Bullet Journaling: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Bullet journaling is a popular way of journal writing that uses a certain structure and system to keep track of things.

A bullet journal may simply be a plain notebook that you customize following some guidelines. You may also opt for the pre-made, pre-labeled bullet journal that you could buy at shops or bookstores.

Your bullet journal is organized using this guide:

Part 1 – Keys

The first page of your bullet journal is your key that shows the codes you use for your bullet entries.

The codes traditionally used are as follows:

  • task
  • completed task
  • migrated task
  • appointment
  • completed appointment
  • migrated appointment
  • notes

You may adopt these codes as they are, or modify them based on your needs or intended use. 

Part 2 – Index

Your next two to four pages are for indexing. The index will let you quickly find any collection, or get to a particular month.

Title each page as an index page and move on to the next section.

Part 3 – Future Log

This two-page spread records the coming 6 months. It is great for recording events or planned activities such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

For convenience, you may use the traditional yearly calendar for this.

Be sure to add or note the page number and record your future log in your index.

Part 4 – Monthly log

Each month, do a monthly log where you record appointments and due dates. You may use a grid layout, or one line for each day of the month.

While the monthly log isn’t where you’ll track most of your tasks, it comes in handy when you need to take note of a doctor’s appointment or scheduled school meeting.

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Part 5 – Daily Log

This is where you’ll spend most of your journaling time.

Here’s what you do:

  • Each day, start a new section.
  • Create your to-do list including things you need done, reminders, concerns, and anything you find important.
  • Cross off each item when done or taken care of.
  • Move the items to the monthly or future log, or migrate them to a different day, as needed.

Part 6 – Migrating Tasks

This part is done at the end of the day or first thing in the morning.

The goal here is dealing with each entry from your daily list by ensuring that they are done, recorded as done, crossed out if already irrelevant, and migrated to the next day’s list.

Here are the steps for this:

  • Review your list of tasks set for the day past
  • Complete those that you still can
  • Cross out tasks already done or no longer needed
  • Migrate tasks that were not checked off or done.

Part 7 – Collections

This is a thematical list or collection of things of interest to you, whether personal or professional.

Examples of this are places to visit, people to work with, courses to attend, books to write, among others.

To build your collections, follow these steps:

  • Start each list on a blank page.
  • Label or create a title for each one.
  • Write down the content for each collection.
  • Note down the page you’re on and add the collection to your index page.

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