Many people (us included) had absolutely no idea what a bullet journal was, but it turns out, it’s actually great. Think ‘getting in touch with your inner child;’ colours, stickers and the best organisational device since they put that little calendar on smart phones!
The bullet journal takes us back to using an actual pen and paper, yes really. It’s not a diary, or a planner, notebook, or journal..it’s everything. You use short, sharp sentences, no long drawn out confessions of love like an old school diary. It’s all about planning ahead, recording your hopes and dreams, scribbling your to-do list and making it organised and pretty. Sounds perfect, right?
Here’s a quick know-all guide and the best way to start a bullet journal.
#1 The journal itself
The moleskin notebook is a popular trend amongst journal makers, but don’t be fooled into thinking you just need lines, dotted pages are also helpful for making great tables and lists. Try not to get a big heavy book, a soft cover notebook in A5 just is perfect for stuffing in your handbag and carrying around with you at all times, like the gorge ones above.
Journals need an index. Whether that’s a fold out page for easy reference or a detailed plan, a modern bullet journal should have everything indexed to make it easier for you to reference important things. It could include; references monthly plan, finances, exercise regime, birthdays, films you want to see, literally anything you want to make a note of. You can be a tad extra and go into more detail eg create a single entry for “Projects” and out all project-related page numbers there , you could also break it down further by using the project name for an entry “H&M Fashion Shoot Project”
Symbols are very important in a bullet journal; imagine the list of options you get when adding in bullet points from a Word document. You should try having symbols for different tasks, such as one for meetings, one for things to buy and another for events, just to help organise your list further.
The elements included in a bullet journal will vary for individuals, but generally they should include; Page headings. Ideas such as books you want to read or recipes you see on the TV or in magazines.
Page numbers – simply just number every page to make it easy for you to index. Some sort of table or chart. Journals advocate the use of tables and charts to plan things like financial goals. It makes sense really. For example; use a double page spread in your journal and make a table (this is where the dots come in handy) you can record how much you want to save every week and mark it off on your chart when you add to the pot, plus if you find some spare change down the sofa, you can tick it off as an extra save.
A bullet journal does sound like something Monica from Friends would make, or for people who like everything to be just so and for those who are more of a ‘scribble on a Post-it and stick it on the fridge’ type of person, this is like your idea of a nightmare. Although a bullet journal is supposed to make life simple, setting one up does’t seem for the faint hearted. It takes a lot of effort to organise exactly how you want your journal to look and feel, whether you want it to be adorned with pretty tape and stickers or just a brain dump to put the hundreds of things whirling around in your head. But, it is great to have everything you need in one place, to be able to reference every area of your life with ease and to have reminders for the things in your life that you hope to get around to, but never do. All in all, a bullet journal is a pretty cool idea and you definitely need one in your life.
Written by Vicky Franklin