Bullet journaling is a system created by genius and possible Virgo, Ryder Caroll, on August 2013. Since then, thousands of people have joined the #BuJo life. And we couldn’t blame them. It’s an easy and flexible system that even the organizationally-challenged can get into.
There are certain sections that you need to set up for your bullet journal to work better like an index page (a table of contents for your journal), and a future log (stuff that you need to do in the future). But those are pretty easy and straightforward. The real fun is in the daily logs.
The most important thing you need to know about the bullet journal is the key. It’s the main indicator of what the status of a certain task is. Here’s a guide:
A dot signifies a task. When it’s done, you can cross it out. If it somehow becomes irrelevant to your day, you can strike it through. However, if it’s something that you want or can do, you can migrate it to the next day with the “>” sign. If it’s something that you can get to in the far future, you can schedule it using a “<“ sign. A “—“ is used to jot down general notes (movies you saw, workouts you did, etc.), while a tiny circle signifies events. That’s pretty much it.
Bullet journals also take pride in its flexibility. The BuJo key shouldn’t be strictly followed. You can always create your own symbols to help you be a better worker. For example, if you think that a star can encourage you to get the job done, then do it. This is all about you.
Newbies are often intimidated by the pages that they “need” to fill. But they are only here to help you out. They’re like your friends who only want what’s best for your sanity. Accept them. Love them. Don’t bully them for getting you into this black hole in the first place.
Unlike regular planners, you have total control of what you want your week to look like. There are minimalists who would rather take it day by day, and then there are some who really take the time to sit down and plan their week. There are different layouts that you can explore, and it’s really up to you to experiment with what works for you.
If you’re a little intimidated with bullet journalling, here are some layout examples that you can check out.
This is a layout that’s typically seen regular journals, and for good reason. It helps you plan out your month in advance. You get more space to put in your events, reminders, and friends’ birthdays compared to the list format.
Monthly events list + to-do list
If you’re more comfortable with working with lists, then this might just be for you. Your events for the month are listed down like a timeline. This can help you focus on one day at a time. Your to-do list for the month is conveniently placed on the right so you can schedule it as soon as you see a free day.
A lot of people who are transitioning from their good ol’ coffee shop planner to the bullet journal often find the blank pages intimidating. You can always start by copying the layout you’re comfortable with. Once you get the hang of the BuJo, then you can experiment with other layout options.
Daily schedule + to-do list
This layout is especially useful for those who are dealing with multiple projects. You can jot down your events and project deadlines on the left side while your to-do list and general notes can live on the right. This way, your important reminders won’t get lost in your spread.
With working hard comes great rewards. Keep your finances in check with this easy tracker (left page). All you need to do is list down the projects you have worked on and indicate the pay you have received under the “+” sign. Same goes with your expenses: note what you bought, and put the price under the “-” sign. Every week, create a subtotal and see where you’re at.
We also suggest having a list of all the items you ordered online (right page) so you won’t have to keep on checking your email for it.
Freelancers, listen up. It’s hard to keep track of the projects that you need to be paid for, especially when there are multiple gigs happening all at once. Every time you finish a gig, list it down so you know who to look for when a crisis comes.
If you’re working on two to three jobs with a regular paycheck, it also helps to create a separate checklist (no pun intended) for the checks you should be receiving every month.
Pop culture faves
2016 was a good year for movies and music, and we can only expect 2017 to be even better. Never miss a movie release and jot it down on your notebook. If ever you weren’t able to catch it cinemas, you can always rent a DVD or stream online.
If you have a large vinyl, CD, or — let’s be real — cassette collection, you need to keep an inventory. Always note who borrows your records so you know who to chase after a year of not seeing it back in your rack. This tracker can also be used for books, DVDs, or any prized possession, really.
BONUS: Cute doggo tracker
Life’s too short; never forget the dogs you meet on the street.