I recently heard about Bullet Journals from one of my friends, and was immediately obsessed. There’s nothing better than committing your thoughts, tasks and goals to paper, and bullet journals are the perfect way to organize yourself into being the very best version of you every day. After all, who doesn’t want to be more organized?!
One of the ways this system is a bit different than anything else I’ve used before is the ability to customize everything. I love the idea of the habit tracker and having a place where you can be accountable for how you choose to spend your time. I also love the mood trackers and having space to write down your daily “gratefuls.” These journals are truly unique to every person who has ever created one!
I’ve been following Natascha, aka @howtobulletjournal, on Instagram for awhile. She’s truly an expert on bullet journals, and I thought she’d be the best person to tell you everything you need to know about this amazing system.
You have to let me know if you think this is as exciting as I do!
What is Bullet Journaling?
As a college student, I’m on the move all the time; dashing to class, running errands, clean my apartment and studying at home, in the library or at a local coffee shop. With all this commotion, it’s easy to forget the little tasks with deadlines that sneak up on me throughout the week. If this sounds like you, it’s time to consider finding an organization system that will fine-tune your busy lifestyle!
The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your everything. It’s a to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, diary and more. You can make it simple and productive and/or make it as beautiful as you like. It’s your place to track everything you want to keep track off.
How To Get Started
It’s really easy to get started with a Bullet Journal. Grab a barely-used notebook and a pen and you can start right away. You should always keep in mind that the Bullet Journal is a customisable system and you can make it exactly what you want it to be. If something is not working for you, just change it!
I really recommend to start with the basic Bullet Journal setup. This includes an index, dailies, weeklies and monthlies. These different pages are also called “spreads” or “logs.”
The index is the first page of your Bullet Journal. It’s the place where all your spreads and collections are organized. You should add whatever you feel is important. As you start to use your notebook, write the page numbers and topics after you’ve created the Index page. Now you can quickly find and reference them at any point.
How To Create Monthlies
The next thing you will start with is a monthly spread. It’s the place to keep track of your appointments, tasks or events of that month. This can be a simple list with the dates on the left side with the tasks beside it. I like to keep my work, college and personal related tasks divided in separate sections for a better overview, but you can also combine them into a single list with all your notes!
How To Create Dailies
The next thing is where the Bullet Journal really starts to shine: The daily spreads. The most basic daily is a simple to-do list with all the tasks and events of that day. Write them down and check them when they’re done. Tasks that are not finished can be moved to the next day or can be ignored if they are not relevant anymore.
I like to make my dailies a little bit more advanced with a diary and a “time tracker.” The time tracker is a bar with the hours of the day. I color them with the events I have that day; each color stands for a different event.
Why the Bullet Journal Works
The Bullet Journal is a very forgiving and customizable organisation system. You can learn what fits you by trying, adjusting and trying again. I noticed that the index was not working for me, and I thought the monthlies alone were too “global.” I needed another scope beside the dailies and monthlies and that’s how the weeklies were born. I also like to keep a diary, so I can always relive the beautiful moments I have throughout my day.
If an aspect of the journal doesn’t work for you, try to understand why it’s not working. Maybe it’s taking too much time to set up? Make it more minimalistic! Is it not covering everything you want? Add another spread or make a collection! A collection is just a page with whatever you want to keep track of. Some example are weight trackers, a householding schedule or a finance page.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — it’s literally impossible in Bullet Journaling. In the worst case, you rip out a page and just continue where you left off. In the best case, you have found a way to make your life even better than it already is.
Follow Natascha on Instagram @howtobulletjournal.