Created by digital product designer and author, Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal method is one of the best ways to mindfully and effectively get more organized, reach your goals and track your progress. Influenced by his learning disabilities early in life, Carroll developed a methodology that went beyond simple organization and created alternate ways to become focused and productive. If you’re looking to get started with the bullet journal method, check out these easy bullet journal ideas for beginners.
What is a Bullet Journal?
A bullet journal (or bujo for short) is a fun, trendy and effective way to plan and organize your life. It’s a mix between a daily planner, to-do list and diary and is ideal if you’re trying to change a habit, reach a goal or make some sort of life change. Bullet journals are designed to be a visual way to keep track of information, brainstorm ideas and explore creativity. It’s one journal that’s used for everything, from weekly and monthly calendars to mood tracking to business ideas and budgeting goals. It’s a completely customizable system, designed to suit your personal needs. The content of the journal is entirely up to you and although it requires a significant up-front time investment, the process should be fun and creative. The goal of the bullet journal is to help you live an intentional life that’s both productive and meaningful.
6 Bullet Journal Essentials to Invest In
1. Dotted Notebook
3. Coloured pens
5. Planner stickers
6. Washi tape
7 Easy Bullet Journal Ideas for Beginners
1. Make an Index
The first page of your bullet journal should be the index. The index will be the backbone of your bullet journal, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. Create a list of items you’ll be tracking with your bullet journal and add to it as you work through your notebook. Of course, this also means numbering your pages for easy reference.
2. Bullet Journal Keys
Bullet journal keys are symbols or marks that help create more efficiency. They make your bujo organization system much easier, allowing you to organize your tasks, events, appointments, to-dos and notes in a quick and uncluttered way. For example, you can add a square next to each item on your to-do list. Fill the square when you finish a task and put a slash through if it’s in progress. Add a circle beside events and a triangle beside appointments. Fill them in after you’ve attended them and add an X on top of the key if you have to cancel them. Other ideas are to add a dollar sign beside budget and expenses, an explanation mark beside reminders and a heart to mark favourites and inspirational quotes.
3. Weekly Spread Pages
If you like having a visual idea of your week, weekly spread pages should definitely make an appearance in your bullet journal. Weeklies allow you to plan your week in advance. Draw the weekly layout at the start of the week and add tasks corresponding to each day. This allows you to track which tasks have been completed and track any you may need to move or cancel. Check out these weekly spread design ideas from Diary of a Journal Planner.
4. Mood Tracker
Monitoring your mood can help you recognize bad mood triggers and help you get out of a funk faster. Create a calendar for the month and track your mood with colour codes. For example, put a heart on each day of the month then place your colour code at the bottom of the page, which indicates different moods, from happy to sad, angry, content and anxious. Fill in each heart with the colour(s) that correspond to your mood that day. This can help you track symptoms like anxiety and see what may trigger them so that you can make changes that will improve your life.
5. Bucket List
Adding a bucket list to your bullet journal is a great way to get creative and compile the things you’d like to do and accomplish. Bucket list pages can be super fun to draw and can range from trying out a new hobby to going on a specific trip to trying out a new gelato shop in your neighbourhood. It’s a great way to keep track of your goals and aspirations. You can choose a theme, such as a fall bucket list or create a bucket list for the entire year. Write down all your ideas and goals and get as creative as you like!
6. Track Your Budget
Budgeting is something everyone should be doing, whether you’re trying to pay off debt, save up for a house or simply want to track your spending habits. You can log your income, bills, expenses, saving goals, debt payments and more in your bullet journal. The Money for the Mamas blog created a round up of budgeting spreads for your bullet journal if you need some inspiration.
7. Meal Planning
Meal planning spreads can help you eat healthier, plus save you time and money. You can create pages with your favourite meal ideas, categorized by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or by food type (chicken, veggie, pasta, fish). Use your bullet journal to make a grocery list and plan out all your meals for the week. If that feels overwhelming, start with just planning out your dinners for the week. It will definitely make a difference!
Bullet journaling is a great way to stay on track for your goals, boost productivity and live a life you love. If you’re new to the bullet journal method, use these ideas to get started!
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