dos, but it can also be customized to meet your personal journaling needs. People use this type of journal to keep track of and explore personal and professional goals. Bullet journals have sections to keep track of your monthly calendar, to-dos, long-term goals, notes, and more. Symbols like bullets, circles, dashes, and asterisks are used to designate and easily identify categories.

Your Bullet Journal

Before we move on to the basics of getting started with bullet journaling, I want to take a moment to talk about the actual notebook you use for the purpose of journaling. You can purchase special notebooks sold on the official bullet journal website or from other retailers. However, there’s no need to buy a fancy or pricey journal. A regular notebook, lined or unlined, will work just fine. Some people prefer to use notebooks with graph paper or with small dots dispersed evenly across the page to help designate different sections. The choice is yours. Go with the notebook that fits your preferred style and budget.

How to Get Started

First, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be particularly creative or artistic in order to bullet journal. This is your system. It’s personal and only needs to serve you. In addition, you can use it to keep track of or to write about anything that suits you. Some folks include sections in fitness, finances, travel, and daily habits, among other things. Ask yourself what’s most important for you to keep track of in order to generate some ideas before you begin. Then start to set up your own format. Begin with an index page so you can easily find each section. Next comes your monthly log, an overview of the tasks and events you have for the month ahead. Then, your daily log follows with a list of what you need to accomplish each day. A future log lets you detail long-term goals and plans. Use bullets to designate tasks, an X to mark a task as completed, a less than (<) sign to mark something as scheduled, a greater than sign (>) for something that is being migrated to the next day or month, a dash for notes, and an open circle for an event.

This may all seem a bit overwhelming, but you’ll find lots of in-depth tutorials across the web that will help to clarify things. Now that you have a basic understanding of the system, you may decide that a bullet journal is worth considering for your journaling needs.

Coach Jackie Out.

Jackie Schwabe Mark