Exploring Bullet Journaling

“Bujo,” or Bullet Journaling, is something that’s been on my radar for a little over a year. It’s a method of journaling, a tool you can use, that is simple and fast. It’s quick enough that it doesn’t such up to much of your time, but thorough enough that it’s easy to be productive and stay on task. I actually had adopted the “key” outlined by creator, Ryder Carroll, into the Day Designer I’d tried out for four months. It just didn’t stick and I wasn’t sure why until I picked up a new journal for a fresh start.

If you search “bullet journal” online you’ll be greeted with thousands of spread examples that are rather artistic in nature. Colorful drawings and ornate handwriting can be found on almost every image that turns up in an image search. What did I learn from all my research on Google and Pinterest? That an ornate bujo wasn’t my style. I remember wondering if there was anyone that would bujo like I would, if I could find someone that would utilize the tool like I would: simply.

I let the idea rest for a long time, and simply adapted a sample key into the planner I was using. I thought that maybe the Filofax system was the problem, so I left it for the Day Designer. Still, I wasn’t into the planner. Was it the color? Was it the frilly design? After thinking long and hard I realized it was the layout I disliked the most, that I felt cramped and contained by those baby-pink boxes.

Late September of this year I had logged into YouTube and I saw a featured video, seemingly out of the blue, on bullet journaling.

I watched it, and clicked through to other videos from there, but that first video I watched led me to some amazing people and their bullet journals, and I’d like to talk about them below.

Jenn Rogers: A Friendly Nudge

This video was a light in the darkness for me as I felt like I’d finally found someone that uses a bujo the way I would. Jenn nudged me, in terms of beginning my bujo, as her’s was outlined and used almost exactly how I was planning on using mine. It really made me felt like I could use one and get out of it what I was hoping to get out of it. She uses the “Leuchtturm 1917” journal, which is a favorite in the bujo community; you see it all over the place.

The first thing I took away from this flip-through was her Index setup, which is also how I ordered mine, by page number instead of by title. Most of the journal’s I’d seen were organized by name. I don’t know if that’s because the index is ordered differently in different gridded Leuchtturms, or what, but most of the Index tables I came across were ordered with the title column coming first, and the page numbers coming second. I’m, personally, more interested in those page numbers.

I truly appreciated her simple note-style layouts. I find the simplicity to be much more useful and calming than the cluttered and ornate designs most bujo’s contain. This is also the way that I think, so seeing someone else use this method successfully was incredibly re-assuring that I could do it, too.

Something I’d originally overlooked was her “Daily Bulleting” pages for week 30. I haven’t tried anything like that, but I’m thinking I’ll give it a shot soon.

Another thing I loved in her journal that I’d never thought of before, was to create little flags out of sticky-notes of tasks that occur monthly (like paying rent, or utilities), and moving them to the next month once they’re accomplished. This simple thing has been so helpful to me, as I’m typically scatter-brained, and I’ve really enjoyed using it.

My First Bullet Journal

So, the things about Bullet Journaling that is so great, is that you can use whatever notebook you want to use. There’s no need to buy a certain kind of notebook, a certain pen, nothing like that. I’m using a notebook I picked up at Target on clearance for $1.78 USD. I’m also using Staedler fine marker pens from Target. You can spend as little, or as much, as you’d like to.

You can build your planner as you go, change things as you change your mind, and learn from your mistakes. It’s a planner that you create as you go, which allows you to quickly learn things you like and don’t like. You can make it as simple, or complex, as you like to.

Honorable Mentions (Useful Links)

There were plenty of videos I watched, plenty of blogs I searched, and I wanted to share some of the resources I found helpful and inspiring below.

Bullet Journal at bulletjournal.com (Official site)

Boho Berry (Blog)

Tiny Ray of Sunshine (Blog)

Decade Thirty (Blog)

She Meet’s CityBullet Journal | Intro + Flip-through” (YT Channel + Video)

Rachel ElStarting A New Bullet Journal | Set Up & Plan With Me | Rachel El” (YT Channel + Video)

Matthew KentA Dude’s Bullet Journal Walkthrough” (YT Channel + Video)

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