How To Bullet Journal (It's Not As Overwhelming As It Seems)

09/26/2016 05:02 pm ET
Brittanny Taylor

I am one of those people that will read ten articles in a row about productivity and feel like I actually accomplished something afterwards while not getting any work done at all. I'm obsessed with notebooks and I own more planners than I have plans. I always wanted to bullet journal but was completely overwhelmed when I watched the tutorial videos on YouTube. So many stickers, washi tapes, and markers! Totally not my jam. Yet, I was still intrigued so one day at the end of July I decided it was time to tackle bullet journaling. The most important thing to remember with bullet journaling is nothing is set in stone. What you did last month you don't have to do next month if it didn't suit your needs. I think bullet journaling is ideal for me because I never found "the perfect planner". Bullet journaling is making my own perfect planner. There is a lot of trial and error along the way but as the weeks go by, you learn what you like and you stick with that.

What you will need:

  • A notebook
  • A pen

Optional:

  • Stickers
  • Washi tape
  • Post it notes
  • Multicolor pens
  • Highlighters
Brittanny Taylor

THE FOUR CORE MODULES OF A BULLET JOURNAL

The Index - Just like a book, the bullet journal has an index so you can find the page you are looking for quickly. You could also add your legend here so you know what each bullet means.

The Future Log - A running list of events or tasks that need to be scheduled in advance. You can move them to your monthly and daily log once you get to that date. 

The Monthly Log - This is a calendar and task list that organizes your whole month on one or two pages.

The Daily Log - This is where you will spend the bulk of your time in your bullet journal. This is the day to day stuff you need to attend to.

I personally only use the future log and daily log in my bullet journal. I can find what I need easily in mine so I have no need for an index. I tried using the monthly log for August and I didn't like it so I decided to not do it moving forward and I use a monthly calendar printable instead. That's the great thing about bullet journaling. If it doesn't work for you, you don't have to keep using it! 

WHAT ARE THESE COLLECTIONS I'VE HEARD PEOPLE TALK ABOUT?

I use collections to list off things I want to keep track of. I have a collection for keeping track of household items and when I buy them (I want to know how often I go through things) to my essential oil collection to books I want to take out of the library. Daily gratitude lists are very popular amongst bullet journalers. This is a great list of collections you can make in your journal.

ADD PRINTABLES TO YOUR BULLET JOURNAL.

I use printables I found on Pinterest to add in specific information to my journal. I really like the selection from designerblogs.com. I use the monthly calendar and monthly finance tracker to see right in one place how much money is coming and going out. I also use a 52-week money savings challenge printout to add money to my savings account every week. Pinterest is a great place to find printables and ideas to add to your bullet journal.

DO I NEED TO BUY AN ACTUAL BULLET JOURNAL TO DO THIS?

No! That's the great thing about it. You can use whatever notebook you have at home. Some brands specifically make journals that are numbered and have an index in the front but you can easily number the pages on your own and make your own index. I use a notebook actually made for architecture that has dotted pages instead of lined or blank. The photos used in this blog post are actually from a traditional planner so you can even use the planner you already own and use and adapt some of these methods into that.

If you are interested in learning more about bullet journaling, I suggest going to the original bullet journal website, checking out Pinterest, and watching some videos on YouTube. I really like Carrie Crista's and Boho Berry's videos on how they journal. 

So, are you ready to try out bullet journaling? What are some ways you stay organized?

This post originally appeared on the Lady Project blog. Get to know the Lady Project and join your local chapter.

Brittanny Taylor is a fashion and lifestyle photographer based out of Rhode Island and working all over New England and New York. You can visit her website here, brittannytaylor.com and tweet at her at @brittanny.

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