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HOW DO YOU START // a bullet journal? | HOW TO START // a Bullet Journal?

by Judith Joosten 26 Feb 2019

I have been planning my tasks in a bullet journal for a year now. For a long time I only kept my agenda digitally. I thought an offline agenda was quite outdated. A place to store all your appointments, isn't that sufficient? What I didn't have is a nice place for to-do's. It was just lying around my office. I had separate notebooks for various individual subjects. And guess what?! I never had the right notebook with me when I wanted to find something. So not an ideal system.

I had a large desk agenda, where I planned appointments on the left and had room for notes per week on the right. That meant chronically insufficient space for notes, so I ended up with a separate booklet for each subject. Well, it's very nice of course, but certainly not useful if you have to drag it from place to place all the time.

When that desk agenda ran out, I thought: I'm going to give a bullet journal a try. I saw all kinds of nice layouts on Pinterest and YouTube. With those beautiful pages in mind, I enthusiastically got to work. Then you will quickly come home from the cold, because those pages take 30 minutes to make. Quite prohibitive if you want to use a journal to plan your days. That should save time rather than cost time, right?

That's why I decided to do it differently this year, I started a bullet journal purely for weekly planning and only used a fineliner. Nothing more. Now it is of course completely personal how you want to fill in your journal. Then it's better to just learn the basics and from there create a journal in your own style! I will therefore go into more detail in this blog about the idea behind the bullet journal. That certainly doesn't mean you have to do it this way. It can help you organize your journal in a nice way.

Do you want to go creative? No worries, there will certainly be some nice blogs about that online. Here you can read all the basics of the bullet journal.

What do you read in this blog?

  • Why is it called a bullet journal
  • Why should you use a bullet journal
  • The system of a bullet journal
  • What different Bullet journals are there?
  • What should you pay attention to when purchasing a journal?
  • Do it your way!

Why is it called a bullet journal?
In a bullet journal you write everything down according to 'bullet points'. So you don't write it down as a report, but summarize the information in short sentences. The Bullets are short sentences that you combine with a symbol. You can visualize the different categories with the symbols.

Why should you use a bullet journal?
You use a bullet journal to have a system for planning your days, weeks, months. You can combine this in the way that suits you. Instead of a stack of different notebooks, your bullet journal is one booklet to combine everything.

The bullet journal is designed to plan things and organize them productively via a fixed system.

The basis of a bullet journal is actually very simple, it doesn't have to look fancy or special at all. If it allows you to spend your day more productively, then it's good.

The system of a bullet journal
The creator Ryder Carroll has come up with a number of basic principles so that you can organize your days and 'logs' more productively. Ryder uses a fixed format for a bullet journal. This classification starts with an index, then a Future log, then a monthly log and then a daily log. Here is a brief explanation of these categories.

Index
First of all, you draw up the Index. Here you can keep a table of contents of the pages you create. This is especially useful if you write pages that you want to keep track of for several months, so you can always easily find those pages. So you don't have to create separate categories in your journal and reserve pages to put the information together. In some journals a page has already been reserved for the index. Otherwise, use the first two pages for this.

Future Log
In a future log you can make an overview of the entire year. Appointments, launches or tasks that you don't have to do for a few months? You can easily write it down here.

Optional: divide two spreads into six areas. You can immediately divide it over the twelve months.

Monthly log
Here you write the title of the month. Below that, make a list of the days of the month, with the letter of the day after it. Take your calendar on your phone and write down all the important appointments in it. Limit your text and make it as compact as possible when describing your agreements.

Monthly task
In addition to your monthly log, you can create a list of tasks for the coming months on the next page. Of course you are completely free to do so. You could also classify it as goals you want to achieve that month.

The daily log
The daily log is not just like a to-do list that you write out every day. It is not a 'log' for nothing. Think of it more as a list that you want to keep of the things you want to keep with you that day. These will of course be to-do's, but perhaps you came up with something special for a to-do and you also want to register it. For example, you write down a to-do, like doing administration. While you are doing administration, you notice that you have made a good turnover. Then you add to the log that you can be proud of good turnover. This way you ensure that you make a kind of daily log of special moments and useful tasks.

