How To Start a Bullet Journal

Image by @studywithinspo

Are you in need of a manageable system to keep track of all of your idea’s and to-do’s? We are. That’s why we are saying goodbye to endless list making and hello to the Bullet Journal.

What is the Bullet Journal?
An analog system, created by Ryder Carroll. According to him, “it’s meant to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” It’s an organizational system inside of your notebook that is meant to help you keep track of anything written. 

Do You Need This?
(Yes). But really, if you are the type of person that writes everything down, including goals, or ideas that you want to explore, we suggest you give this a try. It will help you identify what is most important, and what can be sifted through. It’s different then buying a pre-made agenda, because of its flexibility to really make it your own, and stick to the organizational method of bullet journaling.

Tools.
Grab a notebook and pen. Any will do. We suggest snagging a medium-/small-sized notebook, so that it can travel with you throughout the day. This notebook will be your new BFF, holding your life in its pages. *A ruler is also a great asset.

Key Concepts.
The bullet journal is broken down into 4 key concepts:

1. Index
This is the brain of your new journal. Each time you start a new page, you will number it, add a title and page number to your index. This makes it easy for you to find it later.

2. Collections
Each page that you create in your journal is given a topic. These topics are referred to as collections. A Collection is a grouping of related ideas. They could be in list, sketch, map, tracker, or even note form. There are three main collections that every bullet journal will have: The Future Log, Monthly Log and Daily Log.

Future Log — This is where you jot down what’s going on in the months ahead. Include any important dates.
Monthly Log — The monthly log looks deeper into the current month.
Daily Log — This is where you set out what you will do on a daily basis and includes “rapid-log” tasks, events and notes.

*Other Collections. The above collections are those that serve as the core of your journal, to keep you organized monthly and daily. Every single page counts as a collection. Collections can be goal plans, shopping lists, doodles, meeting notes. Anything. Just write the topic at the top of the page, and add that topic and the page number into the index.

Here’s a quick list of fun collections to start: 2016 goals, 2016 books to read/read, in-season produce, favorite quotes, dog names, address book, clean eating tracker, Netflix show schedule, flowers in bloom, workouts, favorite wine list, etc.

3. Rapid Logging
This form of logging is supposed to be quick and organized. A key will be made in the beginning of your journal, which you will refer to throughout. The dot represents any task that I write down. When you complete the task, turn it into an X. An event bullet can be an open circle. A 'note' bullet is a dash, which is written  before any note you want to remember. You will use rapid logging throughout the entire bullet journal, in the Future, Monthly and Daily Log, and any other collections.

4. Migration
At the end of the month, set aside time to review your journal. See any tasks, events or notes that weren’t completed? If they are worth pursuing, migrate them into next month. If they aren’t, cross them out and move on. Anything that is worth doing, but maybe later in life, should be added to your Future Log.

Head over to Pinterest and type in 'Bullet Journaling'. You will get a massive response, full of colorful and cool ways to set up pages, and new list ideas. Mine is super clean, black and white, and to the point. But you can make yours as colorful and artistic as you’d like. Here is a video that is really great to watch from the Bullet Journal creator himself. It helped me when initially setting mine up.

Have you ever heard of bullet journaling? What are some collections (pages) you would add to yours? Let us know if you end up making one — we would love to hear!

Original images and article published by Free People