How detailed or simple is your bullet journal? Do you color-code? Are you into doodles and incorporate them where you can? Is your bullet journal a mix of words and sketches? Do you use washi tape and other journaling paraphernalia and supplies?
The beauty of journaling, whether it’s your bujo or gratitude journal, is that it can be anything you want it to be! We’ve seen so many different ways people have made it their own and the variety is amazing so we’re always on the lookout and always ask people what their setup is like.
But while many of us like to customize our bullet journals—for example, I see and understand information and data better if there are colors involved—we also know people who prefer a no-frills approach to keeping one. In fact, this is the reason we’ve put this blog post together: to provide an alternative to all of you who are looking (and been asking) for a quick and extra simple step-by-step guide!
What sets the bullet journal apart from other journaling techniques is the use of an index, which will help you find any pages you’ll need later on. Yes, you’ll have to assign every page a number as you go.
What’s it for? This makes it simple for you to find past entries in your journal. It might not be necessary as you’re starting out, but as your bujo slowly gets filled up with information, you’ll find that this saves time and is a handy way to find what you’re looking for right away.
How do I do it? The first spread of your Dot Grid refill is your index. Just write Index on top of each page. Any new pages you create gets added to this spread alongside their corresponding page number.
STEP 2. Set up a future log.
It’s always convenient to know what’s ahead. In the case of your bujo, having a log like this helps with organizing your schedule or planner.
What’s it for? The purpose of the future log is to give you an overview of the next six months, specifically any of your major tasks, listed down by month.
How do I do it? Assign the second spread in your refill for your future log. Again, just write down Future Log on top of each page, which will hold three months each.
I’ve assigned twelve lines per month for each section which is more than enough space. Don’t forget to assign the appropriate page numbers!
STEP 3. Create a monthly log.
It helps to have access to anything that’s coming up for the month with just a glance, available in one convenient place without flipping through many pages.
What’s it for? This allows you to zoom in and track events, dates, and other things (like utility bills or birthdays, for example) scheduled for a specific month.
How do I do it? On the left-hand side of a new spread, write down the month and list down the dates and days for the entire month. This is where birthdays or major events can go. You’re free to list down anything you want on the right side depending on what your focus is or what your bujo is intended for: recurring monthly tasks, bills, and so on.
STEP 4. Create a daily log.
Now we’re really zooming in all the way! This is really effective if you want to stay on top of things as the day progresses.
What’s it for? A daily log allows you to list down everything important that you need to get done or remember in a day. You can be as specific or otherwise here. Did something interesting happen, one that’s worth revisiting? You can also jot it down here.
How do I do it? Turn to a blank page and write down the day’s date. How you format your daily log is up to you. What works for me are checklists! A nifty little box and the day’s task. Once done,check!
OPTIONAL: If you want to be a little morethorough, you can do two things: either dedicate a section at the end of each daily log to list down leftover tasks for the next day or…
STEP 5. Use bullet journal symbols. (Optional step!)
Bullet journaling is well-known for implementing symbols that can help you identify what you’ve listed down as a task, event, birthday… so on and so forth. Since we’re keeping this guide simple, this is totally optional.
What’s it for? At a glance, you’ll be able to tell if what you’re looking at is a task, if you’ve completed it, or if you had to move it the following day or month.
How do I do it? You can use the original bujo symbols or create your own. Either way, you’ll need a key to remember them. You can either dedicate a separate page for it or use a little index card that you can put in one of theeField Journal’s little pockets.
STEP 6. Make sure you add any new pages to your index!
It’s vital that new pages get added to your index as soon as you finish making them, just so you won’t forget. After all, the main point of having it is to simplify how to find certain things in your bujo using the page number.
That’s everything. Yes, seriously. You don’t really need much to start a bullet journal which means you can begin today. Right now. Customizing can come later when you have the hang of how to use this kind of system, or you can either keep things as they are or change a few more things. You have complete freedom on how to make your bullet journal work for you.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below! Or just let us know how your first bujo worked out. As always, keep on creating!