yellow orange pink and blue coloring pens on white notebook

HOW TO START A BULLET JOURNAL – BUJO CHEAT SHEET

Ultimate step-by-step Bullet Journal guide. Be more productive in reaching personal and professional goals.

What are you going to do and how are you going to store the data, want to plan anything for the future or want to record any past events?

Well these are important questions that arises in a curious mind. In order to answer these questions one of the famous digital product designers from New York named Ryder Carroll invented a method of personal organization, which he named as BULLET JOURNAL.

The Bullet Journal is an analog system.

In this journal system, schedules, notes, to-do lists, brainstorming, and tasks are organized into a single notebook.

Let’s have a look at bullet journal and its functions including its types and how one can start bullet journal in more depth.

BULLET JOURNAL

Monthly spread in bullet journal
Monthly spread in bullet journal 

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Bullet Journal is what we call a tool that turns the chaos of organizing one ‘s life into a structured system that helps one become more successful and achieve their personal and professional goals.

It can be called by different names- a planner, journal or

BuJo which is a very common term used for bullet journal.

Now coming to the origin of the word, What’s the fact behind naming the term?

The name “Bullet Journal” comes from the use of abbreviated bullet points to log information, but it also partially comes from the use of dot journals, which are gridded using dots rather than lines.

The use of bullet journals was first shared with the public in 2013. After its sharing, the method became popular, garnering significant attention on Kickstarter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Example page from a bullet journal, showing some typical notations
Example page from a bullet journal, showing some typical notations

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BULLET JOURNAL METHOD

Now talking about the method of bullet journal these are usually handwritten, and kept in a single notebook.

But the question is what do you need to get started?

Well you are required only two important thing to start bullet journaling:

Bullet journal tools notebook and pen
Beautiful pink journal notebook and pencil

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TOOLS REQUIRED FOR BULLET JOURNALING

MINDSET

Let’s talk first about your motivation to use the Bullet Journal. Most of the people use Bullet Journal because it’s a flexible system that lets them work in their preferred way. Before you dive, it is important to understand what you want a system to do for you. That said, as time goes by, you will discover your needs more, so start once you have thought about it for a while.

TOOLS

Once you have decided to start bullet journaling, you will require two most important tools i.e., a notebook and a pen. You can grab any notebook or pen which you want to begin your bullet journaling.

Amazing list of Bullet Journal Toolkit, Supplies, and Accessories.

Notebook and pen, one of the tools required for bullet journaling
Notebook and pen, one of the tools required for bullet journaling

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BENEFITS OF BULLET JOURNAL

Bullet Journal are beneficial for all facets of lives, including education , work and mental health.

Some of the benefits of bullet journal are:-

  1. It’s customizable to your needs and budget.
  2. It’s easy to learn and set up.
  3. It keeps everything organized.
  4. It lays everything out where you can see it.
  5. It inspires productivity.
  6. It’s great for keeping lists.
  7. It’s great for tracking long-term goals.

Apart from the mentioned benefits, bullet journals also play a significant role in various fields and has an economic impact in various regions. Detail of which are mentioned below:

  • School: Many students took up bullet journaling to help them excel in all school levels-high school , college, graduate, etc.
Bullet journaling for study
Bullet journaling for study

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  • Work: Supporters of the bullet journal system have used it to coordinate their career and job life, as the system improves productivity and can be customized with ease. Bullet journals is used for keeping track of tasks, appointments and meetings setup and scheduling, managing projects, notes taking, time tracking, etc. Many professionals use Bullet Journal to plan and meet the professional goals for annual reviews.
Bullet journaling for work purposes.
Bullet journaling for work purposes

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  • Mental Health: The tracking features of the bullet journaling system has made it quite popular for managing the mental health. Through gathering information in one place over time, it can give users insights into moods, patterns,  triggers to mental wellbeing and more. Specific benefits include setting goals, gratitude journal and gratefulness logs, which will enable users to remain positively inspired. A bullet journal is also very helpful to navigate strong emotions or difficult times.
  • Economic Impact: The growing popularity of bullet journals has led to an increase in the sales of traditional paper products like notebooks, plumes, etc.

The online community has evolved the bullet journal into all different styles: minimalistic, scrapbook, super-organized, artsy, and doodle, to name a few. What distinguishes between styles is how detailed the pages are, be it in terms of content or appearance, or how the system is used for specific goals. For example,

Bullet journal may be used for building habits, tracking life goals, becoming better at task management, or to channelize creativity.

DIGITAL BULLET JOURNALING

Digital bullet journaling has also become popular, especially in the online community. Although bullet logging is normally done with pen and paper, people are also using some note-taking apps, habit trackers app or applications specifically built for digital bullet journaling. While the method is same, users prefer digital over paper because of these reasons.

