Let’s start a Bullet Journal. Are you excited? Because I am! In this blog I will take you step by step through the systems you will need to set up your basic bullet journal. The creative arty side will come but first you need the basic logs because they are the bones of your bullet journal.
Bullet Journal Equipment
Have you read my blog, The Best Pens For Bullet Journal? It has all of the best pens, highlighters, watercolours and notebooks available in India. It also has a description of why I love them so much. I strongly suggest you read it but I will also list some here, with links:
- SAKURA PIGMA MICRON BLACK OPEN STOCK 02
- Add Gel Little Artist – Twin Tip Brush 12 Pen Set
- uni-ball UM 100 Signo Gel Pen
You can decorate your pages later but it is best to start simply at the beginning. You can use any notebook to start a bullet journal however I would suggest one with dot’s and pre-numbered pages.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s get bullet journaling.
I am about to tell you how to create an index, a key, a future log, a monthly log, a daily log and end with a few tips and tricks I have learnt along the way.
How To Create an Index Page
At the front of your Bullet Journal, create an index. The index is where you will keep track of everything that is in your journal and is why it is helpful if your pages are numbered. Think of your index page as the brain of your Bullet Journal, keep it organised by laying it out correctly. Title the top of the first two pages, index. Create two columns, on the left write page number and on the right, write page (you can do it the other way like the photo above, it is up to you). As you create pages, you can add to your index with the page number and what is on the page.
How To Create A Key.
On the page after your index, create a key. To do this write ‘key’ at the top, and add symbols that are commonly used in a bullet journal. The symbols in the key above are the most widely used so you could copy this into your own Bullet Journal. You will use these simples mostly in your logs to create tasks, notes, events and migrate these also. I will explain more within the ‘logs’ sections. Keys are great if you do forget your symbols, you can flick back to check.
Create a Future Log.
A future log is where you keep track of things that are happening in the future or tasks that you need to complete but not until a particular month. It could be something like an upcoming party, graduation, national holiday or meeting.
Here is how to create a future log –
- Count the number of lines on your page and divide by three.
- With a ruler draw a line across the spread.
- Title each box with a month.
- Add the future log page numbers to your index.
Your future log is now ready to be used!
P.S The photo I have used here is a more complex future log but if you would like to keep it simple, just copy what I have said above.
Create a Monthly Log
Now we have to create a Monthly Log. Something you will do at the end of each month.
- Turn to the page over from your future log.
- On the page on the left, write your calendar for the month. Like everything in a bullet journal, keep it simple by writing the dates e.g 25 and the corresponding day, M (Monday).
- On the page on the right, start your monthly tasks list. These are big things you need to get done that month. Title the page with the month and use the task bullet to write the big things that you need to do.
- Add these pages to your index.
Create a Daily Log
Think of your daily log as a view of your week. Try not to make the spaces between your days to big. The point of a Bullet Journal is to keep your thoughts concise and save you time by prioritising tasks/ not over committing. You will spend most of your time within your daily log and it is a great place to get creative with fun spreads. Here is how to layout your daily log –
- Flip over to two clear pages.
- Split the page roughly into four but this depends on your size of journal. In my personal bullet journal, I count six dots and then start another page.
- Write the days and dates within these two pages (like the picture above).
- Put the month at the top of the page.
- At the end of each month and the start of a new one, I write my new monthly log and my daily logs for all of the weeks coming up.
- Add all of the pages to your index.
Those are the most basic pages in a Bullet Journal. In my next few blogs I will go into detail about each one and talk about more complicated pages like collections, trackers and brain dumps.
Now I promised you some tips and tricks so here they are –
The point of bullet journaling is that it is a simple system so keep any words to a minimum. At the start of a month, fill in the dates and days for the whole month. Go through and add in any minor events e.g a meetings. Add in any tasks that have to be completed by a set day.
At the start of each week, I look ahead at my daily logs and start adding tasks in while always leaving space for tasks that arise daily. I try to only have 5 things I have to do that day so as not to overload myself.
End of Month Check-Up
- At the end of the month start to create the next month.
- Go through your past month and X out any tasks you have completed.
- Look at open tasks and ask yourself, ‘is this still worth my time?’
- If it is add an arrow facing right and copy the entry into the new monthly log.
- If it is still important but not for a few months, add an arrow facing left and add it to your future log. This is called ‘migration’.
- Try to be as ruthless as possible because this system is all about being productive and weeding out distractions.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you now have a basic idea of how to start your Bullet Journal. My other blogs What is a Bullet Journal and The Best Pens For Bullet Journals are also very helpful if you are a bujo beginner.
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