Collections
Collections are also sometimes called trackers. On these pages you can keep track of things such as books you still want to read, which shows you still want to watch or a wish list for your birthday.

Threading
The purpose of the index in your bullet journal is so that you don't have to reserve space for certain categories. It may suddenly happen that you run out of space on one page and that the next page is already filled. You can easily solve this by adding the next page. Simply add the correct page number where the collection continues.

Migrations
Migrations are an important part of a bullet journal. At the end of the month, you go through which tasks have been completed and which tasks or things are still open. The ideal opportunity to still do some to-do's, or to migrate in the next month. This way they won't stay floating in your journal for a year.

Symbols as indication
Use the following characters to organize the pages:

  • A dot: tasks, things you have to do
  • A - notes: things you don't want to forget
  • An O Events: Moments you want to make a note of.
  • = priority
  • ! = Inspiration

When you have completed a task, you can put a cross through the dot. You can also put it in a future log <, to plan later, added to another task > You can also cross out the task because it is no longer relevant. You can of course also use certain symbols to accentuate things, that's completely up to you.

To get started you obviously need a journal, but which one should you choose?

What kind of bullet journal do you need?
Bullet journals can be found everywhere these days. From HEMA to the most famous Leuchtturm or Nuuna bullet journals. It's nice to have a good journal, but choose one that fits your budget. The shop already has a selection of fine journals, all of which are of good quality.

A brief summary of the comparison of the journals
The Leuchtturm are one of the most popular bullet journals on the market. These journals are very suitable for use if you mainly use a fineliner. The paper of these journals is quite thin and therefore limits the use of brush pens or materials other than fineliners. The Nuuna and Mossery journals both have thicker paper and are therefore better suited for the use of different markers and, for example, thin use of watercolors.

A final note: personalize your bullet journal your way
Ryder has come up with a number of markers to indicate special things. For example, you can put a * next to something that is very important, or a <3 for a special moment. So don't just think about beautiful drawings when personalizing, but arrange the journal so that you can use it best yourself.

Remember that the journal should serve you instead of you being busy following the rules and that a different layout suits you better.

Love,

Judith

[lang2]

For a year, I plan my tasks in my bullet journal . For a long time, I only had my digital calendar. An offline calendar was outdated, I thought. One place for all your appointments, that's more than enough, right? What I didn't have was a nice spot for to-do lists. Those I made on separate notes and you could find them all over my office. For every different subject, I had a different notebook. And guess what?! I never had the right notebook with me when I wanted to look for something. The system wasn't ideal.

I had a big desk calendar, that was big. On the left, I had my appointments, on the right I had space for notes per week. That meant that I chronically had too little space. Which lead me to get a notebook for every subject, again. It was fun, but not very handy. Especially when you have to carry them around everywhere.

When the desk calendar was full, I thought: I'm going to try a Bullet Journal . I saw so many cute layouts on Pinterest and Youtube. With those beautiful pages in mind, I quickly started. Unfortunately, you'll be disappointed pretty fast, those pages take at least 30 minutes to make. Quite hindering when you want to use your journal to plan your days and create time. It should save some time, right?

That's why I decided to look at it differently. I started a Bullet Journal only for the week planning. And I only use a fine liner. Nothing more. Well, it's super personal how you want to fill in your journal. Make sure to learn the basics and create your style! In this blog, I'll dig a little deeper into the initial idea of ​​the Bullet Journal. It doesn't mean that you have to do it this way. But it can help you to create your ideal journal.

Do you just want to get creative? No worries, there will be blogs online about that. Here you'll read about the basics.

What will you read in this blog?

  • Why is it called a Bullet Journal?
  • Why would you use a Bullet Journal?
  • The Bullet Journal system
  • Which different Bullet Journals are there?
  • What do you have to keep in mind when buying a journal?
  • Do it your way!

Why is it called a Bullet Journal?
In a Bullet Journal, you write everything down according to 'bullet points'. You don't write it like an essay, but you summarize all the information. The bullets are short sentences, that you combine with a symbol. With these symbols, you'll visualize the different categories.

