Introduction to bullet journaling

We’re swamped with choices for taking digital notes. Despite this, a significant number of people are now turning to something rather more traditional.

Bullet journaling is, at it’s base level, simply a to-do list, journal and note taker in one analogue package.

It’s genius lies in the fact that all you need to get started is a pen and notebook – no smartphone, tablet or monthly subscription to cloud-based software.

Why should I try bullet journaling?

If you’re wedded to your smartphone when it comes to taking notes, you may wonder why you’d want to opt instead for something as seemingly old fashioned as bullet journaling.

There’s a reason bullet journaling has spawned something of a cult following on YouTube and Instagram. It has even become a treasured hobby for many.

Here’s why:

you’re never constrained to a pre-defined layout or style of planning – a blank page ensures the world is your oyster;
multiple notes, ideas and journals can all be kept in one notebook; and
you can customise your own planner from scratch and be far more productive as a result.

Bullet Journaling 101

We’ve hopefully whetted your appetite to at least give bullet journaling a try, but you may be wondering how to get started.

What follows is a simple introduction to this brilliant form of note taking and how you might utilise it during your daily life.

Weekly plans

It’s great to know what you’ve got ahead for the week, and bullet journaling is ideally suited to weekly planning.

You can map out a grid containing the days of the week in which to record your commitments for each day and a section to write a brief, Twitter-style journal of how it all went.

Add to that a separate to-do list, menu for each night’s dinner and a notes section and you’ve got an instantly approachable overview of your week, whenever you need it.


Chances are, you’ll have a number of on-going projects, all of which have different sub tasks, deadlines and priorities. In your bullet journal, you can record each one and maintain a simple, top-down view of where you’re at.

Include the project name, it’s tasks and the date you intend to complete it along with a tick box for completion. A standard notes section will cap off one of the most used parts of your journal.

Daily pages

Bullet journaling is addictive and you’ll find yourself wanting to do it every day. This is where the daily pages come in!

These are ‘live’ pages which are created on the fly each day and used to jot down reminders, take notes and record thoughts. You can then review them whenever needed and transfer the important stuff to appropriate sections of the journal.

Collections and lists

Throw away those countless Post It notes and bits of paper – your bullet journal is the perfect place to house all of your lists and collections of categorised notes.

Examples include birthdays, future projects you want to work on but are yet to assign a date to and money owed.

The index

No bullet journal is complete without the vital index page; this is the glue that holds the entire notebook together.

To make it easy to assemble, make sure you number all of your pages and record them in the index as you go.

The more you get into bullet journaling, the bigger and more comprehensive yours will grow, so keep on top of it and make sure you can find what you need, instantly, with a well-organised index.

Final thought

The best thing about bullet journaling is that you can do it in any way or style you see fit. That makes the above advice purely guidance; just follow your pen and make your bullet journal your own!