Digital bullet journaling on iPad
Digital bullet journaling on iPad

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Some of the reasons behind replacing traditional method of bullet journaling with digital method of bullet journaling are

  • Easier customization – no different writing supplies need to be purchased.
  • backup and sync feature – allowing users to use their bullet journal across devices, and restore in case they lose their devices;
  • built-in search function – easier to find information;
  • audio recording feature – many note-taking apps have this feature, which makes it more fun and engaging
  • paper use reduction – using digital products save money and reduces environmental impact.

BULLET JOURNAL KEY

A bullet journal key is a section or page with a list of all coded symbols and their meaning like what they stand for. A complex set of icons and color codes or a short list of basic symbols may be used as bullet journal key. Some reasons to use a bullet journal key are:

  1. More efficient
  2. Saves time and effort
  3. Can make you more organized
  4. Easy to personalize
  5. Saves space in your bullet journal
  6. Looks neater
Bullet Journal Key
Bullet Journal Key

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The bullet journal consists of 4 key concepts – Indexing, Collections, Rapid-Logging and Migration. These concepts are the foundation on which the bullet journal stands on.

BULLET JOURNAL INDEX

The bullet journal index page is like a table of contents. Index is page or section which gives the page-wise location of bullet journal contents. The index acts as the backbone of the bullet journal. It quickly organizes the main points of the bullet journal so that one can find what they are looking for easily.

There are also various tips that one can follow on using the Index:

  1. Monthly logs and Collections can be added to the Index.
  2. No need to index Daily Logs.
  3. New Collection needs to be updated to the index immediately.
  4. It’s chronological, so add to it as your bullet journal keep growing.
  5. Be clear and concise when adding an entry to your Index.
  6. Keep few extra empty pages. Just flip to the next page and continue writing over there, in case, you run out of pages in your Index,
Bullet journal index
Bullet journal index

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BULLET JOURNAL SPREADS

BuJo Spread
Bullet Journal Spread

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A bullet journal spread is a group of pages related to a specific topic. Now the real question is how to choose a right Bullet Journal spread?

Follow these steps to choose the right Bullet Journal spread. Ask yourself these questions.

  1. What do I need help with most to make my life better?
  2. What are my future goals and dreams?
  3. What do I often forget?
  4. Are there any habits I want to create or break?
  5. Where am I most disorganized?
  6. What do I love to spend time doing?

You will know about the spread that you really want or want to try when you figure out the answers to these questions.

HOW TO START A BULLET JOURNAL
HOW TO START A BULLET JOURNAL

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There are even several types of Bullet Journal Spreads. Some of those are mentioned below:

BULLET JOURNAL DAILY LOG

Bullet Journal Daily Log
Bullet Journal Daily Log

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BULLET JOURNAL SPREAD FOR BUDGETS AND EXPENSES

Bullet Journal Spread for Budgets and Expenses
Bullet Journal Spread for Budgets and Expenses

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BULLET JOURNAL SPREAD FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Bullet Journal Spread for Health and Wellness
Bullet Journal Spread for Health and Wellness

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BULLET JOURNAL IDEAS

Bullet Journal Ideas are nothing but a list of those things that one can include in their BuJo. It provides a glimpse of any idea using which can not only create our Bullet Journal but can also make it more interesting and attractive.

Bullet Journal Idea (Family Bullet Journal Idea)
Family Bullet Journal Idea

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BuJo can be used for ideas related to work or those meant for the students; it could be tracking health records or planning any activity.

Below you can find some idea of the Bullet Journal, which can easily help you to create or start a bullet journal on any topic:-

  • Habit Tracking Ideas
  • Creative Bullet Journal Idea
  • Entertainment Bullet Journal Idea
  • Hobby Bullet Journal Idea
  • Health improving Ideas

List of cool bullet journal ideas

Hobby Bullet Journal Idea
Hobby Bullet Journal Ideas

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HOW CAN A BEGINNER START WORKING ON BULLET JOURNAL?

  • Before proceeding further, the first requirement for starting any BuJo is a Notebook and a Pen. Now, it’s not always necessary that one begin their Journaling with a heavy budget. One can simply start it with any simple Notebook and Pen.
  • After having access to a notebook and pen, the next step is to know about the basic elements which collectively make a perfect BuJo.
  • Those elements include Bullet Journal Index which is the first page of any BuJo and contains the list of all those items that one wants to include in their BuJo.
  • Rest of the element includes Bullet Journal Key, Bullet Journal Spread, Bullet Journal Ideas etc.
  • There are even several methods using which one can easily make their BuJo creative.
  • One thing every beginner should keep in mind is that though my Bullet Journalists used to create artistic Bullet Journals, it is not necessary that every Bullet Journal has to be creative. It can even be a simple one.
  • For that purpose one can go through the Minimalist Bullet Journal, which basically prefers to create a simple Bullet Journal with the help of just a notebook and a pen.