Bullet Journals have become increasingly popular as a way to provide both personalized reflection and detailed organization to your life. Designed as a way to help lead a more productive, focused life, these journals can be everything you need it to be to help you organize, plan, focus, record, and work towards goals.
The bullet journal tips provided in the article below are helpful for beginners, as well as those who have been doing this for a while. Most people find that their journal takes on a life of its own, the more you use it, add to it, change, and record what you feel is important. These helpful hacks provide you the foresight to embrace these changes and leave room for what you feel needs to be added along the way.
Why Use a Bullet Journal?
Also called a BYJO, a bullet journal was originally born of the need to organize and visualize productivity in both life and work. Part traditional journal, part planner, part creative diary and goal setter, a bullet journal is highly personal and serves to allow you a way to keep track of daily, monthly, and yearly tasks, as well as record and list your needs, goals, and ideas.
Analog in nature, it has a wide range of benefits outside of the traditional release of stress journaling provides. It allows you to reflect and plan, a therapeutic technique that allows you to clear your mind of clutter and confusion. Other benefits include, but are not limited to, critical thinking growth, an encouragement to make and meet goals, the completion of tasks, a boost in creativity, and general life efficiency.
Bullet Journal Types
There aren’t any set bullet journal types, rather there are many ideas that can be included in your own journal creation. Even though they all may start with some general similarities, they become focused on what your own needs and preferences are.
Popular ideas that are often included in a BUJO involve the creation of an index, daily and monthly tasks, appointments, and assignments, as well as specific goals and lists. These often involve meal planning, shopping lists, travel plans, progress charts, birthday dates, reading lists, and daily affirmations to name a few.
Tips for Getting Started
If you are new to this type of journaling style and are looking for tips and tricks to help make the setup of your own book easy, and are looking for ideas to include, you should consider the following:
- Know what you want your journal to do for you, or at least have a basic idea. If you have a focus before you begin designing you will be better able to organize your basic layout.
- Have your journal and supplies on hand. Do you prefer a small book, or something larger? Are you a sticky note person and like to keep quick tabs for easy page location? Do you prefer plain writing, or need a colorful option?
- Designate your first few pages to a title page and index that you can add to as you go along. Don’t try and layout your index until you have numbered your pages and have an idea of how much space each section takes up.
- Create a rough list of what collections you think you might want. You can always add or take some out as you go.
- Do some online research for visual examples and ideas.
- Don’t compare your expectations to somebody else’s creation. Great ideas are often well-staged and perfected for photography. Use them as they are designed to be used- as ideas.
- Keep things simple when you first get started. You can always work on what is more natural to you as you go along, or keep a list of ideas for future books.
Tips for Organization
As mentioned above, include an index and fill it in as you go rather than in advance, but to further organize your book, think of the following:
- Designate a legend or key to help you keep track of completed tasks, important dates, and ideas, and highlight what you feel is crucial.
- Use tabs to keep track of various sections of collections for fast location. You can also use bookmarks to help you quickly pick up where you left off.
- Use sticky notes for temporary information. If you are already a sticky note person, this helps organize them all in one spot, and also allows you to trade one out for another as needed.
- Use a binder clip to help secure a pen to your journal so you always have one handy when an idea, thought, or appointment needs to be jotted down.
- Don’t be afraid to use printables rather than create your own organization. This includes calendars, to-do lists, and even pictures to color!
- Join an online journaling community that shares ideas, hacks, and other inspirational suggestions. They are also helpful in answering your questions.
- Map out budgets, spending, savings, goals, payments, etc to provide a visual of the steps you are taking to get to where you need to be.
- Keep white out or correction tape handy as mistakes do, and will, happen!
Tips for Staying Productive
Keeping a journal shouldn’t feel like a task that needs to be complete, hence why the number one thing you should keep in mind is designing a book that is all your own. This is supposed to be a helpful addition to your life, not a hindrance, yet might take some getting used to. Your interaction with your book will allow it to grow and reflect your needs, but sometimes it takes a little self-awareness to create a habit of daily use.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas or quit what you don’t like.
- Have a designated area to work within when designing and using your journal. Even though you may keep it on you for quick notes and reflections when writing or drawing for long periods of time you should do so in a space that is inspiring.
- Create a habit tracker that allows you to check off the things you should be doing, such as watering plants, paying bills, ordering supplies, and even using your journal.
- Decorate your journal so you look forward to working within it.
- Track your goals and goal reflections over the space of a few pages to help you stay focused and watch your own progression.
- Set aside a specific time of day to work on your journal, such as when you commute, when you first rise, or right before bed.
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Getting a new bullet journal going may seem a bit overwhelming, but if you start with a goal in mind and keep it simple it will easily come together. Many people fail at this type of habit simply because the expectations of their own books are too large. Use your journal for what you need it for, stay consistent with its use, and make it your own without comparing it to anyone else.
This style of journaling is specific to helping create productivity and reduce stress. If you are creating problems through its use you need to consider why. Take a few tips offered above to help you rethink your creation to make it when you need.
If you have any questions or comments, or even ideas of your own, please leave them below. And, as always, please share!