What the Heck is Bullet Journaling, and How Can It Help You?

New year, new semester, new me – or at least that’s what I like to tell myself every January. I don’t necessarily make resolutions per se, but I do like to take the time to think about what I’d like to change throughout the next twelve months. It’s usually a pretty #Basic list, involving getting in shape, being more social, doing better in school, getting more organized, etc., etc. This year, I’ve been especially looking into ways to be more organized, given that I’m finishing up my master’s with a thesis (eek) and starting a real life grown up job (hopefully – also eek).

In my web based organizational travels, I came across bullet journaling, and immediately wondered what the heck it actually was. And the answer that I have found over the past few days is, well, it’s basically anything and everything!

Essentially, bullet journaling is whatever you need it to be. Get a blank notebook – dot gridded paper is the most popular, but literally anything will work. And begin! You can start with an overview of the year – write down birthdays, holidays, and other big events. You can have a weekly planner, or a daily to do list, or a monthly overview – or a list of books you’d like to read. There is a “system” that’s pretty popular – it involves lots of little symbols for different tasks – but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

A lot of people draw and doodle in their journal to make it look nice. If you have no artistic talent – or time – for that, there’s always colourful markers and pens, or washi tape (which is basically just printed scotch tape). You can also use colour to code events and tasks.

Personally, I like the flexibility of bullet journaling a lot. I can skip days or even weeks and not feel bad about wasting planner paper. If I have a lot to do one day, I can just make a multi page list. I can doodle all I want, do fancy writing, or just scrawl notes out over the page depending on how I’m feeling that day – it really doesn’t matter. The other thing that is really useful is the tracking systems various people have developed. You can track anything – sleep, water intake, exercise, you name it, there’s probably a template for it somewhere! I tend to use mood tracking the most.

I’ve only been using a bullet journal for a few weeks now, but it's seriously great, and has definitely improved my (previously extremely lacking) organizational skills. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

You can find more information here, or with a simple Google search – good luck!