DIY: Create a Bullet Journal

There is this thing I've been reading and hearing a lot about lately: the famous bullet journal. A bullet journal is an analog system, created by Ryder Carroll. It's an organization system that you create inside of your notebook or journal that is meant to help track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future. If you're someone who writes everything down, including goals or ideas that you want to explore, I do suggest you give this a try. It helps to identify what is most important for now, and what can be sifted through. It is, however, different from a pre-made agenda planner, because of it's flexibility to really make it your own.

If you're thinking about creating one for yourself, all you need to get started is a notebook and pen. Anything will do, although I suggest grabbing a medium sized notebook (or journal), so that it can travel with you throughout the day. You may also need a ruler for drawing lines which will help to keep things separated. The bullet journal is basically broken down into 4 different key concepts:

Index + Key
This is the brain of your new journal and you update it as you go. the Index should be the first few pages of your book, setting aside the very first page for the symbol key. Each time you start a new page, number it, and add a title and page number to your index.

Each page in your journal is given a topic and these topics are referred to as collections or modules, aka a group of related ideas. There are three main collections each every bullet journal will have:

Daily Log: To save space, I used only two pages for an entire week, and sectioned off each day. The day and date should be written at the top with your list of tasks, events, and notes down the center by using the "rapid-log" system (see below).
Monthly Log: The monthly log looks a little deeper into the month. I used two pages for this as well, creating a month overview on the left page and month details on the right page.
Future Log: This is where you jot down what's going on in the months ahead - events, goals, and whatever you deem important.

The listed collections above are those that serve as the core of your journal, keeping you organized daily and monthly, however, collections can  be anything. This is your bullet journal and it is meant to fit you and your lifestyle. Simply write the topic at the top of the page and add that topic and page number to the index. A few collection topics could be: new year goals, clean eating tracker, workouts, favorite quotes, book lists, meeting topics, shopping lists, address book, and in-season produce + flowers in bloom. In saying that, you also don't have to use all of the "core collections," although they're recommended and more commonly used. If you choose to skip out on Daily Logging and just use the Monthly Log overview, that's fine.

Rapid Logging
This form of logging uses symbols (or bullets) and is meant to be quick and organized. Rapid loggings consists of quick written notes or tasks, with bullets. You will create a key in the beginning of your journal (to the left or right of your index), and you will refer to that throughout your journaling. The four symbols are the dot, the X, an open circle, and the dash. The dot represents any task you write down. When you complete a task, turn the dot into an X. The open circle symbolizes any event you have written down and the dash represents any notes you have. Extra (and less used but still important) symbols include the asterisk (*) to represent priority and importance, the exclamation point (!) to represent great ideas, personal mantras, and lastly, an eye to symbolize that something requires further research and information. Rapid logging is used throughout your bullet journal.

At the end of each month, set aside some time to review your journal. Check if there are any tasks or events that weren't completed, and if they are still relevant and worth pursuing, migrate them into the next month. If they aren't cross them out. Anything worth doing, but maybe later on in life, should be added to the Future Log.

I know it sounds like a lot, but once you get going, it's a breeze. I recommend making the key on the first page, reserving the next 4-5 pages for your Index, creating a Future Log, and then a log for the month you begin your bullet journal. After you have your Month Log written down, create the Daily Log using two pages. You can do the page-by-day thing, but I think that just wastes unnecessary space. After you have the core collections created, you are free to do just about anything you want. A list of books I want to read and ideas for my blog are amongst quite a few logs I have in my bullet journal. Be creative with it! You can make it colorful and artistic or you can keep it minimal and clean. Check out Pinterest if you're needing a little help to tap into your creativity! 

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