If you are a self confessed stationary addict (like us) then you would of course of heard of bullet journaling. The newly creative and innovative way to organise thoughts, make plans and set goals, bullet journaling throws away the conventional neat list making and allows you to map your thoughts in a way that makes sense to you. Through mind maps, lists, storyboards, cartoons and graphs, there are so many ways to keep track of what is happening with your life and what you want or need to get done. This avoids the impossible task of trying to stay organised in a specific way, which often causes more stress and de-motivates us to keep ploughing ahead with tasks. Of course the most difficult part of any task including bullet journaling, is to simply get started.
Where to begin with bullet journaling
If you are interested in taking up bullet journaling, then you probably have already set up a Pinterest board with lots of ideas on what you want your bullet journal to look like. However, if you are not artistic or just plain impatient, which let’s face it many busy people are, then these pins may be just wishful thinking. The main purpose of bullet journaling is that it works for you and that it is an ever evolving process that can easily be adjusted to suit your needs during peaceful times and the busy ones. To start, simply get yourself a blank journal with plenty of pages. We would suggest getting a journal that is roughly A5 size so that it can be easily transported if you need to take your thoughts on the go. Some people often choose lined, plain or even graph paper in their journal and use the squares to provide a bit more structure. Invest in a range of colourful pencils, markers, pens and pencils to that you can colour code key pieces and find sections easily.
Plan your layout
So that your thoughts, dreams and projects can exist within organised chaos, we would suggest that you create some structure to your journal. Start by forming an index either through colour tabs or numbers. An example of this would be yearly goals are red, to dos are blue and long term projects are pink. Or you can simply start writing on any page and just make sure that you number these pages and add them to your index at the back of the journal. That way when you come to take a look at what you are doing that week, you know where that to do list is and what is on it.
Structure month by month
Typical bullet journals are structured monthly. This allows you to break down each month into weeks and then days. It doesn’t matter what month you start your bullet journal, just title the first page at the month you are currently in and go from there. Split the month down into days and write down every task that you need to do each day for that month.
Don’t forget to plan for the future
It’s easy to plan month to month, but what about engagements that you have planned much later in the year? The best way to handle these is in a future log. On a separate page towards the back of your journal write down all of the engagements/ plans that you have and date these. When you then go to start your bullet journal for the next month, just add those dates in.
Now that you have marked out the month and any important future dates it's time to log each day. You can use these logs to write down tasks that you must get done that day, but you also mustn't forget to log those little extra things that make you happy or that may be considered completely pointless, but you want to remember. Make your daily list, but then also fill out how you felt that day, what music you listened to, what movie you watched what workout you did at the gym. These little notes are good for the soul and also help you see how far you have come or changed when you look back on them in the future. It is called journaling after all.
Don’t be afraid to get messy
The wonderful thing about a bullet journal is that it is a place where you can get creative, but at the same time completely empty your brain of pure nonsense to help ease your mind and start structuring your month. Life rarely goes to plan, so each week try performing a brain dump on one page of your journal where you empty your head of all goals, plans, engagements, meetings etc. This allows you to physically see everything in front of you and structure your week/ month accordingly.
Create keys that are unique to you
Some people use different symbols next to each thought in their journal so they know what it corresponds to such as a square means to do, a circle means a memory, a star means a wish etc. Create your own key and see if this system helps you organise your thoughts.
Log collections and wish lists
If you have things that you would like to do but don’t necessarily see as a priority, create these in a collection section of your bullet journal. You could list films you want to watch, books to read or countries to visit. What ever your dreams are write them down and see how many you can check off.
Now you have the basics of bullet journaling down, you can now start creating your very own bullet journal. For stationary supplies to make your journaling easy and effective, click here.