July was my first month working with the bullet journal system. I must say that I can see a difference in my productivity. I spent a lot of nights studying the bullet journal and all the different layout designs. But I must say that I ran a lot of language or lingo that was new to me. My goal for this post is to help other newbies understand what the more experienced bullet journalist are talking about.
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is a planner and a journal in one. The best part about a bullet journal is that you can make it your own. And that is what most bullet journalist will tell you; make it your own. There are a few things that you are encouraged to include in you. But the best part about the system that nothing is required.
What do I need to get started?
That’s the easy part. All you need is a notebook and a pen. Most bullet journalist are working with a more expensive journal like the Moleskine Hardcover or the Leuchtturm 1917. At the same time, many of them will encourage a newbie to start with something much less expensive. My first journal was started in a composition notebook I got for a $1 at Family Dollar that was in my stash already. It was wide ruled paper which I hate and nothing turned out the way I wanted so I switched to a regular MEAD notebook.
As for an ink pen, I use the Pilot lines of pens. For thicker lines, I use the Pilot G-2 07 line and for finer lines I use the Pilot Precise V5. Both of these are pens that I used on a regular basis long before I got into the bullet journal. I love them.
Are there any other supplies that I should invest in?
The pen and notebook are the only thing that are required to bullet journal. There are a number of other supplies that other journalist use to make their experience more enjoyable for them. As you get into your own research, you’ll learn what you do or don’t need. If you are a bit of a perfectionist and can’t deal with crooked or uneven lines, you may want to get a small ruler.
How do I get started?
Once you have your notebook and pen picked out visit bulletjournal.com and watch the instructional video on how to setup. But here are a few key pages of the bullet journal system.
Key: Ryder Carroll has a few symbols that he includes in his video and what the mean. As you grow in this system, you’ll what symbols work for you and twerk the system to work better for you. Some people have included indicators for each member of their family or each different aspect of their life (i.e. their family, personal, blogs, creative projects, professional stuff, etc.)
Index: This index works the same what an index in your favorite text book. The difference that its at the front of you journal and you add to it as you go. I learned the hard way that you may want to allow a few pages for the index. You’d be surprised how fast one page will fill up.
Year-at-a-glance: The bullet journal will likely replace your day planner. Having a year-at-a-glance comes in handle as you plan out your spreads. It will also help when it comes to pulling together your next spread; the future log.
Future Log: The bullet journal is more of a day by day thing. So you may have events coming up in a few weeks or months that you don’t want to forget about. The future log is where you would put them so that they are not for about. For some people this is an all inclusive log meaning all birthdays and holidays are included on this log. For others, Birthdays and Holidays are separate spreads.
Monthly Log: This is where your creativity kicks in. The bullet journal systems says to write down the dates and the the dates of the week side by side going down the length of the page. From there, I just wrote down the events that I have of July. Some people break theirs up into morning, afternoon, and evening.
For August, I’m trying something different. I tell have a planner mindset. So, I like to see the entire month at a glance.
What is a spread?
A spread is the other pages you include in your journal. This is where your personality can shine. Make it your own. I covered the monthly spread above. you will also probably include the Daily/Weekly log which will detail out your daily and weekly activities, appointments. Some people have a running to-do list. Others will include their to-dos in the daily/weekly log.
What is a collection?
Collections are not much different than a spread. For many of the bullet journalist, their collections included their Instagram challenges, bucket list, travel plans, etc. I included my personal birthday plans, the plans for my mother’s birthday party. And I also started a collection that I found online, 101 in 1001 days.
Bullet journaling is meant to be a fun thing. Check out some of the other blogs and YouTube videos about bullet journals. Also, check out pinterest for more ideas on what you can do with bullet journal. If you have any other questions that weren’t answered here, leave a commit below.