Why would you use a Bullet Journal?
a Bullet Journal is used to have a system with the planning of your days, weeks, months. You can combine these in a way that it suits you perfectly. Instead of a mountain of different notebooks, your Bullet Journal is just one notebook to combine everything in.

The Bullet Journal is designed to plan in a set system. This way it should be productive.

The base of a Bullet Journal is really simple, it doesn't have to look fancy or unique. If it makes your day more productive, it's okay.

The Bullet Journal system
The creator Ryder Carroll made up some basic principals. This way you can make your days and 'logs' even more productive. Ryder uses a standard layout for his journal. This layout starts with an index and a future log followed by a monthly and a daily log. Here you'll find a short explanation about these categories.

Index
Firstly, you create your index. You can make an index about all the pages that you make. This mainly works when you write pages that you want to keep up with over the months, now you can easily find them again. You don't have to make separate categories in your journal and save pages to keep the information together. In some journals, the index page is already set up. If not, you normally use the first two pages.

Future log
In a future log, you can make an overview of the entire year. Appointments, launches, or tasks that you have to do in a couple of months? Here you can write them down easily.

Optional: Separate two spreads in six boxes. These can be easily divided over the twelve months.

Monthly log

Here you'll write the name of the month. Underneath is a list with all the days of the month, sometimes combined with the letter of the day. Get your agenda from your phone and write down all your important appointments. Minimize your text and describe them as short as possible.

Monthly task

Not only can you make a monthly log, but the page next to it you can make a list of tasks for the upcoming months. Of course, you're free to do so. You could also make a list of your goals for that month.

The daily log
A daily log is not just a to-do list that you make every day. It's a 'log' for a reason. See it as a list of things that you want to accomplish that day. Of course, there will be to-do's, but maybe you thought of something unique with a to-do. For example, when you write down a to-do, like administration. When you work on your administration, you notice that you made a really good profit. Add it to your log! It becomes like a diary from special moments and productivity.

Collections
Collections are also called Trackers. On these pages, you can keep up with things like books that you still want to read, which shows you want to watch, or a wishlist for your birthday.

Threading
The goal of your index in your Bullet Journal is that you don't have to save space for specific categories. It's possible that you get short on space and that the next page is already filled. Easy fix, just start on a new page, later in your journal. Go back to the index and add the page number where your collection continues.

Migrations
Migration is a pretty important part of a Bullet Journal. At the end of a month, you walk through all the tasks that have been finished and the ones that aren't yet. The ideal moment to still finish some tasks, or migrate them to the next month. This way they won't 'float' in your journal for over a year.

Symbols as designation
When you fill in your page, use the following symbols:

  • A dot: tasks, stuff that you need to do
  • A - : notes, things you don't want to forget
  • AO: events, moments that you need to jot down.
  • A!: priority, things that need to be finished first
  • A: inspiration

When you finish a task, cross the dot. You can also add it to a future log, to plan it later on, or add it to another task. Crossing out the task is also an option, it isn't relevant anymore. You can also make up your symbols to accentuate your notes.

When you want to start, you'll need a journal. But which one do you choose?

What kind of journal do you need?
At the moment you can find Bullet Journals everywhere. From the HEMA to the most known Leuchtturm or Nuuna Bullet Journals. It's nice to start off with the right journal, one that fits your budget and your needs. In the shop, there's a good selection of great journals, that are really good in quality.

A short summary of the journals
Leuchtturm is one of the most popular journals on the market. These journals are good when you only want to use fineliners. The paper is very thin, which makes them less suitable for the usage of brushpens or other materials. The Nuuna and Mossery journals both have better and thicker paper. You can use different markers and even a bit of watercolor. Then we have Archer & Olive, which is my personal favorite. Because of their thick pages you can use almost every medium you want and there's no ghosting or bleeding. They are a little bit more expensive, but in my opinion, it's totally worth it.

A final note: personalize your bullet journal
Ryder made up some markers to highlight special things. You can use a * when something is important or a <3 for a special moment. You don't only have to use drawings when you want to personalize your journal. Focus on designing it the way you'd like to use it.

The journal has to serve you, instead of you being busy with following the 'rules'. Change the 'rules' and make a layout that perfectly suits you!

Love,
Judith

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