How I Use My Bullet Journal

I was asked to write about how I use my Bullet Journal to help someone I recently met get started journalling himself.

In this post I'll try to explain the basics of the system that I use.

Index

The index page in my Bullet Journal is very easy. At the top of the page, in the center, I title the page "Index". Two rows down, left aligned, I start writing the page titles that are in the journal, including their respective page numbers (which I manually add at the bottom left corner).

A short, simple example of my index page:

Future log 1

April 3  

I begin with the page title and add it's page number right behind it (not aligned, necessarily).

The next page is also reserved for the index page (two pages is called a spread).

Future log

The future log in any Bullet Journal spreads 4 pages. On page one of the future log, it contains January, February and March (divide the page in three). The second page contains April, May and June. The third page will contain July, August and September. The last page, page four, will contain October, November and December.

Within every month you have room to add tasks that are to be done during that month, or events that take place (such as birthdays, payments, loans, etc.).

The following example shows that some friend is having their birthday on April 14th. I put this in my future log so I won't forget come April.

Future log

April

[] 14 Birthday [some friend]

Here I use a [] to represent an event.

Don't forget to title your future log and place it in your index!

Monthly view

When starting any month, the first "spread" I create contains the full month and it's respective tasks.

On the first page I write down all the days in that month. So, let's take April (2018) as an example.

1 S  
2 M  
3 T  
4 W  
5 T  
6 F  
7 S  
8 S  
9 M  
10 T  
11 W  
12 T  
13 F  
14 S  
15 S  
16 M  
17 T  
18 W  
19 T  
20 F  
21 S  
22 S  
23 M  
24 T  
25 W  
26 T  
27 F  
28 S  
29 S  
30 M  

Here you can see April has 30 days, followed by the first letter of the day. Here is where you typically add tasks like "haircut" or "pick-up gift". Be short in your tasks, as you might have a few on any given day.

The next page contains a list of tasks and events of all kinds. Any task that doesn't necessarily happen on any given day, but needs to be done in April.

- Buy birthday gift
- Buy new shoes
- Schedule to meet with [some friend or relative]

Both pages are titled April 2018 in my case, and both pages have their respective page numbers in the bottom left corner.

Daily view

Any given day looks different. Some days I'm doing more than others. That's why I never "work in advance" in my Bullet Journal.

I number the page and add the first day. I usually write down April 1 and add it's task in a list below.

April 1

- Buy birthday gift
[ ] Meet with [some friend]
- Schedule appointment with dentist

Only after I'm done with April 1st I'll add April 2nd.

Don't forget to add page numbers. I don't add these to the index but it's easier to keep track.

Migrating

Let's say it's April 1st and I forgot to schedule an appointment with my dentist. No harm done. Bullet Journalling allows me to reflect on my day and "migrate" when necessary.

April 1

- Buy birthday gift
[ ] Meet with [some friend]
> Schedule appointment with dentist

April 2  
- Schedule appointment with dentist

Notice the >. That's the sign I use in my Bullet Journal that shows me I migrated the task to the next day.

Migrating is super important for me. It's allows me to reflect on any given task and signifies it's importance.

Similar to the > sign your Bullet Journal will also allow you to use the < sign. That means "Not done today, not doing it tomorrow but I will get back to this". These tasks go back to your monthly view and fit perfectly on it's second page. Remember? Where we stored all the other tasks and events that are due in April.

Miscellaneous

My Bullet Journal has become a huge part of my life. I write everything down from "pick up Denise at 6 pm" to "make cinema reservations". But, most importantly, it allows me to keep track of notes I pencil down during meetings with clients.

Whenever I'm meeting with clients, I open a new page and title it "April 6 feedback meeting with Jane Doe". This tells me two important things: what day the meeting took place and what it was about.

What follows are bullet points of points we've discussed during said meeting. Those can range from "check why bug #123 happens" to "email 3rd party vendor for support". I use the same techniques I use for my daily and monthly views (- for tasks and [] for events).

These notes can go for as long as is needed. Don't forget to number the pages and write it down in your index (you'll thank me later). Whenever I return to my normal flow I'll open a new page and pick up where from a new day.