Bullet Journaling 101

A bullet journal is anything you want it to be. No, seriously.

Whether you need a journal to express yourself, an on-going grocery list, a sketchbook, or a simple planner, the bullet journal is adaptable to just about anything. I have even seen people utilize a bullet journal around their mental health. To further explain, bullet journaling is a way to track the past, order the present and design the future.

In my last post, I explained my experience through a small test run in a bullet journal, but I didn’t hit so much on the functionality or purpose of bullet journaling. To give you a visual, I included some collections, trackers and weekly spreads bellow.

Collections are spreads in a journal that take focus on whatever you are looking to accomplish. Collections can be in the form of journal entires, data charts, goals or simple lists. Many people in the bullet journaling community create “Books I’ve Read” or “Goal Defining” collections to keep track of what they have and have not done.

Trackers let you visually see and utilize data by noting certain actions you accomplish throughout a certain time period. Trackers are nifty for identifying bad habits and creating better ones from your observations. The best thing is they are versitile! You can track anything from weight, family to bills. Track whatever but remember, you can’t track it all. My recommendation is to start small and add as needed.

In the two-page spread reading tracker above, I tracked the number of pages I read in the month of December. As the days processed, I started becoming sloppy with my lines and coloring. In the beginning of the month my layout was neat, but I lacked any real data. I quickly realized that in order to track more efficiently, I needed to include the exact number of pages read.

Weekly spreads are everyday broken down list that focus on working smarter toward any goals. Weekly spreads look and feel different to everyone. I changed my weekly/daily spreads quite a few times to see what worked best. The weekly spread above is the one that increased my productivity the most. It was simple to track and transfer task throughout the week.

Journal entries are also very common in the bullet journal world because it allows for reflection and critical thinking. Critical thinking is optional, of course. If you just want to write freely with no barriers, do it! In one of my journal entries, I taped my winning ticket from a raffle that day to scrapbook the memory. Your reflection time can be nothing but pictures, paper, or stickers and that is amazing too. Whatever helps you express yourself is the right way.

Any, all or none of these spreads can be utilized when bullet journaling. There are so many more collections and spreads out there that help people. It is all up to you and what works best. Keep organization your number one priority through your process and focus on what is important.

If you are planning on starting a bullet journal this year, I would definitely recommend reading Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal Method at some point in your planning journey.

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