The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.
Bullet Journaling is what Ryder Carroll, the creator, calls “the analog system for the digital age”. It’s meant to be a fast, simple and effective kind of agenda. However, as Carroll says, it’s an evolving, adaptable practice meant to be self curated as you determine what works best for you. All you need to start is a blank notebook and a pen. The first thing you need to know is that you’ll set the journal by yourself.
There are some basic steps to this note-taking and journaling style, like having an Index for finding your significant pages, a Future Log for items to be scheduled months in advance and a Monthly Log with a Calendar Page and a Task Page for appointments and dates. When it comes to the daily note-taking, Carroll determined a key for writing briefly as you go, focusing in the immediate future: bullet points for tasks, crossing them when completed. He also added the signs < and > for migrating tasks that haven’t been done to the Future Log or the next Monthly Log. Events are signified with O and notes with -. If something is no longer relevant, you just need to draw a long horizontal line over it.
I have been bullet journaling for almost three months. At first, I sticked to the plain system, applying it to just my university life. Slowly, I started adding long notes about curious events that happened during the day. Or I vented my emotions, feelings and thoughts in general. I sometimes glue train and bus tickets, photos or interesting cutouts. During the April Break I had no chores that had to be written down, so I filled those days as if my notebook was a regular diary. Back in Aberdeen, I retook the plain bullet tasks with my now usual splash of daily short texts and collages. I even have copied some recipes so that I can always check them.
This is a versatile way of achieving an organised mind through a journal, because each individual will arrange their meetings, to-do’s and thoughts in their own style. Even if it looks like a mess of a notebook, the owner will have a path to finding what they need in those crowded (or not) pages. I strongly recommend googling “bullet journaling” to anyone who has trouble coordinating themselves. Internet is full of recommendations, ideas and the most colorful examples on how to begin, but I think Carroll’s webpage (http://bulletjournal.com/) would be the best place to start!