Bullet Journaling: What you need to know to get started.

What is a bullet journal?

A bullet journal is a tool that helps to organize the disorder in your everyday life into a rational and structured system that rids you of distractions and realigns your focus on both your short- and long-term goals. With daily, weekly, and monthly to-do trackers, a monthly calendar, notes, reflections and more, your BuJo is altogether an organizer, diary, and a pocket therapist. There’s also the mindfulness aspect that comes into play for all aspiring BuJo writers. Unlike your standard checklists and organizers, bullet journals encourage writers to reflect upon themselves on their daily, monthly, and yearly goals, tasks, and responsibilities.

However, not every bullet journal is the same. Pretty sure you’ve seen the endless number of complex formats and stunning designs, each proclaiming one is better and more beautiful than the other, which can be overwhelming. Fret not, the most important thing to know is that a bullet journal at its purest form, is simply how it can serve YOU best. Remember, the most effective bullet journal is one that prioritize function over form.

Customize and organize your Bujo in a way that is easy for you to understand by selecting the right symbols that represents each section ("collections") such as a fitness log, daily reflections, to-do list, and more. For those less artistically-inclined panicking right now, remember: function over form.

How do I start bullet journaling?

The easiest and best way to get started is to understand that a bullet journal can be a calendar, to-do list, goal-tracker, and diary all in one, but it doesn't have to be all those things. Before you put pen to paper, consider how your bullet journal can best serve you, and figure our what your challenges are. For example, if you prefer to use your bullet journal as a means to help you achieve a goal like living a healthier life, you could jot down activities that get you moving, plan healthy meals, and track your weekly step goals.

Once you have a general idea, it’s time to make it yours. First, build a system that suits you best. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start off with the basics:

  1. Page numbers: Start by numbering your pages for easy reference.
  2. Index: The first page of your bullet journal. The Table-of-Contents. The guide and the key to the symbols and collections as you go along.
  3. Future Log: This four-page spread is a year-at-a-glance calendar with future events, goals, and long-term tasks. Add birthdays, travel plans, and major holidays.
  4. Monthly Log: This two-page spread includes a calendar with a bird's-eye view of the month and a task page with things you want to tackle during the month. You can also add other monthly tracking pages ("modules") including a food, fitness, finance, or book log.
  5. Daily Log: Your day-to-day to-do list.

Next, build a key that is easy to read and understand. For example:

  • Tasks: •
  • Events: O
  • Notes (facts, ideas, and observations): —
  • Priority: *
  • Inspiration (mantras, insights, and ideas): !

I’m afraid of “messing up”.

There's no such thing as “messing up” a bullet journal, only happy little accidents. If you do happen to have a “happy little accident”, simply use some white-out and turn the page and move on. Remember, your bullet journal will change and evolve as you go, and “messing up” is simply a learning experience – and that is a good thing. You’ll learn along the way on what does and does not work for you. Bullet Journaling is all about the process, and not the final look.

What should I start with?

There’s no need to splurge for an entire arsenal of items. All you need is a trusty pen, and dot/grid/plain notebook.

Check out our range of Collins Notebooks perfect for your BuJo needs.